Saturday, October 09, 2010

Fall News

Pictures, or story?  I don't have time for both this morning. I guess we'll go for narrative--it seems like updates are overdue in many areas!

Bantam19, 30 minutes away at Trinity International University (TIU), is doing very well.  He's so happy, really enjoying college life, independence and new friends.  I went to visit him for Family Weekend.  I suspect that his friends are not deep friends, but acquaintances that he feels comfortable sitting with at meals.  But he has a lot more of those than he ever had in high school--and you have to start somewhere with any friendship--so he's happy and so are we!  He's found a church, a sister Anglican parish nearby, and he's getting rides from a seminary student; it sounds like a lot of Trinity students worship there.  He's attending all his classes, says he's keeping up with all his assignments and thinks he's doing fine on them.  He's enjoying the food a little too much, but is taking some corrective steps.  That's probably my biggest prayer request for him--that he can really own the responsibility of managing his diet and exercise now that he's away from parental help in that area.

At home, our virtual schooling is getting easier, now that we've figured out how it all works and fits together.  Bantam11 will tell you that he is really enjoying iQAcademy's 6th grade.  It seems pretty challenging, but the lessons are just short enough that he finds it manageable. Some of the more creative assignments ask for a good amount of critical thinking, vs. regurgitation of facts, so I'm really pleased at how engaged he is.

Chicklet8 has blown me away with how quickly she's caught up to second grade level work! I honestly don't know how she would have tested at the beginning of the year, but we really did not spend the time last year that one needs to spend with a first-grader, so her reading and writing were not quite up to the level that seem to be expected by the online Little Lincoln curriculum (although I now know that she's not the only 2nd grader to find it challenging).  We were spending many, many hours a day for the first couple of weeks, because her reading was slow, and she was reluctant to read much or especially to write much. I was even helping her with some of it, just to keep things from being too overwhelming.  But she's made huge leaps in both areas, and now is reading much faster and more expressively.  She's hardly reluctant at all now about her lessons, and is even reading and writing independently, just for fun (and for computer time). I'm very proud of her.

Blondechick17 is lovin' her senior year at the Christian school, and B15 is enjoying being her freshman brother. He took one of her friends to Homecoming last weekend, and she went with the same boy she's been dating for the last year or so. She's continued to work at her restaurant job on the weekends since school started.  This weekend she took off, so she could go to a statewide choir conference.  Her director was allowed to bring only two girls and two boys, so it was an honor to be invited!

B15 played JV soccer and was the high scorer for the season! Okay, he tied for high scorer with 4 other guys.  They each had one goal. Their team won one game. It wasn't a fabulous season.  But he learned a lot, and there's always next year!  He also joined the cross-country team halfway through the soccer season.  He's only run in two meets, and isn't really enjoying it. He likes running, but cross-country, the sport, is a whole 'nother thing.  Still, he's learning a lot, and I'm so glad he's had the opportunity, even at his small school, to try different things.

B5 and B11 continue to play soccer on Saturdays; B11 is learning fast, to catch up with the boys who've been playing every Saturday, spring and fall, for years--but B5 was born to play soccer, I think.  I have a whole post in mind about that...but now, I want to go catch a little of his game!

Pictures next time, perhaps...!

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