Spring 2012 - What are they doing now? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 21 Old 02-02-2012, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't have much to say this month, but enjoy reading what everyone else's kids are up to so I thought I would start the new month's thread.

 

Right now, mine are both sleeping since they are home sick from school. 

 

DD (age 5, kindergarten) is doing great. The reading and writing are coming along. She's doing fantastic at Math and Science. She enjoys school. Trying to decide when to request testing for her. Our goal will be the full time gifted program which starts at 2nd grade. But I don't think we'll even mention testing to the school until the 2nd 1/2 of first grade. I know that's cutting it close to get the scores in time for the program admission. But I also know that having worked with her older brother the principle of the gifted school is willing to test her and admit her over the summer if need be. It's so different having a kid whose actually learning stuff in K. It's a lot of fun. 

 

DS (age8, 4th grade) is having some stomach issues this year and this will be the 18th day of school he's missed. I'm going back and forth with his school about a health plan for him but keep getting told that he doesn't qualify because it's "just" gastric reflux. He's however doing he's doing an amazing job keeping caught up and organized dispute his spotty attendance. I was visiting with his teacher the other day and she blamed his disorganization on the fact that he's younger than the other kids. I just kinda grunted a response. I wish I'd pointed out that problems with executive function happen at all ages, that he's doing really well when you consider the school he's missed. But he's really reading a lot and has gotten into some of the classics while home sick. My parents got him a cheap, knock-off, ereader and he's discovered the Gutenburg Project and has been reading a bunch of the classics. We've had a lot of fun with that.


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#2 of 21 Old 02-02-2012, 10:22 AM
 
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Not sure I have much to report so far this month, but I wanted to wish your dc a quick recovery and hope you are all coping well. 
 

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Right now, mine are both sleeping since they are home sick from school. 

 

 


 

 

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#3 of 21 Old 02-02-2012, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Not sure I have much to report so far this month, but I wanted to wish your dc a quick recovery and hope you are all coping well. 
 



Thanks.


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#4 of 21 Old 02-02-2012, 02:51 PM
 
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We've had sickness here too. Two kids are better, one is mostly better, and one is still down. Hope your kids recover quickly and get back in the swing.

 

My eldest is doing well living on her own. She returned from an orchestra tour in China in January, spent a week at home (during which she introduced us to the virus mentioned above -- thanks, kid!) and headed back to Montreal. She had an audition for the National Youth Orchestra which she said went fine. She was in the NYO last summer but re-auditions are necessary every year as the program is so competitive. Hopefully she'll get in, as it's a $10,000/student program fully funded by a legacy foundation and government grants, and provides amazing training. She's got her university scholarship auditions coming up later this month. They're 75-90 minutes long, so basically like a full recital. She's playing the Wieniawski violin concerto #2 (complete), the first movement of the Mozart D Major Concerto, Kreisler's Tambourin Chinois and the Bach d minor partita (complete, including the immense Chaconne). Amazingly huge program! I'm glad she had the experience last year of mounting a similarly challenging full recital because she now knows she has the stamina necessary to maintain her musical focus and physical technique for that length of time, even under performance stress. She's making good progress through Calculus and Chemistry 12 on-line. She had said she'd wait until after her auditions to really start focusing on those, but I'm glad she's doing some now.

 

My middle two (13 and 15) just came through semester's end at school. That brought their first ever set of exams, four each. Between them they got three 100% scores and the rest solid high A's. Easy, gratifying results. Neither is getting much intellectual challenge but so far they both feel the balance is about right. Stuff is easy, but interesting enough, at least with the novelty factor of being in school for the first time and suddenly dealing with scheduling, structured assignments, group project work, submitting portfolios, deadlines, time limits, grades, exams and all that. They're preparing for a trio chamber concert at the end of the month with a 17-year-old friend. Neither of my kids is taking private violin or viola lessons any more, so much more independence is being required as they learn new music, polish it up and work towards this performance. 

 

My newly-9-year-old seems to finally be finding her path as the family's sole full-time homeschooler. I found her a chemistry program that she is really digging. Lots of hands-on stuff, all do-able in the kitchen, but pretty interesting and advanced, much more so than the "intro to chemistry" that was in the 7th-grade science textbook she was using. She's in a good place with math, too, enjoying Ed Zaccarro's "Challenge Math" program which is helping consolidate and deepen her pre-algebra learning while building advanced problem-solving skills. And she's just generally busy and energetic, structuring her days with a variety of things so that she doesn't end up with a bunch of fallow time while the big kids are at school. Reading, painting, snowshoeing, skiing, baking, playing violin, visiting friends, watching history/geography DVDs. She's not complaining of feeling bored, or of "getting nothing done," and she's no longer pining for a school placement that would suit her.

