The start of every school year makes me notice the ways that my children have changed. Over the summer they get lots of water and sunshine, and--much like the weeds in my garden--grow by leaps and bounds. This fall, however, there were more changes than usual.
For the last three years, the older three kids have gone to a local school that consists of grades 1-8. Abby has thrived there. It's been a really good environment for her; she made good friends, developed good talents and started to learn who she really is. It's been fine for Alex. He was a good example for his friends, and was loved in return. He was given a random nickname that stuck: Bean. Why 'Bean' I'll never know, but it is what it is. In fact, Alex's 5th grade teacher dubbed Lee "Little Bean," and one day when I dropped off his cello, that same teacher called out, "Thanks Mrs. Bean!" Lee, however, was starting to fall through the cracks. His class had a few personalities that needed attention...a lot of attention. And for my center-stage class clown, that was hard. His 2nd & 3rd grade teachers had their hands so full dealing with the other kids that they didn't have time to develop a relationship with Lee. In first grade he had a phenomenal teacher that was able see great things in him. But for the last two years he's started slipping through the cracks. Cora had such a great experience in kindergarten, that I decided to move Lee to her school instead of visa versa.
So the changes:
Abby is now in high school. After a 2nd season of summer swim team, she decided that she's a swimmer & joined the high school swim team of her own volition. This in and of itself is HUGE!!! She's making friends, cutting her swim times and actually comes home chatty! I love it! (Plus she's amazing herself because for the first time, she's getting muscle definition. Too funny!)
Alex is attending the middle school that we're in the boundary for. He's on the school football team, making friends and comes home happy, talkative and sassy. :-)
And Lee. Lee! After the first week of school he was recognized as being the first to achieve the highest behavior ranking. In the whole school!!! He was praised for being respectful, courteous and an all-around good student. And what's even better, 2 weeks later he earned that same ranking AGAIN!!! (They start at green at the beginning of the week & have until the end of the week to 'clip up' to red.) He still struggles with homework (it's death on a stick for him), but he's finally in a situation where he can be the leader that he was in kindergarten for fabulous Mrs. Slick.
Hubby is also experiencing his own school-related changes. He found, applied & was accepted to an online LPN-RN program that he started a couple of weeks ago. It's hard & he's trying to find a balance between work & school, but it'll be SO worth it!
These changes are ones that do my mother heart good. But there's one change that simply amuses me. Yep--she's only got him by about 1/4".
(Pics coming soon--there are no photos on the new laptop that we finally purchased for Hubby for school.)