Thursday, January 24, 2013

1st Day of School - For the 3rd Time This Year.

My poor kids.  Cadence & Lorien both had to start school AGAIN for the 3rd time this year.  Luckily these schools are the schools they will be in for the next 4 years.  FINALLY some stability.

This one was really tough on the girls.  For the first time EVER, they are in different schools.  Here in this area of Virginia they have Jr. Elementary Schools & Sr. Elementary Schools.  Lorien goes to the Jr. Elementary School: Carrollton Elementary which holds Kindergarten - 3rd Grade.  Her school is about a 10 minute drive from our house so she gets to ride the bus to school.  She was TERRIFIED of riding the bus alone.  But after a couple of days she's decided she loves it & LOVES talking to all her friends to & from school.

Lorien has a great 2nd grade teacher here.  Her name is Mrs. Opajari or "Mrs. O" for short.  She took Lorien right in & has helped her adjust to the new curriculum & new area.  Lorien is loving her new school.  They have art, music, computers, PE, library, & much more.  She seems to be WAY ahead in Reading & Math, but a little behind in Social Studies/History & Science since she barely got any of that at her last 2 schools.  We've been working hard teaching her how to take notes during a discussion & how to study those notes for tests & quizzes.  I LOVE the way they run the school here & it's been a great learning experience for Lorien so far.

Lorien ALWAYS gets off the bus happy & smiling.  I love that about her.

She's always happy & smiling, but she's ALWAYS a mess.  That's my Lo!  Dirty hands & ruined shoes ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.
At least I know she had fun.

Cadence goes to Smithfield Elementary which is a Sr. Elementary School.  It houses 4th grade - 6th grade.  Her school is over 25 minutes away (DRIVING) from our house.  I absolutely HATE having her be SO FAR AWAY from home, but the school is good.  I just worry about emergency situations where it would be nearly impossible to get her in a hurry.  She obviously rides the bus to school as well.  The buses pick the girls up at 8:00 but school doesn't start until 9:05 (LONG DRIVE).  Then school gets out at 3:50 (SUPER LATE) & they don't get home until 4:45 which totally stinks.  But that's my biggest complaint so far.  The schools themselves make up for it in their education, field trips, & extra curricular activities.

Cadence is in Mrs. Harris' 4th grade class & she is thriving there.  She is WAY advanced in both reading & math (just like Lorien), but a little behind again on the history/science since she didn't have access to that previously.  4th Grade is when you learn about your state's history so she's frantically learning everything she can about Virginia right now so she can do well on state tests.  Virginia (especially this area) is the birthplace of this nation.  It's where it all began so it's been fun learning about it with her.  She's done amazing on her testing so far.  Her teacher & a school counselor actually called me last week asking me for a meeting about Cadence.  I thought that maybe she was falling behind, but as it turns out, they want to recommend her for the gifted/advanced program.  She scored one of the highest scores in the class on both her science & history tests after only being in the school & reading through the material for one week.  They've got her ordered to take the gifted test in a month or two & then if she passes that, she'll get to be in the most amazing gifted program I've ever seen.  It's run by college professors & it consists of mostly experiments, math, & research.  They dissect brains, frogs, fish, eyeballs, etc.  The college here actually uses the gifted students' research & experiments in their research as well.  It's right up Cadence's ally.  So we'll see how all that pans out.  

Cadence also has choir & band in 4th grade so we're trying to figure out what instrument to start her on.  I really wish they did strings, but they don't (she really wanted to play violin), but they do strings in 7th grade so we'll see if we can do that then.  She'll probably start on flute or percussion like her mommy.  They also offer a guitar club after school on Thursdays that she wants to be a part of.  She got a guitar for Christmas so she's super thrilled about that.  So far the schools here have been great experiences for both girls.

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