Penny started school just this past Monday. 4th grade is much different than what she's used to. They are very much stressing the importance of independence, self reliance, consequences & accountability. The teacher does not repeat himself and gives directions with the intention the kids take good notes. She's been in tears 3 of 4 days already.
She's rushing through her homework like usual.... only to find she did something very wrong and having to erase and do the entire thing over. (printing vs cursive) (wrong side of math page) I hope she figures out soon that she needs to slow down, pay attention and start essays sooner. She was up last night til 10pm writing an essay on 'The best day ever'. Part of her problem is she loves to write. So... her paper is way to long due to her creativity and descriptive language. It's a good paper though.
I have been letting the consequences land this week. She's missed out on ice cream, among other things due to the choices she made. I kinda feel sorry for her, she's been tossed into the deep end. (it will be good for her.. right?)
Believe it or not.. she does love it. Her Teacher is fabulous. He has a dry sense of humor, is very literal and most of all patient. This may be his last year teaching. He's ready to retire. I'm bummed, he would have been great for Harold.
She's probably going to pick up a 3rd instrument in a couple of weeks. A wind instrument maybe Flute. The High School here has a very good band and they start the program in 4th grade so they are ready by freshman year.
Today saw Penny entering the fourth grade. She got the teacher she/we wanted, all weekend we were excited about that.
The administration posts the teacher/student assignments on the window of the school library the Friday before school starts. There are supposed to be no requesting or selecting of which teacher a student will get, and the process is shrouded in mystery. All summer long I spoke as though I already knew Penny was getting this particular teacher. He looks and acts the part of a fourth grade teacher, and I believe he's been doing for a long time, and that he's good at it. There is a rumor that he has a dry sense of humor, which I can certainly appreciate.
But back to the start of a new school year, all the familiar faces were back, the parents, the kids who look just a tiny bit older. After learning which teacher we'd be with, we went out to dinner with another family, friends of ours, a friend and school mate of Penny. Nearly the entire conversation revolved around who is in who's class, with which other who's. The social dynamics were being discussed, interpreted and analyzed in the nth degree. That was a bit more social investigation that I have a mind for, but it was fun, and we had a good time anticipating the coming year, with more advanced math, more emphasis on student independence, and the coming classroom topic of California history, along with more building of models of Spanish missions, a project that comes along with this grade level.
We're looking forward to another fun and busy year, trying to be present in every moment. Fourth grade will come around only once per person, and that's about the time in my past when I really start to remember things well. So, Penny's dad: Time to sit up and pay attention.
Congrats, Penny, you're doing great, and I'm so, so happy that you're having a good time with it all!