Assessment 2016--Nature Angel
This sweet girl is an angel in too many ways to describe.
She's also a completely self-motivated learner. As long as there are books, craft materials, and time to spend out of doors, this girl is learning, learning, learning.
My favorite of her personal projects has been her nature notebooks. She takes a blank journal, decorates it, then fills it with copywork from books about natural subjects (animals, plants, ecology, etc.). She adds in pictures that she cuts from magazines or pamphlets we pick up at nature centers. She also includes sketches of her own observations, and if she can, she includes actual found items (feathers, leaves, flower petals, etc.).
She has created 3 or 4 of these over the course of this school year.
She's discovered fantasy novels (how could she not with her older sisters raving about them constantly?). Her recent favorite is Jinx. She's also spent quite a bit of time getting to know the American Girl series and a few quality novels for younger children like Little House in the Big Woods, My Father's Dragon, and The Hundred Dresses.
I think she's an artist. It's hard for me to judge my own children's work compared to that of other children--I do feel a certain bias, after all--but Nature Angel is my 5th 9-year-old, and along the way I've gotten to know a lot of 9-year-olds in my time, and I think it is safe to say she has a gift that should be nurtured. Thus far we've only borrowed learn-to-draw books from the library, and she's faithfully worked on various drawing skills. It may be time to find her a mentor.
Like Little Princess, she worked with the older girls at the LDSFamilySchool lessons. She was able to keep up with the reading and written work, but it wasn't a joyful experience--it was stressful for her to try to keep up with her teen and pre-teen sisters. So, like Little Princess, I released her from those lessons and spent one-on-one time with her doing lessons from The Good and the Beautiful. She loved the art studies and (oddly) the grammar lessons. :) We worked slowly, skipping lessons on days she was particularly self-motivated to read/draw/write on her own, so we have not finished the entire 3rd grade curriculum. We're working on it off and on this summer. My plans for her in the year ahead are still in flux.
She worked on basketball skills--dribbling, shooting, passing--this year. Just at home in the driveway with a sibling or two, not with a team. She also taught herself how to do back bends, the splits, and cartwheels. She's an avid jump-roper and hula-hooper. This summer, while we're at the lake, she's spending lots of time figuring out how to improve her swimming skills.
She's had few, if any, formal math lessons. Nonetheless, as the research I've read has shown, she's learned all of the math concepts typical for K-3 students just by living life. She's also participated in Bedtime Math during our Morning Meetings. I am confident she's ready to move into a formal math program in the upcoming school year without struggling.
Participating in our singing/dance group has really helped her develop a confident presence in front of an audience. She may be shaking in her boots, but she looks calm and confident on the outside. She's a joyful dancer and happy singer.
She is faithful in her study of the gospel and in her personal prayers.
She is kind.
She is gentle.
She is gracious.
Really, she's an angel on earth.