Friday, October 30, 2009

Buh Bye, Soccer

Soccer season has ended for #5. She is fast. She is fearless. She is done.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall Fun, or something like that

We had soccer games beginning at 8:45. And you have to get your player there early to warm up, and oh yes we were snack parents, too. An early start. Later that day, here we were, on our annual obligatory pumpkin patch trip. The sun might have been right in their eyes, but nevermind, sit and smile like ya mean it!

Here's an aerial shot of the corn maze the kids completed:

We got up early with baby. Here's the thought process: we wake her up early and hope she takes a nap later in the day. Can ya guess how it's going? After a lot of required morning work we drove across the city to pick up Suzanna's birthday cake, because it's her "Halloween Costume Birthday Party." Thank heavens for the other kids, who made these spooky eyes of shaved radishes and sliced olives. We meant to later paint olive oil on them to make them appear slimy, but we forgot. We also bobbed for apples, made gross body parts out of food, made ghostie candles, etc.
Hey, here's an idea: in between caring for the baby and preparing for the onslaught of seven girls to arrive, why don't we go with Chloe to College Visitation Day at the convention center? Let me just say I did not think there would be so many schools and people there. Guess how many had babies in tow? Guess how many times I heard, "Starting early, huh?" or "A little early for her, isn't it?"
Answers: None, and Five.

And here we have the CUTEST baby in a pumpkin costume. Her teeth kinda match the pumpkin's. Doesn't she look energized? Well, she should after her long, invigorating 20 minute nap in the car coming back from the College Fair. Some babies just do not need much rest, people. I got one of 'em.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Ok Dearest Readers. I am not super crafty like most other blogging moms. I'm not. But, we did make these cute, old fashioned dried apple heads and they turned out c-r-e-e-p-y! And, what's a little mold in the house when H1N1 lurks at every bus ride and cafeteria line?
On the Piggy Flu Front we are not able to find vaccines of any kind here in our state. People who have already had their shots, thank your lucky stars!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Home Schooling is looking GOOD

My son had a fantastic teacher last year. They connected -- laughed at the same jokes, communicated through quick glances and expressions, just "got" each other. He was even a HE.

Anyway. All year my son excelled in math. 100% on nearly every test, and way ahead on the "computer accelerated math", where he usually also got 100% unless he had a technical foul. I did not suggest he be put in the year above him because he adored his teacher so much, (the man dressed as a human hot dog last Halloween, how awesome is that!) and I thought he was doing ok as a second grader. His teacher and I discussed that the following year, this year, he would be placed in the highest math.

School started, and three students were put in "high" math. Not my kid. When I asked his previous teacher what happened, he said placement had been based on IQ scores, and no teachers had been able to give input. End of year assessment? Educator recommendation? No.

Readers, does that sound right to you? It didn't sound right to me. I thought he must have his info wrong or didn't want to talk about it with me now, or maybe ever. After a year of *me* as a parent I might not want to talk to me either.

To make a long story short: my kid can't take the math he is ready for because his state wide IQ test was not in the top 3% for math. Go ahead and gloat, my homeschooling friends, I get it why people home school!

All week I have exchanged emails with his current teacher and principal. They patiently assure me he will get what he needs in his regular classroom. He can even do the fourth grade math when they feel he is ready for it. (He apparently already scored a 100% on the first unit test but his "show me how" explanations are weak.) Newsflash, people: it is easy to acquire a math text for fourth grade. They can put him on whatever schedule they want; he will already be doing fourth grade math at home.

To hear my child is considered not innately intelligent enough to understand multiplication and long division, the gutwork of fourth grade math, created a variety of responses: I am profoundly insulted. I know they are wrong. I cry. I scramble in my sleep deprived mind to remember his milestones: he did them all on time, and seemed to have a talent at puzzles. I remember his preschool teacher finding puzzles especially for him. He could read well before he started kindergarten. He was so cute and sweet then, the memory makes me cry again. And let's remember his second grade teacher's opinion that this year he should be in fourth grade math, and his high in class test scores. Yes, I assure myself, they are wrong.

I know this year of math will not really matter in the long run. I am trying to keep perspective. But what haunts me is on a larger scale - we are discouraging our children. We don't want to admit it, but we are. We wrap presents for them so the corners look pretty; we re-make the beds if company comes so they look more tidy; we straighten the knife if they set the table. And we allow them to hear they are not smart enough.

I am still working through this issue. For now I resolve none, none of my children will take state or nationally normed tests in elementary school again. If I had realized what there was to be lost they never would have taken them.

Readers, I am curious to hear your stories about these issues.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Soccer, our way of life

My oldest daughter's every afternoon:

On a completely different note I took baby to the pediatrician today to check her ears since she WILL NOT SLEEP and is DEMANDING. Don't get me wrong. I tickle her, kiss her, read to her, play with her toes in wee little rows, etc. etc. etc. But the not sleeping is killing me: she will nap for twenty minutes and wake up SO CRABBY, as if she is sure she missed out on something fun. I know there are babies who wake happy in their cribs. Not mine. And her crib is nice, with toys and a soft IKEA baby blankie. And yes, sometimes I try to get her back to sleep and it has not yet worked. And yes, sadly, I have left her to cry in her crib for (wince) up to thirty minutes. I draw the line at a half an hour of a screaming 12 month old!
It's not the ears. The pediatrician actually said, "Well, it could just be her personality.
Yes, yes, I do think that's it! Good thing I paid twenty bucks for that diagnosis.