Monday, September 29, 2014

Happy Birthday, Chicklet12!

So I blew right by my baby girl's birthday! She was 12 on September 6. (We celebrated on Facebook. She enjoyed all the comments!) I think I'm in denial that she's really getting that old.

B19 took this awesome photo of his little sister

She's the only one being homeschooled this year, so that's been an interesting adjustment. Personally, I have been really struggling with motivation for homeschooling. All I want to do is finish unpacking! So many boxes down the basement and out in the garage still untouched. But every day there's something more important to take care of, it seems, like laundry or lesson planning for our classical co-op or making dinner, because I foolishly bought fresh veggies and now I have to use them or lose them! 

She seems to be struggling too. She's old enough to do her lessons without me, except when she has questions; she's also old enough to have a host of other interests, like making rubber band bracelets on a loom, weaving pot holders with a different kind of loom, writing stories, and building "lockers" in her bedroom. That's the one thing she's jealous of, about B9 going to school--they have lockers in his elementary building. The one she went to for third grade, near our old house, didn't. She tried creating her own out of cardboard boxes, but they just didn't have that satisfying metal clang.

She thinks maybe she'd like to go to middle school for 7th grade next year. (They're bound to have lockers, right? :) I'm open to considering it, especially if B9 returns to school for 5th grade, which is likely. So to prepare her for that possibility, the plan is for us to "get serious" this year and have her do more and work harder than she did for elementary school. I've told her that I want her doing something school-related from the time she gets up until the time B9 returns from school. 

To get herself motivated to do her schoolwork, she's been pretending that it's her job. She gets up, puts on her "uniform" (includes a button-down white shirt and blue tie), and asks for a cup of coffee, to make it "official." Then she spreads out her books on the library table and "goes to work"! She also rode her bike to the library a few times, with her books in a backpack. I asked her if any adult has questioned her about why she's not in school, but they haven't. I guess they can see she's doing schoolwork!

I have a yard sale scheduled for next weekend, so I'm in the midst of a big push to get boxes open, "stuff" sorted out, and price everything that we can't use in this house. Once that's over, I look forward to spending more time with my delightful 6th grader. We have promised ourselves that one class she's going to take this year is Home Ec, or whatever they are calling it nowadays. She's taking a sewing class that starts up soon and I look forward to helping her with that project. We also want to do a weekly cooking class for her and a friend. 

One of my big goals for her this year is to figure out where her math gaps are and make sure she's up to speed. We signed up for ALEKS, which is amazing at doing exactly that, and she is enjoying working on math for longer than she ever has before. Another goal I have is to get her reading longer books and reading for longer periods of time, and I've been thrilled that just this week, she started The Witch of Blackbird Pond and hasn't. been. able. to. put. it. down. 

I'm so thankful that she is in no hurry to become a teenager. She tells everyone that she likes being a "tweenager." She is definitely maturing in so many ways, and can be a very grown-up conversationalist, but she is refreshingly child-like and unashamed to still play with dolls, Barbies (she makes movies with them), and other imaginary games, including "Streets of Chicago" in which she and her brother travel around the "alleys" formed by stacked boxes in the basement, pretending they are homeless orphans who have to steal play food to survive. They also play restaurant with the play food, which is a deluxe wooden set that Chicklet bought with her own money two summers ago at a garage sale. (I thought she was too old for it, but she has proved me wrong many times over!) She has such a sensitive heart toward God and others, and is quick to comfort and to please.

We all love her so much. May she continue to grow in wisdom and stature (well, not too much or too quickly...I'd like to keep her in pants that are long enough for awhile) and in favor with God and others.

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