My favorite thing about you:
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We have high expectations for our kids. Really high. I've (kind of) joked that in having Jeff and I for parents, did anyone really expect our kids to be dumb? I mean, I first met him in our series of honors courses in 8th grade. We took many honors and AP classes together throughout our educational career. I can't imagine my kids not being honor students as well. In fact, if given the choice between best kid on the (insert sport here) team, or in honors/AP courses, I'd pick the academics every time. Life is just easier if you're not dumb. So I work with the kids. A lot. My goal was to have Haley reading before she started kindergarten, and she was. We'll do this with Kale as well. I try my best to have intelligent conversations with them, even if we're just driving around in the car. When they were babies we'd talk about what color something was on a walk. I strive to use adult words with them. They're not afraid to ask if they don't know what a word means. I've never had to tell them what a word means more than once. Sometimes I have to explain things a bit more simply, but they'll grasp it and down the road we can get more complex. We don't avoid topics, and if I don't know, we ask Siri, or look it up on the computer. I want them to understand that curiosity makes you smarter, and it's okay not to know something as long as you seek the answer to it.
So, persistence. Yes, I have high expectations, Haley's teacher's are higher (LOVE). Especially when it comes to handwriting. I'd sent Haley off knowing that she knew how to write upper and lowercase everything. Her teacher expects perfection. Not kindergarten perfection, real life perfection (on one of my room mom days she needed to see my handwriting before she would let me write out sentences). Part of her phonograms is knowing all of the sounds that correspond with the letter, the other part is being able to write the letter. She can tell you rote what each letter sound is, in the order of common use for the first 26 letters of the alphabet. She can write each letter such that you know what letter she's shooting for. Perfection? We're not quite there yet. She had a test this week on her most recent phonograms and needed to write the letters, so we drilled. And drilled. AND DRILLED. She knew the sounds so I didn't focus so much on that, but we printed out many a writing sheet, and I wrote out the letters, made her copy them, gave her the dots then she had to do it all by herself. You could see the improvement right there on the page. She's getting there. And she wants to do it. She knows what's expected of her and really tries her hardest to meet those expectations.
How will you know what you kids are able to accomplish if you don't place those high expectations on them? And not just academically, but physically, and behaviorally. In our house we expect academic success (even in preschool and kindergarten). We expect them to treat their body in a healthy way, eating the right kinds of foods to help them grow, and to exercise to be strong and capable. We expect good manners at all times. My job (like I've said a million times on here) is to equip them to go into the world and be successful adults. With the persistence to meet the expectations we put on them now, they'll be ready to meet them in the future as well.
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