In thinking through my first Joy post I have decided to write in no particular order. The post may refer to something back in January or last week but I plan on writing whatever comes to mind on that day.
For today the first joyful thing that comes to mind is Miss K’s reading. When we left from Perth earlier this year Miss K had done almost one full term in Year 1 as well as the two previous years at the same school. I did love her school in WA, the teachers were dedicated, she had some amazing friends and I made some of my closest friends in the parents. Leaving was hard but I did my research and we eventually decided which school to put her in when we got here. After a couple of hiccups (she didn’t get into the school we first wanted) she went along on the first day of Term 2 only to come home with a homework sheet that made me gasp.
She was to learn a long list of spelling words and write them into a sentence. At that point she could only write her own name and recognise a few other words. She was pretty average in her previous class so we hadn’t thought anything of it. All of a sudden she was almost at the bottom of the class for reading and we had a lot of catching up to do.
We worked very hard in terms 2 and 3 and I spent a lot of time making charts, writing out activity sheets and testing her. She was signed up for reading eggs at that point and loved doing that. Homework however, especially reading and spelling was like trying to get our cat to stay in a full bath. Lots of kicking and screaming and not a lot of fun. No matter how much fun I tried to make it, it was always hard work.
The school had a remedial reading program for her called reading recovery and she started that in term 3. Every day she brought home a reader to read out loud and she read through them without a problem. At the time I assumed she was remembering what she had read earlier in the day with the remedial teacher until one day I realised that she hadn’t read that book before and she was reading it without stopping. Tears. Mine. I realised that she was reading all by herself and even though she was having the occasional problem with a word (who doesn’t!) she was happy to ask for help (unless she was very tired at which time she would throw her head on her arms dramatically and state that it was all just too hard!).
Yes thats what it felt like when I realised that my seven year old was finally reading by herself. I’m fairly sure that the other kids in her class are way ahead of her but its ok, SHE IS READING! Besides, she is doing fantastically at maths, she even went up a level in her class and gets almost every sum right (and she loves it, will do that homework first over reading any day!). This is also a minor JOY side-point as I not only am awful at maths, I absolutely hate it! SO relieved that she doesn’t take after me in that area.
So there you go, my first JOY post. Ta for reading!