She was only 8 throughout the year, but her birthday really did come and go right as the year changed.
Why does 9 feel so much older than 8?
She is my academic girl. She loves reading and writing, and when I handed her the workbook that is taking the place of real school for the next couple of months she cheered. When she's reading, writing, or doing arithmetic, she can hear nothing else. It takes multiple aggressive attempts to get her attention when she is lost in the world of learning.
I see myself in her--the good things.
I failed to write about copywork/dictation in the older girls' assessments. This area is dropped for the time being, but it is one in which we have been faithful for the past year or two. She is careful, so her handwriting and spelling are beautiful. She works slowly, so I get to practice patience. I believe it is a valuable tool for teaching spelling, grammar, punctuation, and style. I can see the benefits in J9's writing--but she could use some formal lessons in using periods at the ends of her sentences!
She's finished her NaNoWriMo novel, and it is nearly entered into the computer. She's been revising as she types, so it has been a dreadfully slow process. However, it is clear that she grasps the concept of revision and is not afraid of it. She has a wry voice, not much given to description, that has made me laugh aloud several times when I have had the privilege of reading her work.
She's also finally given up reading that dreadful fairy series she was in love with and has moved on to Warriors. It is a small step up, but at least it is a step up. I'm supplementing her free time reading with some quality youth novels, and I'm quite confident that over time she'll start choosing better and better literature for herself.
As are her sisters, she's quite enjoying Life of Fred and understanding what she learns as she works her way through the books.
Her elective of choice has been Beautiful Feet Books History of the Horse. I literally have to order her to put her work away because I need the kitchen table for lunch or preschool. She is industrious and joyful in her work. (And her Christmas/birthday present is a series of 4 horseback riding lessons starting in 1 week!)
She joins the rest of the older girls for these activities and definitely understands what we read about. She writes excellent summaries in her journals and asks pertinent questions. She is careful and exact in her science writings and drawings. I enjoy her insights and enthusiasm.
J9 is the student we all wish we could have--careful, industrious, pleasant, bright, inquisitive. She's just fun to be around and a joy to learn alongside. I am confident that with or without my supervision, this little girl will learn everything she needs to be a competent, joyful adult.