Thursday, November 29, 2007

Reading level and a moment of motherly pride...

Ok, I'm quote here from an Australian forum, and a teacher who has just written a set of guides for her school regarding literacy levels here in Victoria...

Just put this together for my school... thought it might be of interest NB These are very general indications only and will vary from (school to school and) child to child. In no way is it recommended that children be restricted to this table. It may well be that a child in Year 6 has a reading age of 9.5 in Prep. It may also be that a child in year 4 has a reading age of 7.5. Nothing here is set in stone and the table is given as a very general overview and guide to how the grades, reading levels, ages and titles in the PM Library align with one another.

Grade: K- Prep PM Reading Levels: 1 - 6
Grade:1; PM Reading Levels: 7 - 12
Grade:2; PM Reading Levels: 13
Grade:2; PM Reading Levels: 14
Grade:2; PM Reading Levels: 15; "Reading Age": 6.5
Grade:2; PM Reading Levels: 16; "Reading Age": 7.0
Grade:2; PM Reading Levels: 17; "Reading Age": 7.0
Grade:2; PM Reading Levels: 18; "Reading Age": 7.5
Grade:3; PM Reading Levels: 19; "Reading Age": 7.5
Grade:3; PM Reading Levels: 20; "Reading Age": 8.0
Grade:3; PM Reading Levels: 21; "Reading Age": 8.0
Grade:3; PM Reading Levels: 22; "Reading Age": 8.5
Grade:3; PM Reading Levels: 23; "Reading Age": 8.5
Grade:3; PM Reading Levels: 24; "Reading Age": 8.5 - 9.0
Grade:4; PM Reading Levels: 25; "Reading Age": 9.0 – 9.5
Grade:4; PM Reading Levels: 26; "Reading Age": 9.5 – 10.0
Grade:5; PM Reading Levels: 27; "Reading Age": 10.0 – 10.5
Grade:5; PM Reading Levels: 28; "Reading Age": 10.5 – 11.0
Grade:6; PM Reading Levels: 29; "Reading Age": 11.0 – 11.5
Grade:6; PM Reading Levels: 30; "Reading Age": 11.5 – 12.0


The reason I'm posting this is because this year when Erik and Luey started school, neither could read. Erik knew the names of all the letters in the alphabet and could write his name, and knew "some" of the sounds that the various letters made, but mixed many sounds up. Luey knew the names of the letters, could write his name and knew more sounds than Erik...

Throughout the year they've slowly learned more about reading. At first Erik seemed to struggle, but was committed to learning to read, where as Luey showed no interest really at all, and had us reading his readers to him, rather than the other way around.

By the middle of the year, Erik had started being able to sound words out most of the time, simple words. He was aware of many rules, like how an "e" after another vowel makes the first vowel say it's name, that sort of thing. By that stage Erik was reading level 7 books. Luey was still not attempting to read, though he'd figured out the pattern of most of the early readers and if we read the first page of a book, he was able to recite/guess the rest of the book.

This month (November), Erik had worked his way up to level 12. I was so proud. He was getting most words on his own, and at the beginning of the month was reading his readers, but that was about it, and mostly he was writing his own books. Then something changed for him, and he started bringing home novellas from the school library. Now I guessed he was doing this because some of his friends, particularly his girl friend, Matilda read quite well (level 27 apparently), and so he might have felt embarrassed bringing home only relatively simple readers. At first he seemed more interested in the pictures but this last week or so (10 days?) he'd started trying to read the stories!

This week. On Tuesday morning he read his level 12 reader.
On Wednesday morning I discovered a level 22 reader in his folder, and after chatting with him came to the conclusion it had been put in his box by mistake. He read the first two pages of it, with me helping him with about 8 words. We then read his regular reader. This morning I discovered the same book was in his folder, and this time he told me the reading recovery teacher wanted him to try it. Now, I'm not so sure about this, LOL, but we read from it anyway. He read 5 pages of the book this morning with minimal help from me! He's actually reading level 22! I will have a chat with his teacher this afternoon to see if this was her intention or if he's bucking the system, LOL, and taking books from the wrong box. His comprehension of the story was very good, too...

Anyway, I noted on the table above that level 22 is about where he might be expected to be for his reading age. I thought that was pretty good, from virtualy zero to level 22 in 10 months!

Luey has also just had a major leap in ability level and in the past month or so has starting attempting to read the words himself. He still tries to guess many, but is paying more attention to the words on the page, and has reached level 4 very quickly.

It just seems to be clicking into place for the boys now!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ooh, Baby, baby...

Now, before anyone gets excited, the following is an OVULATION test, not a pregnancy test. This one is boardering on positive (the two lines need to be as dark as each other, or the test line (on the left) should be darker than the control line). As my temp didn't rise enough this morning to indicate ovulation, I'm considering this test from yesterday to be negative, but certainly, I'm getting close to ovulation...


The following two pictures are for the benefit of people who are curious about the girl drink I'm taking...





Appetizing, isn't it? I mix on scoop of this stuff with 250ml of skim milk, and a couple of table spoons of yogurt (which was Dave's suggestion to make it taste better)... The colour of the powder is because of the cranberries that are obviously dried and crush to make the powder.

I'm getting used to the drink, but it won't be something I'll miss when I can stop taking it, hahaha!

I'm off to the Dr's this morning to organise a script for Primulot N to move my cycle so that I align in January. I'm pretty nervous about the appointment actually, because so much hangs on me aligning in January so I really need the Primulot. The Dr I'm seeing is very proud of the fact that she doesn't write out prescriptions on demand, so I've got to convince her I need this and specifically Primulot as opposed to The Pill. I have a story all sorted, so hopefully it'll be enough to convince her... If you read this before 10am, please feel free to sending me some positive energy for getting those tablets!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Blogging marathon...

This is just to let you know I've posted the following FIVE posts today - so much stuff to record, it took five posts... Especially wanted to highlight the boys school concert - I think that's the third post :)...

Bits and pieces, again...

OMG! I was soooo excited to take this photo! May I introduce to you, my son, the NOVEL reader!!! This is Erik's new thing. He started bringing home novels because he was embarrassed that he friends were reading them and he was still only reading readers. He started out just looking at the picture, but now he's actually READING the novels! Whoo hoo!

Here are a few of Erik's lego creations...







Bryn playing with his leaning tower of Piza...

Luey joined him...

The round pieces of the tower are great for spinning like coins, hahaha!

Colour stacking experiment...

Luey was DYING to try this water stacking experiment at home. Luckily all you need is food dye, a clear straw, some salt and some water in glassess... The first glass/colour, should have no salt. The next should have half as much salt as the third glass. That way the colours won't mix in the straw...

Here is Erik demonstrating how you stack water...





We discovered it helps to have different levels of water in the glasses, with the lowest level in the first glass you're collecting water from, and the highest in the last. This allows the water to rise to a higher level in the straw with each colour.







Junior Class Concert...

The boys had their first ever school concert on Wednesday night... It was quite a way from home (for those people who don't drive like us) and it was raining on the day, and pick up from school was traumatic, involving waiting in the rain for 30 minutes because the school busses returning the kids from their practice were 45 minutes delayed... So, for a while there I thought we wouldn't make it to the concert at all. But we did manage to get there, and it was a great night...

Erik's class performance involved clown mimes "mirroring" one another. The piece was introduced as an exercise in concentration and focus! That made me laugh because those are the things we're trying to teach Erik atm, LOL, looks like the school is on the same page.

Erik was paired up with Hannah, who just adores him! She's the sweetest little kid, who has all the same enthusiasm for life that Erik has - which is, I guess, why she thinks Erik is so cool! The boys classes are multi-aged so Hannah is Luey's age, and gets along with Luey really well as well...

Check out the expressions. The kids REALLY got into it all!

Ok, this photo is just for a joke. The stage lights kept reflecting in their eyes, and in this photo they all look a tad possessed, rofl. Scary clown images, hey?

