Pixie suddenly became a young woman this year. I look at her in absolute wonder almost every single day. She is gracious, mature, sweet, responsible, and fun-loving. I can see her moving off into the world as an adult, and I feel no sorrow--only joy that she has her life ahead of her.
But perhaps I feel that way because I know we still have 4 years of her at home before she'll truly leave for adulthood. :)
She completed Saxon 8/7 and Algebra 1/2 this year. It was a monumental mistake to have her skip a Saxon year (based on how repetitive their scope and sequence is). I quickly realized the mistake, but she was bound and determined to work her way through--and she did it. But it took her almost two years to do it. She's stopped somewhere near lesson 85 during the previous school year, and we didn't try to pick back up again. Instead she went back to the start and worked her way quickly through the book, reviewing 2-3 lessons per day. When she got into new territory, she slowed down and spent more time studying the lessons and working the problems. This worked perfectly.
When she finished the book, we discussed her options and decided that even though Saxon 8/7 includes pre-algebra, it would be a wise choice to go ahead and do Saxon Algebra 1/2 to really cement her skills before starting Algebra 1.
She finished Algebra 1/2 a couple of weeks into our summer, and she feels totally ready to move on this fall.
Pixie reads often--mostly fantasy. She's particularly fond of books by Shannon Hale. She's not a voracious or deep reader. She loves to read the end of books first so that she knows where they're going, and her list of "I started it, but I just didn't bother finishing it" books is crazy long.
She participated in our LDSFamilySchool literature unit that included fairy tales, psalms, Little House in the Big Woods, Bambi, and A Comedy of Errors. Her understanding was evident in her insightful comments during our discussion times.
Pixie is not a lover of literature or literature study, but she did fall deeply in love with all things Jane Austen this year. Movie-watching translated into reading Emma and Pride and Prejudice on her own.
She listened to historical fiction during our family read aloud times and she participated in the lessons in our LDSFamilySchool. She says she hates history but she loves stories--which is funny because we do the vast majority of our history learning via stories. Perhaps she just doesn't recognize the stories we read as history. She will admit to loving family history in the form of learning stories about our ancestors.
This was an area of weakness this year that was not her own fault--rather mine. The LDSFamilySchool lessons were weak on content. We did do some wonderful science reading this year during family read aloud time, and a bit of hands on chemistry.
Though an avid journal-writer, Pixie hates writing for any other reason. She's a weak speller, but her punctuation and grammar are reasonable. She's asked me to help her focus on spelling during the upcoming school year. She's been exposed to outstanding vocabulary via our reading, but she's more comfortable with her receptive vocabulary than she is with expressive skills.
She's become a confident and poised public speaker over the course of the year.
Pixie participated in our LDSFamilySchool art and music lessons, clearly enjoying them from start to finish. She loves all things creative and has an easy time translating what she sees in her mind to what she should do with her hands. She plays the recorder, violin and piano, often accompanying the hymn-singing during the Young Women's program. She's been Nature Angel's and Little Princess's violin teacher this year.
I need badly to budget in some proper lessons with a violin teacher for her. She's really exhausted the self-taught books we have.
She participated fully in our singing/dance group and.like Belle, has a charming stage presence. The director of our group has recommended her for more dance training. She's a natural dancer.
Pixie hates to work in the kitchen, but she's made it a goal this year to get more comfortable, and she's achieved it. I noticed the other day that she's really moving confidently through the kitchen, preparing and serving meals with alacrity.
She's good at handwork--embroidery, knitting, etc. Belle made the first one, but Pixie fell so in love with a little knitted monster, that she picked up the knitting needles and made several more monsters for the littles in our family.
She's so good at caring for children that I often (jokingly) say, "If she could only open a checking account or get a driver's license she'd be ready for motherhood today." All jokes aside, Pixie is a truly gifted caregiver.
When it comes time to selecting chores, she (like her great grandmother before her) often gets out of housework by taking care of the babies. However, Pixie can clean a bathroom or organize the toy room without a problem.
Pixie has a gift for doing hair and nails. She spends hours practicing gorgeous hairstyles and manicures on herself and her sisters, and the result is that our family has quite the reputation for being beautiful. Men, women, and children comment on our appearance at church on Sundays, at dances, and in general. Just last week a darling 16-year-old girl came up to Rose Red after an awards ceremony and said, "All of you are so beautiful. As each of your names (the four oldest girls) was called I thought, "She's so beautiful . . . and she's so beautiful . . . and so is she . . . and so is she! I want to come to your house and be beautiful with all of you!" This is largely due to Pixie's work (and Rose Red's style influence--more on that to come).
Pixie has also served as our resident occupational therapist for Brother. She is encouraging, flexible, and focused. She serves him well.
Pixie has discovered the joys of jogging. She joins me in the morning 3 days a week. She's slow but steady. She's also driven and competitive, always setting new goals for herself and pushing herself to reach them.
She missed soccer this year and hopes we'll play next year.
Pixie realized she had unhealthy eating habits and set about to fix them this year. She's worked on her goals slowly but surely, and in addition to eating lots of fruits and veggies and whole grains is currently close to being sugar-free. Along the way she's lost well over 20 pounds, and she's lost them slowly and sensibly (she's been done growing for a couple of years now, and this weight loss is healthy). She's now near the bottom of her healthy weight range for her height; she's gone down several clothing sizes; and she has tons of energy and confidence.
Pixie faithfully studies her scriptures on her own each day and participates actively in all family studies. Her comments show factual understanding, development of personal testimony, and the ability to apply spiritual lessons to practical life. She journals extensively every day. She truly cares about developing Christ-like attributes, and it shows in her efforts to serve lovingly.
She completed her Personal Progress, and is working on her Honor Bee!
Overall, Pixie is a remarkably mature and focused young adult. She's chosen to skip the worst of being a teenager and absorb the best of being young and bright with her future ahead of her. She'll begin high school this fall, and her basic plans were outlined in a past post and will be the subject of a future post as we prepare to start the school year ahead.