Tuesday, May 20, 2008

So it's been a week...

I really want to keep up with blogging, but it seems to get pushed down the priority list every time. Anyway, lots has been happening so here's the update.

I decided that we should do standardized testing every year for peace of mind. So we spent last week doing the Iowa Basic Skills Test. I gave Curly Q. the first grade test, and she got nearly every question right. I was surprised to see how well she has overcome her test taking anxiety. Bear took the preschool test, and she did well on most of it, but her minor speech issues really showed up in the language section. She has a tendency to substitute the "f" sound for other sounds (like "th" or s-blends). This was really obvious on the test.
I have always heard how biased these tests are and after administering them I have to say I totally agree. The vocabulary used (not just in the vocabulary section) could mess some kids up. For example in the math section they used the word "beneath" instead of under on the preschool test. I am guessing this will confuse some preschoolers. The biggest problem I had was with the social studies section on the first grade test. One question showed three pictures and asked which shows something most people can't/don't do for themselves. The pictures were a person painting a room, a person working on their car engine, and a person gardening. Depending on your socioeconomic status all of those could be done by someone else or all of them could be done my yourself. There were many questions like that.

It seems that dance has taken a front seat in our lives for the past few weeks (and will continue for at least next few weeks). We love our dance studio. It is owned by 2 young women, and I love to support small independently owned businesses. Plus Curly Q. is in love with dance right now. So even when we are not at class she is practicing.
At the beginning of May Curly Q. had auditions for dance company. The studio has several such companies divided by age and ability that compete and have additional performances. Curly Q. was asked last year, but I thought she was too young. She was asked for this year, and I thought she was too young (plus the rehearsals went past her bed time). She was asked for next year, and although I still think she is too young, she is so excited that I couldn't say no again. So she auditioned and she must have done well because we found out yesterday that she will be in the petite dance company which is the higher of 2 available for her age. She is thrilled, and I am happy for her. Still I am sure I will be writing tons more about the scary stage Moms I met at the audition. Luckily I think most of the really scary ones ended up in the other company.
This past weekend Bear's class got to go to a dance competition. It was quite an experience. We were there from 7:45 until 2:00. It made for a long day especially for a 4 year old, but she handled it really well. I was actually very worried that Bear wouldn't do very well. She NEVER practices. I mean she is 4 so that is fine, but I didn't want her not know anything when she got up there. I have seen her at class, and she didn't seem to know the dance. When she got on that stage something clicked though, and she was amazing. Not only did she know all the movements, but she put the right energy and attitude into them. Anyway, the group ended up getting a gold metal, highest in their division (they were the only 4 year olds tapping), and out of all the acts they were in the top three. She is excited because she got three ribbons, but she is disappointed that the studio gets to keep the trophy.

Ok so consider yourself updated. We are finishing history this week. Bear has started Headsprout. Curly Q. is plugging away at her math and reading (although we may just skip the rest of the reading program). As for this week we have 2 days at Mom's, a trip to the recycling plant, and my brother's family is coming into town. Hopefully I will do better about blogging. I'll try to blog after our field trip tomorrow.

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