Friday, June 21, 2013

Where are they now? Grade 4 Edition

Grade 4 is a big year, scholastically speaking.  You may remember, a couple years back when Jackson was in grade 4,  I mused on music, homework, expectationspotential death by social studies, and of course the advent of working on projects in groups.

Things seem easier this time with a grade 4 student in the house.  It may be because it is a different grade 4 student. Or that I knew what to expect. Or that I was reeling from the start of middle school.   Or that we started drinking wine by the box (note: I did not say FROM the box, saving that for adolescence).  It has just seemed easier.

The homework load increased, certainly, as have expectations. And the dreaded recorder has started and projects (but no group projects this year except in gym [??]).  It has been fun to watch Sydney engaged in school.  She has enjoyed projects from Christmas in Mexico to blizzards and even enjoyed writing  her first essay "Why I love music" to which she added a PowerPoint presentation.

We did start the year hearing from Sydney, the six words I dread most in the word: "I am not good at math".  We are all pretty good at math in this house, and she was not to be the exception (Truth be told, if Husband and I had to learn math from the textbook the kids have, we may not be very good at it either).

Anyway, turns out she was wrong.  It was a heavy load convincing her of that.   Once she has mastered carrying and borrowing  regrouping in addition and subtraction, she would say "Yeah Mommy, but I am terrible at multiplication...".  Once she mastered that, "Yeah Mommy, but I am terrible at division...". With each unit mastered, she would look skeptically at the next.  But finally, now she says "Mommy, math is my best subject."
Her gymnastic instructor told me to take a picture of this!

Although athletics is not necessarily where one would expect my kids to excel, Sydney is turning out to be pretty flexible and strong.  She has decided "dance is my thing". (more on that in blogs to come).

Sydney is generally very good about remembering to bring things home from school. She is not always good at remembering to bring them back. She learned early that "My Mom forgot to put it in my backpack" is never an acceptable response to any question.

Sydney has also enjoyed a much more varied diet this year, with colourful things being added that were not sprinkles, M&Ms and gummy worms. Caesar salad is her favourite food (after chocolate), she is finally started eating apples and she loves orange peppers in particular (some of you will know about my long standing aversion to peppers of all colours).
Atypical hair style (crazy hair day)

Quite apart from that, Sydney's social schedule is a busy revolving door of play dates.  She has a wide circle of pals and a few special close ones.

I have noticed that she tends to worry a little  - classic tale of apple falling near tree.  Last night I took her and a friend to a movie. I said as the movie was about to start twenty minutes of ads began "I hope we're in the right theatre".  She fretted so much about being in the wrong one that we had to go out and check. (And it turns out it was harder than one might think, they don't put up the names or the posters anymore because too many kids were sneaking into R movies).

Sydney has grown out her bangs and actually started wearing her hair different ways.  For most of her life, she has steadfastly rejected any suggestion that her hair be styled in any fashion other than "I just got up" or "I've been backpacking for 3 weeks".  She still favours those styles, but also likes braids, ponytails, high pony, hair band and barrettes.

Can't wait to see how this ride ends!

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