Monday, September 13, 2010

the meeting

So I had my meeting with Joe's teacher this afternoon. My neighbor watched the kids so I actually did go by myself. The plan? Every time Joe hits, kicks, etc.... he will be sent to the office/principals office. I will be notified. I have a feeling Joe will be visiting the office a lot. I know he should not be doing this at school, however, he weighs like 30 pounds (OK, maybe 35) and is tiny. His blows are barely noticeable. I know, I know... it's the principle.

He even got sent there today. I was not notified but maybe that is b/c I was coming in. He wouldn't talk to the principal so he went to the counselors office. Finally he opened up and calmed down some.

Another problem the teacher is having with Joe? He hisses. A pretty simple problem in my opinion. Ignore it or just say, "I can't understand you. Use your words." He started hissing over the summer and I believe it's a phase. He really does not do it much at home. But according to the teacher he does it a lot there. I know where it's from. A cartoon. He hisses and says,"get out of my dumpster!" Apparently at school he just does the hissing. The teacher stated several times how this was odd behavior for a 5 year old. She wants him to stop before it becomes a habit and interfere with him making and keeping friends.

I talked to another teacher later about the whole meeting and her son is in 1st grade and he hisses as well. This other teacher said it would be best to ignore it, not focus on the negative and that it is not that odd.

I'm I worried about Joe hissing? Not at all. Do I think he will be hissing when he's 10? No. In a year? I would say not unless he gets so much freakin' attention over it!

I kind of feel like it is a mole-hill being made into a mountain.

Oh and she is not doing the step up walk for Down syndrome this year b/c her college aged step-son has something she was going to.

Friday, September 10, 2010

school drama

The drama of school is enough to make me want to scoop up my kids, run away and never look back. This will be a rant if your wondering!

Let me start by saying I love the kids school. Better yet, I love the resource teacher and Max's para. They are awesome.

Max is in 3rd grade this year (can you believe it?!), Sam is in 2nd and Joe started half day Kindergarten. Joe has the same teacher that Max and Sam had. She is the only one that does PM kindergarten. Sam has a teacher that seems to be great. However, she is about to have twins. She is due in October, I believe. Side note, she is so small... you'd never know there were 2 little babies in there kicking around. Max's teacher, I'm not sure about yet. Her minor is in sp. ed. so I figured she would be great for him and maybe know how to 'deal' with the behaviors.

Last year Max's teacher didn't want him in the class. No, she never said this, I just gathered it. The resource teacher I so dearly love also was booted to half time last year so he got stuck with a different one. She was not so great. I could tell some of the teachers and other people wanted her out of there. I personally had no problems with her but I don't think she really worked with Max nor knew HOW to work with Max.

In a scheme, a few of them came up with, was far from stellar. I'm pretty sure they were trying to overwhelm her. They decided it was best (you know, in Max's best interest) to pull him out of the classroom with all his peers and stick him in resource for almost the entire day. He still had specials, lunch and recess with his peers. That was it. I did fight them in this meeting about that decision. However, it became apparent to me the classroom teacher loved this idea. So I stopped fighting it. Why would I want him in a class where the teacher truly does not want him in there?

After all was said and done Max would be with his para or resource teacher most of the day. In January the resource teacher left the school, shortly after all these changes took place. I'm guessing there may have been some cheering. Now the resource teacher I loved came back full time to our school. YAY. Now Max would be with someone who cares about him, makes him work and tries to always do what is best for Max. She wanted him back with his peers more, where she think he belongs. He can do the stuff they do in a (major) modified way.

This year, I'm still not sure exactly what his schedule is. I saw it at school but have not received a copy of it. I believe he is in the class during the morning then after lunch he's in the resource room.

Sam.... She still struggles. I had a meeting yesterday at school regarding her. They will modify some of her stuff and also pull her out around 20 minutes a day for one-on-one reading. We will re-meet in about 6 weeks to see how it's going. I love the fact her teacher does not send home so much stinking homework.

Joe... Here comes the drama that is driving me crazy. Kindergarten gets out 10 minutes earlier than the rest of school. However, if students have a Kindergarten sibling they may walk down to their class and walk out with them. Love this. We get out of there generally before the whole after school craziness happens. Last week I could tell there was something going on with Joe's teacher and Max's resource teacher. I don't know what but I have a feeling there are some disagreements going on about other things.

