Friday, August 13, 2010

Our Big First Grader!!!

Lily has officially started First Grade.  It is so hard to believe time has gone by so quickly.  It's only been four days but, "so far so good!"

The very first day of class, Jeremy and I went with her and as I was taking pictures of her at her desk  she looked up at me and said..."Ah Mom, Can't you see I have work here to be done!"  OMG, I took that as a pretty big clue that she was ready for us to get lost!  It was sooo sad and I have to admit I may have cried a tear or two on the ride home:)  She was ready...obviously more than I was.

Lily hasn't had any homework yet.  However, as you parents of school age children know, there is plenty of homework for us parents during the first week of school.  I wanted to share with you one of our assignments that I thought was such an amazing idea.  Her teacher asked us to write her (the teacher) a letter introducing our child to her.  I quote, "No one knows your child better than you do."  She encouraged us to give a brief biography, share special abilities, fears, strengths, weaknesses, as well as share our expectations of her as a teacher, our student, the school etc...

I found this assignment absolutely incredible.  I had so much fun writing about my daughter.  It really stirred me to think about who she truly was.  The teacher said the assignment would be "rewarding" and that is exactly what it was.

I have included the letter I wrote to her teacher in this blog.  I hope you enjoy learning about this pretty cool Big First Grader from her very proud Mommy's perspective.

Lily gets a big 1st Grade Hair Cut
Having a blast
Bye Bye long hair:(
Our big girl is growing up too quickly!
Still having "Bodega moments"(That's our dog that passed away) She fell asleep with his chew toy:(
First Day of School
Big 1st Grader
This is the "mom you can get lost now" look!

Letter to Lily's teacher


Dear Mrs. L,

     Thank you for allowing us to introduce you to our "Lily Girl!"  We appreciate this opportunity and value the fact that you have allowed us a voice.

     As you will soon find out, Lily has one of the biggest hearts of anyone we know.  She is compassionate and caring.  Lily's preschool teacher referred to her as "the heart" of their classroom.  Lily has a very tender heart and often wears that heart right on her sleeve.  They say "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree," and in our case that is an understatement.  I realized this when Lily and I were watching a touching movie together when she was around three years old.  I looked over and Lily had tears streaming down her cheeks.  I knew from that moment on she had inherited my sensitivity.

     This sensitivity is both, as you can imagine, a blessing as well as a curse at times.  It is not uncommon for Lily to get her feelings hurt easily.  Which will undoubtedly afford her ample learning experiences throughout her life time, especially at school.  She generally responds well to a quick hug and simple encouragement and tends to move on easily.  

     Lily is your typical first born to over eager, "type A"(me, not so much my husband) parents.  Yes, we were doing flash cards pretty much out of the gate and would have invested in "Your Baby Can Read" if only we could have afforded it.  We now have a seven month old son and it is hilarious to reflect and see how much we have "lightened up" with our second.  With this being said we still completely value the importance of reading to our children and have done so from the time they were both in utero.  Lily was reading by the time she was three and has become very proficient over the last year.  Our nightly routine consists of Lily choosing a book to read to her brother and then I spend time reading to the both of them.  This summer we read "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane", are currently working on "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe" series and then plan to move on the "The Indian in the Cupboard."  

     In the last year of Lily's life she experienced a big transition from being the only child and "Queen of the Castle" for nearly six years to being a big sister for the first time.  Although she absolutely adores her brother Zion she did go through the expected jealous, where do I fit now, stage.  She is now accepting her new role quite well and is an amazing helper and one of her brothers favorite people in the whole world.

     Lily is bright and catches on quickly.  As a student in the classroom, from what I have been able to observe, she seems to stay on task the majority of the time.  However, I have also observed that when she is bored she tends to get distracted easily.  I think that Lily does best when placed in a group that is a bit more academically challenging.  Our hope is that she will "rise to the occasion" and meet these challenges as an opportunity to grow and learn.   Lily is methodical and detail oriented.  In some circles this may translate to SLOW!  Whether eating her meal, making her bed or working on her homework she generally needs a few reminders to speed up the process.  This may prove to be a challenge when trying to accomplish all that she needs to do during classroom time.  

     Lily has been recognized for her "leadership" characteristics and finds joy in helping others.  Lily tends to be responsible and well behaved in the classroom and saves her "spicy moments," as we like to call them, for home.  

      Although Lily plays soccer, our family joke is that she "shows up for the oranges at half-time."  Running is defiantly not Lily's favorite past time.  However, we recognize the value of being involved in team sports as well as the obvious health benefits it offers.   
     What Lily lacks athletically she makes up for with her artistic side.  Lily is an aspiring musician and has been in drum lessons since the age of five.  In fact if you ask her what she wants to be when she grows up she will tell you she is going to be a "nurse by day and a rock star by night", along with a host of other various careers.  Lily loves to create.  She often spends her free time making crafts and drawing.  

     Lily is very social and tends to be friends with both boys and girls.  It would not be uncommon to find Lily on the playground playing Star Wars with a group of boys one day and Little House on the Prairie with a group of girls the next.  

     As far as expectations for this year it is our hope that Lily will continue to thrive academically and socially.  We hope that having her as a student brings you joy. I still have such fond memories of my first grade teacher, Mrs. Miller.  We hope that Lily is one of those students that offers you a sense of reward and fulfillment when you teach her.   Thank you ahead of time for investing in our child's future.  It is with the utmost respect and gratitude that we entrust our most precious Lily into your hands for what we know will prove to be an amazing year.

            DeAnna Nellist