Friday was the last day of Graycen's first track in the public school system. She was met in carpool line with a homemade banner and a truck full of balloons.
Granted, she attends a charter school which is run a lot differently than a traditional public school, but here is my review, none-the-less.
From Graycen's mouth, " I love it a lot--almost as much as being at home with you." What can I say about that? My girl loves me and wouldn't, purposely, hurt my feelings for anything. I know that she loves school. I can tell by the way she talks (and talks, and talks, and talks) about it. She *loves* her teachers--all of them. Her math teacher was jogging through town with her dog the other day and Graycen spotted her through the car window. She rolled down the window to scream hello to her. After her teacher screamed hello back, Graycen rolled up the window and said, "That's funny. Mrs. ______ didn't tell me that she had a dog." It cracked me up, because she thinks of them like they are her buddies.
She also *loves* learning. Her school delivers all of that week's papers, tests, etc. to the parents via the "Friday folder". Graycen stands by my chair with her folder each week, just waiting for the opportunity to go through it with me and see her test grades. When I read them to her, she goes NUTS-O!! She jumps up and down screaming and wants to call Nathan right away. It is so funny! She loves getting good grades and when she has been given bonus points on a test, LOOK OUT!
Now for MY notes on the past 9 weeks:
Growth. That would be my one word summation of the last 9 weeks. Graycen's public academic career started off a a little rocky as she had a playground...altercation...on day seven. I thought at that moment of putting away her backpack, reselling her uniforms, and bringing her back home. However, we didn't. We spoke with her, spoke with her teacher, and spoke with her principle at length. Nathan and I decided to use it as a teaching opportunity for Graycen . We, under close observation, allowed her to figure some of it out for herself. I saw a growth in her from that situation which included her deciding that the person who offended her probably just "needed a friend". I was extremely proud of how she handled herself.
Academically, Graycen has been challenged more than I could have offered her at this time. That is just my being honest here. I still believe that homeschool is the best IF (and that is a bolded IF) you can do it. I hope that the Lord has it in His plans for my children and I again in the future. Right now, this is what my girl Graycen needs. She is learning and loving it. She is social and making friends. Much like I enjoy watching her face during a fireworks display as she is amazed with each and every burst, it has been a thrill to see her experience so many "firsts" over the past few months. She has had her first-first day of school, her first presentation in front of the class, her first field trip, her first standardized test (I realize that this shouldn't have been her first, but...). The list could go on and on.
Graycen is not ashamed of the Gospel and I have been told (by a regular "lunch parent") that Graycen's lunch table is often the site of a major theological discussions, hehehehe. She prays for one little girl in particular every night and I am sure will do everything she can to get this little girl to church with us one Sunday night :o) This part has been God's little lesson to me about getting outside of my comfort zone.
We are pleased with how this is going, so far, and are looking forward to having her home for the next few weeks until track 2 begins (I am now a BIG fan of year-round school calendars-BTW). As much as she loves her days at school, I will never grow weary of driving up to the carpool line each day and seeing her when she spots our truck. I kid you not that her expression of excitement about seeing us hasn't changed since the first day of school. She ALWAYS lights up in a big smile and waves, sometimes even jumping up and down. She bounces into the car and begins to download every bit of info from her day at a rapid pace. Her youngest sister, Annagail, always gets a hug as Graycen passes her in her car seat and Graycen always holds both Annagail and Ella's hands on the ride home. She still enjoys being the "oldest" sister (not the biggest as MaryEvelyn likes to point out) and I enjoy watching her enjoy that.
It hasn't been a walk in the park getting used to living on someone else's timeline and I would be a liar if I told you that many mornings I *wished* that I could have her sitting around my table instead of dropping her off in the carpool line. However, I am almost daily affirmed by her growth and her excitement about attending school.
SO, I am off to enjoy three weeks of having my oldest "baby" home with me. We have plans to have no plans and to play and play and play some more. Now that I am unplugged during the day--I almost got through the post without mentioning it--she is about to experience a whole new level of peace her during the week. Hopefully, it won't be another first (heehee), but will at the least be a nice break for her to rest and rejuvenate in during her school break.