 

Miranda


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#5 of 21 Old 02-08-2012, 08:29 AM
 
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DS is in a number/puzzle phase again.  He goes in spurts where he's all about one type of thing till it's mastered.  He's mastered all his puzzles.  We only have fridge magnet numbers 1 to 10 though and I think he's getting bored.  I'm feeling some guilt and anxiousness, like I'm not keeping up with him, and I should be providing him more and exposing him to more.  He's done about all he can think of with the materials he has.  Ordered the numbers from 1 to 10 and 10 to 1 thousands of times.  He tired of that and flipped them upside down and ordered them backward - Tired of that and spelled the words one, two, three. . . and then ten, nine, "eiat" . . .love.gif out of his fridge magnets - made stacks of legos to go along with the numbers.  He even showed me the "number snowmen" he made (groups of 3 numbers on top of each other).  I'm glad he's been so creative with what he has, but I think he's ready for more.

 

I really need to get him out of the house more often and expand his world, but the weather is cold and rainy and it's hard when there are so few hours in the evening.  I've been contemplating preschool when he's 3, but I don't really know if that would be any more stimulating than the home daycare he's in.  I wish I could get him into a mixed age environment where some of the kids are older than he is. 

 

So, he's doing really well - he just needs more!


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#6 of 21 Old 03-06-2012, 02:25 PM
 
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Maybe we can change this to February/March or Spring 2012?

 

Pranava:  Your DS might enjoy Curious George learns to count to 100.  We checked it out a couple of weeks ago and really sparked my DD's interest in reading longer numbers.  Also, I picked up some Cuisenaire Rods a couple of months back, and we keep them out on the dining room table for exploration.  DD likes to make pictures, but she also has done patterns, addition, and fractions with them, and I have not had to do any instruction.  She likes measuring each color with the whites.  She has memorized the lengths of each color.  She puts them in there "classes."  We just play.  Anyone else have experience with these?  I really like them.

 

I just spent a few minutes looking up the books DD has been reading.  She has been enjoying a lot of Dr Seuss which stretches her endurance.  She has also started to read Little Bear by herself. She read the unabridged versions of Put me in the Zoo and Are you my Mother all the way through the first time she saw them.  They are level I. As far as those short readers from the library, she is reading many cold that are F-J. So, she is somewhere in there, which puts her between grade one and the beginning of two. 

 

What's better is that she just loves to read. She gets read to for at least an hour a day, but that is not enough. In the morning when I am still in bed I hear her reading to herself from her reading basket. And, she brings books to read to me. And, before she goes to bed she reads to herself for about fifteen minutes, which I think is a lot at this stage. So, I am just really proud of her, and I see none of this slowing down. She gets better week to week, without me teaching her a thing. She really just needs to keep reading to get better.  

 

Last week, we got the results of her kindergarten screening (even though she is only three and not eligible for kindergarten next year) at parent-teacher conferences. They claimed she was behind in all motor skills and articulation. But, I have to wonder if their standards were too high for her age. I think she only failed to skip, catch a ball, hop on one foot, zip, and trace shapes. She also had trouble with blocks (replicating structures from a picture), which does concern me. But, when I looked up all the sounds she is missing, they were all age appropriate. In the problem solving, knowledge, concepts, and pre-literacy stuff she was in the 6-7-year-old range. Her teacher said she is a dream in class.

 

At home she is just lost in her pretend world for hours. She has two imaginary ghost friends, Meesum and Geesum whom she manipulates. And, we are all looking forward to spring.

 

 

 

 

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#7 of 21 Old 03-07-2012, 06:51 AM
 
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I'll post here since most of it happened in February anyway and I didn't write about it earlier. 

 

15 y.o. DD's most exciting news is that she was offered a position as a "Zoo Ambassador" at the city zoo. It's a volunteer program and she will be working with the public. There were a lot of applicants and they had a fairly involved selection process including a detailed application form with short essay question and 3 references. The interview process was interesting and pretty rigorous, considering it's a volunteer program. There was an initial interview and then a lengthy group interview with some of the other applicants, doing leadership and group exercises. It's open to high school and university students, and at 15 y.o., DD is one of the youngest to be selected. In fact, she didn't think she would be offered a position because there seemed to be so many older, more qualified students. These volunteers are first in line for paid part-time and summer work at the zoo, so it's a terrific opportunity. She has always been interested in a career working with animals and has been seriously considering studying zoology at university. 

