End of the Year: Grade 3 has been a success!

Three

It’s a little hard to believe that Angel’s last day of grade 3 was today!  How did this year go by so fast?

Overall, Angel’s had a great year.  She had a teacher that is a true educator.  He really got her from the start.  They clicked and Angel has benefitted from his teaching style. He has celebrated Angel’s successes and supported her learning every step of the way. He hasn’t let her give up on herself or accepted less than her best.

Some of Angel’s favourite things from this year have been the cardboard arcade (inspired by Cain’s Arcade, learning some basic swimming at the same pool she takes swimming lessons, going to a local hockey team’s game, learning how to play badminton, Lego League, helping in kindergarten, reading buddies, making (and keeping a friend), playdates, using technology, breakfast club and running club. There was also learning to play recorder, performing a dance for Southeast Asian History Month, doing a dance for an assembly, and receiving an award for Confidence. And Pokemon. I can’t forget Pokemon. I don’t understand it, but she loves it!

I was really surprised about running club. Angel got involved in this on her own and it turns out she loves running. Running isn’t something that we are into, so I’m really glad that she has found this on her own. We’ll have to get her involved in some form of running this summer.

Breakfast club wasn’t a surprise to me. Angel likes to help. She had fun helping to prepare and serve breakfast for her schoolmates a couple times a month. She especially liked flipping the grilled cheese sandwiches.

Kindergarten helping was something new that Angel’s principal came up with. Angel was having trouble socially with some of her peers, and her principal dealt with it right away. She arranged to have Angel go into a kindergarten class to help out over one nutrition break a day. Angel wanted to go back for the second nutrition break as well, but it was important that she still work on developing her social skills with her own peers. We’ve heard feedback that the kindergarten teachers enjoyed having Angel’s help. Angel told me that she was going to ask her principal if she could help out in kindergarten again next year. That’s what a mom wants to hear :)

We had the results of Angel’s psychoeducational assessments last week. There was a lot of information given to us and I’m still processing it all. I have some research I need to do so that I am sure that I understand everything. I’ll share more another day. The great news is that we have a lot of answers and a plan for next year. We will have an IPRC meeting in the fall and Angel’s IEP will be adjusted to include the new information.

I’m looking forward to summer break. We have some plans made for camping up north and 2 weeks of day camp booked for the girls. The rest of the summer is something we will figure out together. I expect that we’ll have some day trips, probably some library visits, public swims, and lots of time bike riding and being outside.

Grade 3 has been a great year. I’m looking forward to seeing what grade 4 has in store for all of us.

Eyes in the Back of My Head–My Super Power

Image from page 80 of "[Planches enluminées d'histoire naturelle" (1765)

Angel is mischievous.  She’s a curious girl and she gets into her fair share of trouble.   Scratch that, she gets into more than her fair share of trouble.  She’s always into something or trying to figure out how something works, or seeing what she can get away with.

She’s also not very subtle.  Her facial expressions give her away.  When I catch her doing something she doesn’t think I can see, she always asks me how.  I tell her the same thing my mother told me, “I have eyes in the back of my head.”   Here’s the thing–Angel doesn’t question this.  She believes I have an extra set of eyes in the back of my head.  She’s never asked to see them, but she asks about them from time to time.

“When you are sleeping, do the eyes in the back of your head close too?”  I think she’s wondering how I know when she sneaks into my room to sleep.  Of course, it couldn’t be that she climbs over me, lays on top of me, or steals all of the blankets, so the obvious reason is that I really do have eyes in the back of my head.

I told her to go back to bed last week, even though she was behind me and for once I hadn’t heard her come down the stairs.  “How did you know?”  I saw her in the reflection of the television.  “Did you see me with the eyes in the back of your head?” She asks the question as an accusation.  Of course it must have been those silly extra eyes, how else could Mom know?

Part of me feels a little guilty for letting her think that I really have eyes in the back of my head.  The other part is fairy certain that she knows that this is not true.  It’s like a game we play.  Angel pretends to be doing something, and I pretend to see her with eyes I don’t have.  I’m not entirely sure what it is, but I like the sense of mystery or magic about my extra eyes.  I like letting her know that I’m fully aware of what she is up to, even when I don’t see her.  My extra eyes are really the result of knowing her so well.  I know you have snuck out of bed (for the third, fourth or fifth time tonight).  I know you haven’t done the chore that you told me you’ve completed.  I know that you need a quick hug in the middle of the night to make you feel safe.  I know you had a rough day.  I understand that you are worried, nervous, or anxious.  I am here.

So, I think for now, I’ll keep the eyes in the back of my head.

New Milestones, More Confidence!

Angel hit a major milestone this afternoon!  She rode her 2 wheel bike without training wheels all by herself.  This has been tough for her to learn and has taken a while to do.  Riding a bike takes lots of co-ordination and balance as well.

Not being able to ride without training wheels didn’t bug Angel at first.  She would tell her friends at school that she couldn’t ride without them and I’d cringe thinking that she had given them fodder to tease her about.  Strangely, no one did.

One of her friends learned to ride without training wheels last week, and at the park yesterday evening, she coached Angel on how to do it.  Angel’s younger friend also learned how to ride her bike a little while ago.  It was when her younger friend mastered bike riding that Angel became frustrated.  She felt bad that her friend learned so quickly.

Tonight, after school, Angel got her helmet on, took her bike out and rode it!  She didn’t go far, but she rode without help and was grinning the whole time.  She was so excited and proud of herself.  We had to take a video to show her Daddy later.  She wanted me to tell her Nonna too.

So, here’s the thing…Angel is a little late on hitting some of her big milestones, but it’s OK.  She gets to them at her own pace.  When she would tell her teacher, “I can’t do this,” he wouldn’t accept it.  He told her, “No, you can’t do it YET.”  This has been a great phrase for her to use.  It reminds her that even though she can’t do something at the moment, she will be able to do it eventually.  Practice and patience, and a little determination will get her to her next major milestone and I’m looking forward to watching her get there!