Saturday, April 12, 2008

Long overdue

Not that it matters..I've obviously neglected this page. I will have to be a more stringent blogger from here forward. Since I am going to be "studying" what I think I am here (on this planet, because my home planet has exiled me) to do...write...I may have more to share aside from family fun.

Kids are good - older now. 6 is now 7 and 3 is now 4. 13 is still 13, but we are nearer to 14. 7 didn't increase the maturity level once he turned 7. I don't know if I was hoping the day would cure the immature ails, but yeah, maybe I was. Aw, hell - I knew it wouldn't. Is there a magic elixir? It seems 7 will be repeating 1st grade, as it stands. This has been a saga for us. In the beginning of the year, I was dead set against this teacher he has. I had heard about her from several other parents in the community as a "meanie", even some went so far as to say she was insulting to some kids. None of this heresy comes with confirmation. People talk, rumors fly. I am very satisfied with her style of teaching and I think she understands my son. We have good communication and we both have been diligent this year in trying to keep 7 caught up. 7 is still behind, though he has improved a good deal, especially in the last few weeks. Though I want to be hopeful, I almost don't. That may sound awful or sad, but really - if I have to struggle with this boy & watch him struggle so profoundly at the beginning of the next school year & through the first sememster, I am going to be upset. He is a smart child and he understands almost all of what he's being taught. He does sometimes resist the new, well - more often than not. He will absorb it & refuse to move forward. He becomes obstinate - for lack of a better word. It could be a personality trait (gawd, I hope not - too much like his dad). He is a young 7 year old & seems to not care at all about his success, not in the immediate sense (I did it, hoo-rah--who cares.). We can be excellent cheerleaders & he just doesn't care, even gets mad sometimes if I over do it.

The first grade 7 goes to is 20 steps ahead of the one I went to & even 10 ahead of the one 13 went to. There is homework every night & watching math pages come home with words like "algebraic sentence" somewhere on the pages is alarming to me for first grade. They study, teach & learn in a much different way. It seems that the no child left behind laws have opened the doors to intense focus on rapid retention & repeat. This is all something I don't think will be as much an issue for 4 when she gets there. 7, like I mention, is just a very young 7. So all this repetetivity to ensure they retain this information, but educators are also throwing all kinds of stuff up to be retained. It isn't just a few select things, it's a plethora of stuff, a shitstorm of numbers, letters, reading pages..etc. Adding & subtracting of double digits - though my 7 isn't there, this is where the rest of the class is - in FIRST grade. And they time them, too, minute & a half.... It is all baffling to me. I have to roll, though - there is nothing else I can do besides homeschool & I honestly don't believe that would be a good solution for 7. So, 7 might do the first grade all over again & in his situation, I don't think that would be a bad idea. I know more & more schools are adopting stronger curriculums & more of this rapid fire teaching stuff. I can understand how this does benefit the students of the future, especially in the later grades.

4's birthday was lovely. She was exceptionally happy to be turning 4. A huge milestone in her eyes. We had a cake & sang, nothing big as the inlaws couldn't find a babysitter for Bopka, so they couldn't make it. It was just us & my mom. Very nice day.

That's that for now. I'll be around, as I am going to be reading much, learning more about what I want to do in life. Maybe even publish here some of what I learn or write. We shall see.


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