 

Otherwise, she had a great report card in February. She also went through the stressful process of course selection for next year. She's a drama major at a performing arts high school. She hesitated to take all 3 sciences as well as the mandatory English and Math and the 2 courses she takes for her drama major (theory and performance) because it amounts to a daunting workload. She decided that she needed them if she is going to major in a scientific area in university. That left an elective option. This year she took Film, and it has been a very heavy intense course, combining a lot of history of film, studying different styles and genres and also requiring a lot of time and effort producing and editing short films. She's fond of saying "Film thinks it's my major and it's NOT". She's decided to take Photography instead, because she's hoping that the time commitment will be a little more reasonable. She is also seriously considering taking some senior courses next summer and we are exploring some fun options like an overseas summer exchange. 

 

She is very, very busy right now, rehearsing for 3 productions at school.  We'll get to see the first tonight. It's a combination performance art and film piece in the school's ensemble arts festival (all majors will be on display). The second is the school's major theatre production and it opens in just a few weeks, so the pressure is pretty intense right now and she has lengthy afterschool and weekend rehearsals for it. The last one is her class show and it will be performed next month. She is also the stage manager for that show and despite the added pressure, she is loving the opportunity to flex her organizational and leadership muscles. This is the same kid who has to fight her way out of her bedroom because of the mess and runs around the house looking for the stuff she's left littered about. Yet she is completely on top of things for this class show. Last night, she was delighted to tell me about getting her classmates, who were becoming rowdy and uncooperative without the teacher in the room, organized and re-focused and working diligently on the scene that they were supposed to be rehearsing. She was talking about it at almost midnight., while she caught up on homework, outlining the thesis for her culminating project in history on forced wartime migration and revising a survey questionnaire for a sociology project. She was working late because she had just returned home after a late afternoon/evening of rehearsals after which, she attended her friend's performance in a professional theatre production downtown. I think I am watching the development of a true leader and it's fascinating. I think the zoo must have seen the same force of personality married with organizational ability, diligence, and commitment. 

 

18 y.o. DS has been busy with his university workload and continues playing gigs with his 2 bands around town. Last weekend, they had their first gig as headliners at a show. That band also just released their first CD, which he tells me I shouldn't listen to, so I haven't (hardcore punk  eyesroll.gif). The CD for his other band sold out. He's been talking about recording again soon. He writes a lot of the music, so I think he is putting together some material first. He is also busy with his part-time job at an art gallery and giving private music lessons and tutoring math. One of the high school students that he tutors has started passing math for the first time this year and her mom is thrilled. I think she might try to adopt DS if I'm not careful winky.gif

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#8 of 21 Old 03-07-2012, 11:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ellemenope View Post

 

Last week, we got the results of her kindergarten screening (even though she is only three and not eligible for kindergarten next year) at parent-teacher conferences. They claimed she was behind in all motor skills and articulation. But, I have to wonder if their standards were too high for her age. I think she only failed to skip, catch a ball, hop on one foot, zip, and trace shapes. She also had trouble with blocks (replicating structures from a picture), which does concern me. But, when I looked up all the sounds she is missing, they were all age appropriate. In the problem solving, knowledge, concepts, and pre-literacy stuff she was in the 6-7-year-old range. Her teacher said she is a dream in class.

 

 

 

 


As reference to this: I taught 3/4 yr old preschool. The assessment tools we used on the kids included the skills to be able to skip, catch a ball (underhand throw, double hand catch), trace, hop, zip, etc by the end of the year (some kids would still be three- some would be 4 already). They also were assessed on the ability to string beads, draw a circle, draw an x, cut a simple line, do a simple puzzle, identify what is 'missing' from a picture, and should be starting to make identifiable drawings (this blob with lines coming out of it is a dog, this squiggle is a worm, etc really really simple!) The latest skill was usually skip and zip and drawing skills and cut with scissors (not neatly, but one handed) for 3-4 year old range.

 

Our 'flag' skills by mid year--- so most kids were at least 3.5-- (as in if they were missed we would assess again in a few weeks and if needed call for county assessment for early childhood) were to be able to hop on two feet, speak 75% or more words clearly, hold a fat crayon/pencil in a modified grip (not fist), go up steps, do large peg puzzles(fine motor wise), identify 4 body parts, and follow one step directions on a regular basis.

 

Literacy/numerical sense-wise- it was minimal expectations. Recognize name, recognize three numbers, recognize 5 shapes, recognize 5 colors, recognize 3 letters. Most, if not all, kids could do this by the end of the year and several could at the start of the year.

