Saturday, March 24, 2012
Fun at the Beach - schooling
The girls loved seeing the ocean for the first time. What a blessing to watch them squeal with delight, jump the waves, and build sand castles. Sarah's personality can be summed up in the word, "delight" as she finds everything - even the smallest things - an exciting discovery. On the way to her dance class, she informed me that all her sisters were "hao jiajia's" or "good sisters." She listed them off one by one so that I'd be sure to understand.
Jenny wants to please and works hard to fit into her new life. Her English skills are amazing already after one month home. Both girls really work hard at trying to say things properly - they WANT to get it right and repeat it over and over - I'm so proud of how hard they work. I'm not sure I'd be as diligent if the tables were turned...
Jenny's math skills are terribly behind. She knows most of her math facts except division - but has no understanding of math. The connection between multiplication and division is lost on her - and place value is something she never studied. So we're around 2nd grade level in many things and we're working slowly through a Grade 3 math book.
After one month home, she is able to read the initial 3 Bob Books, and understands that letters make sounds. She knows many of these sounds from China - but is working on mastering all of them. I think she will read very quickly and this seems to come easily to her.
Sarah does not know ABC's or letter sounds. She is so young, however, that she will catch up easily. I will work all summer with them to get ready for school next year. I wish I could get resource teachers to help them with deficiencies - but I think they have to be tested and show lack "officially" first. Putting them in school was a good decision as the ESOL program has been very helpful. They are able to see a variety of American families and things - almost like a culture camp. I do not have the energy or ability to teach all of the kids the way I'd like to at this point - and I'm thankful for the help the school has given us. We are blessed with strong Christians in leadership and in the classrooms.
I am using BJU Press books with them - Jenny is using the 2nd Grade Handwriting book to learn cursive and the Math 3 book. Sarah is using K5 Phonics and Math - but she already knows most of her addition and subtraction facts. We skip quite a bit, but are plugging holes with mostly ESL and critical thinking issues such as place value, shapes, measurement, etc.
It is difficult to teach a child who does not know English. My twice a week teen English tutor is FABULOUS with creative ideas about how to convey ideas. Having multiple perspectives and fresh ideas from school, home, and tutor really is helping the girls stay interested. I am fresh to work with them when they get home from school as well - and am thankful for this multi-pronged strategy. My home girls have respite from the very busy pace of keeping up with older children that are like toddlers around the home in many ways.
Last but not least, I'd like to acknowledge Joyce Meyers' help with my Christian walk each day. I watch her show for daily exhortation in the Word, and am thankful to have the perspective of someone who's walked longer with the Lord than I have. Her enthusiasm to serve others and joy in the Christian life is contagious, and it helps me to be urged on to put time in God's Word first, to prize peace in my life (something that has been difficult this week due to unexpectedly and IMO unfairly large taxes due), and to do good despite any wrongs we're experiencing. So instead of becoming bitter about the money the government has taken, I'm going to try extra hard to be generous despite their withdrawal of my charitable deductions. I know many folks take issue with her ministry - but she bears more fruit in a week than I have in my lifetime.
I got "preached at" this morning, and know I need to speak out about government waste - but leave the bitterness behind. (2 Timothy 3:23 - thank you, God, for your Word) There is too much to do to waste time fuming - life is short. Blessings, Kim