I take home my neighbors 2 boys from school and they also come out early, with kindergarten. I am sure it is crazy inside school at dismissal time and having 4 extra kids come to get 1 student is like a parade. So, a couple days ago the kids came out with Max's speech therapist. The K teacher told her that Joe does not want Max walking out with them. OK. I am guessing Max is mauling Joe because he is happy to see his little brother. I'm not sure of this. So the K teacher was telling Max, "just keep walking Max. Keep going." The next day when they all came out Max's para walked them out and said the K teacher no longer wants the other kids to pick up Joe and that the resource teacher would be talking to me about this. Whatever. I have not talked to her yet about this.

Joe has nothing good to say about school. Everything so far has been negative. But I also know he is lying to me about most of this. Another teacher asked me if the K teacher had talked to me about Joe yet. No, why? She seemed to observe the K teacher is somewhat babying Joe. Always holding his hand and such. I have no idea if this is true. Finally a couple days ago I emailed the teacher. Joe seemed to have a bad day at school and said everyone kicked and punched him. I know this did not happen but I wanted the teachers point of view of how school was going for Joe. I told her the things he says about school. She replied back saying the exact opposite is true. The other kids adore Joe and the girls try to 'mother' him even. She was worried about him saying these things and wanted to maybe talk about it. I told her that was fine but if we meet after school I would have not only my 4 but 2 tag-a-longs with me. She didn't reply with any time. I also told her we may want to wait a couple weeks to see if Joe stops saying all these negative things.

Today at school pick-up Joe came out with his class, holding the teachers hand. He tried to come to me but she held him back. I figured this meant she wanted to talk to me. She did. She looked a little stressed! She said "what a day!" Joe kicked and punched her today and that we need to talk. Is Monday after school good? yeah, that works. Then asked if I could come by myself!! I laughed and said, probably not!

I do like this teacher but since this drama has been going on about pick-up and since I emailed her she seems different. She does not take stress well. She doesn't hide it. Her and Max had their differences... lots of differences. I heard stories from other moms about how she treated Max. I never heard any of this stuff from school. Just this week I was talking to a mom that has a girl in Max's class. They were also in kindergarten together. She told me her daughter would come home several times very upset by the way the teacher treated Max. This girl has an uncle with special needs. This teacher seems to not like differences. It's her way or they may be problems. But, she has always signed up for our Buddy walk/step up and even donated extra money as well. This year she has not. Which is fine but it's odd she has never said a word about it or why she is not going.

Monday's meeting should be fun...not. She even said, "this must be going on at home as well, right?" I thought about it and said, I guess maybe he does it to Ike. I know what she was implying ... That Max beats him up and now Joe is doing this. At least that is how I took it.

I have been thinking about home-schooling for a while. Then when I found out Sam was struggling so much I thought even harder about it. I love the idea of homeschooling but could I do it? Would the kids listen to me? What would I do with interruptions from a needy 3 year old while trying to focus on something else? Could I keep up with the amount of work homeschooling requires? Would I still have my 'down' ME time? I do enjoy the break I get during the day, I must admit. I would rather go to the store/go shopping with 1 kid than 4 kids. Doesn't that sound awful?! What about social time? I love the fact that my kids can interact with so many other kids at school to learn those skills needed to socialize and gain friends. Yes, I know there are groups that do this for homeschooling as well, but how do you find them? How do you pick what materials to use? What about Max? How would I know what to use? He uses Edmark at school for reading and I love this! It costs a whole lot of money though. My questions are endless. I'm not sure if I will home-school some day or not but the thought is there. I also heard from another mom with a son that has Ds (in our school district) that I could even choose half public/half home schooling or whatever combination I wanted. That way the public school is still involved for some of the programs they do at the end of high school. The school is responsible until the age of 21 to 'educate.'

The school drama is driving me crazy at the moment. I'm sure it will be fine shortly. However, if you have any insight you would like to share about homeschooling, please do so! Here or email me (email link is in my profile page).

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Where was Mr Sandman?

Sam wanted to have a friend party this year for her birthday. we have never done this before. I think it's because I have never been brave enough! She kept wanting a party at Chuck-e cheese. I thought about just taking the girls there and playing games but not an official party. Then I thought about what my kids go through at the end of the game playing... the picking of the prize. NO way did I want to do that with a bunch of little girls. So I veto'd that idea. Sam instead wanted a sleep over. I thought about it and figured I could handle it. She has had sleep overs before and everything has gone OK. Except the girls never want to sleep. But that is part of a sleep over, right?

So on a very short notice I invited 4 of Sam's friends over. I was really wanting an even number of girls to avoid a third-wheel so to speak. However, Sam just wanted to invite 4. Including Sam that would have been 5 girls.