 

I only had one 'reader' out of many many classes though.

 

Just to let you know. I would also ask the age standards and/or the assessment tool. There are a lot of different ones out there- but then you do the same one next year you can see progress/skills gained. If they do a different assessment, it is hard to compare.

 

As for speech sounds-- A LOT are still missing sounds at age 3. In fact, if the kiddo was 75% intelligible or still mixing pronouns it was considered OK.

 

 

Have you tried the 'Word Bird' series?  That is a GREAT series for early beginning readers that are young. They are gentle, have animal characters, and are fairly predictable. Plus there are more than 12 of them. They are 1st grade level with some harder than others. One of my DD absolutely loved them at age 3.5 since she could read them herself.

 

I Spy (step 1 and 2) are also great! Lots of 'new' vocabulary (mostly nouns/items in the picture) and the hidden pictures are a lot of fun!

 

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#9 of 21 Old 03-07-2012, 07:26 PM
 
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Lots going on and I feel like I have a ton of questions for you all but I'm too tired to formulate them....

 

My little girl is 3 this month!  She's really into puzzles these days.  I got her a couple of 48 piece puzzles thinking they would keep her busy for awhile but it took her only 2-3 days to master them.  Imaginative play continues to be her biggest interest though.  These days she acts out a story but then expands on it....and expands on it...and she could go on for hours if given the opportunity.  Naps are just about nonexistent because she won't stop playing long enough to fall asleep.  Unfortunately I think she still probably needs them.  She has been so tired lately - and so grumpy/difficult. Trying to find a preschool for her to attend in the Fall without much luck.  Oh - and she LOVES dance.  I found this great creative movement class which is pretty ballet-ish in style but the teacher is great about making everything into a story and providing a lot of time for free movement.  She spoke with me about how advanced DD's motor skills are.  I had no idea - I don't know much about gross motor development at this age....

 

Not because she is gifted but because I love to talk about her....DD(4 months) is such a darling.  She laughs and smiles and loves to watch and be a part of everything.  She rolled over (back to front) for the first time yesterday and just this week started turning pages when we look at board books together.  I forgot how quickly they change at this stage.  Wish I could slow it down...she is our last baby.  ***sigh***

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#10 of 21 Old 03-09-2012, 09:21 AM
 
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My DD (10) made it to the Regional Science Fair and will be representing her school at the end of this month.  She did a study on horse behavior and rider/horse communication.  I am really proud of how she's doing both in school right now and in her chosen sport (she's been going over those jumps like a pro this month).

 

DS(11) is jealous of his sister about science fair, but honestly, I thought he had a great project, too (he compared growing rates between hydroponically grown and soil grown vegetables).  He had a wonderful time doing a term science project on simple machines and combined several to make a small working tow truck.  He's been running a lot and staying very fit, and was the top junior in the 5km here last week-end.  Both of the older two children are preparing for public speaking competitions with 4-H and are working hard.

 

As far as I know, my youngest (7)isn't gifted (at least not academically) but boy, did he ever make a cool diorama for his science project.  He needle felted a fox mother and kit, made them a den with found stuff from the woods and had little trees and pebbles.  It was nice seeing him with a project he could excel in (if everything in school was art, music or building, he'd be tops).


Busy keeping up with three children and an awful lot of chickens!

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#11 of 21 Old 03-09-2012, 12:57 PM
 
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my kindergarten son came home today with a prize for the most math problems right in the class for the school wide Math competition that is going on this month. when I asked him about it, he told me the problems were given during reading class, and he got them all right. His reading class is a first grade class, so he got more right as a kindergartener than any of the first graders did.

 

at the beginning of the year, we debated moving him to first grade for both reading and math, and decided to only accelerate in reading because he wouldn't have a peer group in either kindergarten or first grade math. they have been giving him individualized math all year in his kindergarten class. this confirms to me that we made the right choice this year.

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#12 of 21 Old 03-11-2012, 10:08 PM
 
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As reference to this: I taught 3/4 yr old preschool. The assessment tools we used on the kids included the skills to be able to skip, catch a ball (underhand throw, double hand catch), trace, hop, zip, etc by the end of the year (some kids would still be three- some would be 4 already). They also were assessed on the ability to string beads, draw a circle, draw an x, cut a simple line, do a simple puzzle, identify what is 'missing' from a picture, and should be starting to make identifiable drawings (this blob with lines coming out of it is a dog, this squiggle is a worm, etc really really simple!) The latest skill was usually skip and zip and drawing skills and cut with scissors (not neatly, but one handed) for 3-4 year old range.

