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Celebrating YOU

August 3, 2013

Today, we celebrated the two oldest kids. This was sort of the last little moment of summer shared one-on-one with them. It was our way of wrapping up the summer, looking ahead to the next school year, celebrating their past accomplishments and encouraging the ones yet to come, and to share our vision for them this next year.

Back in mid-June, we had a full psychological evaluation done on both kids. “WHAT is that?” you say. Well, it’s a really cool document that took 4+ hours (each) of one-on-one testing to generate. The kids were given various tests by a licensed and practicing psychologist to determine their IQ, any strengths and weaknesses, disabilities, tendencies both academically and emotionally, etc. We found a great private facility just a suburb away and were very happy with our intake assessment that we opted to proceed.

“WHY?” you say. Well, There’s several reasons. Given that they are homeschooled and for the most part, I’m their main teacher, for better or worse, I’m all they get. Having a background in special education, I knew firsthand how valuable these documents can be in streamlining a child’s focus both academically and emotionally. It seemed like the winning thing to do when we found out the $2000+ testing would cost us a $25 co-pay only. Yes, that alone was our sign to proceed quickly. Who wouldn’t like the chance to peer into your child’s mind?

The kids had been asking if we’d received the results back and what the testing said, so we decided to share with them pieces of it and to incorporate it into our plans for them in this upcoming year. They were both delighted to be offered a date with us that it took a long while to decide where they wanted to go. Surprisingly, both of them wanted an ice cream date. Katie chose frozen yogurt as she’s a sucker for the toppings and a la carte choices, and Michael wanted a cookie dough DQ Blizzard.

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I hope this girl never ever loses her ability to shine. She’s so comfortable in her own skin and simply loves to dance. I love how she tries to get everyone to dance with her and totally misses the gal who is really dancing up front! Katie Girl we love you!

Katie learned this past week that her request to advance to fifth grade had been accepted. Her transcript will state, in essence, that she skipped the fourth grade. This was granted based on her standardized test scores, having completed many of the curriculum requirements already for fourth grade, and the number of hours she logged in extracurricular science and writing courses all the while finishing the year ahead of schedule. This girl likes to learn! We foresee, however, some challenges coming for her in this next year.

Our gift celebrating her was a new journal (celebrating her exceptional strengths for all things language based) and a totally new-to-us creative concept…Zentangle. I found THIS and THIS at Barnes ‘n Noble and knew it would be her new creative focus for this first semester. Cool, right?! She’s already considering some Christmas present ideas! She’s going to focus on greater writing opportunities fine tuning her natural talents and taking some time to herself and doing something creative that has no right or wrong result. I can’t wait to see her creations and read her writings!!

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I was delighted that with both kids, the results, weren’t a shock to me. (Although, admittedly, I was sweating bullets as the feedback session drew nearer.) I had pointed out my concerns and observations, etc. during the intake assessment, and thankfully they were validated and given a name by the professionals.

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My little man is called to do extraordinarily special things with the gifts God has given him. We look forward to watching him discover and unleash his potential (with Daddy’s help of course). Happily, I will have the luxury of saying, “Michael. I just can’t help you. You are going to have to figure this one out on your own.”

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Celebrating Michael was an opportunity to foster one of his current greatest passions…slingshots of any kind.

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Unfortunately, the local archery clubs have waiting lists a mile long. So for now, he’ll play with the “nerf” version in our backyard. Secretly, we hope that Nate’s work hours will change and provide him some freedom to coach a team and therefore open a spot for Michael. God knows the desires of my heart.

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Although, Katie was delighted with her gifts, she did chastise me a bit for not getting her a toy. (This coming from the girl that hasn’t played with “toys” in years. Hopefully tomorrow, I can share on a new blog post how she spent her Friday this past week. I was delighted as was she!) Tonight, Michael was gracious enough to let her have a turn or two or zillion.

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Clare even snuck an arrow out of the arsenal to play with on her own. The fort was a great “out of the way of flying arrows” location for her. Cute, right?!

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Something tells me this won’t be the first or last time I see this on our back windows.

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It’s hard to believe that on Thursday next week this year’s books will actually be opened and online lessons will begin. Is it really time?! Katie’s day will function under a new schedule and will focus on managing her time and responsibilities in a reasonable manner. We’ll use more specific checklists and look to honing in the time she spends on tasks. Michael will spend the first months focusing on his 1st grade history and science lessons and likely assessing out of his 2nd grade math and language arts. He is also taking a Lego robotics course and will begin an iPad app for video game programming. His biggest change here at home will be moving to a desk set up in the hallway upstairs and using noise cancelling headphones to remain focused.

So with that being said, where does that put the two babes?

Clare’s greatest desire in this world is to swing and use electronics. She has some serious radar when it comes to finding my phone or the iPad. We also hear her requests all day long for permission to use one or the other. The challenge is balancing her need for attention and the older kids’ need to focus. Maybe I’ll don noise cancelling headphones also.

Elizabeth is on the verge of crawling, but seriously loves her doorway jump up and time playing on the floor. She’s the calming influence in our house. God knew I would need it! However, she will soon be mobile which changes the game drastically.

So with that, I’m headed to bed. Nate ushers at Mass in the morning which means I need to be particularly present bringing my A game. Clare will need corralling and Elizabeth seems to think the Gospel is the perfect time to sleep; not in her carrier or on the floor mind you, but in someone’s arms…my arms to be specific. Night all! May your Sunday be blessed!!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. mom permalink
    August 4, 2013 4:44 pm

    So proud of both you and Nate for taking such good care of your kids and giving them the tools to excel in the glorius gifts God had given them. Most of all thanks for being such caring and loving parents Nate and Sara! XOXOXOXO

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