Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Happy Mom

I feel so good today! Been smiling all afternoon. I remembered from the past 2 years that January is when my daughter's school provides parents the progress reports of their kids. We just got my youngest daughter's progress report, she is in preschool and is age-ok for kindergarten already, I mean would be age-ok by the Fall semester.

Here in California, most schools allow children to go to kindergarten as long as they meet the age requirement --- they have to be at least 5 by December 15 of the academic year on which they plan to enter kindergarten. Since we're on the topic, my eldest daughter missed that cut-off the other year, so by the time she entered kindergarten (last year September) she was already 5 1/2 (she wasn't 5 'til January of last year). She was on the older group. However, we are very proud parents (may I say) because about 6 weeks into kindergarten, she was recognized by her teachers, the rest of her kindergarten class, and no less than their principal for being able to read like a grade 2 student, and for having been able to pass all the tests given to her (to see if she meets curriculum) ---- she was promoted to 1st grade. So now, my daughter who just turned 6, is in 1st grade. Now she's in the younger group.

Going back to my preschooler, I've been worried because she's only been going to school 2 days a week. I felt as though I was short-changing her because I felt that I haven't been pounding academics on her. Well, it's not as easy when you're trying to manage a household, dishes, laundry, food, etc etc while trying to be an A-parent. Another thing is that, she's been more on the independent side too. She can do things on her own, she can play with her kitchen and dolls and be happy. She's more on the creative side and doesn't have the patience to go through math and books, as consistently as you would want her to. Well, that was before she turned 4 though. Lately, I've been noticing that she already knows all her letters (upper and lower case), and knows how to sound them out already. She can count way more than 30s. Guess what we've found out too? She is reading. At least beginning to. She's totally hooked on Hooked on Phonics. Yes, she is starting to read and would even ask you to do it with her. She goes by her schedule you know. Yes, this is my OC daughter, my preschooler who has been recommended for kindergarten based on her progress report.

Hooked on Phonics? I swear by this method. At least for me it's worked. My eldest daughter showed me she was ready to read because she was even reading before I started her on HOP. She was sight reading. The Alpha mom in me of course went through all the materials in what would be the best method, etc etc etc. I used HOP to keep her back onto the phonetic method. They use Zoo Phonics in school and both worked well together. Yes, it works, my youngest daughter who is now 4 is reading --- pat, mat, cat, wag, men, ten, etc etc etc.

I'm happy because my daughters are achieving well in school and at home. The youngest one as I've already mentioned, was recommended for kindergarten in the fall, while the older one continues to receive praises in 1st grade. She is in the top of her class and is showing skills in math and spelling. They remind us to pray before eating and before sleeping. They are respectful of their elders (they have lolos and lolas around them) and they know that when we reprimand and even when they are sent to time-out, it is because we love them and we want them to learn.

Oh well, parenting is indeed a 24/7 job, a job well-loved of course. I won't say we are a perfect family, oh my(*$%@!), that is so far from happening. We have melt-downs everyday, impatience and stress, there are some parts of our house that are always in disarray, we continually lecture and sometimes let things get out-of-hand, the kids cry and sometimes fight too, but.... at the end of the day, we try to make it a point to kiss and make up and remind each other of how much we love each other. This makes us all happy.

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