Summer vacation is here!
And the deep cleaning of everything commences. I'm not talking about scrub cleaning as our house is clean but for the copious amount of dust that seem to appear overnight. I'm focused on decluttering, thinning, and tossing of every random bit of junk (and at this point everything but the kids could fit the category) into the trash. With more people in the house on a full-time basis, there's no pity for stuff that doesn't belong and isn't 100% loved, or at least 90% liked. We've been here for 9 1/2 months and if it hasn't been used, it most likely won't be. Out it goes.
But let me back up a bit.
Earlier this week Nicholas was ill. I was sure amoebas were the culprit as he had the same symptoms (fever, nausea, abdominal cramps, green mucousy diarrhea) Rebecca experienced in Manila. After two lab samples came back negative I was happy to be proven wrong and he was even happier not to face the course of meds and miss the last few days of school. He did stay home on Wednesday which threw off school for Katherine, but what the heck. The last week of school should be light.
Thursday was sports day at AISL. Rebecca and Nicholas's class played street hockey, Jonathon's class played frisbee and relays. With a single play court, all the kids didn't get to play all day but took turns, followed by a picnic. Parents weren't even asked to supply a dish!
Friday, last day of school, and a half day. I spent the morning tidying up the library while Katherine helped out Miss Emily's class taking items off the wall, reading stories to the class and being a teacher's aide. She had a blast. After snack time, I spent an hour filling up not nearly enough water balloons for the whole school (remember, only about 40 kids, but still). The kids knew they're not coming back to AISL next year and wanted to say goodbye to the Icee man, the one who sells ice creams and frozen juices in the courtyard each afternoon. They bought enough for the family and gave him extra to keep. He was beyond thrilled.
We had an informal lesson on how little things can make a difference. Sure, the extra money made his day, but also the fact that the kids are always polite, friendly and cheerful set them apart from many of the kids at school who purchase icees.
Ok, what else comes with the last day of school? Report cards and test scores. Everyone did fine on report cards. Jonathon is more than ready for Kindergarten, Nicholas is prepared for 1st grade. We'll continue with improving reading and math over the summer for both boys. Rebecca surprised us this year, but we owe that entirely to Miss Emily. Katherine, well, you know about her already.
The girls received their IOWA test scores. If you believe in such things, both girls rated a year ahead of their current grade. Rebecca is a rising 3rd grader and rated beginning 4th grade, while Katherine is a rising 5th grader and rated middle 6th grade. We're pleased, especially as the school does not teach for the test as many schools do, so it's not solely that they are good test takers. Science Focus in Arlington taught many subjects specifically for the Virginia SOLs. The big surprises? Rebecca rated middle 5th grade for Listening skills, and Katherine rated 9th grade for Laguage Usage and Expression skills. OK, not so much surprises as we already knew Rebecca can remember just about anything and Katherine has always been good with Language skills. Sometimes it's nice to see it on paper though.
In other news, Ian sent in a cable officially requesting curtailment from Togo. Fully half of the teachers at the British School have quit and part of the school has been sold off. The new director at AISL, the current middle school teacher, in already having management difficulties.