Well, it’s time for the annual blog post where I gush about how proud I am of my boys, what they have achieved during the year and their awesome end of year reports. Sorry(notsorry) if you’re uninterested, but this is where I document that stuff in case our house burns down and I lose the photos, certificates and school reports!
ETHAN … 12 1/2 years old
Ethan has had a great year in Year 8, his last year of intermediate. The school he goes to is a combined intermediate/college which goes from Year 7 to Year 13, so he won’t have to start a new school next year. However, things will definitely be different for him. He has chosen his options (Music, French, Sports Institute and Visual Design & Communication, oh my!) and he will have different teachers for all his subjects. I think he’s looking forward to it. I’m hoping he’ll enjoy the variety and be able to cope with the increased demands. Only 3 more years until NCEA, wow!
One of the highlights of Ethan’s year was competing at the AIMS Games in Tauranga. He was away for a whole week with his water polo team, along with the top Year 7/8 netball and rugby league teams. The kids had an awesome time and it was a really incredible experience for them.
In addition to water polo, throughout the year Ethan has also played soccer (both winter and summer), volleyball, badminton, tag rugby and athletics. He continues to have fortnightly drum lessons (I can’t believe he’s now in his 6th year of lessons). He doesn’t do enough practice, but he enjoys drumming and he gets the opportunity to play regularly in our church band.
He ended the year on a really high note, receiving the Most Valuable Player award for his water polo team. I wasn’t expecting him to get this award, so it was a really nice surprise to hear his name called out at the prizegiving (which was, fittingly, at the beach). He’s done a great job as team captain this year, which has required him to step up and have more responsibility, but he has done it with integrity and commitment. It’s great to see that acknowledged and rewarded, as so often the MVP award just goes to the ‘star player’ who doesn’t necessarily have that team spirit, commitment, respect, etc. I’m really proud of Ethan and his attitude towards ALL his sports. He works hard but doesn’t hog the limelight, and encourages everyone in the team. Being chosen as captain this year has helped him to grow in confidence and to work on his leadership skills, which will help him in the future I’m sure!
Ethan came home with a fantastic school report, as per usual. He is ‘above’ or ‘at’ National Standards for everything, and achieved all his assessments, most of them with Merit or Excellence. The comments from his teacher were also really pleasing:
“Ethan has consistently made good choices for his learning his year. He has shown remarkable progress in mathematics by moving up 4 sub-levels. Ethan is a conscientious and able learner who has applied himself fully in all curriculum areas.”
TYLER … 10 years old
Tyler has just finished Year 5, so next year will be his final year at Primary school. He’s had a fantastic year. This year he had Ethan’s all-time favourite teacher, Mrs O’Brien. Tyler can now also attest to how great she is! He has worked really hard all year, putting 100% into his school work, extra-curricular activities, sports, etc.
He won the T-shirt design competition for the Year 5 production “What a Knight”, and his design was printed onto T-shirts for the entire syndicate. A very cool achievement to have his design chosen out of 120+ designs, and the T-shirt is an awesome memento for him to keep! Tyler also loved performing in the production itself, scoring one of the secondary speaking roles and relishing the whole experience. He learned his lines (and everyone else’s!) within a few days, and really got into the acting, singing and performing. The show was very entertaining; the kids (and teachers) did an impressive job.
Tyler played several sports this year, including soccer (summer and winter), tag rugby, rippa rugby, athletics and triathlon. He did very well at his school swimming sports, and competed at the Interschools, coming 4th in his final for backstroke. He also did really well in cross-country this year, placing 6th which is the best result he has ever had (much better than last year where he had been sick for 3 days and didn’t finish the race because he couldn’t breathe, let alone run). The little 5-a-side summer soccer team he was in, The Flame, had a great season and we enjoyed watching them play every Monday.
Tyler competed in the inaugural Whangaparaoa Triathlon in November, and although he didn’t get a placing due to crashing off his bike (he got back up and completed the race, coming 8th in his age group) he had a great time and won a double pass to Rainbows End! He’ll be doing the Weetbix Tryathlon again over summer which he really enjoyed last year.
We were very proud when Tyler received the “Citizenship” award for his class at the Senior Prizegiving. A very special award that really does sum up the effort and hard work he has put into this year. I’ve always been quite amazed to hear, every year, how focused and disciplined he is at school … because let’s face it, he’s not always like that at home!! But he did deserve the award, and I know it will be an incentive for him to continue trying really hard next year. He really wants to get one of the Year 6 cups!
Like Ethan, Tyler came home with yet another excellent school report. He is ‘at’ or ‘above’ National Standards in everything, received straight A’s for effort and a bunch of fantastic comments about his work. The lovely general comment from his teacher really made me tear up!
“Tyler has made steady progress in all areas of the curriculum and has maintained a high level of commitment to all his work this year. He displays a positive attitude towards his learning and is always wanting to achieve his best. Tyler is a diligent, motivated student who consistently strives to produce work to a high standard. He enjoys new challenges and is able to take the leadership role in class activities. Tyler is a cheerful, friendly student who has a good sense of humour and makes and maintains friends easily. He has been a pleasure to teach and I wish him all the best for next year.”
Proud mama! Rob and I took them out for dinner on Tuesday night to celebrate their great reports and achievements throughout the year. They have both worked hard and we thought they deserved a reward! My friend commented on the “halo” above Tyler’s head. My response? “Very ironic”. Haha!
The end of last year was difficult for our family, with me being made redundant and all the uncertainty that followed until I got my new job (which I then had to wait 6 months to start). The changes that came along with that job were challenging at first, but the boys have coped brilliantly with it all … it’s been me who has struggled the most! They enjoy having more time with Rob, who finishes by 3pm three days a week, and I’ve been impressed at how they have supported and encouraged me. I miss working from home and not being with them as much as I used to be. But the time we do have together is really special. I think we’ve actually benefited from the adjustments as we make more of a conscious effort to spend quality time together. In spite of the upheaval and the new routines, both boys continued to be focused on their school work, sport and other activities … and have thrived!
I’m excited about what 2015 will bring for each of them. New challenges and opportunities, and lots of growing and learning. I’m sure it will be a fantastic year, and it will fly by as quickly as ever. I’ll be writing another one of these posts before I know it!