 

Our 'flag' skills by mid year--- so most kids were at least 3.5-- (as in if they were missed we would assess again in a few weeks and if needed call for county assessment for early childhood) were to be able to hop on two feet, speak 75% or more words clearly, hold a fat crayon/pencil in a modified grip (not fist), go up steps, do large peg puzzles(fine motor wise), identify 4 body parts, and follow one step directions on a regular basis.

 

Literacy/numerical sense-wise- it was minimal expectations. Recognize name, recognize three numbers, recognize 5 shapes, recognize 5 colors, recognize 3 letters. Most, if not all, kids could do this by the end of the year and several could at the start of the year.

 

I only had one 'reader' out of many many classes though.

 

Just to let you know. I would also ask the age standards and/or the assessment tool. There are a lot of different ones out there- but then you do the same one next year you can see progress/skills gained. If they do a different assessment, it is hard to compare.

 

As for speech sounds-- A LOT are still missing sounds at age 3. In fact, if the kiddo was 75% intelligible or still mixing pronouns it was considered OK.

 

 

Have you tried the 'Word Bird' series?  That is a GREAT series for early beginning readers that are young. They are gentle, have animal characters, and are fairly predictable. Plus there are more than 12 of them. They are 1st grade level with some harder than others. One of my DD absolutely loved them at age 3.5 since she could read them herself.

 

I Spy (step 1 and 2) are also great! Lots of 'new' vocabulary (mostly nouns/items in the picture) and the hidden pictures are a lot of fun!

 

Thanks, KCM! 

 

I have not even seen the 'Word Bird' series. It looks like they are out at Amazon, but I will be checking the libraries. They look very cute. Thanks so much!  I really appreciate the recommendations. We have a couple ISpy books. She is not a fan at all. Finding things in pictures is another weakness. But, I should try to get her into those for practice.  

 

I have a new appreciation for Dr. Seuss, P.D. Eastman, and Mo Willems as authors now. Their books are really special to beginner readers. DD just discovered 'Elephant and Piggie' books at the library. They are so easy for her. She has blown through at least 6 of them now, laughing the entire time. Definitely a confidence builder.

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#13 of 21 Old 03-13-2012, 04:47 AM
 
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So DS will be going to school in fall - 1st grade. I am so relieved I almost cried leaving the school. I felt like celebrating but DH had to go back to work and DS to preschool so I am just home alone (DD is at daycare, but I've got the day off) enjoying the relief. Maybe we will crack open a non-alcoholic drink tonight - I'm newly pregnant so anything stronger than non alcoholic beer is out!

 

We all went into the Early Entrance conference together - well apart from DD - because the form had said bring your child, though apparently hardly anyone does. The principal said good thing, she'd wanted to see DS. She asked him about his trial day and DS described the reading exercise he'd been allowed to take part in and she mumbled "sounds like we ought to put him straight into 2nd..." She read the notes the first grade teacher had put down after DS's trial day in her classroom: DS reads, works fast and confidently, is very bright, will need extra work. She also said he'd been doing very well socially, was helpful and part of the group, and remained compliant and engaged even when deliberatelely provoked a little by the teacher.

She proceeded to explained that "the way we do this for children like this" is that they hold a conference around Christmas, after which the child will be given 2nd grade work. She also announced that while most kids want to stay with their classmates, we might have to look at a grade skip further down the road. I mumbled "buthe will be the youngest already!" and she siad "well you know, there are kids who finish high school at 14. We don't want to stunt genius here!" Which I thought was a bit over the top especially with DS sitting there, but still much better than stuff like "we don't believe in giftedness" or "we don't believe in acceleration" or all kids have to do the same work, we don't believe in differentiation." DS must have made a really good impression. She said they'll take him early and happily, and believe he'll be an asset to the classroom. I was so dazed I couldn't even think of questions to ask!

 

DH and I agree this feels good for now. We'll see how it goes, but this feels SO much better than the local public school.

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#14 of 21 Old 03-13-2012, 10:16 AM
 
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So DS will be going to school in fall - 1st grade. I am so relieved I almost cried leaving the school. I felt like celebrating but DH had to go back to work and DS to preschool so I am just home alone (DD is at daycare, but I've got the day off) enjoying the relief. 


Enjoy!!!

