Friday, February 10, 2012

Teacher Notes

 This week at school had some good highs and lows.  We had homeschool group on Tuesday afternoon, and Knut once again led gym class.  I think the moms and that group really love seeing a dad play with the kids, as there is such a huge difference.  One mom commented that when moms do gym, if someone is "out" of a game, the child is often given extended time to stay "in."  With dads, however, if you're out, you're out.  There are rules to games, and the competitiveness comes out.  Needless to say, the competitive spirit really came out of a bunch of kids too.

Last month he taught 4 square in gym class.  This week he taught kick ball.  I think he has one more class at the end of the month, and then he's done. 

I've had a couple of "showdowns" with Silje this week.  The first one happened on Monday when she was doing her last piano practice before her lesson later that day at her great-aunt's house.  I hadn't been in the room for her previous practices, so I thought I should at least double check that she had everything ready.  I soon realized that she had practiced one of the songs, but not the other because she perceived it as too difficult.

It was a tricky song, and I explained that was all the more reason to practice it.  She spent almost her whole 30 minutes working on the song she knew, and a whole 5 minutes on the song she barely knew.  So I put more time on her practice timer, and said I would put on more time again if she didn't get the song right.

I said her lesson was later that day, and she was not allowed to go unprepared.  She started crying, and there was a bit of yelling, and some half hearted piano plunking.  I told her it was fine by me if she spent the rest of the morning and all afternoon until her lesson sitting in front of the piano.  She could either practice and be done, or sit there angry.  Her choice.

So 15-20 minutes later, she mastered the hard song.  She was still very angry with me, and felt that by adding practice time off the cuff was unfair.  She likes to know what to expect, but I told her what I expect.  I told her it was very obvious she did not use her previous practice time wisely, so she needed more.

What made it all worth it is I didn't have a chance to tell this story to her piano teacher.  I dropped her off at her lesson, and when I picked her up she was walking on clouds.  Her teacher doesn't hand out stickers like candy.  In fact, she has only gotten a sticker on her assignment sheet once before.  However, this time she got a big sticker from her piano teacher, with a note that she did excellent!

Silje was over the moon with the praise from her teacher that she had actually mastered the difficult song in one week, and she gave me a hug.  I'm going to take it as a "thank you."

We had a similar situation in math.  She was not getting a new concept, and Saxon math only gave her 3 questions to practice the new concept that day.  She got them all wrong, so I worked through each one with her.  Then I gave her a new problem to see if she could do it on her own.  She couldn't, so I wrote out page of these problems so she could really work on it.  That did not make her happy.  She likes when I just stick with the system.  O well.

A big highlight was our Valentine's making party that we decided to throw.  Silje has been in a slump, and what is better to cheer her up than planning a party!  Since it fit in our schedule early afternoon best, we were limited to inviting other homeschool kids.  I was so excited that 3 families came out with their little girls (and 1 boy).

Silje took the lead in planning the party.  I wanted to make homemade angel food cake and pull out frozen strawberries from our garden that were in the freezer for a sauce.  She surprisingly said no, and wanted to make red velvet cupcakes from the box, with sprinkles and all.  They were okay.  The kids seemed to like them.  They were super cute, though.
 We spent about 3 dollars and got fun cupcake wrappers, toppers, plates, etc.  She loves decorations! 

 The main event was something we certainly do not do every day.  The girls made Valentines (and the boy played with my boys).  We brought out GLITTER and glue and they went to town.  It made such a mess, and I may be wearing glitter on my clothes for the next next year or so.  However, I think it was completely worth it. 
Then the girls ran down to the basement/playroom to play dress up and the moms and I had a fun time just sitting and chatting in peace.  It was fun for everyone!  Knut came home early and surprised us in the living room by bringing us a pot of tea and a platter of pumpkin bread, served on my good china and everything.

I was so blown away by that.  He sat and chatted with me my friends, and I was so glad that he was actually able to get to know some of my mom friends.  I'm the one who goes to most of the events, and so he hears a lot about people he doesn't know.  I was so glad he was able to put a face to some names he's heard.

It was a lot of fun, and we'll have to have homeschool parties at our house again in the future.  Well worth the mess!

2 comments:

Mom said...

Beautiful cupcakes and I'm sure wonderful memories were made! Also, kudos to Knut for serving a tea party. Awesome!

Lisa Joy said...

Thank you guys so much for hosting that! The kids had a fabulous time, and I really, really enjoyed the visiting! (And I am sure that the tea would have been fabulous if I hadn't forgotten to drink it!) :) Tell your lovely husband thank you for me. :)