Monday, October 28, 2013

I just can't believe it

Every time I think I've seen or heard it all, something else happens that changes everything.
I realize that things are different now than they were when I was in school, but the basics remain the same.  Teach kids to respect themselves and others and give them a base of knowledge they can use to advance in life.  Discipline when necessary and help them learn from mistakes.  But the public school system has really gone out of control.

A pep rally for the CRCT test and a song to the tune of "YMCA", numerous standardized tests and teaching so they pass the test, multiple forms to fill out just to change the way my child gets home in the afternoon, REQUIRING that I be involved in their homework.. (Don't get me wrong.  I am VERY involved with my kids' homework.  I know what they are studying and I make sure that they get their homework done and encourage them to study and work hard.)  Now they are requiring that I sign off on how many minutes they read each week.  I now have sign that I've seen my 2nd grader's work that comes home on Fridays.  They also want me to sign the back of each spelling word index card to show that we studied it.  Maybe that is why so many kids/teens/adults today lack personal responsibility is because someone else is always held responsible instead of making the student do it themselves.  Again, I'm all for helping, but I don't feel I should have to sign something to prove to the teacher that I helped him.  The teacher should deal with the school aspect, I will deal with the home aspect.  I don't make her sign things to prove that she taught it to my son in the first place.

The kicker came last week when my son spent the day in ISS (in school suspension) for something that he didn't do, where no rules were broken and no one was injured.  He was accused of pulling a chair out from underneath someone and causing them to fall on the floor.  (How many times did you and your friends do that in school to be funny?  Did you ever get in trouble for it?  I did it plenty of times!)  However, he didn't do it.  He admits to jokingly pulling the chair away from the other student because he wanted to sit there.  But he let go when the other student put his hand on the chair to stop it.  My son then walked away.
The other student must have misjudged the chair when he went to sit down because he fell and the chair flipped.  The student told the teacher that my son pulled it out from under him.  My son says he was several steps away .  (He has proven himself truthful over the years so I believe him.)  The teacher claims she saw my son's hand on the chair and the student on the floor.  If the chair flipped, how could his hand be on the chair?  If he had pulled it out from under the other student, it wouldn't have flipped!  But the teacher (a sub, retired from previous years with a reputation for being mean) asked my son point blank if he pulled the chair away.  My son, being the literal person he is, said YES because he did pull the chair, but not so as to cause the student to fall.  He was immediately sent to the office where he was questioned and required to write a statement of what happened.  He was given ISS and was cited as breaking a rule that was something about "Intimidating or intending to cause harm", neither of which he did.  I called the school after talking with my son about it further and stated that the punishment was severe considering he didn't break any rules and has never been in trouble at school in his life.  The administrator basically told me that my son was lying to me because he didn't want to disappoint me and the punishment would stand.  Because he admitted to moving the chair and signed the statement, I allowed him to serve the ISS, where he behaved and did exactly what he was supposed to do, unlike the others that were in there.  We chalked it up to a life lesson.  That was Friday.

Today, the same son comes home (again, never been in trouble EVER) telling me that he spend time in the office again being accused of inappropriate language.  Granted, my son slips and uses profane words at times, but what teenager hasn't?  He was accused of homosexual slurs.  Seriously??????  Of all the things my son would say, that would NOT be one of them.  Again, 1 lone student said that it was my son that said it so the school overreacts and takes him to the office.  This one he will NOT get punished for.  The school hasn't called me yet.  I emailed the teacher that sent him to the office and stated that I would like to be informed if my son is being accused of something.  We'll see what happens.  They will have to get security footage and show it to me before I believe any of that.  He now feels that the school is out to get him.  He is very upset and can't understand why this is happening to him.  I prayed for him today, and for all of us, as we seem to be under some sort of attack.  (Again, no rules have been broken here and it's he said, she said.)

By the way, my 2nd grader has to design an experiment showing an object changing from one stage of matter to the next.  Seriously?  He's 7!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Lazy Sunday

I played hookey from work today.  Well, sort of.  I woke up not feeling well and just knew that I wouldn't be able to be pleasant to people on the phone today, so I called in sick.  Sparky and my other boys have taken very good care of me.  I think I just got run down from my life and needed some rest.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

I'm looking out my window as I watch the Falcons on TV and see a gorgeous fall day.  I just wonder why all my kids are moping around inside saying that there is nothing to do or constantly wanting to do something in front of the TV.  (Yes, I'm in front of the TV but I'm resting.  :)
This happens a lot.  If we don't suggest something ELSE for them to do, screens are what they resort to as a default. 
Thankfully, a whirlwind of imagination hit just as I was getting frustrated and my middle son suggested that they get their fishing poles (yes, my kids have poles) and head over to the pond to fish.  That even got Joshua interested in repairing his pole so he could go too!  PTL!  Hallelujah!
Elijah, however, is still on the couch watching WWE videos.  He's always a bit harder.  But it's at least a start.

