Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Quick Recap from the 2010-2011 Year!

Where did the months go? My son Harry has been wondering why on earth I haven't updated the Trillium Academy site in so long...it has just been that kind of summer!

Let me try to briefly summarize how we ended the academic year...

As usual, music played a big role in our boys' lives this spring. For my birthday in May, Harry and Ron created a "Birthday Recital for Mommy" as my present--what a fun gift!

Then both boys participated in the Betty Haag Academy's annual Orchestra Hall concert at Symphony Center in Chicago. Harry had the chance to do a solo piano piece, and Ron led one song and played  over an hour of music by memory. We were proud of them both!

Not to be left behind, Dobby met his cello for the first time and is excited to join his brothers in what we hope will be a lifelong music-making journey!

In June, I gave both Harry and Ron "final exams" to see what kind of progress we'd made over the year. Some of the highlights...

  • Both boys successfully outperformed their dad in the final world geography test; Ron actually was the high-scorer of the three! I love that at age 6, he was able to correctly identify nearly 90 countries worldwide.
  • Harry scored more than 90% on all the components of his math exam, while Ron aced his addition test.
  • Both boys are making strides with their handwriting...
Harry's 3rd grade cursive

Ron's kindergarten print and cursive
  • And I was pleased with how the boys did in their respective language arts exams, Harry nailing all the definitions of the parts of speech, and Ron demonstrating an understanding of basic rules of writing sentences.
  • Reading-wise, Ron nearly finished Ordinary Parents' Guide to Teaching Reading, then took an assessment test this summer and discovered that he was reading at a level that was well above most 6 year olds, so that was encouraging to discover! As for Harry, since he readily devours all the Harry Potter books, his reading ability does not seem much in question. The only question is whether I can get him interested in reading anything else!
  • As for Dobby, his great academic accomplishment was spelling words such as "hippopotamus." =)
  • Where we need to both do more work (and where I also have to do a better job preparing the boys for their tests!) are in the subjects of Latin and science; I am truly feeling the classic adage from The Karate Kid in which Mr. Miyagi says, "There is no such thing as a bad student. Only a bad teacher!" Whether that is always true, I definitely think I should have been clearer about my expectations for what the kids should have studied, especially Harry, in these subjects. So, this will be an area for us to improve on in the future!
  • One other major project that Harry did in the final weeks of school was to create a presentation on Australian animals; it was a way for him to start learning how to use Powerpoint, as well as to start practicing the art of giving presentations. For weeks, Harry researched different animals, took notes on them, and saved photos he found to use for the presentation. I was happy with how it turned out, and his dad who served as our audience was quite impressed overall! Harry's verbal presentation contained more content than is in the slides themselves, but if you click on the above link, you'll get an idea of the content that his presentation covered!
Overall, it was a great year; I'm pleased with what the boys learned and excited for the new year which we have already begun! Will post that update before another 3 months go by, I promise! Here are a couple of final summer photos of the boys; one in which they met "Dumbledore" at a local museum celebrating Harry Potter Day with the release of Deathly Hallows 2, and one in which the boys are just enjoying a lovely summer day. Thanks for visiting!