Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Meet Tania Papaya

Tania Papaya is an extremely bright and creative seven-year-old. She attended public school in Hawaii for two years. We were extremely unhappy with several aspects of school, so we decided that we will home-school her after this school year. After a summer of de-schooling, we will start her in Grade One, to allow us some time to adapt to a home-schooling lifestyle before testing is required in third grade. (We're moving to Oregon this summer too!)

Tania enjoys reading, and is at the top of her class in that area. She reads children’s chapter books and likes Shel Silverstein’s poetry. She is good at spelling, and has nice handwriting. Grammar comes naturally to Tania.

Tania gets by in math, but seems to struggle due to lack of interest. When she has homework, she wants to do it as quickly as possible. When she is interested, she picks up concepts quickly. For example, one night she asked how to add double-digits. I explained how it was done and wrote out some problems for her to do. She picked it up in five minutes.

Tania has a good memory and constantly repeats facts about history and science that she has learned in school. She is proud when she remembers these details.

Tania is probably the best artist I have seen in her age group. (I know, every parent thinks their child is 'the best.') She has an amazing ability to concentrate for long periods of time until she gets a drawing or painting “just right.”

Tania is interested in music, and has expressed desires to learn to play the guitar and the violin. She enjoys listening to CDs (especially Avril Lavigne) and has several favorite bands and genres of music.

Tania does not like forced physical education. She can run very fast, and is proud of herself when she wins a race, but she does not like mundane exercise, such as running laps, when she has to stay in line and not compete. She enjoys riding her bike, and absolutely loves swimming. She has recently taken an interest in skateboarding. She has expressed a desire to take basketball classes.

At school, Tania had minimal instruction in Japanese and Hawaiian language. Because of her ability to memorize, she did well in these areas. She has also been learning French at home, mainly through the use of DVDs and asking questions. She knows some Spanish words as well. She seems interested in learning other languages.

Tania gets in trouble at school for talking during class, not listening to the teacher, and not sitting still. She is very social, and has a lot of energy. She needs a physical outlet for her energy, which she does not get at school. Tania is very sensitive and socially conscious. She wants to right all the wrongs in the world. Tania is very independent, and does not need a lot of direction from outside sources to get work done. At age seven, she is still very child-like in some ways, yet very grown-up in others. She still plays with her baby-dolls, but sometimes she wants to dress like a teenager. Tania is excited when she learns something and when learning is fun. I feel that if Tania gets enough physical exercise, and if learning is enjoyable, she will excel using a specially tailored curriculum.

No comments: