Monday, May 19, 2014

Bragging on My Boys

With just 7 days of school remaining for Nicklas and Seeger, I wanted to stop and reflect on how proud I am of what they've accomplished this year. Both have earned awesome grades. Seeger has really grown in maturity in regards to being responsible for his homework and daily to-do items for school. We have had very few incidents of forgotten school work this semester compared to last semester. He struggled with long division in math but worked hard to keep practicing. He also wasn't where he needed to be with complex sentences/parts of speech so we spent extra time on this so that he could earn the coveted "3" on this subject. Today, I received the following message from his teacher:

Thank you, Natalie!  I will let you know.  Also, Seeger made it to a 3 on the Parts of Speech/Compound Sentences EL!! :-)

Way to go, Seeger!

Nicklas had a tough decision to make in regards to his schedule next year. This year, all of his friends did a foreign language and one musical elective, while he chose to do two musical electives. When he realized that some of them are getting high school credit for their foreign language, he became worried that he was getting behind. Here's a summary of the decision I sent his orchestra teacher (who made him feel very guilty when he handed in his elective form!):

Hi Miss G – I wanted to contact you to see if you have recommendations for cello instructors that can work with Nicklas this summer and next school year. He wants to continue playing so we’d like to prevent any gaps – and I think he’d benefit from some one-on-one time.

I know you’re aware that Nicklas has elected to drop orchestra for 8th grade so that he can take Spanish. It was a very difficult decision for him. He has really enjoyed both band and orchestra but he feels that skipping a foreign language is putting him behind for high school, compared to his friends. I would prefer he stick with band and orchestra but ultimately, he decided he should take Spanish. This meant he had to choose between band and orchestra. He was really torn about the decision but he feels he needs more work in band since he just started playing the euphonium this year and he’s been playing cello for three years. He says he wants to pick orchestra back up in high school. We’ll see if it works out. In the meantime, I promised that we would do private lessons with the cello. This seemed to be of some consolation to him.

I wanted say that we all enjoyed the concert on Thursday; especially their ISSMA piece. It brought tears to my eyes. After the concert I told him how much I loved that piece and he agreed it was his favorite too. We both talked about how it was sad though, since he won’t be in orchestra next year. Now he’s not so sure that Spanish is the right decision. He’s still struggling with what to do. He’s even spoken with his guidance counselor. There’s no easy answer!

Anyway, I thought you should know all of this because he felt horrible when he turned in his electives paper to you and realized you saw that he wasn’t signing up for orchestra next year. There’s a chance he’ll change his mind – whatever he decides will be overly thought out. Ultimately, I’m impressed with how well he’s handling the decision making process.

I'm not lying when I say I think he should stick with the two musical electives. I know Spanish will be more work for him - and I haven't heard great things about the Spanish teacher. BUT it's awesome that he's thinking about what's best academically for him.