Monday, September 8, 2008

What a Difference a Year Makes!

It is just so great to see how much a child has advanced from one year to the next. This time last year my daughter was starting Kindergarten. Some of our major goals were not just important educational wise, but for everyday living. One thing I wanted my daughter to do was to learn her address and phone number. With the learning struggles we faced, we were not only working on "memorizing" the information but understanding what it was for. It took a couple of months or longer but by the end the of the first semester my daughter could answer the questions "Where do you live?" and "What's your address?" The rest of the year was spent reviewing that information and adding her phone number into the mix. It took time and patience, but she got it! We also worked on memorizing small Bible verses (or small parts of a passage) throughout the year. So she was introduced into memorization but we always made sure to make it fun and encourage success, it wasn't drilled until it hurt!

Well, now that she has those basic life skills I decided to introduce the Pledge of Allegiance into our class day. So, when we started school this year we started the pledge. I wrote it out on poster board (my daughter definitely does better if she sees the words) and I would put it where she could see it. We would first stand and say the pledge together not really pointing to the poster but looking at the flag. The first week she would repeat after me but by week two she was starting to say it with me. After we said the pledge together I would have her stand at attention and do it herself, this time I was pointing to each individual word as she said it. By week two she was reading it by herself without me pointing to the words. Well, now she can say it all by herself without the help of me or the poster (with just a couple of helps)! I felt that after two weeks that was pretty amazing considering how long it took her to memorize smaller things than that last year. It just goes to show you what a difference a year can make!

So lesson learned is this: We must be patient and realize that if our children do not have a skill yet, that doesn't mean they will never get it. While we know that our kids can do whatever they set their minds to do, it is our duty to encourage and lead them into setting their minds on new challenges!

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