Wednesday, May 23, 2012

On to 1st Grade

If you remember, last year we were debating if Hannah should start Kindergarten or not and decided to challenge her and go ahead and move onto Kindergarten.
She has done well socially and with most subjects however, reading basics have come hard for her.  When meeting with her teacher mid way through the year, she recommended that we consider Hannah repeating Kindergarten as she was behind the other kids in reading basics.
So began the conflict in my mind--send her to 1st grade or repeat Kindergarten.  Of course I wanted to do what would be the best for Hannah but what would that be? On the one hand, it is better to hold a child back at a younger age because self esteem issues come later in years.  I have also heard people say that no one regrets holding thier child back.  But..on the other hand, I want her to move ahead with her friends, and I believe that she is still catching up and will get there eventually so is it better to challenge her?
I started working a little more with her at home and developed our own "homework" based on what they were learning at school and I could see first hand where her difficulties were.  I will admit that sometimes I was frustrated because I did not know how to teach her.  However we plugged away and I started to see some improvment but always wondered if it was enough.
Standardized testing at Hannah's current school showed that she was improving throughout the year but still lagged behind in some areas.
Her current school is a private kindergarten and does not have any higher grades so I planned on switching schools either way--that way, even if she repeated it would be new to her.
Again I researched schools and wanted to find the one that was the best fit for her and for our life.  I found a great school and am excited to be sending her there.  I started working with the principal there and we did the standard testing that they do for their own students at the end of kindergarten.  Again Hannah tested in the average range but had some areas that were lower.  The principal felt that all the deficits showing up on the testing could be handled in first grade.  I also met with her current teacher who felt that Hannah had made great strides during the second half of the year and she was confident with her going to first grade also soo.........I have a first grader.
Her new school worked with me already and I am hapy with our plan.  Hannah will receive tutoring in reading this summer from her new 1st grade teacher.  I think this is great for many reasons--it will help her reading skills, she will get to know her new teacher before the first day of school, and the sessions are conducted in her new school so the environment will be familiar to her before the first day of school.  She will then have this teacher next year and this teacher is the special reading teacher for the school so she will know Hannah's abilities and be able to help her right at her level.
Everyone at her current school and her new school have been so wonderful to work with.  I am very happy and confident with our plan for her education.
Still..there is a part of me that wonders if we will face this discussion every year and as she gets older it will be more difficult to hold her back for other reasons but I guess we will cross that bridge if we have to.
For now, we are getting ready to celebrate Kindergarten graduation.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

Celebrating Mother's Day is very special to me--maybe because I waited 49 years to do it but maybe because I have a great Mother and a great daughter.

This year we spent the weekend at my Mom's house.
Well---Saturday we took my Mom to my brother's house and spent the day with them.  We watched Mary Lou's soccer games in the morning--they won both games and she was quite good.  One of Hannah's many highlights was getting donuts after the game.

We spent the rest of the day at Mike and Connie's place in the country.  They have Mary Lou (who is one year older than Hannah) and horses so it is one of Hannah's favorite places.  We grilled out for lunch--yum yum and Hannah got a horse back ride.  And the weather was unbelievably nice.  What a great day. At one point Hannah sat down next to me and sighed and said "I am having so much fun"

Mom had other plans Saturday evening so the rest of us went out to eat Sat. night and just had a good time being together.

Sunday was spent at Mom's.  We gave Mom a corsage to wear to church and Hannah was with us when we bought it so she picked one out for me as well.  It was my first time with a corsage on Mother's Day!
We made a great Lasagna meal for lunch and all of Steve's and Mike's families was there.  I just love being around family and Hannah does too.

On the drive back home, I asked her "What was your favorite part about this weekend and she said "Being with Mary Lou".  At night when getting ready for bed, I told Hannah that I had a great weekend with her at Grandma's.  She said, "Me too....You are the best Mommy in the whole dress pretty".  Oh my heart--I asked, "Why do you make me so happy?" and she replied, "Because I love you so much and I will stay with you forever!"

It was an awesome Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My new favorite song

Hannah loves to sing...but she does not sing songs that she has learned...she just sings...whatever is in her head..sometimes it makes sense..sometimes it doesn't..and usually I just love what she sings.
This morning driving to school, she was pretending that she was a Princess horse that could talk and sing and she was putting on a show for all the other talking horses..and this is the song she sang at her show....
"When I was a baby, I dropped out of my family..
and no-one saw me.
Then one day a new person came...
She was a beautiful Mommy and...
She picked me up to be in her family"
I had smiles and tears all at the same time but couldn't let on to Hannah because I wanted her to keep singing.