Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Shaling Reads A Story

Last night, Brock recorded Shaling reading outloud while sprawled across her bed. He took 4 different clips, all 20 to 30 seconds long. I had them sewn together into 1 video (below). For a little girl that couldn't read any English just under 2 years ago, I think she does quite well.

Shaling Reads A Story from Amy Reynolds on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Labor Day Weekend in Monticello, Indiana

We spent Labor Day weekend visiting Grandma & Grandpa Reynolds. Grandma was generous enough to take many pictures. I will share them here.

Shaling, Cooper, & Preston go tubing

 Chase cheeses it up for the camera.

 The 4 Reynolds cousins go swimming.

 Nice "lake hair", Shaling.
 Michelle & Scott, Brock & Amy, Preston & Shaling, Chase & Cooper

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Random Update

Shaling is speaking English so well that it is easy to forget that a language barrier still exists. However, it rears its head and shows up at random opportunities. For example, when Brock fixed breakfast for the kids last Saturday morning, I was encouraging Preston (to no avail) to be appreciative and tell his dad thank you. As Shaling entered the dining room, I said, "why don't you set a good example for your brother and tell your dad thank you for fixing breakfast?"
She replied "ok", but then proceeded to tell Preston, "Preston, you need to tell dad thank you for breakfast."
On the other hand, she just might be over-Americanized in some ways -- like in the use of stereotypes. At supper one night this week, Preston was picking a topping off of his pizza, but his dad was giving him some grief for it. As Preston complained about that, Shaling said, "Preston whines like a girl!"
Her verbal skills are probably pretty close to grade-level (5th grade), but her reading/writing is perhaps closer to late 2nd grade/early 3rd grade. Officially, she is still Pass/Fail at school, based on her performance on English-proficiency tests, but we've asked to have her occasionally begin receiving grades so that she doesn't become over-Americanized lazy. We are beginning by having her receive letter grades for spelling. It is more difficult for her than most other students to memorize spelling words, but she is fully capable. Plus, she has a huge benefit in that she has a dad with the patience and fortitude to constantly drill her on her words. Her spelling tests are weekly and include 20 words, plus 5 bonus words. On her first 5th grade spelling test, she spelled 20 out of 20 words correctly. Plus, she correctly spelled not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, but ALL 5 bonus words! She had to work hard for this, but it paid off.
She is wrapping up a very brief 3-on-3 basketball league season this weekend. She had 6 regular season games over 4 Saturdays and this Saturday is an end-of-the-season tourney. Her dad has been her coach, but he will be out of town this weekend to see his first love Bruce Springsteen at baseball's mecca a crumbling baseball stadium Wrigley Field on back-to-back nights. So, his assistant/co-coach, Josh, as well as another player's dad (Bill) will take the helm. The girls have played hard and really improved during the season. Their first game was rough because we only have 5 on our roster and 2 were on vacation, therefore, we had no subs. It is 16 minute halves, with only 1 time out per half and it is full court. Our girls were winning until about halfway through the 2nd half, when they simply ran out of gas. They went on to lose their next 3 games, so they entered last Saturday, the final day of the regular season, 0-4. They won both of their games that day (27-20 & 25-10) and ended on a positive note. They are so fun to watch, because they are aggressive, unselfish, and passionate.
Preston rejoined the bowling league he was in last year and is off to a decent start. Last Saturday, each game he bowled a bit better than the previous one. He started off a bit rough (46), but then bowled a 78, and finally a 106. His school pictures came in yesterday (the junior high does school pictures on registration day) and I'm very pleased: