Hayley is done with middle school! Thursday evening Hayley was promoted from 8th grade into Thornton Academy at a ceremony held in the Thornton Academy gymnasium. There was a dance following at the Saco Parks & Recreation facility.
I took Hayley to see Cassie Shaw to get her very long hair trimmed Wednesday afternoon. Cassie is amazing, and it was fun for Hayley to get her hair shampooed, combed, blow dried, and straightened. I enjoyed being with her and talking to Cassie. Being an active dad is my favorite role!
We had a small promotion celebration at the loft before taking Hayley to the ceremony. Tonya and the girls prepared chicken salads and got balloons to decorate Hayley’s chair. Skye put together a creative scavenger hunt that Hayley enjoyed.
After dinner Tonya gave Hayley some nice Thornton Academy swag.
The entire ceremony lasted about an hour. We had good seats near the aisle where the promotees walked after the ceremony. Tonya gave Hayley a high-five as she passed.
Hayley reported having a fun time at the dance. She spent the night at a friend’s house after.
I’m excited to have Hayley move on to high school, where she will flourish. She’s excited to be out of middle school and all its myriad frustrations. I’m glad her school will be closer and that she’ll go with Jenna. My children are all growing up and moving on; I’m excited to witness and be part of their individual journeys.
I had an awesome year in school from September 2008 to June 2009. I enjoyed the time I was able to spend with my friends. I’m going to miss my fourth grade year but I have some great memories.
I was in the fourth-grade gifted and talented (G.T.) math and reading program every Monday this past year. The purpose of G.T. is to challenge the students who aren’t learning that much in math and reading. Mr. Reinhartsen (Mr. R) is my gifted and talented teacher. I enjoyed learning how to calculate the area of a circle and a triangle. To find the area of a triangle, you multiply the height times the width and then divide by two. To find the area of a circle, you first multiply the radius by itself. Then multiply that answer by pi. It’s very simple. Mr. Reinhartsen began putting me in fifth-grade math G.T. on Wednesdays in addition to my Monday G.T. because I’m especially good at math. It was fun to see my older friends from my previous 3rd/4th-grade multi-age class. I LOVE G.T.!
Yesterday Kirsten and I had the opportunity to visit Hayley’s kindergarten class for an end-of-the-year beach party. It was a lot of fun. Mrs. Arnold’s pupils went through their usual morning routine before reading to us a book they’d written and illustrated. Then Mrs. Arnold played for us a slide show that was absolutely wonderful (a tear jerker). She is an extremely talented photographer and was able to capture not only the activities of the students, but their personalities as well.
Kirsten and I feel very fortunate that Hayley had Mrs. Arnold this year. She has great command of her students and exudes compassion for them.
Today Kirsten and I had the opportunity to visit Jenna and her classmates for an “Author’s Tea Party”. Jenna read to us a non-fiction book and then a book she wrote titled, “All About Wildlife”.
She did a fantastic job writing and illustrating her book. She discussed classes of animals, geology and the environment, dietary requirements, evolution, extinction and predation.
While reading her book she skipped the following sentence so as not to offend her classmates or their parents:
None of anything is made by Mother Nature or God. It’s all called Science.
After each pupil read their book the group was allowed one comment and one question. After one boy read about “little stars” Jenna asked, “How do you know the stars are small unless you’ve seen one up close?” Brilliant question, I thought.
Skye had to build a “float” about Arizona for a school project. At first she wrapped boxes with brown paper, made a banner out of paper and drinking straws, and affixed onto all that a plastic lettuce leaf. I couldn’t watch her flail and fail; she needed help, and I was glad to give it.
We talked about the requirements (flag, banner, six to ten items) and design. She did a lot of research on Arizona and the things that makes it unique and special. She made a list of possible items and revised it several times after I explained why certain items were neither unique nor special (e.g. high pollution).
I had the pleasure today of having a conference with Skye’s teacher to discuss Skye’s progress. Skye is doing very well. No surprises.
What troubled me about our meeting were a couple of statements made by her teacher.
She doesn’t give more homework because, quite frankly, it wouldn’t get done. The students are too involved with extracurricular activities, video games, and television. She said that for many parents academics takes a back seat to everything else in their children’s busy schedules.
She said her primary responsibility is to work with the pupils who struggle the most. Anything she does to challenge Skye and other bright kids, such as assigning independent work or helping them with advanced concepts, is beyond what is required. She has limited time and resources and is mandated to focus on the kids who need the most help. If it weren’t for her teacher making extra efforts Skye would be left to teach herself or simply go at a much slower pace than she is capable.
The girls’ artwork is current on exhibition at the Saco Museum. We visited yesterday morning. It was our first time at the museum.
Hayley made a stuffed fish in her art class. It’s isn’t a fish you could filet and eat for dinner. Nor could it swim in the ocean. It’s mostly made of paper. They drew with oil crayons over the paint. With the red crayon Hayley made lipstick. Then they cut out fish shapes, stapled the edges together and stuffed them with newspaper.
If I could have a brother I would want one. Not to replace my sisters though. He would be an older brother. When I got home from school he could help me with my homework. Not to replace daddy or anything but it would just be cool to have a brother helping. It would also be cool if I could do favors for him. I could even have two fun teasers. Sometimes it’s fun to have someone bugging me around especially if I didn’t have sisters. Maybe him and I could share a room together so we could talk to each other at night. If we could have a dog my brother and I would take care of it together. It would be cool to have a brother.