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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Love Letter, Month 71

Dear Kate,

You are 71 months old today.
It's been a very eventful month, a month that has seen you try (sometimes in vain) to be happy for others. Specifically, that "other" being your sister who turned 6 this month. As you have lamented nearly every day, "I'm NEVER going to be six!"  It certainly does feel like that sometimes, especially when that lament is rounded out with low-grade whining and/or picking on your sister.

Fortunately, your better side *usually* wins out and you two play nicely (if a bit enthusiastically) the majority of the time.


We've had a spate of abnormally warm weather this month which has seen us outside a good bit.



As for school, we had your semester progress report this month with your teachers. You are doing very well and have become a leader in the class.

In math, you are currently working on single-digit multiplication and subtraction. You are also working with materials that will consolidate your knowledge of the decimal system and place value. You have mastered the basic concept of fractions and will begin learning more about division and time telling. It was noted that your "proficiency in mathematics is one of the highest in the class."

In Chinese, you are continuing to practice the Pinyin compound vowels. You are doing a great job in comprehending and conducting basic conversation and you can recognize many of the basic Chinese characters. Again, it was noted that your "proficiency in Mandarin is one of the highest in the class." Your teachers also noted that you will speak exclusively in Mandarin to two of your classmates who are from Chinese-speaking homes.

In English, you have mastered all levels of the Primary Phonics Workbooks and the Readers. You just finished Primary Phonics Comprehension Workbook level 5 & 6 this week.

Your teachers said you are able to read quite advanced books and when they ask you questions about what you have read, you are able to discuss the details quite clearly.
In Practical Life, you prefer to work with the more advanced areas to develop your concentration, fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, enjoying table scrubbing, plant care and window washing. You have mastered zipping and buttoning and will even help the younger students with their coats when it is time to go outside. You will soon be learning shoe lacing and bow tying.

In Sensorial, you are working with geometric solids and have mastered the binomial and trinomial cubes and the Power of Two work.

In Cultural subjects you enjoy exploring festivals and cultures from around the world. You are very into drawing, painting and all kinds of art work. And you particularly enjoy practicing yoga, mindful breathing and silence during group time.

In general comments, your teachers said you were "a role model in the class" and are developing your leadership skills nicely. You are hard working and always eager to learn and practice. You are very calm and focused during work.
You also tested into the gifted program at Northwestern University this month without any test prep or homework in advance. You scored 98% in English skills (verbal, reading and comprehension, taking into account your Chinese immersion schooling) and 99.6% in math skills (addition, subtraction and multiplication). The only place where your scores dropped was in non-verbal analogy skills (A is to Be like C is to ____) where you scored 18%. The proctor said that with some instruction and explanation, you would have no problem figuring it out.

Your first session of chess club ended this month and you won a second place prize which sent you into spasms of happiness.

You are most definitely the game player in this family, with your favorites being chess, checkers, and card games (Rummy, Go Fish and Old Maid).


The other big event this month has been preparing for Christmas. You and Lucy decorated your tree in your bedroom over Thanksgiving.
And today we got to have our annual Breakfast with Tomten at the Swedish Museum. You set right to work on your letter to Santa.



And now for the Kateisms of the Month:

We were driving home and you noticed the compass on the GPS and how the North arrow is red and South is blue.
You: Shouldn't it be the other way around?
Me: Why?
You: Because blue is generally a cooler color and the North is cooler than the South.

You to Daddy: Want to play checkers with me?
Daddy: Sure. Are you ready to lose?
You: No, I'm ready to win. And shouldn't you be more encouraging?
Love,
Mama

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