Monday, September 3, 2007

I'm a Big Kid Now! (bom, bom)

I have a kid in Elementary School! Lily started kindergarten last Tuesday, the 28th. She has been looking forward to it all summer. We went shopping for school clothes on Saturday and Monday. At Walmart they had this dress and when Lily saw it she was like, "Aww, this is cute. Can I get this?" My first thought? Totally 80's. I think I had a dress like that. Apparently dropped waists are back in style. I tried to point out some other good choices (according to my finely tuned sense of style) but she just kept going back to the striped dress. The conversation went like this:

Me: "Do you really like that dress?"

Lily: "Uh-huh."

Me: "These capris are totally cute. What about this skirt?"

Lily: "Naaah."

Me: "Are you sure you really want to get that dress?"

Lily: "Why do you keep saying that?"

Me: "I don't know, it's not really my favorite."

Lily: "Well I LIKE it!"

Don't argue with a girl who knows what she wants! I conceded and you know what? When she got dressed for school and I braided her hair, I had to admit that she looked pretty dang cute!

Work it, girl! Show me some sass!

The coolest thing about Lily's kindergarten class is that two of her good friends from the neighborhood, Liesel and Megan, are in her class. And her teacher is in our ward at church and lives only a street over from us. Before school started I had to prepare Lily by telling her, "Now when you're at school you call her Mrs. Park, not Sister Park."

It was so cute watching all the kids waiting anxiously for their class to start. Lily was happy to see her friends and they excitedly compared backpacks and posed for a few pictures. Then Lily got quiet and Dan asked her, "Are you nervous?" She said, "A little."

We reassured her that it was going to be very similar to preschool. When Mrs. Park came out to get the kids, Lily excitedly waved and then began shepherding Megan into the door. It was so motherly!

Do you see what a giant our girl is? She's way taller than all the other kids. She gets it from her dad...

Have you met our mailman? He's like 6'3".

But I digress...When Lily went in for her kindergarten evaluation the week before school started, I was really pleased that she knew the answers to almost everything and could read all of the words Mrs. Park showed to her. While Dan and I would love to take credit for that, it's mostly due to the great reading program they had at her preschool, Learning Dynamics. They use the Frontline Phonics reading program and it has been awesome in helping Lily learn to read.When Lily started bringing books home to read (yes, there's homework in preschool now!) I thought it would be a good idea to get her some more phonics reading books from the library. Very few of them were as easy to read as the Frontline Phonics books. They are just so intuitive for children. They start with only words that use a single sound, such as Pam, Sam, sad, sat, etc. After a couple books with that sound, they introduce a new vowel sound and very gradually teach sight words that don't necessary follow the "rules", words that you use often and just have to recognize, like the, are, do, she, etc. After going through all of the short vowel sounds, they learn long vowel sounds and the two vowel rule: "When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking and says it's own name. The second one goes to sleep." Man, we said that a lot, but now Lily can say "dook has a floot" instead of "duckeh has a fluteh." Very useful. We slacked off with our reading in the summer, so we still have to go through all of the books that teach blended sounds, but Lily is significantly ahead of most of the other kids on her reading.

If anyone from Frontline Phonics is reading this, you can mail my commission check to 238 West...

The reward jar has played a big part in getting Lily to do her reading. We started the reward jar back in February after I had gotten in the habit of letting Lily rot her brain all day watching movies because I was too busy working or didn't have the patience to listen to her whining. Dan got the idea for the reward jar from Super Nanny. The idea is that your child has to earn privileges like watching TV or getting treats instead of just doing whatever they want whenever they want. So Lily and I went to the craft store and got 2 jars and Lily picked out some pretty "jewels" to put in the jar. We decorated them with stickers and filled one jar with all of the jewels.

Each time Lily reads for 15 minutes, cleans her room or other parts of the house for 15 minutes, is especially helpful with Amelia, or gets herself ready without being asked we put one jewel in her reward jar. She can redeem each jewel for 15 minutes of a movie or for one treat (she gets one freebie a day, but after that she has to use her jewels.) It's been a great way to get her to do her reading or to motivate her to help clean her room or the office or the living room. Whenever we get movies at the library she'll ask me, "How many jewels does Scooby-Doo or Arthur or Dragontales take?"

I now have cramps in my wrists from typing. I'm totally out of practice! I will try to be better with my blogging so as to avoid the wrath of Liz and Katy!

P.S. Who can tell me what commercial the title of this post comes from?


Anonymous said...

Pull ups... Do you still use those Sue, don't worry, I know that we all have our little secrets...

Becky in Wyo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Becky in Wyo said...

Yes, I'm a dork. I got my wires crossed, and for some reason, this line made me think of Toys 'R Us, so I had to delete my last comment. Katy is right, it's from a pull-ups commerical, maybe Pampers.

Anyway, Lily gets her height from you, Susie!! Some kids just wind up being taller than their parents, regardless of the milkman jokes. Can I be tall like you? My ideal height would be somewhere between 5'6" and 5'7", I've decided, and could I get the extra inches in my legs, please! I look like a Hobbit for crying out loud! I have a long torso, short little legs, and big feet. Ughhh!

Anonymous said...

applause, applause, applause!!

I was so worried that I wouldn't see a post on here that I almost (not quite) deleted this website from my bookmarks!

What a nice treat to come home after a long first day of teaching to see that there were updates! What a way to cap off my night.

I am so proud of Lily! How exciting to be in k-garten. You must feel so proud too! Did you buy Roseart or Crayola supplies?????

Grace started bi-lingual preschool last Monday. She's in shock. They mainly speak Spanish with little English and she misses me all day long after being with me all summer. Each morning is super cry (not to be mistaken for supa-fly) time. Gotta love that! I had to buy supplies too for Grace's school. I almost bought the Roseart but splurged on the Crayola. . . .I talk the talk but I don't walk the walk!

BTW: I have three kids in my class that do not SPEAK ENGLISH at all. Gulp!!!!!


Lisanne Lee said...

Sue, HI! I got on your blog through Cami's. Your little girls are absolutely precious and the older one looks so much like you. Been meaning to get a hold of you. I have some questions....anyway, hope all is well. Your blog is adorable.