Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Who Are These Two??

They are grade THREE and grade FIVE students, have successfully completing their school year. Today at 11:46 there were released into a rainy day and a civil society to start their summer vacation.  God have mercy on my soul.

And what do I think of the school year just passed?

As faithful readers will recall, grade 4 is  really quite a ride.  At times I was not sure that we would make it without either investing intensive psychological intervention or buying wine by the box.

But as I first reported in April we have experienced a seismic shift in Jackson's responsibility level.  Even better, he suddenly seemed more aware of things around him.

Best example I can give you happened one day after school.  I was carrying a couple boxes of Scholastic books to sort at home. They were not heavy, but they were pretty big.  Jackson met me at Sydney's class, as is our arrangement. He was carrying his jacket and his backpack.  Without hesitation he said to me these precious words:

"Mommy, I'll just put my jacket in my backpack so I can help you carry that stuff".

I was gobsmacked.

A few days later, something even more amazing happened.  He had a little math homework to do. It wasn't a lot but it was the last week of school when the international treaty on homework amnesty should have applied. He was initially, to put it mildly, not in a cooperative mood.  Eventually he relented when I took away his iTouch buckled down and got to work.  I sat with him as this particular assignment needed scissors, ruler, eraser, extra paper and a photocopier. I was his personal homework assistant looking all over the house for the needed items (or at least yelling as Husband that we needed scissors etc.). Thank goodness Jackson had a good grip on fractions. In no time he was done and I breathed a sigh of relief.  Then he said it:

"Thanks for helping me with my homework."

That is definitely going into the scrapbook that documents all special milestones of my kids. If I ever get around to putting it together.

Grade 2 was a much less traumatic year academically.  The grade 2 challenges were social. 

At the school year started, Sydney was thrilled to be in a class with her best pal, E.  This was especially lucky because her class was blessed with an excessive amount of Y chromosomes. Fifteen out of twenty-two kids were boys.  So having E to play with at recess was a huge blessing.  Of course when E moved away at the end of  October, Sydney was a little lost.  But in no time she had a new best pal to hang with, S. 

Because there were so few girls in the class and because social angst appears to be part of the grade 2 curriculum, we had some challenges with girls getting along.  While I would like to tell you that my sweet Sydney was the peacemaker, the mediator, the kind-hearted girl who ensured everyone was included, it was not always the case. I learned that EVERYONE is susceptible to influence and that Sydney is not always the influence I would like her to be.  We certainly all learned something and I know it was a pivotal moment for Sydney.

Sydney gained a lot of confidence this year. We are pleased with the citizen of the world she is becoming.
I will close this casting a glance to next year:  it is the full year with full day kindergarten at our school.  Jackson says "Finally,  they kindergartners should be there all day. They don't know anything.  By the way Mommy, if anyone should go half a day, it should be the grade fives. Because they know the most."

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