Besides dance, Anne enjoys keeping her room and parts of our home organized. She loves things to be tidy and well organized. She has spent may hours helping keep our tiny eBay business going. Her packing skills are improving with each package. Ever since her toddler years, she has been a saver, who loves to organize and count her money. She can go many months without spending a dime. She voluntarily paid for the last two pairs of pointe shoes with her own earnings. Anne says it makes her feel good about herself to be able to pay for her own pointe shoes. I am proud of her work ethic and ability to prioritize and save. If she does spend money on fun, it is usually on a dance leotard, which she loves more than any other clothing. I think she has about 13 of them now. She has always loved to amass collections, which has worried me at times, but it seems to be more controlled as she matures. The days of her having more than 100 teddy bears or dolls seems to be waning.
Anne sees academics as important and a means to an end. She doesn't love learning for the sake of learning. She loves what being well educated can do for her future, so she works on her studies and suffers quietly through the lessons she doesn't care for. She wants her studies to be achieved in the most efficient way possible. She preferred workbooks, reading and short writing projects this year to more hands-on, large scale projects. She enjoyed lots of hands-on unit studies in her younger years, but now she believes it is time to focus on her life goals (which do not include history and science). She only took a short break from school and has already started working on her logic course for eighth grade.
I required Anne to learn a musical instrument this year. She decided on the piano. Anne has mixed feelings about the piano. She doesn't care much for formal lessons. However, she is more than happy to pick a popular song and find the music on the Internet with videos depicting finger positioning. She can read music slowly. She memorizes the pieces and then plays them. She is consistently using both hands.
Anne is a great helper around the house. She would love to increase her cooking and sewing skills. In her spare time, she likes to watch how-to shows on YouTube and often brings me a recipe she thinks we should try. She goes through passions and currently is into all things Harry Potter, so she has been searching our Harry Potter cookbook for fun ideas.
I do sometimes worry about Anne feeling pressured by being the only child in the family who doesn't have special needs. With questioning, she will admit that it is sometimes hard to be the "normal" one. She feels like she must always keep it together but admits that she has no interest in falling apart. It is just sometimes annoying making allowances for others' behaviors. In the final analysis, she realizes that she is afforded many opportunities and is treated fairly. She has never been a particularly nurturing child. However, I have seen lots of growth in this area recently. She loves her brothers and is learning to put their needs before hers at times, which will pay off dearly if she someday becomes a mother.
It is exciting to watch her grow into a lovely young woman.