Warning: Reading through this post, I'm aware that it sounds a lot like bragging. It's intended as praise for my kids to read, not as a comparison to anyone else. Although I mean every word of this, luckily my kids are also blessed with an abundance of flaws and weaknesses to keep them from getting whisked off to heaven. This is a celebration of some of their strengths and achievements.
Today was a blur of awards assemblies at our elementary school—they paired grades 5-6, 3-4, and 1-2, so with kids in 2nd, 4th and 6th, Ainsley and I were there most of the day. We didn't really know if any of the kids were winning awards, but went anyway. The fifth and sixth graders were first.
Robbie won the Presidential Academic Excellence Award (you have to maintain a 3.5 grade point average, score above 90% on all state and national tests, and be recommended by a teacher and administrator). Whatever your politics, it is pretty cool to get a letter from the President, even if it is a form letter. It wasn't really a huge surprise, Robbie is a smart kid, and has been in the honors program all through elementary school. The BIG surprise was when they announced the awards for the Math Olympiads. I guess they take a series of five tests in five months, all "hard" problems. They passed out certificates for participation, then patches for those who scored between 35-85%. They kept calling names, and I'm sitting there thinking, "Did Robbie even take these tests?" because he wasn't called up. Finally, they held up the trophy for the person with the high score, and announced that it was Robbie! Lots of cheering and applause, and a few proud mom tears. This is all the more impressive considering the lack of math interest/ability modeled at home. He really did it on his own. We're hoping that Grandpa Ralph is willing to tutor in a few years, when he gets to Trig and Calculus.
We are so proud of Robbie. He has excelled academically, socially and spiritually. It's hard to believe he's old enough to start Junior High, but he is ready. It was fun to hear the sixth graders singing along to the music in the year-end slideshow and cheering when they were promoted.
Half-an-hour after Robbie's assembly was Joey's. He made the Honor Roll (all A's or A-'s for the year) and got a certificate for "Best Reader" in his class. He is also in all the honors classes, and his teachers always comment on Joey's fun and creative personality. As Rob likes to say, he is "wicked smart" and we're proud of him too.
Sadly, here's where the narrative goes photoless. We went back to the school for the 1st-2nd grade assembly, but had to leave for Ainsley's swimming lesson before they got to the 2nd grade. They don't start getting letter grades or separating out into advanced classes until 3rd grade, so Ellie simply got a certificate from her teacher (the "Deep Thinker" award). However, she had straight "5's" (the equivalent of an A) all year long, in all subjects and citizenship. Her teacher loved her, and Ellie is already ahead of where the boys were in 2nd grade, having passed off her times tables through the 5's. Maybe a future Math Olympiad winner? She is very social, and gets invited to more birthday parties than any person I know. She is the youngest in her class, but still at the top. We're super proud of her.
One last "graduation." Ainsley had her last private lesson at Swim Kids. She wanted to be on the swim team with the other kids this summer, and has been working hard to be able to swim 25 yards. She has a great attitude, and it has paid off—she is ready and excited for swim team. In addition to her positive attitude, she has a super high social IQ, and she's practically a human GPS. She is a joy, and of course we're proud of her too.