I am so crazy proud of my kids. They rocked that portfolio evaluation. When we went through their portfolios yesterday, they spoke a little stiffly and seemed anxious. I myself wasn’t sure what to expect, but I felt really solid about their educational experiences this year, and so I didn’t worry too much.

We were greeted by Mme Toutant, the principal, and Mme Josée, the resource teacher. Right away, they put the kids at ease and warmly welcomed us. We can’t wait to see what you did this year, show me your portfolio, wow you worked hard.

They started with Zahra. She went through her portfolio, page by page, and explained every picture. I kept waiting for them to cut her off, but they just kept nodding and smiling, showing genuine interest and asking questions. When she finished the last page, both women appeared to be blown away. A note on her evaluation read: Zahra is a curious and engaged learner.

Noah, meanwhile, grabbed his reading book and sat patiently, waiting. At one point, Mme Toutant asked Noah to take five Post-It notes and mark five pages of his portfolio that he wanted to talk about. I was relieved because I doubted Noah would feel comfortable giving a play-by-play commentary of his portfolio like his sister was doing. But I was wrong.

When it came to Noah’s turn, he started with his Post-It notes, but as he had captured Mme Josée’s attention, he just kept going, turning the pages one by one. He was surprisingly at ease describing his year and his favourite experiences, and Mme Toutant noted on his evaluation: Noah is a cheerful student who is happy to learn.

We showed them the books we used. Mme Toutant loved the Star Wars math workbook, and they were both impressed with SQUILT. We talked about our road trip, and we offered to bring our chickens in to do a presentation for some classes. They took us up on the offer and invited us to the end-of-the-year school carnival. Mme Toutant also agreed to my request of the kids participating in the lunchtime extracurricular activities offered next year. It will be a wonderful opportunity for them to stay in contact with their school friends and use their French on a regular basis.

Both Mme Toutant and Mme Josée reiterated how impressed they were with the work the kids had done, and they passed their evaluations with flying colours. No suggestions but to keep up the good work!

Up until then, I had been undecided in how we were going to continue, if the kids should keep a light rhythm of writing and math through the summer. But when we walked out of the school, I said to them, “School is out for the year.” The portfolio exercise was a great reminder of how much we had learned and accomplished during the year, and how much these kids earned their break. No one stops learning just because it’s summer—but we do stop workbooks.

Needless to say, I was on Cloud 9 when I arrived at the Nook. And the rest of the day—well, it was at the Nook, so of course it was amazing.

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