Sunday, April 5, 2009

Congrats Nicole!


This is my daughter Nicole. She will be 18 on April 14th. Yesterday was a big day for her. She was scheduled to take the ACT test at the local college. She spent all last week studying for the test. She studied, she worried, she studied, she fretted. In addition, she was on "stand-by" for the test, so she wasn't even sure if she would be able to get in. She got to the college early yesterday morning in a bundle of nerves. Fortunately, she got in and was able to take the test. After 3-1/2 hours of testing, she came out feeling pretty good about it. She's a little unsure how well she did with the math, which has always been her weak point, but the rest she felt good about. On her way home, she stopped at the mailbox and received a letter from Pensacola Christian College in Florida that she's applied to. It was an ACCEPTANCE letter! She couldn't be more happy and we couldn't be more proud of her.

Nicole started her education at Monica Ros School in Ojai, California when she was 3 years old. It was a small, private school in the east end of town where I grew up. We loved the school, but the tuition went up every year and soon it was as much as our house payment. We had to look into another option for our girls. Both Rick and I went to public school in Ojai, but we really didn't want to go that route with our girls. At that time our church had just started a school, so we put the girls in there. It wasn't even October yet and we were at our wits end with how it was going. The school was struggling for students and they accepted anyone who applied. Many kids who were trouble makers ended up there. I guess maybe their parents thought a Christian school would straighten them out. Normally, that might be the case, but not with the lack of discipline this school had at the time. My girls didn't fit in -- they were shy, quiet, polite, well-behaved, etc.

In addition, Nicole's first grade teacher wanted to put her into a special reading group because she wasn't at the same reading level as the other kids. This wasn't her fault. It was because her previous school used an unusual phonics program where kids learned how to sound letters out by using little picture symbols. It worked great for Nichelle because she went from kindergarten to 2nd grade there, so she had more time with it. Nicole changed schools right at a crucial time, so switching to a new phonics program was confusing. Her teacher suggested she be put into a special reading group so she could catch up. I said no. I paid for a copy of the book and Nicole and I worked on her reading every night. Within a few weeks, she was reading better than anyone in her class. I don't take credit for that because it belongs all to Nicole. However, it opened my eyes to homeschooling. We stuck that one year out at the church school and then we began homeschooling the next. Nicole was in the 2nd grade and Nichelle was in 4th grade when we started. That was 11 years ago.

It's funny to think her first grade teacher wanted to put her in a special reading group because Nicole is an avid reader now. I can't get her out of the bookstore or library. She can spend hours in those places. She just finished reading Michael Creighton's Jurassic Park. Nicole isn't some teenager who comes home with trashy young adult novels. She comes home with books from authors like Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, Jack London, and other classics. Special reading group -- I don't think so. It's pretty amazing to think back when she was a scared three-year-old going off on her first day of preschool all the way to now being nervous about starting college. It's a surreal feeling for all of us and we're so very proud of Nicole!

19 comments:

  1. That was really touching, Rena. Congratulations Nicole, great job!

    Nancy

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  2. Congratulations, Nicole! Rena, I know how proud you are of her. I have a son the same age who will also be heading off to college this fall. What an exciting time--the culmination of so many years of learning and growing!

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  3. Congratulations Nicole! Rena, It's so much fun to watch our kids grow. I love my kid's successes, but it sure is hard to send them off when it's time. Life changes fast, doesn't it!

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  4. Congrats, Nicole!! :)

    Thinking of you Rena. Sorry I have not been around lately. Getting ready to move. *hugs*

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  5. Wow Nicole - Congratulations! What great news. Looks like you and Rick have done a great job Rena! :) Great blog today.

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  6. Way to go Nicole! And you are to be ocngratulated Rena, for a job well done. Cheers!

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  7. What an exciting time for your family! Congrats to Nicole!

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  8. Such exciting times. And, such a change - kids heading off to college.

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  9. Hey Rena! Im alive! haha, You are a winner in the Great Kitty Giveaway contest! Hope you are doing well! Please drop by my site!
    Cheers!
    Hilary

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  10. Congrats, Nicole! Wow... my daughter is approaching three. It's hard to imagine where we'll all be when she reaches college. Wow. Touching post. :)

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  11. Congratulations to you both! I don't want to think about college yet. They grow so fast...

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  12. Well done, Nicole!

    My husband's first grade teacher wanted him to repeat the whole year. His Mum said no. He went on to get a First Class Honours degree.

    Congratulations to you too, Rena. You can be proud of yourself as well.

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  13. That's wonderful news...good for Nicole!
    Congrats to you too, Rena. Sounds like she's had a pretty dedicated teacher. :)

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  14. Congrats to Nicole! You must be so proud! :0) And she's a beautiful girl!

    Christy

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  15. Fabulous. Homeschooling seems like it was the perfect fit for your family.I am proud of Nicole,and she's not even my daughter! Congratulations Nicole!!

    Leanne

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  16. Wow, thanks so much to all of you!
    And thanks for this, mom. I won't even give you a hard time about the picture, since I feel so lucky about being the "topic of the day." Hehe... ;)

    - Nicole

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  17. It's a GREAT picture of you, Nicole!

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