 

My DDs are 10/05 Birthday kiddos (so one year older than your DS) and they did 1st this year at 5 turning 6. It was GREAT! There is no way I could picture them in K, they both are in the top reading groups (3rd grade level) and get a bit of math enrichment - both also get late 2nd/early 3rd grade level spelling words (this week it is question, because, through, friendship, against, nation). It has been wonderful, they have had some social issues , but again it has been addressed well and competently by the school. The school does not have a GT program, but does divide by ability 2-3 x a week for math centers , daily for reading. No multi-age- but a mix of 3 first classroom kids. We are in public school-- there are a few things I dont like, but overall it has been a good year and they had a wonderful teacher.

 

FWIW- they never did K and did the same thing your DS did-- preschool straight to 1st.

 

 

I hope your DS has a wonderful year!

 

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Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post


Enjoy!!!

 

My DDs are 10/05 Birthday kiddos (so one year older than your DS) and they did 1st this year at 5 turning 6. It was GREAT! There is no way I could picture them in K, they both are in the top reading groups (3rd grade level) and get a bit of math enrichment - both also get late 2nd/early 3rd grade level spelling words (this week it is question, because, through, friendship, against, nation). It has been wonderful, they have had some social issues , but again it has been addressed well and competently by the school. The school does not have a GT program, but does divide by ability 2-3 x a week for math centers , daily for reading. No multi-age- but a mix of 3 first classroom kids. We are in public school-- there are a few things I dont like, but overall it has been a good year and they had a wonderful teacher.

 

FWIW- they never did K and did the same thing your DS did-- preschool straight to 1st.

 

 

I hope your DS has a wonderful year!

 



Thank you, I hope so too! Actually, "overall a good year" would do me, let's not get greedy. They still have to put their differentiation where their mouth is, so to speak (which reminds me that today, DS asked me for how long the sun has been living already, so to speak. I said 5 billion years - no wait, that's earth, I think the sun has been living for 15 billion years, and then I started musing about how you can't really call it living since the sun is not a living thing just a ball of plasma, at which DS, in indignation: "that's why I said so to speak!")

 

It appears to me that DS's deficits (socio-emotional issues) are the kind that show up most strongly in a not-very-well-managed 3-6 playbased preschool classroom and his strengths of the kind that show up best in a well managed and very structured elementary classroom. He did take part in the K pullout in preschool and the teachers said that there had been no issues there. So I do hope that he'll actually do better in elemetary than he ever did in preschool! Where he's been mostly fine this year too, actually. So with another 6 months of maturity, we have reason to hope there won't be major issues to come.


Mesleepytime.gifDH geek.gif DS1 10/06 drum.gif DD 08/10 notes.gifDS2 10/12babyf.gifwith SB ribbonyellow.gif and cat.gifcat.gif 
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#16 of 21 Old 03-18-2012, 09:44 PM
 
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Hi everyone,

 

It's been so nice reading up on what your children are doing. It's always heartwarming and amazing.  Everyone pretty much knows what's going on with us and all of our issues that have accumulated since the beginning of school.  I got a little busy after the baby was born so I really didn't have it in me for several months to be that involved.

 

I don't have exciting updates like you all with your really amazing children. But this is what I have:

 

DS1. I absolutely love talking to him. He's funny..so very funny. He is able to pull off sarcastic humor. He has this light kind of humor, but sometimes or often he says things which are so very funny and I laugh but then he suddenly cries because he thought I was laughing at him. He has a little bit of trouble reading between the lines. But despite that his humor is great.

 

He is always making cards and drawings for me telling me he loves me and gives specific reasons why. His teacher pointed out in his letter of recommendation that his emotional maturity is well above his age.  He takes so much care of his little brothers and sister. He is bossy and definitely was designed to be a big brother. We're working on this, but I know he genuinely does everything out of deep concern and care. We don't allow tv in our home except for some cartoons on the computer, otherwise there is no news, etc going on. I have to be careful when I'm on line because he gets to know about the news and he really takes tragedy so deeply and dwells. He overheard me on the phone talking about a tornado and that opened up Pandora's box of what if my whole entire family dies and there is no one take care of us etc.  He talks and imagines up things I just couldn't ever think about. 

 

He's now around 4.5 grade reading level. His teacher thinks that's pretty amazing given he's supposed to be in Kindergarten. It's so odd and I can't even fathom him being in Kindergarten. He's not as strong in Math, but when I teach him he gets everything right away. I've taught him extra things like two digit math, carrying the one, and simple fractions. He gets it and there don't seem to be issues. I don't know what level Math he's on. I think his handwriting has come a long way from the first month of school to now.

