Saturday, November 01, 2014

What a Great October!

J has been at college now for over two weeks.  She LOVES living in Manhattan.  Her dorm room is wonderful - it's a private room with a big mini-fridge, desk, big closet, sink with vanity and overhead light, mirrored medicine cabinet, 4 dresser drawers, comfy bed, big window, a/c, and mini-blinds.  Then she (we) added a microwave, Keurig, tv, fast wifi modem, pictures, posters, Christmas lights, rugs, and a shelving unit.  She has everything she needs and she's been eating right, waking up on time, and remembering everything.  I'm so proud.  Her weekly classes include ballet (3 different classes), tap, jazz, modern (2 different classes), theater dance, theatrical gymnastics (acro), acting (3x/week), vocal, diction, and dance history.  Some start as early as 8am and some days she's finished at 5:30pm and they're either 2 or 2.5 hours long each.  The classes are really challenging - especially since she's in the highest levels in all dance classes. She loves it, though, and feels so lucky to be there.  I've tallied up her dance classes and figured that she's dancing about 21 hours each week.  She was surprised that she liked the acting classes as much as she does.  I'm just happy she's loving it all.

K graduated from beauty school a month ago, has her temporary cosmetology license, will take her state boards really soon, and has just landed an awesome position at an Upper East Side salon/spa.  This is her first full-time job.  She'll starting out assisting (which includes shampooing and selling product), then she'll go right into being a colorist.  It's a great job with salary, tips, and commission and it's in a great part of town.  I'm so excited for her.

W's weekly academics have been nicely streamlined - as it's November and about that time.  I've decided to make every day practically the same with W doing a lot more independently.  Here's our new weekly breakdown:

  • Math - Saxon Algebra 1. One lesson, together using white board
  • Literature - The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (Pyle). This is read aloud and W gives a spoken narration
  • History - The Complete Book of World History. Silent reading with spoken narration. Using maps & globe for reference. (He just isn't into the AO history readings at all. The 2-page chapters in this book are easy for him to read it himself and and it keeps his interest). 
  • Science - Holt Physical Science. Silent reading and questions. W reads the whole 4-page chapter silently and I verbally quiz him on it when he's done. This is working really well this year.
  • Free Reading - He reads about 15-20 minutes a day. He types out a summary after each chapter or so (a 5-sentence paragraph at least). He still does not particularly like to read, but again, I'll take what I can get.
I'm just happy he's gotten to the point where he can read so much independently. 2 years ago he struggled a lot and was exhausted before he could finish a page. He's come so far - I'm still shocked at how that happened. But we're still taking things slowly so he doesn't get overwhelmed and burned out. This takes a little over 2 hours a day. In addition to the formal academics are W's informal stuff, including: technology and computer science, health, safety, physical education, practical arts, research skills, field trips, and our restaurant adventure (which we're going to start doing more regularly now that I'm back at my old company!).

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