Friday, September 21, 2012

First Day of Kindergarten

Selena was anxiously awaiting the first day of kindergarten. A week or two before she was having a hard time going to sleep. She informed me that she was too excited, and going to kindergarten was like a dream come true.

While she was super excited I have been worrying that the school will not meet my high-minded ideals. I really struggle with the educational philosophy I have used over the past five years, compared to what the school does. My biggest worry, oddly enough, is the lack of recess and physical activity. Half day kindergartners do not have scheduled recess, and the rest of the school only has half an hour. I've been told by other parents, that the school tried to completely eliminate recess 3 years ago. They are not allowed to run on the playground. The minimal amount of active play, combined with the high stakes testing schools face, I am not convinced it is a psychologically healthy environment.

Contrary to all my worrying, I have been impressed with how efficient Selena's teacher is.  There are twenty-four kids in her class, but Selena has came home with all sorts of rhymes and facts, from how to put her backpack in the locker, to what compound words are, to the best way to place glue on pieces of paper.  She really enjoys it, and is absorbing a ton.

Other than school, the summer was busy. We did a few more track meets, and she learned how to pace herself. Her second race was a bit slower than her first, but her last race she ran negative splits and improved her time. I was impressed I have only ran a few races with negative splits, and never for a faster time.

Selena and Allie started a gymnastics class. We've had two so far, and Selena said that it was hard work. I have been impressed with her beam skills.

I have finally got Selena to sleep in her own bed. She is still in our room, but she has moved to a bed on the floor. The girls just keep on growing and we ran out of room for all of us to fit comfortably on the bed. The transition was pretty easy, which is surprising because a few months prior, she told me that she was going to sleep with me forever, even when she was a teenager, and even when she had her own baby they would have sleepovers every night. I guess she was joking. :)

We've been attempting to read some longer books over the past six months to a year. Some books she has liked but many we didn't finish. However in the last few months she has completely changed her mind on chapter books, and now she is begging for them. We started with the Secret Garden. I forget how it came up, but she was talking about a secret garden and I told her there was a book. She hounded me for a few weeks to get it, and finally I realized it was free on Project Gutenberg. I was pretty sure she wouldn't like it to do the antiquated language, but I was wrong. She really liked it and was asking for it every night. After we finished we checked out two movie versions and she watched those as well.

Next Floyd and I were talking and Floyd asked when I thought Selena would be old enough for Harry Potter. I said that it was something she would probably want to read on her own. The stories can be a bit scary so I figured it would be better to wait for a while. She overheard this conversation and became very enthused about reading it. We have now got through the first two and a half books in the last month. Both girls have been pretending to be wizards, casting spells, and plan to be Harry and Hedwig for Halloween. Allie doesn't seem to care for the books, and tends to wander away while reading, but even she has picked up quite a bit of the story.  I'm unsure how much of the series we should read, most people seem to recommend stopping at book three for a while. I've read the entire series twice, but can't really remember what happened in each book. I haven't seen most of the movies because I thought they were kind of scary and darker than I had imagined myself. I guess I'll probably have to do more research. :)

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