Sunday, June 10, 2007

On the Job Training: Motherhood -- Kindergarten Graduation

Yes, she is a Kindergarten Graduate! Her school had a small ceremony the other night. I was surprised to see the children had blue and gold caps and gowns! It was absolutely adorable. They sang a few songs, and then names were announced to receive their "diploma." Grandparents and parents all gathered around, armed with video cameras, digital cameras, and cell phones to record the moments. Lemonade and cookies were served and Annika took pictures with all her best friends and teacher. Her teachers gave a small box with a note: "Do Not Open Until High School Graduation - 2019 - No Peeking" I put it away in the basement. Someone remind me 12 years from now.

It's been a tough year for us with KG. She goes to public school KG in the morning and other school for afternoon KG. In December, the teacher at the other school left after many years. (They bought a house, and I knew no one would commute an hour to teach KG.)

The new teacher was older and experienced in teaching in private schools from preschool to 2nd grade. She had high expectations for educational skills and interpersonal skills. She kept a routine of reading/writing in the morning and math in the afternoon.

However, because of the part time status of majority children, this was unbalanced. As an afternoon KG student, she missed reading/writing activities, but had math every day. Annika was crying because she hated math. Seriously, doing math every day after lunch would make ME cry. So, she would be bored, not do her work and the teacher would complain to me.

I wasn't sure what to do. I'm working with Annika at home and trying to build a bit of enthusiasm about math. Seriously, if she's this against KG math, how will we survive until high school? However, I told her she had to deal with the teacher. She's going to have lots of teachers that she doesn't like, but has to get used to it.

Fortunately, this teacher left in May. The new teacher is a recent college graduate, so she's very eager and open. And, now KG is over.

I still have some issues with Annika's development - extreme lack of attention and focus. I'm torn because I do like these traits -- she's creative, logical, curious, can draw conclusions and is very smart. However, she's on another planet when classwork is being done. I've seen this in her violin class where the other children are sitting quietly, and she's squirming, picking at her bow, fussing with her hair. She misses the instructions and doesn't know what to do.

It's frustrating as a parent because I know she can do it. I know she knows her math, her reading, her violin. I've seen her ace these things, so I'm not pressuring her to do something outside of her skillset. All we want her to do is pay attention. Oh, meals take 30+ minutes to consume because she's talking or just dreaming.

My friends with older kids are telling me to chill out and see what happens in first grade. Apparently there's a leap kids take between KG and 1st. If she takes a hop in the right direction, I'll be happy.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the graduate. I hope you, proud mom, took lots of pictures.

Anonymous said...

I think your friends with older kids are right - just chill for awhile...she's very young!

and you are right - all the qualities that she's exhibiting are so normal...and wonderful to have. what's the inverse of this situation - i kid that loves math but isn't logical,creative :) you lucked out!

Anyway congrats on raising such a beautiful, talented little girl to age 6 and thru KG....before you know it you'll be opening that little box they gave her :)


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