Saturday, September 3, 2016

Highlights of the Week

The week has felt very busy, despite the fact that Smarty did not even start any after school activities yet. I guess all of us are still trying to "find a groove" with increased demands of homework and a somewhat longer school day. We had a back-to-school night where we had a chance to meet all Smarty's teachers and learn more about curriculum for the year. Both of us plan to help out in school with different programs - I am more interested in math programs, and my husband is happy to meet a kindred soul in a STEM teacher who will have middle schoolers three times a week in his Maker's Lab.


Well, honeymoon is over :) As expected, some things are going well and some things are bumpy. Smarty is really enjoying her Core class - it's a combined class of English and social studies. It's good that she likes it, because, after all, Core happens every day. Sadly, so far her least favorite class was math and science, partially, due to the amount of homework and partially, because she finds the pace too slow. Hopefully, situation will improve next week when students finally get access to their Chrome books. Their science curriculum is all online, so they did not start science at all yet. On the positive note, students started on their first projects in Maker Lab. Smarty's class will be doing breadboard circuit programming with Arduino first. Smarty is excited about that and learning to get along with

After School

Usually, when Smarty comes home after school, she sits on her bouncing ball and almost literally bounces off the walls while telling me about her day. The beginning of the week was rough when she misjudged the amount of homework and was quite upset when she realized that she won't be able to complete it in her usual 10-15 minutes. Since then, we agreed that she needs to start her homework at 4 pm, after a snack and a short break. She was able to caught up with her homework by Wednesday and finally returned to her gymnastics class on Thursday. Hopefully, the next week will be less bumpy, because we have a better schedule and also because the teacher has lightened up homework load significantly after an outcry by many parents. More on that next Monday :)

What My Child Is Reading

Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate, and this post contains Amazon affiliate links. Smarty plunged into yet another series this week - Five Kingdoms by Brandon Mull. In school, reading has not been as prominent so far as it was in elementary school, but during back-to-school night we were told that students will read both fiction and non-fiction related to their social studies track of ancient history. I am very curious to see what books they will be reading this year!

Places We Are Going

We had a terrific field trip last weekend with our local organization for gifted kids. They do it every year, but last year we haven't been members at this time. Who knew that there is a family pretty close to us who keeps about 100 tortoises of all sizes including several giant Galapagos tortoises? The kids were able to feed, pet, and even ride them, and also, of course, learn a lot about tortoises and their behavior. That little tortoise that Smarty is holding in the first picture is eventually going to get as big as the one that she is sitting on right now - it will only take about 30 years or so ;) 

Favorite Memory of the Week

Smarty, Mama, in our Leadership and Drama class we will be making a documentary about a leader.
Me: A real leader like Barack Obama?
Smarty: Yes, a real leader, but I was thinking of choosing you, because you inspire and motivate me and that's what leaders do.
PS: She ended up choosing to do her documentary on her school principal. It's a great idea, because Mrs. S is indeed an outstanding leader. Now, she'd better make it happen - they are given 2 weeks for this project :)

Your Turn

How was your week?


Phyllis Bergenholtz said...

Yes, we are having adjustment issues as well. Sounds like a good school. I love tortoises. How wonderful to see a tortoise farm!

JL said...

Her words are so sweet!

Ticia said...

I do like Brandon Mull books, I haven't read his 5 Kingdoms series yet.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

What a fun field trip. Smarty looks very brave in her interactions with the tortises!