State of the Greens
It's the first semester in a new job for my husband, and although he's used this textbook before, it's been a while (like grad school, I think), which means just a lot of time investment in cooking up lesson plans. It should go a lot quicker after this semester. And the German department people are nice, which is really good. The section head and her husband are kind, well-balanced people who have saved us a number of times now.
Driving everyone everywhere in the mornings is really, really insane. Four days a week, my oldest has an early morning scripture study class (seminary--if you're LDS and think you're going to BYU, it's pretty much required). Three days a week, my older daughter has a zero hour orchestra class. (Some of the same days, but not all of the same days, as oldest son's class.) Every day of the week, second son goes to school last, but since he and cello girl go to the same school, some days I have to drive there twice. The youngest two walk just down the street, so that isn't bad. Pickups are easier as long as the high schooler is walking home by himself, but at some point it will be too cold and I'll have to get him--tricky, since he gets out when the elementary kids do. But that's not for a while yet, hopefully...
School seems to be going all right for everyone. Oldest son is enjoying the engineering class that is basically Minecraft in action, and he's doing fine in the precalculus class where he's the only sophomore. And German is going well. Orchestra is nice, although a little easy. So he's been able to get into the right classes for him without too many problems, although in some ways the Idaho school was a whole year ahead, so it means he's not always in classes with kids his age. But he's enjoying it.
Math is going way better for second son this year. He did okay gradewise last year, but didn't seem to have a super firm grasp on algebra. Since they're a full year behind in math offerings here, it's worked out very neatly that he can both repeat algebra AND be in the gifted class. So, that's a double dose of confidence for him, and this time around he seems to be getting it better. So that's been a good thing.
Cello girl reads a different novel every day. In another two weeks she'll have read every book in the house, and then what? Also, instead of giving every middle schooler a laptop, they should have given them time turners. So orchestra meets at zero hour, one class for the whole middle school. Except, they are all still in different learning levels, so once a week they're also scheduled for a lesson--ie a mini class with just the other kids in their grade. Except, there is no fixed time for this in the schedule! Right now, she leaves whatever class she's in at 9:28 to have her orchestra lesson. So yes, that's two classes meeting at the same time. She says it might change, because some teachers get annoyed by kids leaving class in the middle. Really, I would never guess.
The 8YO is doing map testing right now (some kind of standardized test that gets harder the more correct answers you give). I asked about the gifted program for her when we moved in, and her teacher agreed, but the gifted teacher who comes once a week was dragging her feet a bit. "I don't know....we'll have to evaluate eventually...let's think about it..." Well, one single map testing session later, she was instantly in the class. I'm not making it up because I'm her mother, people. The kid is smart! Despite being brilliant at reading and math and art, however, her biggest talent really is her people talent. You can stick that kid anywhere and she will make a friend of anyone. She doesn't get ruffled, she reaches out and is genuine, and you just feel good around her. She's met more people on this street than the rest of us combined--and we've been looking for opportunities!
And finally, the 5YO. Lap Boy. Perpetual Motion Boy. Whatever you want to call him. He barely made the kindergarten cutoff, and attempts to teach him the alphabet have not exactly met with a ton of success, but we figured, well, you can always do kindergarten twice, right? Because he was really looking forward to it, and why not give him a chance. It's going surprisingly well. I've never seen him show any interest in drawing at all, but he's brought home all kinds of pictures I didn't know he could do. He's writing words. He's thinking about spelling and sounds. Plus, he's managed to keep all his clothes on and stay on task every day. So I'm thinking that sending him was a good idea. We'll know more once we have the parent teacher conferences, but so far I'm pleased with all he's learning.
So basically, we still hate the house and the schedule is driving us over the edge, but school seems to be going all right, and that's a good thing, as that's what takes up most of everyone's day. Also, it's finally not hot anymore, which is a huge improvement. Now if we could just find a way to get more sleep...