 

Over the summer, I plan on guiding him making a collection of mini books. For the past 6 months or so he's been writing small books here and there and taping them up. So I thought I'd help him make a nice quality book that he can keep. 

 

DS2:  He's the most explorative fellow I've ever met. He's amazing and sweet. Also fights a lot with his brothers.  He's inquisitive and hands on explorative.  He takes things apart and puts them back together. We're talking cell phones, remotes etc. I have to watch him so carefully. DS1 was always afraid of things and never liked toys. DS2 loves to inspect and dissect. He got shocked last year by the lamp. For some unknown reason he stuck a metal paper clip into part of the lamp. It threw him backwards from the dresser onto the floor. He likes to wash things so I'm always afraid he's going to put electronics in water. He started reading suddenly some months ago. He's moreso sounding out and blending. I think by the end of the summer he'll be able to read DS1's first grade books. He's blending those right now. He's a scientist with eczema so he invented a special blend of moisturizing soap. He so nicely combined one container of lotion with one container of soap to make moisturizing soap....so he doesn't feel itchy anymore. That was ok I guess, but then he proceeded to wash stuff with it, like the mirror in the bathroom. Since there was an excess of moisturizer in it, it didn't wash so clean. He smeared it everywhere. His Prek3 teacher told him to be careful about the bee hive but they won't bother you unless you go near them. And he said, well thank goodness they are not the south african (something) fly because they will come after you even if you don't bother them. The teacher said, lucky for us that we live in North America. lol. His memory is amazing.  I don't know if he's bright or gifted.   I think I am going to let him go another year to prek 4 because he's not really mature enough yet to go to K and plus he's way off the Sept 1 deadline for entrance per age. The school is willing to work with him at whatever his level is so it's all good. I hope. 

 

DS3:  He's just the light of my heart. He's 2 y 4m and I adore him. He's at such a cute phase right now. He knows his alphabet due to DS2.  I have to say he's the most mellow from all of them.  His personality is so dreamy and easy. Since his birth he's been so wonderful. If we can get him past thinking he owns me and no one else is allowed near me then things will improve =D  He thinks he owns his baby sister too. He is a great caretaker of her though, very patient and loving. When she tries to do something he says no no baby and kisses her head.  He's such a talker in two languages. A few months ago he was sitting in his car seat counting.  He counted to 20 then went on with the ABCs. Then started talking about the train. He describes in good detail.  I don't know if he's gifted or not but he's very bright for sure and intuitive.

 

DD: not much to say about her except she is very similar to DS1, very active, investigative, hands on, determined, and a handful. She rolls all over the house and tries to get things. Everything's well child proof but she still tries to grab anything that passes in reach. And she's quick about it.  When she was a newborn she hardly slept like newborns. She used to just sit and watch. It was the funniest thing ever. She used to focus on what others are doing.  My mom said she's scheming about what she's going to do as soon as she can manage it. It was so true!  She's inquisitive and was able to predict action so soon. She's like a little doll and I just love her. This was such a sweet, sweet addition to our house. I bet she's going to be the toughest of all, and the most protected of all. The boys love her immensely.


Mama to 3 boys ( 6, 4, 2 ) and one baby girl!  

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#17 of 21 Old 03-19-2012, 06:12 PM
 
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Wow, what a full house you have Aishamama!  My hat is off to you. Thank you for sharing how different and unique each one of your children are. They sound very much loved.

 

I have to share that DD read me three chapters from Mouse Soup last night. She needed no help at all, none, and it was the first time she read it. I have been using the "Frog and Toad" books as more of instructional reading for awhile, and she reads them quite well now. They are about the same level as Mouse Soup which she is comfortably reading cold, so I guess she really is nearing the beginning of a second grade reading level. She has also read almost all of the "Fly Guy" books in a matter of a couple of visits to the book store. But, just holy cow! I am wondering if the first book from the "Mercy Watson" series (Mercy Watson to the Rescue) might make a good gift from the easter bunny. I just let her read the first few pages on Amazon and she was begging for more. It has adorable illustrations. I should also look out for more Arnold Lobel books since they really seem to be right in her sweet spot.

