Friday, February 6, 2009

Both Ends of the Same Stick

Some days you just have to laugh about having children nearly 11 years apart. Yesterday was one of those days that really reminds us of what we have done. The morning was spent with Isabelle at the community pre-school screening (which Isabelle referred to as "pre-school screaming") and in the evening John and I attended a parent meeting to learn how to register Jake for high school. (Tenth grade in our district.)

Isabelle was assessed to make sure she was progressing properly and would be ready for Kindergarten in a couple years. As soon as she heard me tell her where we were going she was beside herself with excitement. She went through each station doing great. Perfect hearing, perfect vision. They confirmed that she is short and thin. She sang the alphabet, counted to her mid teens, identified letters, repeated words, stacked blocks, identified colors and shapes. Then they asked her to hop on one foot. She can't do that, she can't skip either. She surprised me by catching a bean bag with 2 hands but just stood there watching it fall to the floor when they asked her to do it with one hand. I really wasn't surprised she couldn't do these things, she didn't walk until she was 20 months, this isn't her area of strength, and they weren't concerned about it either. However, I was a little surprised when they asked her to cut a straight line and she didn't even know how to hold the scissors. The very nice tester and I patiently watched as she struggled to get the job done, and done perfectly, despite the fact that she clearly had never been taught to use a scissors. Who knew this was a learned skill? I have been hiding the scissors for so long I forgot that she might eventually need to use them. Everyone tells me they learn this stuff in pre-school but home is her pre-school, so into my art drawer will need to go a scissors and some cutting paper.

John and I are always looking for fun and free things to do on date night so how perfect that the parent meeting landed on our usual night. We went from room to room learning about the options available to him for Math, Social Studies, Science, English and Foreign Language. Over coffee and tea afterward we discussed the pros and cons of AP level courses and which classes we wanted to encourage him to take AP and which classes we felt he could stick with the regular curriculum. Our school is a nationally rated school so they assure us that the regular classes are still challenging and vary only a little from the AP classes. Do you think all schools say that?

When I was in 10th grade I don't remember feeling like I needed to have an idea of what I was going to study in college yet as we sat thinking about how to proceed for the next 3 years it was clear that we needed to know. Jake actually has already informed us that he plans to go to seminary and become a missionary. Actually he is going to do ROTC for college and then enter the military as an army chaplain while fulfilling his requirements and then go on to the mission field. As much as it warms a mother's heart to think about him following through on this plan I realize the changes the next few years can bring as he becomes a man, however, hopefully it gives us a little insight into him as we make choices based on this current plan. He probably won't need particularly strong math or science skills to get into Seminary but likely will need some strong language and social studies skills. So these are the areas we are encouraging him to take the AP classes. He also wants to take a second foreign language, Latin. Also seems like a good one for Seminary. Unfortunately the language teacher said they have never had enough students sign up to actually have the class so he might have to take weight training as his elective class instead. :)

Pre-school and high school, all in a days work here with the Folly of My Youth and the Mid-Life Crisis.

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