Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Day 45 - Parent-Teacher Conferences

On Monday our family felt the time-stretching impact of having another child. Andrew had basketball practice, Isabelle had her very first band concert and Minjae had middle school conferences. Since this blog is about our experience with Minjae I won't say anything about the basketball practice or the concert (Isabelle played the flute, and she played it very well).

Stephanie went with Minjae to the conferences. Minjae is a very smart young man and there was not too much negative to say about his performance in school. Stephanie was concerned about one thing: Minjae doesn't seem to be getting challenged enough in math. When he does homework with his peers he completes the assignments much, much faster than they do. Unfortunately his teacher didn't really have anything to say that was real helpful regarding Minjae's situation. She encouraged him to show his work more and to try and get better at helping his peers understand the problems. We didn't like this because we feel the focus should be on Minjae should be getting more challenging problems, not on him improving his tutoring skills. We'd like to move him to 8th grade math but the middle school scheduling does not allow it to work with the St Dominic scheduling. This will be something for us to continue to monitor as the next months unfold.

In Minjae's other school work he is doing well. His English is good and he understands what is happening in class. He has made a few friends and seems to be recognizing more and more kids when we are out and around town. I am impressed with how warm and welcoming Northfield kids are. They are genuinely excited to see Minjae and they always ask how he is doing. At home we are working on developing and communicating clear expectations for Minjae (and our own kids) in terms of homework, book reading, and Ipad time. The KoAm people say that reading books is an important way for Minjae to develop his understanding and use of the English language so we need to make sure he is reading 30-45 minutes a day. This has been a good reminder for us that our own kids need to be spending intentional time reading each day also.

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