This is Boo's third year in competitive gymnastics. In Level 3 she went all season undefeated in the All Around and in the spring took the title of State Champion. She turned around 4 months later and did the same thing in Level 4 Fall season (8yrolds). In her first Level 5 meet she did it again getting the gold in the All Around for 9 and under!!!
The back side of victory!
Knowing all streaks must end, we developed the idea to celebrate however long her undefeated streak was...today we celebrate! Boo had a great meet. Beautiful bars, great (for her) vault, a solid beam, and an amazing floor, barely missed the All Around Gold by tenths (to a team mate yeah GTC!!) and took Silver. But in true Boo fashion it wasn't so much over an error that her streak has shall we say has come to a sweet end, it was over an addition. On her floor routine the big tumbling pass is a round off double back hand spring and guess what? Boo threw a round off TRIPLE back hand spring. For scoring info: it cost her 4 tenths, turning a 9.5 to a 9.1 routine & dropping her floor from first to third. lol!!! What a way to go :)
Congratulations GTC on another 1st place team win today.
Boo taking third on floor :)
And how did Boo take it? "Next time I think I will throw in a front tuck too!" Congratulations Boo-Bear we are so proud of you.
I have been trying to help Boo focus more on her spelling. We just started using spelling lists again which on their own are very boring. Of course, I found she likes working with them a little bit more if I present them in creative ways or fun themes. Her temperature related list we wrote on thermometer cut outs, her color words we colored and created monsters out of the lettering. If a word gives her a lot of trouble she writes it out on a piece of paper giving big spaces between each letter then folds it like an accordion. She can then practice spelling it out loud unfolding the paper as she goes to see how she is doing.
For her first list of fall words we made a word coffin.
For practice I wrote her words down the side of a page of drawing paper leaving out several letters from each word. Then I drew a graveyard giving each tombstones one of the missing letters. The instruction were to use the letters from the letter graveyard to complete her words. After she finished I had her create a page like it for me to do.
(see one, do one, teach one)
Other ways we like to practice spelling are: reverse hangman (you give the number of spaces and announce the word the speller tries to spell it correctly before getting 'hung'), hangman, word searches, boggle squares, hop scotch (using the words or letters instead of numbers), stamping, puzzle letter blocks, word bingo, writing funny sentences on the dry erase board trying to use all the words from her list, and good old fashion spelling tests. "Anyway but sitting and copying them a millions times!" Boo says.
"Have people always done this to the places they live?" she asked me as she fought the wind.
"We are destructive." She said her little knees pumping up & down dangerously close to the handle bars; her bike is too small for her now.
"Yes, most of us are. Some don't mean to be. Some don't care. Some have little choice, they do what they need to do to survive."
"People are selfish to think they can do whatever they want." She complained pulling in beside me as we coasted down a hill.
"Yes, they can be."
"Mom, why do love this river so much?"
I slowed down. "I don't know. Maybe because I never lived near any other river and I don't know any better. Or maybe I don't see it as it is but as it should be."
"Mom, does the way this river is treated make you sad like my bad eye makes me sad?"
"Does your eye really make you sad?" I asked pulling to a stop and getting off my bike.
"Sometimes when I know I can't see how other kids see. I wonder why I had to the be the one to get this." She admitted joining me. She leaned her bike against mine. They fell over together into the golden grass.
"I'm sorry. But Boo, remember strength is gained from over coming hills not from walking flat ground. Obstacles and challenges are good things. You are getting a head start on proving you are a fighter. It helps to make you who you are and you wouldn't want to be anyone else."
We walked onto the wooden bridge pausing to watch a lone duck fish in murky waters. Boo on tip toes leaning over the rusty top rail, "Fight." She whispered to the water.
I suppose we had never returned. Why would we? The day we left school behind there was no need or want to go back. The principal making it clear there would be no reason to visit; no cooperation between school and home school.
The reason for our return now was happenstance. We had a list of local spots to deliver our community paper, The West View, and Riley Elementary along with half a dozen other schools was on our list. The looks from the school secretaries were priceless. Boo trying not to giggle at the awkward plastered smiles. You could read the head tilt :why isn't she in school?
"What will you say if someone asks you?" I asked her between stops.
"That I am in school." She said watching the businesses of the west side of SLC drift by.
I intentionally saved Riley for our last stop. We pulled into the dead end street. Instinctively I pulled into the parent parking lot, realized my error and drove closer parking in the staff area. Boo was slow to exit the car. Her eyes big as she stared across the asphalt to the kindergarten play yard. The black bars her little pale hands had griped so tight. You could almost see the ghost of her five year old face squeezing between them desperately trying to be on the other side. That was recess, my child behind bars leering out into the world she was being kept 'safe' from. The only world she knew. Where food was real and hot and story time was personal and soft. A world that made sense.
The kids in uniform playing looked indistinguishable from the kids she had gone to school with. Honestly, I think it scared her. I know it scared me. It reminded me I had almost made a horrible mistake- what if I had chosen to leave her there?!?! She let me count the papers this time as she processed her thoughts and feelings. Was she thinking about how on her first day the smell of the cafeteria caused her to throw-up and no one called me? Or was she thinking about standing in lines, about being herded around, about being treated more like a number than a child?
We dropped off the allotted number of papers to the front office. Just as before happy recognition of the paper. Then the kind eyes focus on Boo, the same restrained but clearly confused smile appears. There was nothing unique. They didn't know her or remember her.
We witnessed a lot of things inside those schools, kids being scolded, kids at play, pleasant smiles, dirty glances, warm greetings, bright hallways, empty libraries, and colorful art. We even learned something going to school: we don't miss school and school doesn't miss us.
We left school and headed for the library where Boo played among the stacks and I collected books for us to read. We didn't talk about it, we didn't need to.