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Just in case I ever forget why we moved:

Dear Mom and Dad,

Every month in Mrs. Walsh’s class I’m going to be sending you an update on how I’m doing in school. This month has been great. My classes seem to be much easier than they were in California, because they don’t give as much homework here. I don’t think that I’m struggling very much in any my classes and I actually look forward to coming to school now. In English I am doing some new things, but I am also doing a lot of review in class.

Right now the big focus in class is the hero’s journey archetype. We’ve learned that many stories follow this pattern and later in the year we are going to write an illustrated narrative. We are also learning about various visual techniques. Mrs. Walsh has taught us about different camera angles, lighting, and shots that you can use in a frame. This week in class, me and a partner drew a picture that demonstrated what we knew about visual techniques.

Another thing that we are doing in class is reading a book that follows the hero’s journey archetype. I have chosen the book Ender’s Game, because it is one of my favourite stories and it also involves many of the aspects of the hero’s journey. We are required to read at least twenty minutes a night and write annotations on sticky notes. We are also writing a blog post each week about different writing techniques we see in our books. Every week we are also writing a response to one of our classmates’ blog posts describing how our books used a similar writing technique. This helps us understand our books better and also learn to recognise different writing techniques.

School has been going great so far and I feel more comfortable with my classes and I am more on top of my homework and assignments. Last year I feel that English was a class I struggled with, but this year everything seems to be at a much slower pace and I feel like I can keep up with all my assignments. Math has always been one of my best and favorite subjects. Although I’m still getting the work done, I have homework everyday for math; even on fridays. At my old school I had plenty time to finish the work in class, but this year the teacher spends a majority of the class time going over homework from the day before instead of giving us time to do assignments in class. The students in my class are also very loud and distracting making it hard for me to concentrate on my work.

I am enjoying school so far this year. I am not stressed about anything, because math is the only class the consistently gives homework. The rest of my classes only give homework on occasion. I am also participating on the cross country team. I am really enjoying it and I working hard to improve my times. The only downside to doing after school activities is that I have less time to do homework, which also means less time to do the things I enjoy. To wrap up, school is going great and I think that this going to be an excellent year.

 

Thank you,

Gavin

As we prepared to move, I promised the boys over and over again that it would be worth it. On more than one occasion I would talk to Gavin about school when I picked him up from Track practice. I told him a move would give him the unique opportunity to reinvent himself. He could start all over in a place where no one knew him. His past would not haunt him. He could be the kind of student he wanted to be. His teachers may know his past grades and if they did, he could prove to them that he is so much smarter than those grades.

We wanted to make this move before Gavin got into high school. I hoped with all my might that a move would allow us time to be together as a family. That we would no longer be suffocating under mountains of academic expectations. Reading Gavin’s assigned letter almost brought tears to my eyes. We did this for our kids. The blessings from this leap of faith are still manifesting themselves.

Gavin enjoys school.
I see him every night instead of the back of his head hunched over homework.
He is happier than I have seen him in years.
The miracles never cease to amaze me.

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