Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

4 is so much better than 3!!

I know I'm long overdue for a regular old update. Mari turned 4 a few weeks ago and I just haven't had time or energy to update. We had Influenza during our birthday weeks (we are 10 days apart) and then Mari had a streak of really horrible behavior, complicated by some health issues on my end that were leaving me worried and drained......anywhoo. Moving on.

So I'll have to do a separate post on Mari's birthday. I think I still owe you posts on Halloween, Christmas, etc etc etc. Um, yeah.... Sorry!

But this update is just a Mari update.

I don't know where to start with this one. Mari can read! I'm talking, really really read. She is only behind one other kid in her class on the reading chart (and most of the kids are going into K this year) and she is miles ahead of most in her class. I knew she was doing great but when I took time to look at the chart in her classroom, I didn't realize that she was doing THAT well. She has finished her set of 10 preschool books and is now in book #4 (of 8) in her K books. She can read most Level 1 I-Can-Read books with only a little assistance on some odd words. It has been amazing to watch this process. She gets SO excited when she reads, I love to see her so proud of herself.

She has also come a long way with her writing....she very rarely gets any letters backwards and is even starting to be legible in cursive (I still am not sure how I feel about preschoolers learning cursive but it doesn't seem to hurt her). She can count easily to 100 (and count, not just recite) and recognizes most of those numbers. When she writes her numbers, she does very well until she gets to about 14 and then she starts writing them backwards (15=51, 16=61, etc).

She can draw circles, squares, and triangles (her pediatrician acted like triangles were a big deal??) She love love loves doing dot-to-dot puzzles and she has a new book of "spot the differences". She has been waking up early in the morning (like around 5!) and I'll find her sitting on the couch with a pencil in her hand and a workbook open "doing her homework."

I love my little nerd.

I had thought about asking to place her in Kindergarten this year. She's at a private Christian school that goes up to 6th grade. Her pediatrician also suggested that I petition the public school to let her in this year because she is going to be so bored. I'm still deciding whether to talk to the public schools or not (about where she will fit next year) but I think I'm going to leave her where she is at. She LOVES her teachers now and she has never had the same teacher for more than a few months. I'd love to give her the stability of keeping those teachers for another year. They will continue to progress her at her own pace, so I don't have to worry about her slowing down this year. Also, while I like her being with older kids to challenge her, I think she's at a point where she is self-motivated enough that I want to give her the advantage of not being the youngest in the class anymore. So we will see where this year leads us.....

Mari started ballet class a few weeks ago. I found an 8 week class for a very very good price that is held at a local elementary school. I thought she'd enjoy it but didn't have high expectations because gymnastics was a disaster (which surprised me because of her acute case of "bouncitis"). I have been shocked! She LOVES it. It is the highlight of her week. She asks every morning if it's ballet day. She practices every night what she's learned and checks on her leotard and shoes constantly. She focuses in class and tries so hard. We are already exploring options for a more permanent ballet class!

Some of my coworkers got Mari a guitar and a microphone for her birthday. The entertainment level in our house went to a whole new level. Mari stages large-scale concerts in our living room, complete with an audience of stuffed animals. Sometimes it's songs she knows, sometimes she makes them up as she goes, sometimes we hook the MP3 into the mike amp to do karaoke, and sometimes she tells stories with different voices and sound effects. She is a real ham.

I've been told that 4 is so much better than 3. I was in serious doubt the first couple weeks but now I'm getting a sense of new confidence and a whole new level of cooperation. First, Mari has actually stopped herself in the middle of tantrums a couple of times and told herself to calm down!!!!!! She is able to reason through situations when I ask her what the consequences will be depending on which action she took a lot of effort on my part to instill in her the fact that Mommy WILL follow through with the consequences. That involved missing a movie with friends one time and missing a playdate (among other smaller things). She now knows that I stick to my guns and she is testing me so much less these days.

Just in the past week we've done the following: planted some plants, made candy sushi, made chocolate chip cookies, stomped in rain puddles, watched movies together, had 2 picnics, watched a softball game, she's had an Easter party at school, she's getting ready to have a taco party at's just been a week of happiness all around.

And she learned to snap her fingers this morning. SNAP!


The Taylor Family said...

I LOVE these updates! Thanks for sharing!

Mari is such a little go-getter. Doing homework at 5 in the morning? Her future is bright for sure!

The Taylor Family said...

Oh, and glad "sticking to your guns" is FINALLY paying off. You deserve to reap what you've been sowing with so much effort the past year or so. You're such a great mom!

Troy and Rachel said...

We're so proud of Mari and she has a great mom to-boot!! I still can't get over her reading abilities!! Daniel's going to miss her!!

Noelle said...

way to go, Mari!

Annie said...

sounds like mari is doing great...i am so impressed with her academics (sadly some of my second graders aren't doing what she is doing and i am being serious :( and YAY! for improvement in're giving me hope for my household. love getting caught up on the life and times of mari.