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#1 of 19 Old 10-13-2011, 03:09 AM - Thread Starter
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We haven’t had one of those in a long time!


DS is now an early entry kindergartner at his preschool and has already attended one of the fortnightly pull-outs (yes, I know – at least after Christmas, there will be a daily ten minute pre-literacy program). Of course he whined in the morning he didn’t want to go, of course he came home loving it in the afternoon. We have to work on his confidence before we send him to first. And his self-regulation – as soon as fall rolls around and pre-school starts, his explosions were back as well. It’s not as bad as it was, but I am still expecting things to get worse until Christmas and better slowly in spring. At least this time we are prepared.


He has started reading words and it is so hard having to sit on my hands and not dive right into practicing reading with him the way I would with a first grader, so I can tell the first-grade teachers with a straight face I haven’t “worked ahead” with him – teaching reading is SO their prerogative. Well they can still work on directionality -  I gather that knowing text goes from left to right and from the top down is a required end-of-K skill, but we seem to have things upside down. DS read “lo-co-mo-tive. Steeeee-ammm.” “I think the caption’s supposed to say steam locomotive”. “Oh. So that word at the top goes first?” lol.gifI love asynchrony!


With maths and science I guess we can just give up on slowing things down. The other day, DH read “Pippi Longstocking goes to school” to him and DS excitedly pounced on Pippi’s complaint about the teacher just saying 8+4 equals 12, so how can 5+7 equals 12, too? “It’s so easy, Pippi just needs to take away 1 from the 5 to make it 4 and put it with the 7 to make 8 and she’ll see it’s 12 too!” and proceeded to keep doing this all the way to 12+0. “See? It’s easy!”


One day he asks me out of the blue: “Can photons blast away other little particles?” Um, I have no clue about particle physics, please ask your father who does, I said, as I proceeded to put away his socks. DS didn’t want to wait - suddenly he yells: “no they can’t –look, I’ve figured out an experiment!” I turn around and he is shining his flashlight onto a dusty surface: “Look, the dust is not moving!” I have no idea whether this is a proper experimental result in particle physics but I thought the idea was so neat I had to aks DH whether he’d put him up to this, but he hadn’t.


DD, is showing other strengths – she likes to feed herself with a fork, something DS is still working on! wink1.gif

We thought she was going to be the resilient, social one but after a great first week at daycare, she appears to be crying every day. gloomy.gifI start work in November – I know it’s much too early to tell but we may have to think about alternatives. I’ll just have to face that my kids may simply be too sensitive to adjust to things the way other kids do. DS didn’t.

MeDH DS1 10/06 DD 08/10 DS2 10/12with SB and
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#2 of 19 Old 10-13-2011, 04:30 AM
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DS6 has adjusted well to a skip to second, but hasn't been happy with the math provided nor the sorts of books provided at school to read, both of which issues are in the process of resolution.  His teacher started him on some fourth-grade math materials this week, and we're meeting with the school to do more long-term planning.  He's enjoying his newly put-together GalileoScope and getting back into programming a bit.  His handwriting has gotten a lot faster, to the point that I think he could do well with another skip-- squeezing it out of the local school district is another matter, since they have a policy of not skipping, and never ever more than once. 


DS2 continues to have expressive language delay, but showing signs of dexterity (e.g. spinning small tops yesterday), music interest and aptitude, and problem-solving ability that are more advanced than DS6 showed at the same age. 

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#3 of 19 Old 10-13-2011, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Tigerle View Post


With maths and science I guess we can just give up on slowing things down. The other day, DH read “Pippi Longstocking goes to school” to him and DS excitedly pounced on Pippi’s complaint about the teacher just saying 8+4 equals 12, so how can 5+7 equals 12, too? “It’s so easy, Pippi just needs to take away 1 from the 5 to make it 4 and put it with the 7 to make 8 and she’ll see it’s 12 too!” and proceeded to keep doing this all the way to 12+0. “See? It’s easy!”


Wow!  That's really great understanding of that concept!




