Thursday, May 07, 2015

School stuff

We are getting close to the end of the school year.  Hooray!  I love summer.  The boys have some things coming up this summer.  Usually we just do things around the house, go swimming, to the park, etc.  I love the lazy summer days.  This year will be a busier one for us partly because we are planning on trying out homeschooling in the fall and therefore, I want the kids to be more involved this summer in activities away from home with other kids.  The two older kids are going to scout day camp in the beginning of June and all three boys are going to go to a basketball camp.  The pool will open soon and we will spend many days there.  We also have a family reunion in July and I have a trip to Colorado coming up.  So, it's going to be a busy summer.

But, this isn't about summer, this is about the boys and their school activities of late.  First up, they had state testing this past week.  It was pretty stressful for Isaac.  The teachers make such a big deal about them performing well and the kids come away believing if they don't do well enough they won't get to move on to the next grade.  It's so ridiculous.  I didn't really know that I could opt out.  I know that some states have that option but I didn't know that we did and truthfully, I hadn't really tried to find out.  My sister called and told me I should look into it but it was the day of and when Mike and I discussed it we realized that the more important thing to us wasn't how much we dislike the test, it was wanting the boys to do hard things.  Isaac was so nervous to take the test and I didn't want him to back down.  I wanted him to realize that he could approach stressful situations with courage and face his fears.  After the first day he said, "It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be!"   He and Will actually found the testing to be pretty easy and after the initial fear and worry, they discovered that it wasn't something they needed to be afraid of.  The other thought on my part was that this next year with homeschooling Mike and I may choose to test the boys just to see how they are making progress but it won't be the same stressful situation so I thought I'd just let them do it this year and then this next year we won't have to worry about it.

I thought I'd add this funny conversation I overheard in the car the other day.  I don't write it to brag on the kids or anything but as a person who is not particularly academically bright, I am always amazed at the brains my children were blessed with.

Isaac:  It really bugs me and embarrasses me when my class always talks about how smart I am.
Will:  I know, right?  Today we watched Bill Nye the Science Guy and and my class kept saying, "We should say, 'Will Nye the Smartie Guy."  It really makes it hard not to get prideful when they always talk about how smart you are.

Ha, ha.  I couldn't help but bust out laughing.

Will had a play that his grade put on.  He tried out for the part of the octopus and got the part.  I was really proud of him and his courage.  I never felt comfortable with solos or acting parts.  He did a great job!



Eli is really loving art lately.  I bought him a sketch pad and some how to draw animal books and he is quickly filling up his sketch pad with drawings.  He also just recently started to enjoy reading.  Both he and Isaac struggled to appreciate reading.  Both of them were behind in reading when they entered first grade.  I didn't see the point in pushing them.  I wanted them to learn to enjoy it and I felt that with time and practice they would pick it up.  We did our required reading for school each night but I just kind of left it at that and never really pushed more than that.  Both boys have caught up in their reading now and they love to read.  I am so pleased with that because I love books.  I get so excited to hold a new book in my hands.  We have seven bookshelves in my house, all of which are filled with books.  I can't keep up with books for Will.  We get him a book and in two days it is finished.  In fact, we bought a history curriculum for next year and Will already finished his history book for next year and then started reading one of the recommended books for additional reading.  Eli is loving the Magic Treehouse books and Isaac is starting the second book in the Percy Jackson series.  Hooray for reading!

Finally, not to be left out, Mike has ended his first year of his PhD program!  We had some hard months and weeks and then some not so hard ones.  I'm proud of him and how hard he works.  I'm really uncertain about what this next year will bring.  I don't know if his research will be really involved and hard or if it will be less time consuming than his classes were.  His drive to the lab where some of his research will take place is 50 min so I'm hoping it won't be a crazy involved year but it might and if it is, I'll probably complain a bit but then we will get used to his schedule and it will become the norm.


1 comment:

The Duke said...

Congratulations to the boys for getting through those tests!
Their comments about being smart are really funny. I never heard that about myself - would have been nice but then it would have been a lie, too. :)
I sure hope you like home school and that the boys will fly through the curriculum. Sounds like they will.