I have a few minutes before I have to wake Carrie and start our daily ritual of school preparation. I don't have to pack a lunch. Chicken nuggets and mac and cheese are on the menu at school so my biggest stressor this morning will be getting that waist length hair of Carrie's up into a ponytail.
She read to me last night a book her grandfather had given her for Christmas. It's all about withstanding peer pressure. The message was subtle but it was there; a story about a ponytail and the child's decision to adhere to that style regardless of the teasing she endured from her friends. Cute story but the part that impressed me was that this little kindergarten child was reading this book on her own! This was not a kindergarten age book. Many words were difficult and she slowed down to sound them out and I could hear her whispering the sounds a few times until they meshed together into a word in her mind. Amazing!
Carrie has wanted to be able to read for years now and at six years of age, that is about half her life. We have been practicing for a long time with her alphabet and then phonetically sounding out the words. I wasn't taught phonics when I was in school so my instructions hit a plateau at which time her mother picked up the slack. She was in the phonics decade of learning.
Carrie started kindergarten and Ms. Verret filled in all kinds of blank spaces for Carrie. This is her kindergarten teachers' first teaching position as a full fledged teacher. She is wonderful with her class and for this I am grateful. I realized this year how important that first year is for these students and for what they are expected to learn.
I was fearful that Carrie would get a harsh teacher instead of the soft Ms. Verret. I wanted Carrie's first experience in the classroom to be positive as she will be doing this for 12 more years. We couldn't have been assigned a better instructor for Carrie's first year. She loves going to school; she loves Ms. Verret.
A week of a stomach virus left her sitting at home. She missed her teacher and her class; a good sign indeed.
I'm watching the clock and it's time to start Carrie's day. ... and I'm done.