I find myself lately a bit dissatisfied with my life.  Don't get me wrong, I'm very blessed.  I sometimes just wish I was doing more with my life.  My job is fine, but it's just for making money.  I don't necessarily enjoy it or derive satisfaction from it.  It has kept me from attending church with my family for almost 3 months now and I'm starting to feel the effects.  I began attending the women's Bible study on Wednesday as a substitute, but it just isn't the same.  I'm not sure how much longer I can do this.  But I need to for my family's benefit right now until things get more stable financially.  We all make sacrifices for our families.  This is mine.

On a more positive note, I am very excited that the Red Sox will be returning to the World Series.  I just hope I can stay awake to see the entire game.  I've missed the ends of them all so far because I just couldn't keep my eyes open.  A bit more motivation to stay awake now, though.

That's it.  Not many thoughts today.  Missing my parents, as always and wishing we had better relationships closer.  Maybe one day.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Meds, and other things

JJ's trip to Jekyll Island was successful.  He had a great time, got little sleep and a lot dirty.  He discovered how difficult it is to sleep in a room with 6 other boys and appreciates his own room. He also came home with someone else's shirt (?).  But he survived and enjoyed it.  We missed him (it was quieter) but we are very glad to have him back. So are his brothers.

The day after we picked him up, it was time to take Zach to the doctor.  He has now been diagnosed with inattentive ADD.  Meaning, mostly, that he is a distraction to himself but not to others.  There is, of course, no official test for ADD.  This is all based on info I gave him from a psychologist, meetings with the school psychologist, and questionnaires from me, Steven, his current teacher and last year's teacher.  (His current teacher has a son diagnosed with ADHD so she understands.  She also told us at his conference that she loves how his mind works so she seems to understand him.)  So we started him on meds this week.  Not what I wanted to do, but I've been trying to deal with it on my own for almost 4 years now.  I've been trying to put things in place to help organize him and keep him on track.  While they may help, now, they just haven't been enough.  The day AFTER he was prescribed meds (but before taking them), I got an email from his teacher that he had a really bad day, not turning things in, not remembering WHERE to turn them  in, not being on task and just wandering around the classroom.  That sounds about right.

So we started him on meds this past Saturday over the long weekend to see how they affected him.  So far, so good.  There are some side effects, but he doesn't seem to be experiencing any, yet.  He worked diligently on homework on Monday morning (not something he would normally do) and got a good report today, his first day at school on meds.  So, we'll see.

It was a somewhat depressing day, though.  Two ladies I work with lost their step dads in the last week and are both very sad.  Also, another lady I know lost her oldest son (a teenager) suddenly this week.  I pray that God brings comfort to each of them and their families and that He would use it to draw them close to Him.

I get 2 days off work this week since things are a bit slow.  But I think that is a God thing because Zach and Elijah just so happen to have Field Day on each of the days I have off this week.  So I get to go.  They asked me  to, anyway.  I would be honored.

Well, the Red Sox won and I don't care about this baseball game, so I'm headed to bed.
I enjoyed the weekend with the family, seeing my sister and her kids and watching my niece play softball.  I also enjoyed helping her with her geometry homework.  I find it nice that they call me for math help.  My kids don't need any, yet, so it makes me feel useful and keeps my brain sharp.

Good night!

Monday, October 7, 2013

The trip

I was up at 5:15 am today to say goodbye to my beloved JJ, 13 years old.  He left this morning for a 3 day field trip with the PROBE program at his school.  They will spend 3 days at Jekyll Island doing various science related this and having fun.  I'll pick him up at school on Wednesday night.  It was a bittersweet moment when he left.  He's growing up and I know I need to let him.  I'm so excited that he's worked hard and is able to have this opportunity.  On the other hand, he's only really been off on a trip once before with our church  over a weekend.  I'm just not used to this yet.  However, he is rooming with some baseball buddies and friends from school, so I'm sure they will have a blast!  I can't wait to hear about it when he gets home.  I haven't heard from him, so I assume he is just having so much fun....

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, things are quiet here.  Eerily quiet, as Steven put it.  All my boys can be loud and chatty, but Joshua tends to be the most talkative.  He would definitely be talking baseball and why which team should do what and what his fantasy teams are doing.  (Also, he's missing RAW!)  Zach and Elijah watched some baseball with us and then went on to do their own thing in Zach's room.  Those guys are great!

It postseason baseball time and there were 4 games on today.  (Still waiting for one....Go Braves!)  So did homework and ate dinner in front of the TV watching the games.  Zach and I made brownies that turned out to be quite good.  That sweet boy wants to save one to take to his teacher.  Love him!

Speaking of Zach, he has been diagnosed with inattentive ADD.  We will start him on medication on Saturday and see if that helps.  We were at the dr. on Thursday.  Friday I got an email from his teacher stating that he was having a much harder time lately staying focused and getting things accomplished.  I'm praying that this medication helps him.  I'm frustrated and I can see that he is frustrated with himself.  I feel so helpless!  But this 4 year journey has finally come to something, some type of diagnosis.  Since 2nd grade I've been going here and there, talking to this dr. and that and the school trying to get him some help.  Finally, he got it.  I hope this works!  He is so smart!  Thankfully his teacher sees that and wants to help him too.  Today he came home wearing the cell Tshirt that he made at school.  He was giving me a science lesson on plant cells.  I was quite impressed.

Well, gotta go.  The Braves are about to start!