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#18 of 21 Old 03-27-2012, 06:26 AM
 
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Thanks for the curious george recommendation, ellemenope!  That sounds perfect - will have to add that one to our home library as the public library doesn't have it irked.gif

 

DS turned 3 last weekend!  This is going to be a fun age :)  His imagination is ON - 24/7 and he's soo funny.  He only started reading books 3 months ago and can now read any K level early reader I pick up from the library.  He doesn't even need me to hold my finger under the words anymore.  Now, if he would just finish potty training.    He talked well before he walked - Don't know why I thought he would potty train before reading  eyesroll.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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#19 of 21 Old 04-09-2012, 02:28 PM
 
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DD(3.5) just told me that four halves make two. She has also been memorizing simple addition facts. (2+3, 5+5, 10+10, 100+anything, 100+100) And, she has been skip counting higher, 2s, 5s, and 10s. I have no idea what math standards are in school, but we don't really do math instruction with her. We just keep answering her questions, and she is memorizing the facts.

 
I do know she is reading very well. This morning she got up before me and read at least half of one of the books she got from the Easter Bunny, Penny and her song, a new book by Kevin Henkes, which is probably about a level J. She seems to be reading books independently all the way up to guided reading level J (like "Little Bear" books). At the J-level, which seems to be somewhere between grade one and two, it is hit or miss on whether or not she can read it independently all the way through or needs me to hold the book and keep her on task (like the "Mr. Putty and Tabby" books). She just can't wield some of the thicker books, and I do have to use my finger to help her keep her place. She is also reading some level k and L (Grasshopper on the Road) in this manner, which is second semester grade two, but more often she needs me to actually alternate pages with her as she seems to get overwhelmed at the thought of reading straight through and help her with the occasional word. We are doing this now with the first "Mercy Watson" book.
 
DD has an healthy appetite for read-alouds. She loved The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, which DH read to her in about a week. After reading it she decided that she liked Abel's Island, by William Steig, a little better, and started talking about a plot point that DH did not remember. He questioned her, but she was steadfast and even told him that it happened in "the chapter right before the last one." DH, checked and sure enough, DD was right. It was in the second-to-last chapter as she said. They finished that book a couple of months ago. So, she is enjoying the stories, and she is actually comprehending and remembering them. She seems to be very ahead in reading and language arts.
 
Her favorite words to use in conversation this week are "hesitated," "hallucination," "nauseous," "had decided," "had realized," "shrivel," and "nonsense." Oh, and she still loves labeling things "fictional" and "artificial" all. the. time."
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#20 of 21 Old 04-10-2012, 10:45 AM
 
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Things are finally starting to settle for DD 15. It's been a stressful 6 weeks full of applications, interviews and auditions. Her final interview is tonight and it's the one she's been most nervous about. We're all looking forward to that being over. Good news is, she's been getting positive results with some nice and unexpected scholarships thrown in the mix. This gives her a wealth of opportunity in the next year. It's just a matter of deciding what to take and what to pass on, when to schedule what when, stuff like that. She just finished a fantastic playwriting project. They wrote the first 3 scenes and outlined the rest of the play. The reading was fantastic and will be finished by the professional playwrites involved and produced professionally in the near future (they get a writers credit.) She has 9 more weeks of school and it will be the end of her time on that campus (for which she hasn't been particularly happy at.) She's currently working on a lead in a new youth play being workshopped for Disney. She's looking forward to getting her driver's permit end of the summer and so doing all the research needed to make that happen. Basically, the stress of the last few weeks is paying off and she's starting to relax and enjoy the good news rolling in.

 

DD 11 is just doing great. He's getting straight "A's" at school, no missing assignments (with no needed reminders and nags,) practicing his instruments regularly without any prompting (he was never opposed to practicing, it just never occurred to him to do so,) reading just for fun, spending time with quality friends... it's just the "golden age" for him as DH and I coin it in private. He made black belt in Tae Kwon Do end of last year and just loving the leadership role it puts him in now at class. He's looking forward to a robotics class starting up and decided to join a basketball league. He's also in the Disney production his sister is in with a smaller part but having a good time. 

 

We're all getting along and so really, nothing to complain about and lots to feel grateful for!


Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
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#21 of 21 Old 04-10-2012, 04:54 PM
 
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Just stopping by briefly. My children are doing well and enjoying life and school. Dd5 is studying Mexico in school and Dd8 is studying Africa in school. They are both still voracious readers. DD8 is loving the Trixie Belden and Anne of Green Gables series (again). Dd5 is still enjoying reading the extended Little House series again (The Caroline Years, The Charlotte Years, the Martha Years, The Rose Years, etc.) - there are a lot of books, thankfully. We are enjoying playing four square, planting a garden, hiking and playing all kinds of games. We continue to question the cost of private school versus homeschooling, but have not yet made a decision for next year. Luckily we have lots of libraries around and the girls are able to pursue their own interests in their free time. They both still enjoy gymnastics class.

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