Highlights of the Week
A new school year now feels more “established” with everyone settled back into routine. Smarty is happy in her classroom and enjoys extra math challenges even though she complains sometimes that they are "too hard". She is grumbling a little because she does not find books in her classroom library that she wants to read.As usual, every child was assessed in reading level with computer-based test that our school is using. Supposedly, Smarty went as high as college level in her reading ability, which is pretty neat in theory, but not very helpful in real life, since she is not interested in non-fiction, and she is not allowed to read many non-fiction books, because she is simply not emotionally mature enough for them.
The kids all got their roles in new Peter Pan musical production in their school. Smarty was delighted to get the role she wanted – she will be Smee, Captain Hook’s first mate. Her best girl friend will be playing Wendy. We are all curious to see what kids can do with only 7 weeks to rehearse before performance dates.
Back to School Night
We had a back-to-school night this Wednesday, and it was fun to see autobiographical poems that kids wrote following the same template and how different they turned out to be. They are also learning to type this year, and Smarty had a lot of fun trying different fonts for her poem. The teacher seems very capable, and we are hoping that Smarty will have a good year in her fourth grade.
After School Activities
Over the last long weekend, Smarty and her Papa painted a background for her new puppet theater. Everything looks beautiful, but there is a small matter of actually having a play. So far nobody had enough imagination or willpower to sit and think about it – perhaps the theater will have to wait until the next playdate. On school nights we watched several episodes of Brain Games on Netflix – we all really enjoy this show. And the first picture of this post comes from our cupcake making that Smarty talked me into. I told her that we will bake more often if she does not disappear right after licking off the bowl clean and helps me clean up instead.
Places We Are Going
Since Smarty is studying California history and geography this year, we went to the Oakland Museum of California this weekend. It has three parts (natural science, history, and art), but we could only get through natural science part in one visit. Smarty loved all hands-on exhibits, especially microscopes with digital displays and a temporary exhibit on bees explaining everything we know so far about the problems of bee colony collapse. We will definitely come again to see history and art parts, hopefully they will be interactive as well.
What My Child Is ReadingThis section contains Amazon affiliate links, for full disclosure, please click here. Smarty read several books from her class library last week – she started them in school and then brought them home to finish. Then on Tuesday I offered her Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. She did not see the movie, and I was wondering how she will take the book, since there is some very real violence there, plus clever manipulation of young kids by adults. She loved it and it generated several good discussions, so it was a success. I am hoping that her interest in fantasy will now expand to science fiction books.
Smarty is still conducting a “PR campaign” to convince her father that we should get a cat. In the meantime, she never misses a chance to pet a very friendly cat who lives in a house near school and spends his entire days being petted by children.