Family Charters Work!
It has only been a few weeks since we wrote our newest family charter! The results have been amazing! In the past the girls were always wonderful about getting up and doing chores, completing their required music practice and participating with eagerness in any schooling I present them, but, after turning much of the work over to them, they have literally taken off!
Xuxu volunteered to give a talk in church,which she did today, based on our goal of providing opportunities to “speak in public.” She did this in her class without so much as a hint from us. We were surprised (and pleased) that she had taken the initiative to move on this! She also volunteered to play the piano in Young Woman’s even though she only knew one song. The girls were more than happy to sing that one song! They asked her to prepare a song for next week too! 😮 (She has taken lessons for 6 weeks now!) ;o)
Star has also jumped head long into her “passion.” Star loves plays, musicals, etc. and since beginning down this new course, she has read every single Shakespeare Can Be Fun! book that we own, she has started writing her own story using Shakespearean language (she is actually really good) and told me that tomorrow she is going to start memorizing the Sonnets. Just this evening we learned that there is a workshop for kids at the local University that teaches acting. Its a two week program and at the end they put on a play. You would have thought it was Christmas morning when I told Star that I was signing her up!
There has never been a lack of enthusiasm about learning with these girls, but we are simple dumbfounded at the spark of energy this new path has ignited. I still have to remind myself to hold back on the lesson planning, change my habits from the old “spoon feeding methods” to more of a guidance role. They feel so empowered by this and I believe that the skills they are learning right now will benefit them for the rest of their lives!
Tonight I met with our Chinese teacher and 3 other adoptive families to try and get a preschool going. It turned out that we are going to hold two separate classes, one for older kids and the preschool. The teacher is fantastic and I know that it will really help to have an actual person assisting us on this journey! The teacher has to return to school full-time in the fall, but I hope that she will be making enough money from this little group that she’ll stick with it through the fall/winter!
I have also spoken to a few more people about our plan to rent an apartment in China next year. I already have one family that wants an entire semester, another family that wants to reserve two weeks a.s.a.p. and another family that is figuring out what it would take to go for a month! I don’t think we’ll have any lack of interested in the rental of this property! The though part will be getting it all set up and running smoothly, I expect bumps, but will forge forward!
In The News
Another hot topic has been Da’s return to school. Yes, you heard right! A BSCS, an MBA and now he’s after a certificate in TESOL. He’s been accepted to BYU and will turn in his ecclesiastical endorsement and pay tuition tomorrow. He’s already been to a week of classes and turned in two assignments! I was amazed to see him do this as he has sworn in the past that he would never go back to school! The advantages of a TESOL are #1. the ability to volunteer in his community as an English teacher, #2. increase knowledge of linguistics to facilitate communications with his foreign coworkers and #3. the training necessary to serve an English teaching mission when we retire. I also don’t think it hurts one bit to increase your skill base in this economy!
His first two assignments for school were so fascinating I decided to post them here. He’ll be embarrassed, but that is what wives are for! Right?
Ethnography~~For this first assignment the students were told that they needed to invent their own language. They also need to provide the details of the origin of the language, etc. When he first wrote this, he used the USA and China as his examples, but changed the names of the countries and a few of the details when I pointed out that his prof might be a Liberal and that he might take offense. The second version is a little less politically charged, and considering it is BYU, he’ll probably get by!
bofmtranslate~~This assignment was incredibly time consuming. It took nearly the entire Saturday to hash it out. Did you know that Brigham Young had someone write a pheonetic language to help all the immigrants read The Book of Mormon? I did not know that. Da’s task was to translate Deseret Alphabet into the “universal” pheonetic language and then into modern English. I asked him why he couldn’t skip the process inbetween and it turns out there is a typo that the prof is looking for to make sure it was done correctly! (Sneeky!)
As for me, I’m left with continuing to juggle all the activities we have, keep the house clean and the family fed. I have some new personal goals I am working on and several of them include edcation, so when I get that sorted out I’ll post about it!