Luey's class performance was something more interpretive. Which is code for, I have NO IDEa what it was about. And it seems that Liam's mum, who attended the practice as a helper wasn't any the wiser from her inside exposure. Basically, the class was divided in half, and each half "expressed" themselves in movement to the music, while the other watched... The picture below is off the first group having their go, and the little boy there is Luey's mate Liam...

And here is Luey's group watching the first group express themselves in movement.

Then it was Luey's group's turn, and I don't know if it was choreographed or not, but Luey ended up in the middle of the stage, doing this standing writhing thing, while the other kids danced around him - whether he MADE himself the centrepoint of the performance, or it was directed that way, he ended up being the centre point, and from the smile on his face, he THRIVED on it!!! In fact, I was really surprised because Luey hates people looking at him when he does stuff, and so while I was sure Erik would love performing on stage, I was half expecting Luey to do the bare minimum necessary to get through it all... Instead, he really SHONE! I guess theatrics really IS in the bloodline, hahaha!



Taking the final bow!



Littlest boy stuff...


I was saying the other, in a blog, that Bryn loves to pipe up with, "I didn't do it!" whenever he is caught red-handed, or someone asks, "Who..?". Well, now he's got a new game called the, "You did it!" game. He thinks it's hilarious to yell, "You did it!" out of the blue while pointing accusingly at someone. Then he laughs! For him, this is a challenge, he wants the person he's pointing at to point back at him and say, "No, you did it!", then he laughs even harder, and so starts the, "You did it!" dual!

He is asking for biscuits, I wasn't exactly jumping up to get them. I said to him, "You get them..." thinking he could reach - because I don't have stereoscopic vision and couldn't see that they were at the back of the counter. So, then I looked up a minute later, and he'd figured it out himself... Clever boy...

Yesterday Jen came for a visit. It was great break from my writing, LOL. Towards the end of her visit both the boys has fallen asleep, and I couldn't resist a photo of them. I did take one of them both together, but really can't post it because my couch is sooooo grotty (thanks to Bryn painting with a cream filled biscuit the other day)... The lighting wasn't great, so they're a bit soft focus...



Aren't they just gorgeous!

The Big Count Down Starts...

Tomorrow morning!!!

My girl drinks arrived from Agender today, along with about $75 worth of opks and hpts! So, tonight I had fish and chips for dinner, and potato chips and coke afterwards, and chocolate pudding, and now I say goodbye to these things until at least March!!!

Gods, I'm so excited!

I'm all set with foods, I have a cereal for breakfast, a daily lunch sorted and a variety of dinners and snack options figured out. I know what my upper levels of sodium and potassium should be, and so now it's all systems go!

Every time I feel depressed about not being able to have those high sodium, high potassium things I love, I'm going to remind myself that those chips will never feel as good as holding my newborn daughter!

Sweetie, if you want to come join this crazy family, then we're setting out the welcome mat for you!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ok, I need a plan of action...

Upcoming assignments include:

4 tute exercises in Children's writing ca. 1500 words (due last friday)

3500 word essay on how Othello, Silas Marner (part 1), The Wasteland (lines 1-79) and The Journey of Magi related to Christian Faith (EEEEEK, just quietly)...

1500 word study paper on Silas Marner.

100-150 lines of poetry on a specific theme (I'm thinking "The Men I've had")...

4000 words children's piece.

3000 word rough draft for the Publishing and Editing unit.


These all need to be handed in by the 14th of December (happy birthday to me!), which is in 3.5 weeks time... So, roughly 14 500 words in 3.5 weeks? Yeah, sure I can do that!!! No problem, I'm a superwoman... Aren't I?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Overarching, mindless conformity...



Malvina Reynolds

1. Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky-tacky,
Little boxes, little boxes,
Little boxes, all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same.

2. And the people in the houses
All go to the university,
And they all get put in boxes,
Little boxes, all the same.
And there's doctors and there's lawyers
And business executives,
And they're all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same.

3. And they all play on the golf-course,
And drink their Martini dry,
And they all have pretty children,
And the children go to school.
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university,
And they all get put in boxes
And they all come out the same.

4. And the boys go into business,
And marry, and raise a family,
And they all get put in boxes,
Little boxes, all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same.

Spiderman, Spiderman...

