Wednesday, October 12, 2011


The first nine weeks of school have come and gone, and despite the looming specter of the first report cards, I still feel like the year just started. For some reason, it's been harder to get in the groove of this school year than it has been in the past. Partly it's because both kids are in school now, but partly it's because Chip and I are busier, too. As a result, we're more than two months in and yet some mornings we're shocked to find that no parent actually looked inside the kids' backpacks the night before. I know the kids do their homework at Idlewild in the afternoons, but it would have been helpful to see that note about needing to bring a snack BEFORE 7:00 a.m., you know? Not to mention actually checking the homework.

Even though I'm still struggling to get used to the school year, Chloe is decidedly not. As suspected, she started kindergarten and it was as if she had finally fulfilled her destiny. Then a week later she's like, "Oh, THAT'S what you meant when you were telling me to sound out words! Reading- not so tough!" Under the unparalleled tutelage of Mrs. Berry, the lightbulb went off and Chloe could suddenly do everything. Her handwriting is now legible, she counts seemingly to infinity, she even draws things that I can recognize. She's had startling, rapid intellectual growth over the course of the last two months, and it's been really fun to watch.

Kindergarten hasn't been a problem socially, either. Several of her closest friends also ended up in Mrs. Berry's class, so she didn't have any trouble with the transition. She wants me to walk her in, but she doesn't really care if I get a kiss good-bye or not. As soon as she crosses the threshold, she makes it pretty clear she'd like me to get the hell out of there. And instead of coming home and complaining about how much she hates school and wishes I would homeschool her (cough*Connor*cough), she comes home and tells me why each day of the week is her favorite day. It's glorious.

My favorite part about kindergarten is that Mrs. Berry teaches through song, so Chloe is constantly entertaining us with her beautiful voice and a barrage of facts. "O-N-E, that spells one, O-N-E spells number one. . ." and other songs in that vein are belted out often and to great lasting effect on her learning. One day last week, the kids and I took Gidget for a walk. Chloe was wailing some song about the months of the year, and it came to light that Connor does not know the months of the year in order. I wish I had video of the look on his face when he confessed that, along with the expression on Chloe's face as she realized she knew something that he didn't! She spent the rest of the walk trying to teach him the song while Connor gave me a hard time for not getting him into Mrs. Berry's class back when he was in kindergarten.

It's safe to say I am very pleased with the foundation Chloe is receiving in Mrs. Berry's class. I believe she will be the type of student who enjoys learning for years to come, and that's a fine future to see for (at least one of) your children.

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