Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Kindergarten Woes

Ok - so when I was in kindergarten (back in the olden days) we had half-day kindergarten.  You either went in the morning or in the afternoon.  Afternoon in my case as my mother didn't like getting up so early to meet the 8am start (no wonder I'm not a morning person...hmm...)

So we went for like 3 hours top, we played in centers and listened to stories, had naps and snacks and then were picked up. And for the most part I think those my age did great - most graduated, went to college have good jobs, etc.  And I haven't ever had someone marvel about how I managed to make something of myself having only attended half-day kindergarten - egad!

Fast forward 2030-something years...kindergarten is now all day. Not just all day, but all day with no snacks and no naps.  Let me repeat myself - 5-year olds, 8am to 3pm, no snacks (not counting lunch) and no naps. They have a very structured day planned out every day. Saxon math, Saxon reading, writing, PE, music, computers, art and squeeze in a 20 minute recess after lunch. By the end of the school year they have to know basic reading skills, be able to count to 100, basic addition, and pass various other 'goals'.

WOW!  I remember each week we got to go search for one of The Letter People hiding somewhere in the school on Monday and that was the letter we learned all week!  Remember Miss A who sneezed a lot? A-A-Choo!

Now, I understand that the requirements for schools have gotten outrageous with all the tests (I'm in Texas so TAKS testing is front & center), but man...can't we bring back The Letter People?

Just a bit frustrated...my strong-willed, high-spririted, 5-year old son, T-Man started kindergarten this year.  We knew he would have an adjustment...and even his pediatrician said at his 5-yr visit that he thought he would do great "as long as he gets a patient teacher"...hmmm...

So we are on our 11th day of school today.  To date, T-Man has received 1 stamp for good behavior all day. His folder has been blank on 2 occasions, and he has gotten marks for conduct (sometimes multiple marks) on the remaining days.  And as a coup de gras, today, the 11th day of school - he was sent to the Principal's office. (Although he argued vehemently that technically, since the Principal was in the cafeteria, he never actually got sent to the office!)

His main infractions are interrupting, talking when he is not supposed to and (my personal favorite) 'Failure to allow others to learn". Apparently today he got in trouble 3 times (the magic number) and when the teacher told him to put his head on the desk he told her no and was promptly trotted off to talk to the Principal.

Most of the traits that are keeping him in trouble are traits that I want him to have when he's in his teens and older.  He is opinionated, he can argue with a tree (let's just call that stubborn), he's also very curious and always wants to know why and how.  That includes when he is told to do something - why? is his first question - and because I said so just doesn't work!

So tomorrow dear hubby is going to stop in and talk to the teacher in the morning and I'm going to give the guidance counselor a call...I really want him to succeed and learn to love school...

At the moment he is hating every minute of it and an experience like this could be a detriment to his eventual love for education...

Anybody have any words of wisdom?  I'm currently reading James Dobson's "The Strong-Willed Child", are there any other must-reads?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Known Unknown? Unknown Known?

"As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know." - Donald Rumsfeld

I'm currently working through a known unknown known (I think) - that is to say I know something, but do not know everything about what I know.

I know just enough to be dangerous for me and others! And just enough that, if I let it, will eat a hole in my stomach until I really know what I know I don't wanna know!

I think I am going to take a sharpie and write Jeremiah 29:11 on my hand so it's a constant reminder:

"I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message)

Or maybe a tattoo?

No worries...right?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Meow: Out with the Cats!

I just signed on for Facebook a few months ago. My sister was on and really liked it and several co-workers so I decided to see what the fuss was all about.  I had abandoned my myspace page months before - just tired of the 'fluff'.

When I signed on I requested several people that were very close to be friends and over the next few weeks, received lots of 'friend' requests from acquiantences - people I know through my kids, or who were in another grade at school, etc. Not 'friends' per se, but I accepted the requests in an effort to stay up on what was going on and how everyone was doing.

Facebook has been a great place to stay in closer contact with family members and close High School friends and a great way to forge a deeper bond with co-workers.

But it has also highlighted the reasons why I was not close 'friends' with some people in the first place. The apps people take (and then post to their wall) that I immediately Hide (I don't care what your stripper name should be, thank you). The pictures people post (do they realize that pics loaded to facebook become the property of facebook to use as they wish?)

But the thing that jumps out most are the status updates. I'm not talking about most of them - I love reading what everyone is up to, comment a lot on other's updates - especially back and forth talking kids and work and mutually favorite TV shows or websites. I'm talking about the updates that say things like: "The guy in front of me in line right now looks like he stepped out of the 80s. Someone tell him highwaters were never cool!", or maybe one like this: "If I ever get a roll of fat around my middle, someone, please just put me out of my misery!"


adj. cat·ti·er, cat·ti·est
1. Subtly cruel or malicious; spiteful: a catty remark.
2. Catlike; stealthy.

Adj. 1. catty - marked by or arising from malice; "a catty remark"

bitchy, cattish, malicious - having the nature of or resulting from malice; "malicious gossip"; "took malicious pleasure in...watching me wince"- Rudyard Kipling

I usually just ignore the posts and move on, but have decided recently that I just need to remove this kind of crap from my life. None of the posts are from anyone I'm close to, which goes to show that there was a reason they aren't a real friend.
So I've made the decision to unfriend.
I know - rude of me. I should be witnessing, right? Nope - can't do it. They don't really care and probably won't even notice that I've unfriended them. I'm surrounding myself with those who will left me up, rather than tear me (and everyone else) down.

Friday, August 21, 2009

What a Grand New Day!

I'm home from the Women of Faith Conference in Dallas. Three letters - W - O - W!!!

This is my third WOF conference to attend and couldn't be more on target. The Porch Pals manage to make every one of the 16,000 women (and a handful of brave men) feel as if they are being spoken to directly!

Not only did the event re-ignite that fire (exactly what I needed), but I also got to meet some folks I have gotten to know on twitter. A message went out about a 'Tweet-Up' for those following WOF on Twitter - we gathered in a spot and looked at each other's nametags and were humbled to meet those whose lives we've been sharing in! Truly an awesome group of people.

I know I've mentioned it before but Twitter has become a source of strength for me - I pop over and read updates throughout the day and the constant faith washes over me. I don't see people griping about their day or making fun of people - I see updates that are uplifting and encouraging - I see wonderful men and women who use humor to uplift. Just reading a few tweets can turn my day around in an instant! I had been drifting a bit, but those 140 character updates have become an anchor and I'll take this moment to say Thank You to those I follow and who have become important!

I was unsure about how to sum up the Women of Faith Conference - during the event I jotted down key phrases and thoughts that spoke to me, so in honor of Luci Swindoll and her love of lists, here is my WOF List:

* Let go and know that I am God! Let go of control, let go of fear

* If what you are doing isn't working - STOP!!

* section 325, row T is the last row at AAC - seriously the LAST row!!

* Squat on a Stick means nothing - nada - zilch (Sheila Walsh)

* God said, "We're in this together, until you kick the bucket, so go for it!" (Luci Swindoll)

* Even with all the bathrooms turned to women's the lines are still looong!

* You delight my heart in a million ways! (Patsy Clarimont)

* Develop an attitude in the midst of trouble - God is on your side!

* It's not possible to listen to Steven Curtis Chapman sing 'Cinderella' without bawling (blessings on that family)

* God takes the Good and takes the Bad and loves us anyway!!

More thoughts are still swirling through, but it may take a while to process (which will allow for another blog - YAY). Special thanks to my group from EE and our CEO for sponsoring and sending us at his expense. We truly appreciate the loving gesture!