For the last few weeks, Bryn has been singing this song, that I didn't get the words to, and whenever I asked him what it was, he said, "Spidersong", so I'd start singing "Incy Wincy Spider" and he'd go, "No, no, no!"..

Today I finally figured it out, and here it is...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Luey's girl name preferences...

Dave told me at dinner tonight that Luey had said to him today that if we had another baby and it was a girl, he'd like us to call her either Charlotte or Ruby... Hmmmm, to make those names Icelandic they'd have to be Karlotta or Rúbín (roobeen)... Oh, while I was double checking these translations on the net I came across a blog by and guy named Erik Bryn, no kidding, and it was about 3 years old!

A week in my boys' lives...

Over the past week, I've taken a few bunches of incidental photos, each time thing, "Oh, I must blog that!", but then time has run away with me, so that now I have all these photos, and no intention of writing 4 or 5 individual blogs. So, here is a little picture mosaic of a week in my boys' lives...

The first three photos are of Bryn and his new tooth brush. Last week he suddenly decided he HAD to brush his teeth like his brothers. Those of you who have known me for a number of years will know that toothbrushing is something I've NEVER pushed on my kids. It's not that I don't care about their teeth, but rather than I'm not a terribly good rolemodel. I tend only to brush my teeth when I'm leaving the house, which can mean that several days might go by without me brushing them! So, I've never enforced toothbrushing. My boys how, each came to the decision of wanting to brush their teeth on their own, and the bigger boys brush their teeth religiously each weekday morning, before school... So, now Bryn has caught the idea, and was insisting on his own toothbrush...

Here he is modelling perfect tooth brushing technique with all the seriousness due the task. When he got his brush, he brushed his teeth for two hours straight...

And this was his toothbrush near the end of those two hours... He has since brushed his teeth on and off throughout each day for the past week, LOL. He LOVES his toothbrush. I don't really appreciate toothbrush brandishing hugs though, I've got to say, and so have had to insist that toothbrushes be put away before snuggles, LOL...

The next two piccies are of the big boys when they came home from the school fair last Sunday, with obligatory scary face paintings, hehehe!

Erik took full advantage of mum not coming along for this outing and asked for skulls to be painted on his face. The "painter" was obviously going more for an Edvard Munch, "Scream" kind of face thing, rather than a straight skull thing... Don't think Erik noticed though...

This Cranky Croc is Bryn TRYING to sleep with Bob the Builder tucked soundly under his arm, while mum pesters him with a camera flash because she's just so awed with the cuteness of his first ever time of asking to sleep with a luvvy!

This term at school the boys' theme is "Science", and so as a result the different classes are doing a variety of scientific experiments in class, which the boys then like to re-enact here at home for me. Here is the pencil through the bag of water experiment. The boys couldn't actually tell me what the experiment was demostrating, but they said it was "Really Cool!"...





These next two pictures are in memory of Bryn's newest shoe fetish. The child has always been partial to shoes (Dave thinks perhaps we should have called him Imelda), but the latest incarnation of this is to wear the shoes of other people in the house. After a few goes at Mum's and Dad's shoes, he finally conceded they were a tad too big for him, so now he clomps around all day in Erik and Luey's old shoes - preferably one of each. Please excuse the vegemite face, this was taken just after breakfast...

So, here he is with his two right feet. Now, on this day, he was being rather careful, so the laces are tied (by me) but usually he prefers to have them untied and dragging behind him in rag tag fashion...

Bryn has finally discovered Duplo. It's much more fun than Primo - there are people, and cars and houses with doors!

He LOVES the houses with doors...

5th Date in 8 years!!!

Whoo hoo! Dave and I went on a "date" tonight, just us, a bottle of Moscato, and the best Chinese I've had in about 8 years! Juniper, the Indian was totally booked out, so we had to go across the road to the Chinese, which was GREAT! Loved it! Andrew came over to watch the boys. When we left at 7.30pm, Luey and Bryn were fast asleep and Erik was reading Zack Power in bed (OMG, I've got to blog about THAT, too, just let me finish this first). We totally did the, "we never leave our kids with anyone, so here are our numbers, and the emergency number, and Luey's asthma medication incase he gets puff running that marathon in his sleep, and if Bryn wakes up he will be cranky and try water, then milk or a biscuit, and don't hesitate to get Erik up to reassure him if he's distraught..."

Of course when we got home 2.5 hours later, all three boys were sound asleep. Erik had been to the loo once, and Bryn had stirred when his head slipped over the edge of the bed, but Andrew adjusted him and Bryn went straight back to sleep.

Well, according to the babysitters club guidelines, they like all members to use the club AT LEAST every second month. Looks like we'll be doing that, AT LEAST!!! Not having to pay for baby sitting is fantastic!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

BOOYAH!!!

Well, now Luey's teacher is no longer in any doubt about what I think of some of her interactions with Luey! And neither is the school Principal!!!

We had our meeting today, and I spoke calming and quietly and mostly with a smile on my face. I said I understood the demands of the classroom - being a teacher myself (I said this twice actually under I got an acknowledgement of being a teacher) - and I said I'd heard glowing reports from other parents about how Luey's teacher had helped their child. However, I said I was not happy with being told almost at the end of the year that there was a problem with Luey and Liam in class together, and that Luey wasn't keeping up with his schoolwork, and that the only solution being offered was to move one of the boys. I wasn't happy that there had been not discussion between both sets of parents and the teacher at once, and that the boys themselves had not be consulted and at least given the chance to improve their behaviour before being seperated.

I also said that I'd already considered having Luey removed from the class mid-year after the teacher misrepresented him in the crab incident effectively causing me to reprimand him a second time over something he had been told was over and done with, and that he had apologised for in writing.

The teacher said she'd told us about Liam and Luey, and I said she'd only ever told us about Luey's behaviour and not in relation to Liam, she didn't have a comeback to that.

She said that while she understood that in our family we did not require our children to SAY sorry, it was something she felt was important for Luey to do, for the class' sake. I said, Luey had broken down in tears in the Vice Principal's office, and shown remorse, but that he was shy off speaking in front of the class. That he had instead WRITTEN his apology and that she was in possession of that written apology when she told me that he HADN'T apologised, and that in doing that, she'd risked that I might have seriously punished my child - which of course I didn't, but she couldn't predict whether I would or not, and another parent might.

She really couldn't argue with that, it was the truth. She might have liked him to SAY sorry, but she should have acknowledged that he WROTE sorry, and that he FELT sorry, even if he didn't say it.

We went on to discuss other stuff, with me mostly then talking to the Principal, and I noted that a few minutes after the discussion about the crab incident, she was struggling to maintain her composure. She wasn't saying much, and I sensed this was because if she did speak she might have to leave the room, so I continued to speak with the Principal about how Luey, being the child he is, reacts to downward authority by becoming very defensive, oppositional, stubborn, and so a teacher with a different approach might bring out a different reaction in him, and while we didn't expect the entire school to turn inside out to meet our family's philosophy of dealing with children, we felt that perhaps a change in teacher might be a good thing. And we discussed how much of a say Dave and I would have in which class Luey would end up in. This gave Luey's teacher enough room to pull it back together, though she remained quite quiet after that anyway.

I felt sorry for her in a way. It's hard to have your professional conduct questioned infront of your boss. She obviously sees nothing wrong with how she interacts with the children in her class. I know she is quite condescending and shrill with any child she feels is overstepping the mark, but I guess what I've seen of the other parents is that they either don't see a problem with this, or feel it's not their place to intervene. The two or three parents I've asked their opinion of her have all said they think she's great. Even Liam's mum, who feels she is a bit unrealistic in her expectations feels she means well and that is enough, and besides she's suffered so much loss in the past couple of years in her family so it's understandable that she's a bit highly strung. I'm sorry, I just don't feel that way. This is my son's self-esteem at stake...

I guess I'm persona non grata with this teacher now, LOL. Not that that changes anything...

There was so much else I could have said, but at the time it didn't seem necessary, what I said was plenty.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Erik has his own blog...