DS's PT says he doesn't need her anymore thumb.gif He's swinging from bars, climbing rock walls, walking up stairs, and almost jumping off the ground.  He's made excellent progress with just 5 months of PT.  Sensory issues are still there, but I see some decreasing and others he is learning ways to compensate.  This is helping his social skills with other kids tremendously.


He seems to learn things in leaps and phases.  Right now he is in a numeracy, math, puzzle phase.  He's ID'ing double digit numbers, making patterns out of blocks, and drawing dots on paper and saying "3 dots over here and 1 dot on this side.  There are 4 dots on the paper."  smile.gif

Life is strange and wonderful.  Me read.gif, DP lady.gif, DS (3/09) blahblah.gif , 3 dog2.gif  and 4 cat.gif

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#4 of 19 Old 10-13-2011, 07:16 AM
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It has been a while! DS 18 y.o. graduated high school and decided to study rather than taking a gap year. He had been planning to travel for a year, but decided to get his degree first instead. I suspect he wasn't ready to leave his band or his girlfriend just yet.


He's enjoying his courses. Although he's enrolled in a psychology major, he's taking a lot of philosophy, politics and social science so it's an interesting mix. I'm having fun vicariously, talking about Sartre and existentialism and art and the Occupy Wall Street protests. I was a little concerned that someone with his written expression issues would take courses with a heavy writing component, but so far so good. 


His band continues to have some local success. Last weekend, they were supposed to headline for a relatively big act, but the show was cancelled at the last minute, so that was disappointing. 


DD 15 y.o., a drama major at a performing arts school, has been coming home with exciting news lately. Last week, she announced that she was cast in the school's main drama production. They are doing Romeo and Juliet this year. It's a small role in the chorus because the upper year drama students get the juicy parts, but she's happy. Yesterday, she was appointed as Stage Manager for the 9th grade drama class show, which is a nice demonstration of the trust the teachers have in her. Last month, her class worked for a week with a professional theatre group and mounted an original production at the theatre. After it was all over, the director told her that she would work with DD anytime, so that was another nice vote of confidence. But I think the thing she is most excited about is that she has tickets for the StarKid "Space Tour" next month. They did the Very Potter Musical (on Youtube) and she's a big fan. 








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#5 of 19 Old 10-13-2011, 07:45 AM
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My son is in 1st grade and having a great year. The other day the notes he brought home included "anthropomorphize: give animals human qualities" and Venn diagrams comparing two books. For spelling he has homophones (aloud/allowed, etc), and has to write them in sentences on the test. His teacher is awesome and seems to be doing a wonderful job at differentiating. 

At home he is reading the Chronicles of Narnia and driving his big brother crazy.

My oldest, who isn't IDed as gifted, just got diagnosed with ADHD and started medication, so I'm hoping his schoolwork will improve. Not that he wasn't doing okay, but he wasn't doing as well as I think he could. 

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#6 of 19 Old 10-13-2011, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by MJB View Post

My son is in 1st grade and having a great year. The other day the notes he brought home included "anthropomorphize: give animals human qualities" and Venn diagrams comparing two books. For spelling he has homophones (aloud/allowed, etc), and has to write them in sentences on the test. His teacher is awesome and seems to be doing a wonderful job at differentiating. 

At home he is reading the Chronicles of Narnia and driving his big brother crazy.

My oldest, who isn't IDed as gifted, just got diagnosed with ADHD and started medication, so I'm hoping his schoolwork will improve. Not that he wasn't doing okay, but he wasn't doing as well as I think he could. 

My son is also in 1st grade too , i wish he has a teacher like your son does !!! My son has been identified as gifted early september , and although teacher said she would give him something different in class to provide his needs , she hasn't done a thing at all .. :(

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#7 of 19 Old 10-13-2011, 10:38 AM
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DD 14 is has a love/hate thing going with school right now. DD loves her classes. Hates the insane amount of homework. She's rehearsing 2 productions and a gala performance. She's got an executive position on the student board of a large theatre company (this is her second year on the board but first time in a leadership position) and so an increase in responsibilities but also invitations to all the fancy events which she's enjoying attending. Her most exciting news is that she started a Muggle Quidditch league at her school. She was hoping to get enough for 4 teams (28 kids.) She had 140 kids sign-up! She's a bit overwhelmed by the numbers but she's got a good group helping her. She's captain of the Slytherin team and they started practices last week. I can't wait to see their first game! 


DD 10 is adjusting to middle school. His organizational issues are really hurting him. His school does online grading and everything is either an "A" or an "F".... "F" because he it's missing (usually completed but at the bottom of his backpack) or missing parts of it. He's really frustrated because he WANTS to do well but as many lists that he makes, planners he fill out, reminders he sends himself, reminders *I* give him, he is ALWAYS missing something. On the positive. He loves the Aleks math program. It's really easy for him to keep track of how much time he's spent and needs to spend. He has nothing to turn in. He likes working on the computer (he has major handwriting struggles.) He's half-way through pre-algebra. His teacher gave him the mid-term the traditional pre-algebra classes take and he aced it so I think the format is working for him. They suspect he'll be able to start Algebra after Winter break. He is really enjoying the trumpet though it's proven to be a real challenge for him. It's also inspired him to practice his piano every day and he's made a big jump there too. 

Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 14.
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#8 of 19 Old 10-13-2011, 07:46 PM
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dd5 started kindergarten this year. i'm trying to be patient with her teacher and the level of instruction/work that is given but the most important thing is she's happy. she doesn't even want us to walk her to the door, she's extremely independent. her reading is really taking off and i'm guessing she's at about a 2nd grade level going on 3rd. yesterday i took out a singapore math word problems book meant for 1st-2nd graders and she was able to correctly answer story problems such as "Peter has 9 cards. Benny has 4 more cards than him. How many cards does Benny have?" and "Angelo gave 7 stamps to Dante. He has 8 stamps left. How many stamps did Angelo have in the beginning?". And then out of curiosity I tried teaching her basic multiplication and division. She struggled with multiplication but seemed to grasp division. 



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#9 of 19 Old 10-13-2011, 09:49 PM
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Dd17 is coping really well with fending for herself in a strange new city, picking up some French, dealing with landlords and orchestra managers and ISPs and public transit offices and such. I think she's a bit lonely, mostly because she still doesn't have internet and it's hard to keep in touch with people (not to mention to do her on-line schooling!). Hopefully that will be looked after in the next few days.


Ds14 just became ds15. He started part-time high school after a lifetime of unschooling of a decidedly un-academic bent. He's doing fabulously, has developed a lot of confidence in himself, finding the coursework to be a cakewalk. Math especially but surprisingly he's discovered himself to be an amazing writer. He was persuaded into the advanced writing course, and his blog writings have earned him a huge fan club at school. He's got himself a girlfriend. He's been appointed the student computer tech and is managing the high school blog as well as trouble-shooting the LAN at the school. He had an assessment last week; last winter we'd requested an assessment due to his dysgraphia, so he'd get the official okay to use a computer / keyboard for standardized exams and such. I had assumed it would just be an OT assessment. But they sent the psychologist for a full assessment and did some IQ testing too I think, at least from his verbal report. Whatever.


Dd12 is harder to read. She started school for the first time ever (they've put her nominally in 8th grade, with 9th grade science and 10th grade math) and seems to be happy. Hard to know how she's doing since she's not particularly forthcoming -- and due to job action by the teachers there are no grades being reported. But she likes what's going on at school and is really enjoying getting to know the high school teachers. I have to say they are pretty awesome people with passions that they're enthusiastic about sharing with the student body. She got accepted into the auditioned choir in a nearby city this year (even though she's technically too young: it's for 13-to-25-year-olds) and is having to work really hard at that, but is enjoying it a ton. I know this choir well: my eldest sang soprano in it for four years, and my ds sings bass, now in his third year. Just an amazing group of young people, led by the world's most awesome director/mentor, and I see it as very much an insurance plan for the social trials of adolescence.


Dd8 is, as always, a delightful little whirlwind of enthusiasm and achievement. She's still homeschooling full-time and is enjoying the added attention she gets from me without having all those busy siblings cluttering life up during the day. She wrote up a schedule to ensure that I spend about an hour a day facilitating some systematic curriculum work with her and is liking that structure. She's on a big Canadian history jag after a fabulous living history weekend-long homeschoolers' field trip last month. She's gobbling up 7th grade science and math curriculum, writing stories, building models of the solar system, doing ecological sampling of our backwoods, learning mountain-bike skills and tricks, moving ahead in her violin repertoire, you name it. Every once in a while she shares a wistful thought of attending school but neither of us can see any way she'd fit into the combined Grade 2/3/4 class where they're still teaching reading and basic multiplication tables. And there's no way I'd want her in the 5/6/7 class ... which is probably at the right academic level, but is a morass of pubescent social jostling. So I'm working really hard to keep her happy at home. 




Mountain mama to two great kids and two great grown-ups
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#10 of 19 Old 10-14-2011, 05:51 PM
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DD 5 has had a mini developmental surge and is now solidly in early 2cnd grade mathematics and zooming along in piano too after months of treading water. Violin is moving too though not at e same pace as piano. She still adores science and her latest ambition is to climb Olympus Mons. Oooook...
Oh and she has hit "that stage" some unschooled kids have where they desperately want to do every single activity that vaguely appeals to their interest. Currently we squeeze in two ballet classes, violin, piano and two university hosted science clubs but she wants to add Homeschool theatre class, gymnastics, rock climbing and swimming. Hmm.

Grateful mama striving to respect the two precious beings entrusted to me DD '06 and DS '09
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#11 of 19 Old 10-15-2011, 10:34 PM
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DD started Kindergarten about 6 weeks ago and it's been really up and down.  She has come one 1-2 days each week complaining or crying about being bored.  She's also alternated between weeks of atrocious behavior and quite reasonable behavior.  This week was great; in 5 days she only went to the sensory room to take a sensory break once, whereas in past weeks she's often gone more than once per day.  I have NO idea what causes good and bad weeks. 


In PT conferences her teacher offered accomadation in reading and math.  She is going to have reading work from higher-level books which she brings home, reads, and goes back to school to be tested on.  Hopefully this will lead her to stop complaining about the baby books they are reading in school, though really, I can't honestly blame her too much when she gets the same books read to her in library in Kindergarten as her not-quite-2-year-old brother is having read to him in his early preschool program (Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom).  She is also going to start doing math on the computers instead of with the class. 


I am really hoping that when we get into the swing of this it'll work for her.  I'm also hoping that I can talk the teacher into giving her less busywork. This last week's homework all related to concepts like in/out and over/under/on.  Because I am a terrible person, on Friday I let DS do all the thinking necessary to complete DD's homework, which was to identify where to paste pictures so they would be "over", "on" or "under" stuff on a worksheet.  This was actually slightly intellectually challenging for him, as it would've been for DD back when she was turning 2. I told DD she could pretend to be the teacher and DS could be her student, which worked for both of them.


She has been reading a lot about science lately and choose a science class to sign up for after school for this first half of the year.  She has been liking the science but this last class was a bit of a disaster at the end because the project required fine motor skills well above her level (it also came with no instructions what so ever).  The instructor's method of solving the problem was to totally ignore it, so she was throwing a weeping fit when I came to pick her up.  I cornered the oldest girl in the class (probably a 5th or 6th grader) and asked her to buddy up with DD next time. 


DS is turning 2 in 10 days.  No idea if he's gifted, but his problem solving skills amaze me.  His vocabulary has taken a sudden turn up lately and he's started making more-than-2-word phrases.  The winner for today was the very first thing he said to me at 6am this morning, which was, "No more choo-choo trains, Mama!!!"  I am still wondering why this was the most pressing thing he had to say at the crack of dawn.  He can identify most numbers and letters even though he's not particularly interested in numbers and letters, and has recently started enumerating objects up to 3 objects. 


He has started an early-ages preschool program through early intervention.  His class is composed of half therapy kids, half non-therapy kids, and he is a non-therapy kid which is a change for us since DD was in the very same program as a therapy kid.

Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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#12 of 19 Old 10-16-2011, 09:34 AM
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I'm joining so that I can brag.  :)


DD4 has just about exhausted the Rainbow Fairy series, thank goodness.  Ivy and Bean is also winding down.  We'll need to work hard now to find some new books that are on her reading level and that are appropriate.  My mom has started reading the Ramona books with her, and the early ones seem to be okay.  Not sure if she'll be interested when Ramona is older.  She's writing letters to friends and family all the time, and can sometimes be enticed to write a journal entry about her day, but never wants to write down a story.  Not sure why, because when she first started writing around 26 months she was really into writing stories.  Weird, right?  In her mostly play-based preschool, they have obviously been doing letter-of-the-week junk.  Not so pleased that she is coming home with sheets of printed letters.  Planning on calling the teacher, who knows DD can read and write.  Violin lessons are going great--we started her on violin last winter so that she would have the experience of working hard on something and so she could learn how to learn.  That seems to be happening, since she's struggling and whining and throwing tantrums and then coming through the experience able to play a new song.  Exhausting for my mom, who takes care of DD during the day, but definitely worth it.


Phew--that felt good!  Thanks! :)



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#13 of 19 Old 10-16-2011, 10:20 AM
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DD is 7 years old and 5 weeks in to second grade.  We kept her in the same public school she'd been attending for 2.5 years already, despite major disappointment with first grade.  After the first couple of weeks, her second grade teacher started making a real effort to give DD homework to do that is closer her ability level, but it also seems like she doesn't have the time to do much differentiated instruction during the day.  Thus, homework time has been frustrating for DD some nights, trying to figure out the assignments without having covered the material in class. She has a weekly reading group with a couple of other kids in her class, and the teacher has also been giving her different spelling words, but within the same spelling concept ("championship" instead of "ship").  We are still waiting for the first parent-teacher conference, which will probably be the last week of October.  The teacher told me that she usually doesn't start differentiation until after conferences, so perhaps the classwork and homework will be more in sync shortly after that.


DD is participating in a Math Circle group at a local university with other kids her age.  She is enjoying that so far. 


Her Irish dancing lessons have resumed after the summer break, and she is happily learning new steps each week.


DD is expecting to start viola lessons at her school soon through a university-run volunteer program.  It is supposed to be for students in grades 3-5, but the principal okayed DD to participate.  I am hoping it works out.  DD says she wants to do this more than anything, and started learning the recorder over the summer to get the hang of reading notes.


Because of the increased homework and activities, our "Well Trained Mind"-inspired at-home ancient history study is on hold for now, but I think I will try to work with DD's teacher on incorporating it into DD's schoolwork at some point, with some of her reading and writing assignments focusing on that material.

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#14 of 19 Old 10-16-2011, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TinyMama View Post

I'm joining so that I can brag.  :)



Phew--that felt good!  Thanks! :)



orngbiggrin.gifThat's the point of the monthly threads!


MeDH DS1 10/06 DD 08/10 DS2 10/12with SB and
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#15 of 19 Old 10-21-2011, 03:09 PM
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My little guy turns 5 next month!!

He is an amazing reader (around 2nd-3rd grade level).  He still has a love of the human body and anatomy.  He still wants to come work with me when he is a grown up...he likes to tell people that when he is 18 he will be an adult and will come and work with me at the animal hospital.  love.gif

He recently started doing 2 digit subtraction (without carrying).  His favourite computer game right now is http://www.broderbund.com/p-289-elementary-advantage-2012.aspx Elementary Advantage (grade 1-5).  As we are still homeschooling this is a fun tool. 

As I typed this....he was counting by 2s to 30...I haven't heard him do that before!


Ohhhhhh and he has his first loose tooth!!  LOL his permanent is poking up just behind the deciduous so I am reminding him to wiggle it so it can come out and give space for the permanent to move forward a bit. 

