The school year has gotten off to a good start. Aliya is now in 8th grade and officially turns 15 on September 28th. She is enjoying being on the soccer team at school. Her schedule is a pretty 'easy' one due to the fact that 2 of her classes are taken up by ELL (English Language Learner) class. The only 2 'hard' classes she has this semester are English (in which so far she's getting a B+!!) and Algebra. Other than that, she has P.E., Art and choir. She has an A in choir and an A- in Art. Way to go, Aliya!!!
I have spoken with both her English teacher and her Algebra teacher to explain her situation in having only been in this country 7 months and they have been wonderful in making assignments and expectations realistic for her to attain. I sort of have a feeling that she will surpass their expectations and do more than has been assigned just due to the fact that this girl is COMPETITIVE! She definitely wants to 'SHOW YOU!' But seriously, her teachers seem to enjoy having her in class and she has the same ELL teacher that she had last year.
In our state, we must do a re-adoption when we adopt from Ethiopia. It's a formality, really. I have our date scheduled for October 21st. The kids are off school so everyone, hopefully will be able to see Aliya become an American citizen! That becomes official when the re-adoption is granted by the judge. It was a fun and positive experience when we did it with the boys so I expect it will be again with Aliya. I'll share pictures when that day comes!
Mihiretu is doing well in school. Home schooling him this summer (and Aliya, too) really, really paid off. They made great strides in their understanding of phonics and are reading at higher levels. Mihiretu still gets extra help and will get ELL this year. He qualifies because English is actually his 3rd language spoken.
Aliya doesn't understand this at all! I explained to her that he spoke Hadiya first, then at the care center he learned Amharic and then English. So she began asking him questions in Amharic. He, of course cannot understand a word of it! He told her that he remembers one word-"birutkan," which means "orange." She told him, "Oh, wow." (Not in an impressed way)
I don't pretend to understand how the human brain learns but I do know that he has language and reading delays which I attribute to having his brain filled up with 2 other languages before the age of 4 1/2. Although you do not recognize it if you speak to him, sometimes he hesitates or forgets a word while his brain goes back a 3rd time for the English version. This takes time and effort on the part of his brain. The other thing that could be a factor is the degree of malnutrition he suffered before coming to us. If you see him now, you can see that 'big boy is definitely NOT malnourished now' but he was moderately malnourished for the first 4 years of his life, which certainly can have an effect.
But he is doing great in school this year and like I said, his reading has improved by leaps and bounds since the torture (I mean the schooling we enjoyed every day) this summer! I home schooled Blake and Katie - Blake all the way through high school until he went to college in 11th grade, and Katie until 10th grade so I'm pretty seasoned. But teaching these two stretched me to my absolute LIMIT! God gave me the grace I begged for and we got through it with wonderful results!!
Misganaw LOVES preschool again this year. Is there any way that I can keep him this age forever? Honestly, the thought of him going to Kindergarten next year is going to be a killer. But at least it is only a 1/2 day. What about the next year when he's gone ALL day???? What in the world will I do all day??? Yuck. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
P.S. "Lord, I need a little something to fill my time starting in the fall of 2012."