You are 52 months old today.
The big event in April was Easter and you were quite thrilled about it.
Mathematics: Kate is working with materials to help understand the concept of numbers 1-20. She is counting including using addition and subtraction correctly.
(You can count to 100 in Chinese and are practicing addition/subtraction. You have many exchanges like this with me:
"2+2=4. For example, if you had 2 light switches and then you added 2 more, then you'd have 4!")
Chinese language and literature: Kate has learned new vocabularies like big and small, short and long, loud and soft, primary and secondary colors, basic and advanced shapes, fruits, family/social relationships, clothing, continents, basic and advanced food, prepositions, days of the week, months of the year, seasons and holiday/festival names. Kate's Chinese listening skills and vocabulary are above-level.
(Your teachers mentioned that they have been having you work with the kindergartners in some areas. Don't worry, you come by this honestly. When your daddy was in first grade, his teachers wanted him to skip grades but Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Len said no for a variety of reasons, mostly pertaining to social development. Instead, his teachers challenged him in different ways, including reading books to the fifth graders (which was not too popular with the 5th graders as you might imagine!).
In addition, your teachers say that you will speak to them completely in Chinese, asking and answering questions, using words that you have not formally been taught. For example, when asking for water, you will say, "Wǒ xiǎng yào yīxiē shuǐ." They said that your tones and vocabulary sound like a native Chinese child.)
Practical life: Kate is continuing to develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Activities include putting on an apron, opening and closing bottle tops, rolling and unrolling rugs, threading beads, pegging, pouring beans/water jug to jug, and cutting along a line.
Sensorial: Kate is doing a very good job on triangular box, large hexagonal box, rectangular box and small hexagonal box. She is practicing binomial and trinomial cube.
Cultural subjects: Kate is working on fruit/vegetable sorting, animal kingdom/animal sorting, living/non-living sorting, animal/plant sorting. In geography, she has learned the seven continents and planets in the solar system. She has improved a lot in her cutting/pasting skills. She loves drawing and making paper crafts.
Kate is very eager to learn. She always asks us for things to work on when she arrives at school. Kate is very attached to Lucy. I would like to see her more sociable with other students. Kate seems to like observing other students and focus on the things that they are doing. When she does so, she loses focus on her own work. We need to work on improving her concentration.
They also mentioned that you tend towards perfectionism. They will often find that you have put work away into your cubby when you find it too difficult. You do not like to show your teachers unfinished work or work that is not *perfect* so we're all working on helping you enjoy the process just as much as the outcome.
One thing you do lose yourself in are what I call your vignettes. You love to arrange things "just so" and I have to say, I find them quite aesthetically pleasing. This activity can keep you absorbed for quite a long time.
Sigh. Some things I'm just not able to fix.
As usual, I will end this note on one of the funny conversations we had this month:
As we were driving home along the lakefront on a warm afternoon, we saw a bunch of joggers and you noticed that most of the men had their shirts off.
You: Mama, why do they have their shirts off?
Me: Because it's hot.
You: Why don't any women have their shirts off? Aren't they hot too?
Me: Because men are allowed to take off their shirts in public and women aren't.
Me: (oh god, this could last forever with no really good answer....perhaps, "because this is a patriarchal society where men make the rules?") Because women cover up their private parts, like their breasts, in public.
You: But men have nipples. Why can they show their nipples and women can't?
Me: (giving up) Because it's a patriarchal society where men make the rules.
You: What's patriarchal?
Me: It means a society controlled by men.
You: Well, that's not fair. So daddy is the only one in our family that can take off his shirt when it gets hot?
Me: Nope, it's not fair and yes, that is what that means.
Silence for a few minutes as you mull that over and then:
You: Can we get some ice cream?