Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A New School Year

We finally have all three kids back in school. Everyone I talk to seems upset that the summer has come to an end. Personally, I like the structure that the school year brings. The kids are sleeping less, and definitely being more productive. Less screen time, and more reading. Less lounging around, and more physical activity. Plus, it is hard for me in the summer to leave the kids to go to work; I'd much rather be home with them. During the school year, we are all out of the house around the same time, and although I have to leave an hour earlier every day, it's a trade I'm happily making. Yesterday was Hamza's first day of school. Today he came home with a boat load of homework. It's hard, since he doesn't get home until at least 5:20pm, and even later recently due to construction on the interstate. But he managed to finish it all in a couple of hours, and really didn't complain about it.

Safa's started classes at Auburn yesterday. We spoke yesterday and today; she is definitely enjoying college. She has settled well into her apartment, and has very nice roommates, who like to settle in early, just like she does. At present she is in the process of getting oriented to the campus and her classes, and buying/ renting the textbooks she needs for the semester. Even with an academic scholarship covering her tuition, college is expensive! But I know she is hard working, and will make the most of it. It's nice to hear from her every day, it almost feels like we talk more in depth now that she isn't living at home! It's so sweet watching Zakir in the evenings, looking forward to talking to her every day. I think he's missing her much more than I am! She'll be back for Labor Day weekend, so we don't have too long to wait.

And how is Bilal doing? We found our yesterday, that he has placed in the school's GaTE (Gifted and Talented Education) program. The program at Paine offers third graders in the program, 3 hours of specialized instruction outside of the regular classroom, once a week. There are typically only eight students per class, and they study various modules, including Botany, and Space. The GaTE students have been working on a garden, and have grown corn, muscadine, and a variety of other plants.

In addition, there is a trip planned to the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville.

Bilal scored high on the RIAS (Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales), and automatically placed into the program. Today, I went to the school to meet Mrs. K, who will be teaching him this semester, and to sign his GEP. She was very pleased with the fact that he demonstrates a lot of creativity that most kids his age do not have. She showed me some of his art work, and it surprised even me to see what she was talking about. Highly intelligent, and creative, but so much lazier than his siblings! I hope the little stinker learns to apply himself. But aside from that, we are so blessed that all three of our kids are very bright. Also, they all started their education in a great school system that provides services for the gifted, with highly motivated teachers. There's nothing like a strong foundation, when it comes to education.

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