June 11, 2009

The Kids

With the school-year almost in the books, our time in Japan winding down, and the Sayonara books and lunches piling in, we wanted to take a brief moment to reflect on Jacob and Lauren.

This was just an incredible year of growth for both of them.
  • Both kids learned to read this year. Jacob (more into the Math/Science stuff it seems) made huge progress, and (although he still fights it sometimes), he can curl up with a nice chapter book in his room in the evenings. Lauren is right behind him, and brought home and completed nearly 50 little readers. She is such a diligent detail oriented little learner; we can hardly believe the things that she grasps.

  • Jacob (he of the most genuine accent in the family, by far) loved Japanese. We even found him teaching Lauren some Hiragana one day!

  • Lauren became an extremely knowledgeable and dedicated gardener and lover of nature. She loves to plant, and her classes lovingly tended garden of beans, tomatoes, radishes, and sun-flowers was a beautiful thing to behold. Fearless about animals and interested in all the little things around her that most of us don't even notice, we often find Lauren stopping to smell a flower, pick up a "roly poly" bug, or collect an interesting looking leaf. She loves to sing and has great dancing rhythm, and is absolutely calming to watch play. She is just so confident and comfortable with herself. And today, on the last day of school, she surprised us all by finally learning to ride a bike without training wheels!

  • Jacob, the ultimate gym rat, became a beast of a soccer player, looking forward to and talking smack about the daily First Graders vs. Second Graders recess soccer game. (According to Jacob (!?) the First Graders won this game each time by some ridiculous score. Yup he can lie to your face and (often) make you believe it, like his Uncle Dave. Like the time he told us that the winner of the First Grade Spelling Bee would get a celebratory bucket of Gatorade dumped on them!).

  • Both kids were blessed to have many tight friendships. And both of their classes at school were amazing - great teachers and great kids, with warm friendly and involved parents.
One of the best things about CA has been the Primary Years Program (PYP) "Learner Profile" attributes that both students have endeavored to follow day-to-day in school and in life: (i) Caring; (ii) Principled; (iii) Knowledgeable; (iv) Thinker; (v) Balanced; (vi) Communicator; (vii) Inquirer; (viii) Open-Minder; (ix) Risk-Taker; and (x) Reflective. What is incredible to us, is that these are not just words to our kids, but they actually have impacted the way that they think and act. (On more than one occasion, Jacob has tried a new thing in order to "be a risk-taker.")

We are thrilled that living abroad has made the world a bigger place for our kids. And we are so proud of our kids for the little people they are and the big people that they are becoming.


Joyce said...

These recent entries have a real sense of nostalgia about them. I can well understand it and then I began to wonder what you are going to do when the blog is 'complete'???

Semsavblanc said...

This is beautiful! The parents must be pretty wonderful too!

Lisa said...

That was beautiful! I'm so happy all of you had this incredible experience...to more incredible experiences in the future!

Joyce said...

Am I imagining it or did some of these pictures change on this post??

The Kasdan Family said...

Yup, I updated the pictures a bit. We're allowed! Just trying to keep you on your toes...