PAT- photosmile2.gif Mommy to a super little boy kid.gif Tyr -Nov 17, 2006 Married to joy.gif Sky -August 28, 1993 
Sadly, Jan 21, 2011  m/c 6w5d  angel.gif
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#16 of 19 Old 10-21-2011, 04:21 PM
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Olivia is in grade 4 and despite enrichment is still not being challenged at all.  She is in enrichment language arts, spelling, and math so far.  Today she told me that she finished her entire weeks pack of enrichment spelling in 1.5 hrs.  So she now has nothing else to do until next Friday.  She is very frustrated and wants to actually be challenged.  She is starting testing at the beginning of November so we can get a better picture of where she's at and decide where we need to go from there.  I am excited to find out the results.


Outside of school she is enjoying training in gymnastics (she's at the pre-competitive level) and also ballet.  She is doing some song-writing and is also compiling short stories she's written to make a book for Christmas presents for family members.

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#17 of 19 Old 10-22-2011, 08:35 PM
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DD10 got a 5000m swimming badge last night, DS11 got 2000m.  I was very impressed by both.  The rules are very strict, no stopping, no touching the bottom, each length without changing the stroke and in a recognised stroke etc.  DD quite upset with the state of her hair afterwards (what you get if you won't wear a hat...)


School is exploring with DS11 the possibility of taking a science GCSE in yr8 (equivalent of US 7th grade), and 3 years early (most English kids do most of their GCSEs, which are final high school qualifications, in the equivalent of 10th grade, although it's increasingly common for some to be done in 9th or even 8th grade age).


Was this suggested because teacher is rubbish & doesn't know how to enrich DS otherwise?

Or would it be good to set him a challenge (he does rise to challenges), and would it boost his confidence in future GCSE work?


Problem is, GCSE results are permanent; if he bombs it, he can revisit the material & get a better mark later (we would pay for this resit), but the bad result would always be on his record, and a careless reader of his results (prospective employer, University admissions, etc.) might not clock or care that he was only 13 when he got a poor grade. So it might only worth doing so early if I think he's got a very very strong chance of doing brilliantly.


Then again, maybe I'm overthinking it (as usual?!)


Even if he doesn't take this GCSE early, school will probably approach us about him taking others a bit early, so I need to get my head around what strategy to take. Feedback welcome!

~ Yank Transplant to Britain and Zookeeper of 4 DC age 15 and under. ~
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#18 of 19 Old 10-23-2011, 08:28 AM
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DS12 is enjoying homeschooling for its flexibility. His Spanish college course is going very well--he is chatting away in Spanish all the time. DS is able to take this coming week off school work because of his really demanding practice and rehearsal cello schedule. He is playing a big chamber concert on 10/30, the entire Borodin string quartet number 2, with amazing local musicians (the first violin is the assistant concert master of the Boston Symphony Orchestra). DS met Yo Yo Ma this month after the Dvorak cello concerto concert at Symphony Hall. DS is moving right along on the cello, practicing longer and better. His technique has really improved.Right now he is trying to figure out where he wants to go next summer. (The tapes/applications are due early next year.) BTW, his all cello quartet got recorded on the radio show From the Top--the episode will air the first weekend in December. It was a wonderful opportunity!


DD9 started playing the flute and is having a blast with it. She is moving at a top speed, learning new notes and techniques weekly. She is enjoying the math olympiad program at school and is more content than last year with the school work. I am assuming some things are more challenging than before.


DS6 added bass to the piano, and now he is practicing two instruments. He is not as intense as his older siblings which is a great thing for our household.


It is great to hear from the other mamas!

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#19 of 19 Old 10-23-2011, 11:06 PM
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DS, 4, just competed in his first chess tournament. He was at least 2 years younger than the second youngest player and he won 4 out of 5 games, earning him 2nd place! More than that, he had a GREAT attitude all day and even encouraged other kids who were "feeling sad". My DH gave him a pin that says, "Play With Honor" on it. He was thrilled.  (The picture is blurry because it's a facebook image plus a crop of a much larger photo.)


lonegirl likes this.

Jesus-loving Doula/Birth Photographer Mama to Tor 4/2007, Zion 11/2009, Enoch 11/2011, and Zephyr due 12/13/2013

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