Highlights of the Week
Smarty loves all her teachers and is enjoying school overall, but she is also somewhat stressed with having to keep track of six different subjects, manage expectations from six different teachers, and attend to her homework. Her homework load is not high, but less "defined", because some of it is project-based. The student can decide how much time and effort she wants to put into certain assignments. This week one of the projects was to research a certain aspect of life in Ancient Rome and then present it in class using any sort of media - a report, a poster, or a slide show. Smarty's topic was Roman Festivals, she wisely chose to do a slide show, and she spent about an hour every day after school working on it.
I had concerns about Smarty's busy schedule this term, and I was right. She was complaining bitterly to me this week about her Art of Problem Solving class and even asked me to explain certain concepts to her saying that the class is too hard. When I looked into transcript of the class, I realized that she is quite right. The class that I signed her for, AMC 8 Advanced, assumed fluency with algebra topics that she did not learn at all yet. There was no way I could explain to her how to solve a particular problem if she had no foundation to hang this explanation on. I discussed it with my husband, and we agreed to let Smarty drop this class. Instead, we will have "mini classes" a few times a week where I will teach her Algebra 1. Of course, I wish that school did it, but there is little hope of it happening there.
Once we announced this decision to Smarty, she just lit up. Dropping a 90 minutes math class will also mean that she can redistribute her after school commitments better and have more time for other pursuits. She is now doing more art - either by herself or with a grade mate who lives across the street. It's good to see Smarty developing a closer relationship with that girl and hanging out more, either at our house or at her house. I am keeping fingers crossed that they will become real friends this year.
What My Child Is Reading
For some reason, Smarty was reading less than usual this week, but she raced through a book that I recommended to her, The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore. Unlike her usual fantasy fare, this one is a fictional account of a public battle between Edison and Westinghouse for patent rights and approach to electrifying America. This is a great book for older kids interested in history OR in science OR in law.
How was your week?