Thursday, April 24, 2008

Meeting Milestones

My princess just turned 5 and I am so pleased that we have reached most of the goals that I have set for her to this point.

1. She is 100% on board in handwriting and able to write words in both upper case and lower case. In fact, last night she wrote her first thank you note for one of her birthday gifts. Of course, each word had to be in a different crayon color but she is an artist so who am I to argue.

2. She is able to add single digit numbers and we are starting on learning money and coins. I work with her all of the time on counting real life applications and also on paper with her homework and online tools. There are so many real life opportunities to count things that it just takes observation.

3. Princess is reading full sentences. Woo Hoo. This is the biggest milestone to date. I love the look of excitement she gets when she reads. I have been reading to her every night since she was born and it has proven to be a time investment that has had a huge payoff.

4. Shoe tying - this was a no brainer and I actually taught her this skill over the Thanksgiving holiday when I was off from work. It happened by accident when I was tying her shoe and a light bulb went off in my head that perhaps she could give it a try. After about 30 tries, she did it and has been doing it since.

I have noticed over the years that my kids love to achieve. They love to hear that they did a good job. They love verbal encouragement. They are competitive so they love to win the game no matter if the game is baseball or report cards. I believe it is important to positively reinforce achievements and discuss failures. It is necessary to let your children know when they failed but also to help them to learn what they did wrong to be able to learn from the failures. I have found that with my older boys this works pretty well. For example, if one of them gets a bad grade in school, they never feel good about it and that is how I want it to be. That means they have a desire to achieve. Instead of tearing them down about it, we sit down and review what went wrong and how to move forward. I try to explain to my kids that a bad grade is NOT the end of the world just as most mistakes we make in real life. Rather what is important is how we move on from those mistakes. Can we turn them into positive learning experiences? Can the next test grade be better than the last? Did we LEARN from it? It's an important coping skill that needs to be taught as they move into real adult life.

Wow. Sorry for digressing.

Yesterday was cap and gown photos. Unfortunately I could not be there to see the photos taken which ended up being a good thing. Her teachers said I would be nicely suprised when the pictures come out. Oh, my little baby girl is growing up fast!

I have always loved witnessing all of my children reach milestones and achievements. They are such proud moments for me as a parent and I think one of the absolute joys that all of us parents should embrace.

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