Well, now that Erik's reading and writing has become good enough for him to be keeping a school journal, and also be writing his own minibooks, I've decided to encourage him further by setting up a blog for him. The blog is open to public, but with moderated comments (and I'm the moderator, of course). The reason I've left it open is so that his friends and family can access it easy. Of course, Erik does not have free access to the internet, and this is a project we will be working on together, but those of you who read my blog are welcome to read Erik's blog and make appropriate comments, he'd love the interaction... There is nothing on the blog atm, but the link is in my links to there right there...

Things I really do appreciate about my boys...

I thought I should write this to balance out last night's rant. I also should write this now, before I pick the boys up from school and in the effort to bring them home in one piece forget these things...

Erik
  1. He is an optimist like me!
  2. He really enjoys people and gets along with people quite well.
  3. He nearly always willing to help out wherever he can.
  4. He eats ANYTHING and rarely turns his nose up at any foods.
  5. He loves to draw, which reminds me so much of my brother.
  6. He forward thinking and picks up on new concepts so quickly.
  7. He brings Bryn into us when Bryn wakes up in the middle of the night, and is so gentle and caring of him.
  8. He is often willing to take the blame the for things he didn't do to get his friends off the hook, and sometimes Luey, too. He does this because, in his own words, "I'm tougher than him/her, I don't mind getting into trouble, I don't want him/her to get upset"...
  9. He very quick to forgive and forget when people hurt him or upset him.
  10. He notices little things other people often seem to overlook.
Luey

  1. He very honest.
  2. He's really warmed to his responsiblities of help Dave cook dinner, and taking out the plastic recycling stuff, and does these things with a smile on his face.
  3. He mostly knows when to settle down after a lot of excitement.
  4. He really enjoys spending time with Bryn and playing with him, and caring for him when I need a break.
  5. He's a good listener.
  6. He's a quiet achiever who constantly surprises me with the things he's picked up and mastered without needing acknowledgement from Dave or myself for.
  7. He has a very firm sense of justice, certainly in regards to his own rights, but also in regards to those of others around him.
  8. When he's done something he knows he shouldn't have he is pretty good at accepting the consequence and moving on.
  9. He LOVES to snuggle, have his hair brushed, and generally hang out on the couch.
  10. He knows who he is and I can feel he already has such a strong character and sense of self, and yet he is still sensitive and emotionally open...
Bryn

  1. He is so polite! He started saying thankyou spontaneously a few months back, and now has added please to his repetoire without our prompting.
  2. When he's caught doing something he shouldn't, he gets a glint in his eye and says, "Not me, it was..." whomever he see around him, and that might even include me, if it is just the two of us, hehehe!
  3. He is very reasonable. I can actually reason with this child, something I've never experienced with a child of mine, this age, before!
  4. He doesn't run off in shopping centres!
  5. He's easy-going and says, "O-Tay!" quite a lot (yes, I appreciate that he doesn't challenge me a lot, hahaha! After two kids who adored a challenge, I think it's ok to be happy about one who is not so challenging, isn't it?)
  6. He LOVES to boogie down!
  7. He is very affectionate, and spontaneously kisses me (no, I'm not used to this).
  8. He loves people just like Erik, but has Luey's ability to self-regulate!
  9. He nightweaned easily.
  10. He has a great sense of humour that often surprises me.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bloody hell! Another STUPID homeschooling thread!

Just read a thread on a parenting forum about homeschooling. It was started by a homeschooler posting a kind of vent about the stupid things people say to homeschoolers, it was quite funny and apt, though it contained some equally grosse generalisations as those made by people who know little about homeschooling...

One of the points was about not saying to a homeschooler, "I couildn't homeschool", even as a compliment, and yet in the first 2.5 pages (which is what I read of the thread before replying) so many people said this!!!

Obviously people didn't read the entire OP before responding, or if they did, they somehow thought that it was not applicable to them.

Hearing other people say they couldn't do it was always incredibly annoying to me, because quite frankly I never GAVE A SHIT if other people thought they could do it or not. Them not being able to do was not relevant to me at all.

