Sunday, February 12, 2012

And it's Competition Time Again!!

Performing at the competition
J's first dance competition started on Friday night with solos.  They called up their top 10 and J placed 5th overall in advanced level solos ages 15-19.  After they called up the 10th to 6th place solos, she was convinced she didn't place at all.  The top 5 announcements were very dramatic - they'd play your music before announcing your dance.  Hearing the music first made the audience go crazy!  I was so proud of her this year since it was the first time she has choreographed her own solo.  She chose and cut the music, choreographed the whole thing, put together her own costume.
She had never run the number while actually wearing the costume, hadn't gotten to clean it up, and finished the final choreography on Tuesday!  Her immediate team of 5 kids won the highest award and first place for both of their small groups and the entire team won for best production number. Her team also won the 5-foot tall trophy for the studio for the most high-scoring numbers at the Elite level.  Great weekend! So proud!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Science & Wall Street

We're trying out Life of Fred Fractions again this week.  Now that W has the 4 basic math functions just about mastered and is reading pretty well, I think he's ready for it.  He enjoys reading the story and that helps the math problems actually make more sense since they're usually in context.  (A cool thing I discovered is that graph paper is great for working out all kinds of math problems. W pays more attention to what he's doing and makes less mistakes than when he uses regular paper).

Science this week is all about doing projects and experiments using the scientific method.  We're breaking it down piece by piece, using the ScienceSaurus book.  We visited the NY Hall of Science this week, too.  We hadn't been there in ages, so it was nice to be back.  He tried out many of the experiments - everything from light and sound to peripheral vision and molecules.  So hopefully he walked away with a better understanding of how to use the scientific method and why those steps are important.

W has also done a good amount of reading and spelling.  He really likes doing the Spelling Skills exercises (proofreading, analogies, & fill-in-the-blank stuff) and zips through them in minutes now.  Grammar this week has been all about plurals and possessives (e.g. knowing the difference between boys, boy's, and boys' and using them in sentences correctly).  He's still reading the Star Wars book - which I think is way too hard for him, but he's drawn to it and picks it up several times a day.  Besides, he's challenging himself and that is usually a very good thing.  He's even asked me to buy him the other books in the series.

On Friday we met up with the homeschool group for a trip to the Museum of Finance down on Wall Street.  The class was all about financial markets.  They discussed:  risk & reward in investing, the 3 major financial asset classes, what causes financial market fluctuations and crises, stock market crashes, the reason for bonds, and information technology in the field of finance.  We learned what commodities and futures are and how stocks really work.  W really liked it.  I knew he got a lot out of it when he gave his dad a rundown of what's what from the class.  This is a great subject we can study so much further.