today hadley spelled her name outloud. this was the first time she's ever done that and i was so excited. she is a smart girl and i adore watching her learn something new every day.
caroline is at camp this week. the camp is called aerial and acrobat. she's using some of her gymnastics skills, as she told me that she won the cartwheel award today. she's also learning some fun new skills like walking on stilts and riding a unicycle. a unicycle? really! her confidence in doing things old and new is so admirable. she's quick to tell me she's the best in this camp. I hope she remains this confident in her tween and teen years, and well into her college days and career life.
caroline has been at her current elementary school since kindergarten. despite what others may think based off of test scores alone, her elementary school is a great school with some really amazing teachers. in fact, all of her teachers thus far have been great. caroline has flourished at this school. she is in the school gifted program called discovery. initially the discovery class met once a week for 2 hours but this year her school was able to add an additional teacher allowing the students to go to discovery for an entire day one day a week. this year the school also got a new principal who has been eager to make positive changes for the school. the school is already benefiting from involvement and his act-now type of attitude. all in all, i have been very pleased with the education caroline has received.
all that being said, we have the opportunity to transfer caroline to a public school within our county that is strictly for high achieving students. i have only heard amazing things about this school, basically attributing it to a private education for free. to apply to this school, the student must have a certain gpa as well as a certain percentage on standardized testing scores. even if those qualifications are met, students are then entered into a lottery system for admittance.
we applied for the school/lottery with the attitude if she gets in, great. if not, that is ok since she is doing great where she is.
of four students picked from her school, caroline was one of them. and that changed our thinking altogether.
i kind of have the attitude sometimes that if something isn't broken, don't mess with it. that is how i feel on some days about caroline at her current school. she has only been very successful here, has a great group of girlfriends, and feels comfortable where she is. why mess with that?
why mess with that you say? because i also think that things happen for a reason. i think there was a reason caroline's name was selected in the lottery. we should jump at such an opportunity for her, an opportunity so many others were hoping to get. this school for high achievers also allows her to stay within an amazing school system rather than transferring back after she has completed the 6th grade.
all in all, this new school provides caroline with so many positive opportunities:
learn to play an instrument
learn to speak german
a chance to be with all gifted students
gym every day (she is excited about this one)
lower classroom size
huge selections of clubs
cons, of course, would be caroline having to leave her friends. i understand that is a big deal to a 9 year old girl. she has been with most of the same girls since kindergarten so i can't blame her for not wanting to start over in the make-a-friend area.
then i get stressed about the workload for caroline. up till now, she's had about 20 minutes of homework max. that isn't much. at her new school, they said to expect 30-60 minutes per night. that is kind of a lot i think. i still want her to do her extracurricular activities like piano and gymnastics but know that our nights are already stressed and tight, seeing how we don't get home from work/school until 5:20 or 5:30 normally. i know she is a really smart girl, so it isn't that i am worried about whether or not she can keep up. i am more worried about her not having fun either. it is only elementary school, not college we are talking about here. playtime is a big part of childhood and i definitely want to make sure there is an even amount of fun and work happening for her.... maybe not even. maybe more like 60/40 or 70/30. and what if caroline is so used to only getting 100's (which she is used to this and it happens easily for her) and then starts making B's at her new school, what will that do to her confidence? B's in my book are ok, especially at a more challenging school, but i want her to be ok with it as well. she is a type A personality for sure and definitely harder on herself than we are on her.
man, why do decisions have to be so stressful. parents never want to make the wrong decision when it comes to their child's education.
after all is said and done though, caroline will go to this new school in the fall. there are jut too many reasons for her to go for her not to go.
if after a year she is not happy, she can go back to her old school.
For the past four years I have been at bleep School. I have learned a lot from this School weather it was learning subjects or learning how to be a good sport weather I win or lose. This year I got enrolled in a school for high achievers. At first I really didn't want to go because it meant leaving all my friends behind, but after I saw the tour I leaned closer to bleep school because you can wear anything you want to, it has a track club, it has gym every day, and you could learn German which means I could have secret conversations with my uncle and nobody would know a word we said. Some of the bad things are that they have summer homework, small library, it appeared to be very busy, and i am going with three boys from my school. none of my girlfriends are going here which means i have to make new friends (but that is not a problem for me!).
So in all, I am going to bleep for a year to see how it is and what it is like to be at a school with other high achievers like me.
the summer that caroline was three years old, she transitioned to a new classroom at her preschool. the big deal in that was two-fold. first, it meant moving from the baby building to the big kid building. second, it meant playing on the big playground. it was a huge deal to us both but for very different reasons. to her it was simple... the big playground with tire swings. to me it was the emotional aspect of seeing my little baby more as a kid. as proud as i was, i was also sad about loosing my baby. she was proud running on the playground with her little crew but i was nervous of the bumps and bruises a bigger playground welcomed.
today was a big deal for hadley and me. today was her first day at the big kid preschool. starting today she only plays on the big kid playground. today I felt exactly the same way I felt six years ago when caroline made the same change at the same school. i felt excited. i felt scared. we both felt proud as we parked in a new parking lot, walked through a new set of doors, and were greeted by a new teacher. the same teacher that taught caroline years earlier. same feelings, different child.
i knew today meant a lot to hadley as she wore her blue school tshirt, which everyone does every monday. everyone but hadley up till today. she knows she's a big kid now.