Thursday, May 21, 2009

Well, Where Were We?


Blondechick's charter school requires all the sophomores to give a presentation called "Sophomore Passage" to 2-3 teachers or other school staff, their parents, and a community member that they have invited. BC had to make a portfolio of her work and Powerpoint slides to outline her talk, which had to include certain elements explaining how she had progressed through her sophomore year.

She did a super job. Her "gift of gab" serves her very well in these situations! One comment she made, which was so funny in its frankness, was about how she had applied the scientific method to real life: "I chose 'high school drama' because that happens to me." She went on to describe how she collected data and discovered that certain friends, before they knew her, thought that she was glaring at them and disliked them, when actually she liked them. She began experimenting with her facial expressions and made a special effort to smile more and even at people she didn't know. She concluded that people found her more approachable as a result. (Three cheers for the scientific method!)

Their next end-of-year passage, which illustrates this charter school's connection to the organization Outward Bound, is a 5-day camping trip without any luxuries, like toilets. As in, dig your own hole. No hair dryers or straighteners or makeup allowed. Should be quite the experience for Blondechick!


B18 somehow did not get registered for the ACT next month. I am perturbed. I thought his advisor was handling this, because he needs modifications like extra time to complete the test.

It's a good thing he's not applying next fall to colleges that need his ACT scores! After his senior year, he'll go either to a community college or his first choice: Flashpoint Academy. I was told about it by a teacher who works with autistic adults, and she said Flashpoint had approached her, telling her not to hesitate to encourage students with autism to apply, that Flashpoint would work with them and that many of them had giftings that would be a good fit there. It seems perfect for B18, and he is starting to get excited about it!

We still haven't met his girlfriend, and they only talk at school. So it's been a nice, manageable relationship for us, at least.


B14 will be taking a standardized test next week, his first ever. I am "teaching to the test" this week; specifically, we are blitzing through a workbook on reading maps and charts! That's one thing you miss when you don't use many textbooks, and it tripped up Blondechick when she took her first and only standardized test in the same grade, 7th. We are also covering some material from a test prep workbook I have which covers basic question types and test-taking strategies. All new to B14!

His robotics team competed a few weeks ago and had a disappointing frequency problem in the first event, where the 'bot wouldn't communicate with the controller. It appeared that another team had the same crystal (whatever that means--fortunately B14 understands it!). Since it was the sumo wrestling event, their 'bot was damaged and unable to compete in the other events. B14 and Co. didn't seem to mind too much; the pressure was off and they could relax. He learned a lot, and that's what counts!

He also just finished up a Film-Making class through the theater group. He was right about their film being pretty lame, but again, he learned from the experience.

and Bantam10--

Both boys have been taking a homeschool track class, which met for a manageable 7 times in a 3 weeks, for 1.5 hours at a time. They've had the chance to try hurdles, long jump, shot put and other track events as well as running various distances. They're both pretty fast for their ages, they discovered! B14 pulled a quad muscle in the 3rd class, though, so he's been hampered with that injury ever since. Today is the last class.

B10 is progressing nicely in piano and we are planning to start him on an instrument next year, in the public school 5th grade band program. He's thinking of trumpet or sax, and we already have one of each, so that works out. He just finished up a dance class through the theater group, and he is psyched to take tap dancing this summer!


C6 is also going to take a dance class this summer--it's tap and ballet, and we were delightedly shocked to find both tap and ballet shoes in her size and the right color for the dress code (pink) at our neighbor's garage sale last weekend! I spent a whopping $4 on both pairs, and the tap shoes were never worn. A friend passed on a pink leotard to us too, free of charge, so we'll just have to buy pink tights and she'll be set. (Now all I need are black jazz pants for B10!)

Poor girl, her education has been sadly neglected for the past month or so, but she's been learning anyway. I'm planning to do "summer school" with her to move her along with her reading, particularly. It's coming along beautifully and she's going to take off as soon as I can find the time to spend regularly with her.


B4 is a constant source of amusement and delight, everywhere he goes. The kids and adults at The Wizard of Oz were all captivated by his cuteness. He's just a funny character, with the most impish expressions and great exuberance about life. "He's like a bull in a china shop!" one woman exclaimed to me as he shoved politely past her. Yep.

His latest accomplishment is perfecting a number of consonants, including and especially the letter C, which made possible this sentence just yesterday: "I can come in the car with you." First he said, "I tan come in the tar with you," but when I asked him to say it correctly, he could! He's going to be more ordinary without his funny mispronunciations, but understandable is good too. He and C6 play so beautifully together for hours on end, which is why it's so easy not to do lessons with her!

All for now...!

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