Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Another school year finished

K's biographical report for her school Learning Fair in May

So, after 3 years of private British/Arabic schooling in the UAE, K and C were put back into the U.S. public school system last August. Luckily, both were very enthusiastic about coming back to the U.S. and going to school here. They have both done well, but they both had adjustments to make, too. School is now different in some ways, and there are some things I could definitely do without, but there are also some things that are better now, so I think it balances out in the end. I'm really proud of K and C for making the adjustment and having a good year.

S is working with me to get ready for kindergarten in the fall. She'll be 5 in August--her birthday is on the first day of school. She can independently write her name in all caps now (with 9 letters in her name, this is a big accomplishment!), and we're still working on some of the letter names, but things are moving in the right direction. She is very excited to go to school like her brother and sister do. And said brother and sister love to help her by reading to her and "teaching" her--it's great.

I'm glad school is out because now we'll have time to work on things I want to do. Besides swimming and riding bikes (which we still need to buy), we'll be doing some academic stuff. Just a little. For one thing, Arabic. I don't want K and C to forget the little bit of Arabic they were able to learn. K in particular is quite good at reading and writing (they were never taught much conversational Arabic in school, unfortunately--and English is spoken more than Arabic in most public places in the UAE). C never cared for Arabic and stubbornly resisted putting any effort into Arabic class at school but he can write his name and knows some limited vocabulary. I studied basic Arabic while we were there for a while, so we're going to continue on with our beginning Arabic studies for a while. (I enjoy languages, so why not?) We're also doing some Latin, which C absolutely loves, and is new and fun to me. K and C are still doing piano, and I try to make sure they have plenty of reading time and good books available. The last thing I wanted to include in our formal schedule is a nature journal. (My friend K uses these in her homeschool curriculum, and I loved the idea.) What we're doing with the nature journals is taking some time each week to observe something in nature, which we then draw and write about. Our first entry was last week and the kids had fun with it.

Of course, the kids have their own plans for summer and I'm giving them plenty of free time to do their own things as well. K loves arts and crafts, gardening, and reading, so she'll be doing plenty of those; C loves games, toys, reading, and science experiments; S loves to do everything her brother and sister do and often follows their lead.

We won't be doing much of the hiking/exploring/camping I thought we would this summer because... we have a surprise addition coming to our family this summer! (The baby is due in 3 weeks!) So, we're excited, and we'll just have to postpone some of the outdoor adventures we'd like to have for later.

Now, the only thing I'm waiting for is warmer weather. Idaho is beautiful and green right now, but it has been chilly and rainy. It was even snowing a little this morning. I'd like some summer weather please!

A cold, rainy Memorial Day

Indoor picnic because of the weather


Kristin said...

You inspire me to do good stuff this summer! That is so smart to keep working on the kids' Arabic. I like the nature journal idea, too. What was the hardest part of transitioning back to US schools? Any tips on preparing my girls?

mj said...

I think your girls will be fine, but I'll email you about our experience.

Shari said...

I told Ben summer was two weeks of bad skiing in Idaho!!I'm so sorry its hasn't been nice weather. It sounds like you are doing well there with the schools and how fun to have your new addition to your family. Have a great summer and let us know when the baby comes.

Angela said...

I like K's project. The nature journal is a great idea, although I think Idaho has much more to offer in that department. Sagebrush and cactus aren't as lovely. But it would still be a fun project as my kids get older and we travel to various places. I'm surprised it's still so cold, but at least you have the green and lovely birds too. I'm excited for Baby J. to arrive!