Spring has finally Sprung

This post has been a long time in the making for me.  Living here in the North East has been brutal this past year.  There wasn’t as much snow as previous years but the cold weather has lingered much too long.  Thank the heavens that Spring is finally really here.  My kids are winding down their school year as well and here are their updates.

Junior Year is Hell

My son is doing great even though he gets no sleep. On average my high school zombie junior son gets three to four hours of sleep a night.  To recap he is taking 4 A.P. classes plus Pre-Calculus.  I’ve heard other kids taking six but that seems like self induced torture.  He is maintaining a solid 4.0 Unweighted average.  He had a couple of issues at the beginning of the year in Pre-Calculus but has gotten that squared away. 

Everything else

As for his extra-curriculars he has barely enough time to practice (cello) on a regular basis  He goes to his Orchestra rehearsals every Sunday and that takes up a good six hours.  He is getting ready for his All-State auditions in a few weeks.  The clock is always ticking and there never seems to be enough time in the day.

SAT and ACT

One last thing that I never updated was my son’s SAT experience.  My son ended up taking the SAT twice this past year.  The first time he took it in October he totally didn’t score high enough compared to his expectations.  After taking multiple practice exams and scoring in the 1500’s. he scored a 1420 on the first try.  That was a major shock to us.  On the next try after studying on and off with more intense focus he raised his score to 1520.  We are debating whether or not to take it again.  He is planning to give the ACT a chance this June. 

Holistic Approach

As the competition is getting more and more fierce every year its getting harder for everyone across the board.  There has been recent stories about lawsuits against Harvard and other Ivy’s that they are capping the amount of Asian-Americans to their schools.  I don’t want to get into that so much but looking a the stats on admitted students on College Confidential and Reddit are sobering.  I’ve seen Asian-Americans with 1560 SAT scores, 300+ hours of community service, All State musician, internships, national awards, etc.  These stats were not enough to get into non-Ivy’s such as Boston University or USC and Ivy League schools as well.  It seems the word holistic really means pot-luck.   We will just have to try to make his holistic accomplishments stand out as much as possible.

Middle School is going great

My daughter is in seventh grade and is having a great year.  There is so much less pressure for kids academically in middle school year.  It really gives my daughter a chance to enjoy school.  Everything isn’t just coming up roses but overall it’s been a good year.  A good year to make stronger friendships with old friends and new ones as well. 

Her talents

My daughter ended up taking the SCAT test this past year and was able to score high enough to gain admission to Johns Hopkins CTY.  She will be attending a three week course this summer in Rhode Island. She is so excited to go away for the first time.  Hard work does pay off and I wanted her to realize that as well. 

Following in her brother’s footsteps

My daughter plays the cello just like her older brother.  She didn’t have an opportunity to play a solo piece last year but did this past winter concert.  Although, she is naturally shy, she wants to show her abilities to her friends.  Most of her friends never had the chance to see her play and she really wanted to show them. After practicing for days with one of the music teachers who played the piano, the moment of truth came on concert night.  She came, she played and she conquered!  She received a standing ovation and major props from her friends as well as kids she didn’t know.  She was HAPPY!  We went to Shake Shack and was even happier!   

Last thing

Last night she was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society.  A great honor that was earned 100% by her.   She tried hard to get in with her friends and one thing that it helped her with was it pushed her to do volunteer work.  She has been teaching cello in a music program to other elementary and middle school kids this past year. 

Elementary 4th Grade

My youngest son is finishing up 4th grade.  He was selected this year to join the gifted program.  One thing that I’ve learned about him is that he is very different than my other two kids.  He might be the smartest but he also hands down th laziest.  He doesn’t really care about getting good grades or not.  To be honest he does very well but if we don’t check his homework time to time he doesn’t do it if he doesn’t feel like it.  This is something very foreign to all of us.  My other kids would have a short circuit and and explode if they didn’t do their homework.  My little guy just shrugs his shoulders and says I’ll try harder next time. 

Mandarin is hard

Learning a language is hard for almost everyone.  Learning Mandarin is hard squared.  I don’t know how parents who have NO experience in Mandarin do it.  My wife basically knows the Chinese characters that are taught in Korean schools.  That helps but not enough.  We’ve bought extra help books and flash cards to help my son study.  We look for help on YouTube as well.  This is definitely a work in progress.  We will keep you updated on this as he moves forward with it next year.

Third cellist in the family

My son started taking cello lessons this year as well.  He is doing well with it and is learning fast.  His cello teacher is the same teacher for all my kids.  The teacher absolutely raves about how naturally gifted he is at his age.  Granted he’s been teaching my older son since 5th grade and my daughter since 3rd grade.  I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.  That is more cello and more yelling to practice!  Hahahah!!!

That’s all for now

That’s pretty much all for now.  The end of the year is coming but we Tiger Parents know it’s just the beginning for summer studying and fun.  College essays for my oldest son.  This will make or break which colleges he gets into so we hope it goes well for him and he takes it seriously.  My daughter will be going to CTY and a music festival.  My  youngest will just play. 

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