Saturday, September 17, 2016

Highlights of the Week

It's been a "mixed bag" week. Last Sunday, Smarty came down with a nasty virus that messed up our plans. For two days, she had a very high fever and cough and had to miss two days of school. She returned to school on Wednesday, and on Thursday, she went back to the orthodontist to receive her retainer. She finds a retainer more uncomfortable than braces. It easily pops out, and she has to put it back in. Seeing her putting her fingers in her mouth so often makes me wonder when she is going to come down with the next virus or worse. In addition, it was announced that my division of the big company I am working for will be "spin-merged" (apparently, this is a word!) with another company. There are no immediate consequences for me, but the writing is on the wall, and I really need to find something else within the next year before the deal completes. All things considered, it was a rather stressful week.


Smarty realized rather quickly that missing school in middle school is not quite the same as missing it in elementary. There were things to make up and catch up on. Academically, all this presents no problems for her, but organizationally, she struggles quite a bit, because she is not used to allocate time at home for required school work. Well, this is actually one big reason we chose to skip her - to allow her this opportunity to struggle. This Wednesday, middle schoolers started their "Innovation Hour" - they get 80 minutes and several choices for activities, from learning to program in Scratch to community service to "project proposal". They are going to stick with their selected track for 6-7 weeks and then switch to something else. Smarty chose Odyssey of the Mind as her first Innovation Hour track. Only 8 more kids out of 120 chose that, but her favorite teacher (language and history) is leading this program, and Smarty really enjoyed the first session.

After School

Smarty was still getting over her cold, so she spent most after school weekends either catching up with work or reading. One of her favorite books that she likes to browse through is 150 Screen-Free Activities for Kids by Asia Citro. One afternoon, she felt up for whipping up a batch of "melting oobleck" from this book. It's still sitting in our freezer waiting to be played with.

Places We Are Going

Last Saturday, Smarty was already coming down with the virus, but I convinced her to still attend the seminar we signed up for. It was called Cubes Cubed, and kids explored 3D geometry through different hands-on activities. Despite being somewhat under the weather, Smarty enjoyed it quite a bit. I was chaperoning a seminar and thought to myself how I somehow end up projecting my own difficulties on her. I always found 3D manipulations and 3D puzzles difficult, and I expected Smarty to struggle with some challenges. Well, in fact she did not seem to have much trouble with them. She said that the seminar (organized by our local gifted coop Lyceum) was more fun that she expected it to be.

What My Child Is Reading

Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate, and this post contains Amazon affiliate links. This week, Smarty returned to 39 Clues series. It's divided into several "subseries" with an arc plot. She read through the first three books of DoubleCross and was disappointed that the fourth book was currently not available from our library either in Kindle or in physical version. She also read Speaker for the Dead, a sequel to Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Orson Scott Card evolved Ender's Game in two directions - one more oriented to teenagers and one for adults. Frankly, Speaker for the Dead is an adult sequel, but by mistake it ended up on  her Kindle, and she did not feel like she needed to ask me for permission to read something on her Kindle. Anyway,  it's not explicit, it just explores some difficult topics as part of a plot. She said that she liked it, but I still want to explore more with her to see what she took from this book.

Best Memory of the Week

Me, Your math work looks so very sloppy. It's disrespectful to the subject and to the teacher. Why can't you slow down and write more neatly?
Smarty: Because my pencil is too slow for my brain. If I write more neatly, I will forget my solution, and will have to solve this problem all over again.

Most Popular Posts of the Week

Your Turn

How was your week?


JL said...

If she likes 3-D puzzles, she might like the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival. We went this past year and brought a friend. They get a raffle for solving a problem or for working hard on a problem. They give out prizes at the end.

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

Smarty's quote is interesting. I think a couple of my siblings would have agreed with her, growing up.

I hope you can find a new job that you like soon, and that Smarty can get completely well and stay healthy.

Phyllis Bergenholtz said...

I love her answer to why she writes her math work sloppy. She seems pretty self aware. Hope she feels better soon.

Ticia said...

Oh the sloppy work. I am having that struggle with my kids right now. It's an endless fight.