Assessment, Fall 2017--The Upper Elementary Girls

Thanksgiving was an exhausting but blessed day.  We had my sister's family over--that made 22 of us for dinner, and we cooked enough for double that. :)

I'm grateful for what we have, grateful for how we celebrated, grateful for people to love and care for, and I'm glad the big day is over.

Pixie said, "I love Thanksgiving dinner, but I think I like leftovers even better."

I answered, "I know I like leftovers better!"

Little Princess
This is my first extremely interpersonal/social learner.  She will read and study, but she cannot be quiet about it.  She absolutely must talk to someone about what's on her mind.

So she often follows me about the house as I take care of what needs taking care of, talking endlessly to my back or my shoulder or (when she's lucky) my face.  I listen to the plots of all of her magic fairy/abandoned puppy/detective mermaid stories;  I listen to math problems;  I listen to grammar sentences;  I listen to science and history and foreign language and music and poetry and  . . . goodness!  just whatever she's interested in or processing.

It's lovely when she gets a new set of ears.

But then I remind myself how blessed I am to have a little girl who loves to talk to her mama.

So I smile and say, "Really?  What else?"

Little Princess is working in Math Lessons for a Living Education level 3.   Some days she does a dozen pages.  Some days she does a single page.  She's working on memorizing her multiplication and division facts.  She'll say she hates math, but then she'll get started, and she can't bring herself to stop.

She actually loves math.

She's completed Schoolhouse Spelling ( Level 1, and she's waiting for me to print level 2.

She's working her way through GrammarLand.   She's got a pretty good grasp of what a noun is and how articles and adjectives work with them.  She's almost got pronouns under her belt, and she's struggling her way through what makes a verb a verb.  She'll finish it shortly, and I'm looking at Elementary Grammar (also by for her to start in the new year.

Little Princess loves to write stories, but her penmanship leaves much to be desired because she prefers the computer keyboard over pencil and paper, so I've been having her work in Italics: Beautiful Handwriting for Children by Penny Gardner.  (We got our copy free as a digital file included in a second hand curriculum program I bought earlier this year.)

Her penmanship is improving dramatically.

She participates in Morning Meeting and Academy.

It goes without saying that oral narrations are her cup of tea. :)

She loves, loves, loves to go to Activity Day meetings with other 8-9 year old girls at church.  

She borrows books from the library in order to learn mandarin Chinese.  She's not memorized much of anything, but I find her often reading the books and practicing characters--then she shows them to me, tells me what they mean, and posts the papers on her bulletin board in her room.  I may have to take this interest more seriously and do something to facilitate her learning, but she's working on ASL and Spanish, too, and I don't really want to give her too much.

Of all my children, she's the one whose temperament most matches mine--mostly happy but stubborn and quick to anger.  As she's reached 8 years of age, I'm seeing more and more digging in of heels, and it's taking more and more energy to help her accept direction. 

My favorite interaction with Little Princess each day is when she asks me a question about my childhood as I tuck her in.  This little girl loves family history, and she's rarely happier than when she's listening to a story about her ancestors.

Nature Angel
I write every time I do an assessment that Nature Angel is an angel.

I just can't come up with another description for this sweetest of sweet girls!

I gave her a choice between joining the bigger girls for Symposium or sticking with the littler ones for Academy, and she chose Academy . . . but she often creeps quietly into the room during Symposium, so she does both.

She's one of those kids who just does well at everything she tries.

She's an artist.

I never tire of seeing what she creates next.

As far as academics go, she's doing quite well:
Saxon Math 6/5
Hey, Andrew!  Teach Me Some Greek level 2
Junior Analytical Grammar
Weave Your Word in Me 
Rod and Staff Spelling 5
Rod and Staff Penmanship 5

She works independently on these subjects, with occasional help from me.  Her work is careful and complete.

Then she creates.  She makes . . . everything!  Right now her passion is doll clothes, but sometimes it is painting or sculpting or sewing or woodworking or crafting.  She invents everything she makes--no pattern needed.  I tried to get some pictures, but they're trapped on a memory card until further notice.

She's also incredibly helpful.

When she broke her arm, and she needed to rest the first week or so before and immediately after casting, I suddenly realized how much I've come to rely on this competent, capable girl who is growing up quickly.  She does her chores totally reliably, very well, and without needing any reminding from me.

As the teens slowly make their way from our home into the wider world, Nature Angel is stepping up into their place as my right arm.

I'm so blessed!

These two growing girls bring ever-growing light and joy to our family.


  1. Your Little Princess and my Tiger Lily are a lot alike, right down to their ages. Tiger Lily thrives on social interaction, which can be exhausting for an introvert like me, but I have learned in the past year that she desperately needs it.

    1. I've thought the same thing about our two girls from reading your blog. :)

  2. What wonderful, delightful girls. I know they bring you much peace.
    Blessings, Dawn

  3. I'm amazed that you can find the time for such in depth assessments of your kids. Pleased that the sickness didn't keep your sister and her family away for Thanksgiving. Nature Angel does look very grown up in that photo.

  4. Love Nature Angel's pierced ears--never noticed them before! Adorable pictures of adorable/lovely girls.


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