In the midst of a particularly crazy time at work and preparing for Christmas (eeek - haven't really planned for the in-laws meal on Boxing Day yet!), my three children seemed to have finished school for another year. We are now officially in summer holiday mode.
It's been a big school year - the first we've had with all three of them at school. And while on the surface it was a VERY big year for my two sons, it was a pretty significant one for my daughter too.
Number One Son has just completed his first year of secondary school. He has also become a teenager this year - a bit of grunting and withering looks come our way occasionally, but so far so very good. He's had a wonderful year academically and socially. And My Little Guy started school. He took to it beautifully, has learnt to read, made lots of friends, learnt to swim, play soccer and cricket, and turned six. He is very proud to be a Grade One kid come February.
But in many was it was Miss Mucks, aged ten, who had the biggest year. She was in Grade Four, and started the year struggling academically, again. We got reports that she wasn't focusing, and that she was falling behind. Her writing was very messy, she has trouble spelling, and she couldn't remember how to tell the time. In the middle of the year we were told that she might have attention deficit disorder. We had her tested, and were pleased to find that it's not ADD. We needed to try other things.
Changes were made in the classroom, and we engaged a wonderful tutor to work with her once a week on her maths. We adjusted some of the way we doing things at home. And what emerged was that she has been suffering from very low self esteem academically, and basically felt hopeless. Somewhere along the way it seemed that she had missed out on some of the basics, so she was just flummoxed when she tried to do sums. Now the basics are clicking into place she's feeling so much better about her abilities. She's able to focus more too, and her writing is getting a lot better.
But best of all, she's happier and more resilient. Two of her closest friends have left the school recently (they've moved to other parts of Melbourne), and she's been able to take that in her stride too.
So it's been a good year school-wise. But we all need a holiday. Time to rest, be lazy, read for fun, and not have to find lost school jumpers or make school lunches for six weeks!