Sunday, January 25, 2015

The past two weeks

Now that the holidays are gone and life has returned to some semblance of normalcy, things are much calmer. We've gotten back into our routines and, I, for one, am enjoying being around the girls much more now that the frenzy is over! So what have we been up to?

Gymnastics every Saturday morning.

We renewed our membership to the Children's Museum so we are taking full advantage of that. Last weekend's adventure was sculpting with clay.

They were offering a free, hour-long collage class so we tried our hand at making some take-home art as well as putting a few pieces on a 15' long boat that the museum will display.

Sara went back to Sweden but before she left we met for one last mama's brunch until she returns in Summer 2016.
The girls still fondly remember their cooking classes at the Kid's Table so I signed them up for a 2 hour drop-off class on MLK day. They made mac and cheese (without kale, much to Kate's dismay--and the teacher's since Kate made it clear that kale would have improved the dish significantly) and peach cobbler.

I signed up for a classroom observation of the first-third grade Montessori class at the girls' school to see how the elementary program differs from the primary level. I have to say I was impressed. There are two teachers in the class, one who teaches only in Chinese and one who teaches in English. The English speaking teacher will introduce new subjects to children and once she is convinced they have a firm handle on the subject matter, they will again learn it in Chinese. While I was observing, there was a group of kids learning subject vs predicate, another group learning verbs vs nouns, several kids working independently on math and a group of third graders speaking and writing full sentences in Chinese characters. It was really quite amazing to watch for the hour I was there, how much they were learning.

I stayed for the rest of the day to volunteer to help with coloring some charts. It was quite nice to sit in the library and color for the afternoon!

Later in the afternoon, the Elementary Chinese teacher brought in groups of children to the library to take a spelling test. Seems they get homework to study and on Fridays there is always a spelling test. They must write the words (spoken to them only in Mandarin) in Chinese characters, pinyin (with the correct tone noted) and in English. Once she has checked their papers (which she does as soon as they are done) they must use a word or two in a sentence, verbally, in Chinese, so she knows they understand the word and how to use it correctly. It was great to be able to see more of what goes on at the elementary level since we are pretty committed to staying there.

Later that evening, it was parent's night at the school. We got to see some of their favorite works and at the end they did a circle time dance and some songs. Since it wasn't until 6pm (and they are usually in the tub at 6pm and in bed no later than 7pm) Lucy was a hot mess by this point. She was in that manic, I'm-so-tired-and-overstimulated-and-possibly-hungry-even-though-we-just-had-supper-and-I-am-going-to-lose-my-shit-if-this-lasts-much-longer state.
I really am not a fan of evening activities for the pre-school set. I know they schedule them so working parents can participate but it still totally sucks.

So that's our January thus far. We are still waiting for snow as we have yet to go sledding this year. The little snow we've had is already gone for the most part, with bits of it clinging in the shady areas only. I should be careful what I wish for...

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Wish your girls were in my class. I'd love to have you volunteer to colour and make some things for me! ( insert big smiley face). It sounds like grade one looks good!


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