Wednesday, May 2, 2018

A Season of Change

Spring is always a season of change, with the weather gradually warming up, the plants growing and coming away from the cold winter (at least in places where there is cold weather, unlike Southern California). This spring has been more of a season of change than most around here.

The biggest change in our house is our departure from the competitive gymnastics road that we have been on with Grace for over a year now. All of 2017 she was in a program that simplified gymnastics to a few key skills, and then practiced them intensely, focusing on form and in precision in those skills. She was enthusiastic to be on a team, and we wanted to support that goal, and felt this was the way to do it.

Evaluations were stressful for her each month, but we were encouraging, even when she didn't get the evaluation she hoped for, and wasn't moved up early (which we didn't expect anyways). Things went further south when after a year in this program, she still didn't get to move up. She was crushed, and her enthusiasm was done. Now she was with kids just starting this level, and was still doing review, and not learning new skills.

She started to express the desire to be done, and for a while, we encouraged her to stick with it, but as we talked, and as we watched her, we realized that she didn't want to be evaluated... which is what competitions would be. The stress of the evaluations, the stress of the fine points of the sport, it all was working together to make her not look forward to class.

This month we made the decision as a family that this competitive track wasn't for her. Now, to be clear, she was adamant that she still liked gymnastics, and we tried out a recreational (non-competitive) class for her, and she LOVED it. She was lit up inside afterwards, and was in a really good mood after having a class where she got to do her handstands and bar, etc., but didn't have the strictness or the stress of her old class.

At the same time, she did a Learn to Play Hockey program, and loved it. So she is all set and ready to try being on a hockey team like her brother this summer.

This season of change has Remington ending preschool, and Grace going from Kindergarten to 1st grade. We are excited that she will be entering the public Montessori program at our local school, which allows us to have a lot of the benefits of Montessori, without the steep price tag.

Remington will be going to this school as well, and as the sibling of someone in the Montessori program, he will be able to enter it at 1st grade as well.

So, to summarize, after a whirlwind summer of activities for our daughter (who wants to do art AND cooking AND climbing etc.) and a summer that I work and Remington gets one more season at his familiar preschool for the summer, here are the differences in the fall.

Grace and Remington will both be in hockey. They will both be at the local public school, while I continue to work at the private preschool (without any kids there... sad). She will be in a new Montessori program, which fits her active personality better and he will be a bit more academically challenged than before in his new class. She will continue to take one, shorter gymnastics class for fun, and hopefully an art class as well.

Change is a part of life, as it is a part of the year, and I am excited about these new changes in our family's life going forward too.

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