Then there is the question of WHY would anyone want to homeschool. Gawd, so many answers to that, all subjective, so what the point of even answering the question, really? The other person is only going to disagree with you because OBVIOUSLY by asking the question they're saying nothing would move them to homeschool.

I still feel mostly pretty crappy about my boys going to school. I know they really enjoy it, but it is such a sucky compromise and I wish I could offer them what they really want - to play with other kids all day, every day - without all the other bullshit that happens at school.

We're coming the end of our first year of school, and it's been such a turmultuous year for us. It's been great to have time with just Bryn and myself, and it's been great to see the boys form friendships at school. Other than that, it has mostly been a massive pita. Having people questioning my children's behaviour, NORMAL behaviour, having Luey picked on by his stupid teacher, Erik crying because the other kids in his class teased him about reading level 9 books...

Our weekends have not been more enjoyable because of the break we get from each other during the week, we don't enjoy each other's company all the more for it. In fact, I think sometimes having them away for much of the day during the week makes me even more intolerant of them when they are at home. It certainly makes them more restless at home.

Erik's lying and stealing hasn't gotten better, it's gotten worse.

Luey's self-image has gotten worse, too.

When I ask them if they wouldn't rather be at home they plead to be able to go to school.

I can't help but think it's because I'm just a crappy parent who isn't much fun to be around.

I could so easily homeschool, but they don't want to... It makes me sad...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The downturn... And other stuff...

Ah, have had a bit of a downward turn emotionally tonight. It started with banging my head on the boys bunk which hurt like buggary and which I would normally have just "Ow'd" off, but tonight it had my burst into big heaving sobs, definitely an emotional watershed...

Last weekend was pretty full on with Luey going to Liam's birthday on Sunday and me babysitting on Sunday night, then the boys having a curriculum day on Monday (so they were home) and of course Cup Day yesterday (home again), so I didn't get any work done those days and I'm getting sufficiently far behind now for it to be a simmering stressor. Then this morning we had the BIG meeting with Luey's teacher and the Principal, which we ended up missing because the taxi company SUCKS big time and couldn't get the kind of cab we order LAST NIGHT to our door in a timely fashion. Of course, this brought up all my own frustration and built up resentment of Dave dragging his heels with regard to getting a license...

So, that meeting will have to be rescheduled. Liam's dad will have had HIS meeting with the teacher and Principal this afternoon, I wish I knew how that went.

Then back to the school at 1.30pm to sign the boys out early to take them to the behavioural opthalmologist. Both boys have good sight, within the expected range, but the Opthy noted that Erik tend to cross gased "prematurely" and said that can cause children to bring objects closer when looking at that, thus straining the eyes (kids this age are long sighted still). Also, she noted that his focus release from near to far is slightly slower than she would expect for a child his age. As she said, nothing wrong at this point, but these two things MIGHT be VERY EARLY symptoms of myopia. She recommended to definitely bring him in next year, but if we or his teacher's notice him needing to squint, or hold books closer than elbow distance away to read, then to bring him in earlier.

Luey's sight is fine though he has the opposite range of vision, instead of peaking in vision too early (myopia), he is slightly "behind" in development, and is at the farther end of far sightedness for his age - but still within his expected range. She says he compensates really well for this, so doesn't see a problem there at all. The Opthalmologist was lovely, and so close (about the same distance as going to Jen's house actually), so a really great contact! She also wants to see Bryn next year. Of course, I mentioned my own condition (she wanted a brief family history), and she recognized Professor Billson's name (the Professor who followed my case from age 5 to my late 20s), and so she is keen to get me in there for a check up, too. I know this is mostly just for her own professional curiosity, but I haven't had a check in a number of years, so it would be good to have a personal progress report, too.

So, anyway, after all this excitement, I'm feeling a bit deflated tonight. This head cold isn't helping either. I could really do with some down time without any people around me. I have to admit that sitting in the quiet house by myself (three sleeping children down the hallway) while babysitting on Sunday was great! I got so much reading done, and I didn't have any distractions (because I wasn't at home to allow myself to be distracted, yk?). I kind of wish I had this kind of enforced solitude each week - might have to vy for some more babysitting opportunities!

Teenagers and the failing parent...