Fifth Grade has got to be easier than the last couple of years. In Third Grade we discovered so much about how you learn. In Fourth Grade we found out how well you get along with your class.
You know yourself better now and understand how you learn best. You’re confident your teacher and the other kids will like you. You realize you’re funny. You recognize yourself as the one with the good ideas.
But you realize you’re easily distracted, long nights of homework are hard for you, you’re not the neatest or most organized student, and it might take you a couple lessons to pick up what others seem to understand right away. You are so smart, but copying notes from a board is probably not the best way for you to learn.
About all that, honey….please know Daddy and I love all of this about you. You are so much like both of us. We couldn’t be proud of you, Catie. The world looks at your bright smile and enthusiasm and smiles right back at you.
This year, you’re struggling with how much the world loves you. You love to make people happy. This is just like me and Daddy, we’re also people pleasers. Sometimes you would rather make your teachers happy than ask questions. You nod and smile and tell them you get it, even if you don’t. I love to make others happy. I’ve also learned the problems with this.
Every night, while battling your pages of homework, Daddy and I are trying to help you assert yourself to talk to your teachers. For a people-pleasing family, this is so counter-intuitive. You don’t think it’s a very good idea to tell your teachers you’re not learning what they’re teaching. To be honest, honey, I’m not sure it’s always a good idea either. My instinct is to reteach you everything you were supposed to have learned during the day, just so your teachers can feel like you’re understanding everything.
But here’s what I do know: you are brilliant. You make deep connections even most grown-ups miss. You see the whole picture of a situation, when other people get lost in the trees. You intuit deep meanings others never grasp. Understanding prime numbers may not be your thing, but understanding God’s plan and how it relates to your life is TOTALLY your thing. I don’t have to tell you which one Daddy and I think is the more important lesson.
Catie, this year I hope you’re able to show the world your unique talents. I hope you’re able to show your teachers that students learn lots of different ways, and certainly not always sitting in a desk. I hope you’re able to show those smiling at your smiling face just how much more you have to offer.
And just to be clear, I love you so much, I don’t even mind sitting with you for the hours of homework every night.