Little Red Riding Hood ~ 11 years old ~ End of 5th grade interview
What did you like best about this school year? I liked all of the science field trips. The Gem and Mineral Museum is fun and I like visiting it each month. I also really liked the literature we did this year. I like it when you read to us or we listen to books in the car. I really liked the City of Ember and want you to get the next book in the series.
What was your least favorite subject this year? The WORKBOOKS! I am so tired of language arts workbooks and I hate spelling.
What do you feel helps you learn the most? I like listening to audio books and then talking about them. I also prefer hands-on science to watching videos. I also liked going to the matinee series at the theater. If we have to learn about Shakespeare, seeing a play is the best way.
What subject do you wish we did more often? Literature
If you could study something that you are not currently studying, what would it be? I would really like to learn pointe, but I know it is expensive and that you want to make sure my feet are ready. I also want to learn French.
What "out of the home" classes did you like best this year? All of my dance classes. I love being in Tween Company.
What did you think was a waste of time? Culture Club! It took hours to prepare for and the food was awful (at the Culture Club potluck).
What do you want to stay the same next year? I want dance to stay the same. I also want to keep CNN Student News as our first thing and I like the rotating of subjects (the kids take turns each day picking which subject to do next).
What would you like to see change? I would like you to bring back report cards. I also want less workbooks.
Tom Sawyer ~ 13 years old ~ End of 6th grade interview
What did you like best about this school year? I liked Lego Club, audio books, all science stuff and the Tinker Crates.
What was your least favorite subject this year? The language arts workbooks.
What do you feel helps you learn the most? I really learned a lot in my writing class with Miss Angie and watching educational videos. Also, I like having lots of snacks.
What subject do you wish we did more often? I wish we did more literature and more hands-on science. I wish we went on more field trips.
If you could study something that you are not currently studying, what would it be? I want to learn how to play the guitar. I also want to take a real acting class, not that dumb drama class I took this year (the kids were really young and wild in the class).
What "out of the home"classes did you like best this year? I liked (in this order) Lego Club, writing class and dance classes. I really loved being on stage in dance, but the modern class is hard (on his muscles).
What did you think was a waste of time? Culture Club is so stupid. We could learn all that stuff at home so much faster. The kids were too young and weren't very serious.
What do you want to stay the same next year? I want to stay in dance class, Lego Club and writing class. I want to keep CNN Student News at the beginning of the day.
What would you like to see change? I am good with how the days run.
My Reflections ~
- Obviously, I wore them out with workbooks during these last few weeks. I will say that I believe that the workbooks really helped prepare them for end of year testing. The results are not back yet and Little Red Riding Hood got almost perfect results last year so there wasn't a huge amount of room for improvement. However, she talked to herself while she took the test and repeated many of the rules that those workbooks had taught her. I think the workbooks helped her a lot.
- They certainly see their "out of the home" classes as a major part of their education. Little Red Riding Hood will be increasing her dance classes to seven hours a week in the fall. We are planning on letting her add pointe. Also, Tom Sawyer will stay in the same two dance classes (3 hours per week), and we plan to add guitar lessons. I do think the kids are going to have to take on one major chore beyond their daily chores to free up some more of my time so that I can have more hours to sell to earn money on Ebay. I am thinking that they are going to take on 100% of the laundry!
- I am really very pleased that Tom Sawyer got so much out of writing class. We will continue that next year, but the teacher will be different. I hope he will continue to thrive under a different teacher (the last one was a reading/writing specialist whose concentration was helping special education kids).
- We will give up Culture Club. I am glad that we were forced to learn PowerPoint. However, I agree with them. The rest of the club was not that useful to our current needs.
- I am still thinking how to make spelling more enjoyable and successful for Little Red Riding Hood. The end of year test did not test spelling, but I know that she is very poor in this subject.
- Neither one of them mentioned math at all. I know they are both a little tired of Teaching Textbooks. Little Red Riding Hood is thriving with our current math program and Tom Sawyer is struggling a little. He is quick and rarely checks his work. Since Teaching Textbooks gives you two chances on each problem he has developed a bad habit of racing through his work. I plan on keeping Teaching Textbooks, but adding more review workbook pages. Oh dear, there is that workbook thing again. We also still enjoy the Life of Fred series.
- Lastly, I wonder what would be enough science for these kids?! We do science at least three times a week. I guess they would like it five times a week. I will continue trying to increase how much we do.
I wasn't very surprised by this interview. I am glad they were pleased with how their school year went.