Sunday, October 6, 2013

School update

The first quarter of school is over!  I was finally well enough to go and meet their teachers and spend a whole day at school observing in all their classrooms, and we just had parent teacher conferences to top it all off. 

Evan: He is doing well like he always does.  Friends, pretty much all A's, never any behavior problems, a joy to teach.  His teacher is extremely serious, very young and right out of college, but she is good.  I can tell the good teachers from the fakers.  The classroom is run like a strict old school one room school house.  Spelling goes like this: "RED.  Listen to it in a sentence: The flag is red, white and blue. RED.  Say it! (they all say RED). Write it!", and then she moves on to the next word.  It is all business and don't mess with her!  But she is extremely positive and tells the kids constantly what she likes about what they're doing and I got to see them have a POEM-BEE which was where they took turns saying a poem and eliminating anyone who made a mistake just like a spelling bee.  All it took for them to get eliminated was a pause or an "Um", and they were gone!  Evan was one of four finalists, and she kept making them go faster and faster and not one kid messed up, so they all got the prize!  Evan's grin stretched from ear to ear- it was so cute!  They said the poem with all the proper feeling and I could tell that even though it was a difficult poem, they understood it!

Sam: This kid has had it the worst so far.  Begging me to let him stay home.  Giving me and his teacher looks of death.  Now?  Both teachers (he has a different one for math) just love him and say he's their favorite student!?!!?!  He does have to go to the bathroom more than anyone on the planet though.  I think it's partly that he is bored sitting there all day and needs escape, and his teacher, bless her heart, understands him, but also, he really does have the smallest bladder out of all my kids.  Whenever we have road trips we're always pulling off to the side of the highway for Sam.  Anyway- I'll take my punishment for not wanting the teacher we got.  She is completely who Sam needed.  When he'd give her dirty looks she'd give them back, but in a loving way, not scary.  And she'd write him notes asking, "How are you doing, really?", which were just between them.  I don't know if he ever responded to the notes, but he figured out that she was an okay teacher and he didn't have to hate her.  Unfortunately, we just found out she's moving to Washington at the end of October.  What's going to happen to Sam!?

Oh and a funny!  I happened to go to PE with Sam when they were doing dancing.  I joked with Sam asking, "Do you want me to dance with you guys?", thinking he'd be mortified.  "Yes!", he said, and we danced it all up!  It was so fun!  I'm still recovering from surgery so I couldn't do tons, but it was great!  By the end of the period lots of the kids were tired and sat down- I had to stop too, but not Sam.  He moved up to the front and kept on going.

Dallas: This kid gets an assignment to make a book and he makes five.  He does science projects completely on his own for fun.  He's always asking me if he can research a different type of frog or thing for science.  As I observed in his class, he seems to raise his hand for everything.  That can be annoying but at least he is meek and quiet about raising his hand and isn't bothered when the teacher refuses to call on him hoping someone else will answer.  But the teacher does say things like, "You're always one step ahead of us Dallas".  She is a nice lady with a southern accent.  She did say that sometimes he'll sit alone or stay in to work on things when the other kids go outside to play.  That worried me.  I want him to learn to make friends and have fun at recess, so I told him he can't do that anymore.  He does have his good friend Micah, so they can always play together at school instead of bugging me to hang out after school all the time which takes a whole lot more organizing! I say, "Dallas!  You won't be a kid forever!  Just have fun!  You'll be an adult soon enough!"  But who am I kidding?  I made him who he is- well with a little help from his father.  He's a first child, being born less than a year from a child I lost, and all of these things play into the person he is today.  Honestly, I rather like him!  He's so responsible and helpful and WONDERFUL with his little siblings.  I just know that making friends was never easy for me as I'm a bit more introverted and so is his father, and I don't want him to go through that pain.  But Pat said, "Don't force him to play if working on a project is something he actually enjoys!".  Well, whatever.  He is the kid who eagerly listens to all 10 hours of conference.  If you want normal- don't hang out with D!  But why should everyone be normal?  That's why we pray as parents.  We do our best and ask God to make up the difference in helping him to be the person he is supposed to be.  I'm confident that though he'll have his own set of challenges like everyone does, he is going to be amazing!  He is nearing the end of speech therapy, by the way, and his therapist is now having him recite poems he has to learn for school, or read Don Quixote out loud (also for school), or she'll have him read from his scout book and talk about things he's working on, and she is always blown away by the great things he's doing!

And we can't have been doing too bad a job since our children all behave well, and they are all getting almost perfect grades, and they are all a grade higher in math.  The school has math at the same time so you go the the grade you test at.  So Evan is 2nd grade but goes to the 3rd grade teacher, Sam 4th to 5th, and Dallas 5th to 6th (although he could be higher).  Sam's so cute in his class.  He's one of only two or three fourth graders in a class of 5th and 6th graders for math and since he's on the smaller side, he looks really small amongst them all!  His math teacher is Dallas's regular teacher, so she gets two of my kids!

All in all, I am super duper proud of my kids.  They constantly make me so happy!!!  Did you know that both S and D are playing songs in this years primary program?  Yea for them!
 I don't know if we'll do the school next year but we have been very blessed so far!  We'll access the pro's and con's yearly.  This year, with all I've been through, it seems like this is what needed to happen since I would have had a difficult time homeschooling.  But that's just life.  Homeschooling is never easy.  Last year was a difficult year too because we had a baby!  You just do your best, and I really do feel God makes up the difference when you communicate daily with him.  Being organized and prepared is essential to me, but He really helps you to be so much better than you ever could alone.  And it is so nice to learn together as a family!  I love it!  Now-a-days, I'm lucky if I get one piece of information about what they did for the 8 hours they were away.  I hate that!  They all say that they like school, but they all still wish they could stay home.  Homeschool is awesome.  There are so many reasons why- but lately I think their main wish is to get up early and finish all their work by lunch so they can just play!  I'm okay with that since it works!  They are really creative neat people and can have time to work on things they enjoy rather than 8 hours at school, then homework!

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