One friend could not make the party has she was going to be out of town. So I was back to my even number of girls idea. One girl could come Friday night, leave that evening and then come back in the morning. She would be here for everything but the sleeping business. One girl could make the sleepover but would have to leave before our pizza and cupcake lunch on Saturday. The other girl would be here for the whole thing and then some. She is the one I refer to as my 5th child!

Friday evening, 6 PM the party starts. My 5th child arrives 45 minutes early. Which was fine. Sam could barely wait. The same for the other girl, her real mom said. 2 more girls showed up a little later and they all had a blast! There was dress up time, arts and craft time, pillow fights, ice cream and just plain girly fun. The girl that had to leave left at 9. She did not want to leave, nor did the other girls want her to leave. The girl that had to leave early Saturday was ready for bed at 9 I'm pretty sure. She kept asking what time was bedtime.

So around 10 this little girl called lights out and they all laid down in Sam's room. My 5th child only lasted about 1 minute because she had been saying all night she was not going to sleep. A little bit later Sam came out, leaving the other girl in there. I figured she was asleep. About 30 minutes later she came out. She tried to convince the girls to come back to no avail. So they set up camp in the living room. This other little girl would go back and forth a little. Finally around 11PM the girl had had enough.

Around 11 the little girl came out crying to me saying she wanted to go home and that she didn't feel good. I could tell she was very tired. I offered to lay with her and have Sam come back too. I told her it was very late and I'm not sure her parents would still be up. She said she thought her dad might be. But we laid down and she looked like she was asleep within minutes. She wasn't. She starts crying more and wanted to go home again. I let her think about it for a few minutes. We had lots of fun stuff going on the next day. She eventually decided she did want to go home. So around 11:30 I called her house. Her mom talked to her then came to pick her up. Her mom said that she is just a homebody and a mommy's girl. I think she might be an only child and more than likely had never had a sleep over before. She got ready and I collected her stuff (art work, goody bag, etc) and packed her a cupcake.

That left Sam and my 5th child along with my 3 boys all wide awake still. I could tell Max was tired. He was tired around 8:30 but he just would not go to bed. Finally somewhere between 1:30 and 2:30 I tell the kids I was going to bed and to turn out all lights before they went to bed. I laid in Max's bed with him and he was out in about 5 seconds. Sam was quickly behind him. So the 3 of us were in that bed trying to sleep. My 5th child and my 2 younger boys were still partin' it up. I got up a few times to check on them. Mainly because every 5 minutes my 5th child was in there to tell me something.

I got up at one point and every single light they could have on was on! They some how manged to also get a ball and a shoe up on our 'cat walk' ledge. Not sure what they really are called. It is like a shelve 8 feet up the wall. They wanted me to get them. Not happening in the middle of the night. Around 3ish she came told me some story that Joe had rug burn on his knee and needed a band-aid. "Ok, I'll check on him in a little bit" She keeps coming in. Around 3:30 I got up to check on Joe and his wounded knee.

He was hopping down the hall on one foot. I see red on his knee. I walk past him to get a band-aid. He wobbles to me. I get a band aid and look at his knee. He, or someone, had used a red marker and made a very good rug burn like mark on his knee. I humor them and stick a band-aid on anyway. Back to bed. Ike joined me. I could still hear the other 2 at 4 AM. That was the last I heard of them until 7:30.

At 7:30 my 5th child wakes me up to tell me something. Seriously, did she ever sleep??!! Joe was sleeping in Sam's bed. My 5th child said she slept there too. I guess she slept from 4ish until 7:30. Next time she is over for a sleepover and says she is not going to sleep but staying up all night.. I'll take her more seriously!! She has slept over before but they were asleep before 2.

A little before 8 my 5th child asks, "it is 7:54, why are they not up yet?" Well, maybe that is because you guys were up so insanely late! They eventually woke up...all but Joe. He slept until 12. The other girl that was coming back arrived at 9:30 and my other 3 kids were all already up.

More fun. More arts, donuts, pizza, cupcakes, giggles, screaming, pillow fights, and so on. With only 3 girls here though there was a little girl drama going on. Which is why I didn't want an odd number of girls. The party was over at 2. My table looks like an art studio, the playroom looks like a twister hit it.

At around 2:30 my 5th childs older sister comes to retrieve her. Sam follows them down to their house. Less than 2 hours later the dad walks Sam back and says his daughter is napping.

I am tired!! I did sneak in a little nap today. Maybe and hour or so. Ike was also napping. I have decided any parent that makes it through a slumber party deserves an award!! It was crazy and fun. I do not plan on doing another one for a long time! Whew!