Thursday, February 01, 2007


WonderGirl brought her first report-card-like-beast home yesterday. We've had parent conferences in the past, or updates from preschool teachers, but never an honest-to-goodness written, check the boxes, line up the horses, kind of evaluation. We discovered the folder in her backpack as we were heading out the door, but DT and I both knew we couldn't wait until we got home to read it. With DT's mom cozily stuffed between the kids and carseats in the back, he quietly read the highlights to me as I drove and we both hoped that WonderGirl was sufficiently distracted enough by trying to keep Rocco from taking her Corduroy book that she wouldn't pipe up, "What? What are you reading?"

Here's the thing: I know WonderGirl is interested in learning. She's curious, loves school, is attracted to new ideas and stories, draws appropriately for her age, has suddenly become an independent reader, and seems well-adjusted socially. She's independent, to put it mildly, and has a level of confidence in herself that I think is appropriate for her age. I know she's doing fine in life. Add to this the fact that I have a great amount of respect for her teachers and her school, and they've never given us an indication that she is doing anything other than thriving.

And yet, I'd by lying if I didn't say I was quietly nervous, waiting for DT to give me the word as we drove.

The report was glowing, I think it's fair to say. It was thorough and detailed, with little pieces of commentary that made me laugh. One of the (many, many) skills which were evaluated was something about following multi-step directions. Not only does WonderGirl apparently remember directions exactly, she "helps the rest of her work group remember the directions." In other words, she's bossy. We read that she is meticulous to the point of not always finishing work, since she holds her work to very high standards, but there wasn't anything about frustration with not being able to do something the way she imagined. I would guess this is something we'll have to work with her on, in time, but for now, it just means that she has excellent handwriting for a 5-year-old and art projects that are slow but well-done. We read that she had a problem at the beginning of the year with pushing when there was a conflict over who was rightfully first in line; now she "remembers to use words," as she "asserts her position." That's our child -- she doesn't let others walk on her, but if she can do it nicely, then more power to her.

I'm not surprised that she's doing well on the academic side of things, precisely because she is curious, trusts adults and likes to be told new things. I'm quite happy, and relieved, that she is doing well socially, and that she is turning out to be sensitive to her classmates and tries to help when they have problems. I'm grateful beyond description that she has teachers who see her clearly and honestly; there was nothing in the report that felt off or biased. Here's hoping that her school career is always so positive.

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