Thursday, March 04, 2004

A late start...

Here it is, 6:45AM, and Tai just now left for work. He's usually out of the house by 5:15 Monday thru Thursday, and even earlier on Friday. Either both alarm clocks decided to take the day off, or he was really tired and turned them off in his sleep. Regardless, neither of us recall them buzzing. Ooops. Fortunately, it is Thursday, not Friday, or there would be hell to pay at work. He's a Marine, and he's got to get a brief out to all of the important people (like the Commandant) first thing in the morning on Fridays. All I know is that the first thing I heard this morning was, "Oh hell...what time does that clock over there say?" Rather a shame, because I actually had the coffee maker set to do its thing so he'd have nice fresh coffee at 4:20. Oh well. Here's hoping the rest of his day goes better - then again, what's better than getting over an hour and a half of extra sleep?

Putzing around the house at 6:00 rather than 4:30 woke the two boys. A couldn't go back to sleep, so I told him to hit the shower. P went back to bed. D managed to sleep through it all. All I know is that I picked the wrong night to stay up late - I didn't head to bed until 1:30, and it looks like my day today decided to start at six. Ugh.

The boys' school made a big mistake yesterday. They sent home a parent-satisfaction survey. It might have been ok, except that they actually left space for comments on the back of the fill-in-the-bubble page. "How could your grade school be improved?" I let 'em have it. I suggested that they hire teachers with decent grammar and spelling skills. I let them know that my 3rd grader's teacher consistently confused "their" and "there," and used poor sentence structure and punctuation. I reminded them that 3rd grade is when they start teaching homonyms, and that perhaps this particular teacher ought to be sitting in on the class rather than teaching it. In the "Other/Comments" section, I complained about the sheer number of needless snowdays. We've had school called off due to a little bit of rain, some slush, and a quarter-inch of snow. That's ridiculous. I let them know what I thought of 1/2 day Thursdays, as well. Yes, every single Thursday, the kids have only 1/2 a day of school. They call it teacher planning time. I think the least they could do, if they are going to give the kids 1/2 a day off a week, is have inservices to instruct the teachers on the proper use of "their" and "there." My last comment was that I did not feel the schoolwork was challenging enough for my 3rd grader. Even as late as December, his class was doing math and spelling words he'd had in the 1st grade!

I understand that A probably isn't a typical student. I had him reading before he hit kindergarten, and he's currently reading and comprehending books that are considered appropriate for 10th grade honors classes. (He got an A+ on his book report, by the way! Go, A!) But still, there should be some parts of school that are a challenge to him, right? He shouldn't be bored out of his mind, should he? He did get one B on his report card - in writing - but I think that's more out of laziness than lack of knowledge.

It's very strange for me to go from having A, the great student, to P, the special ed. kid. He has a learning disability - an auditory processing disorder. It's rather like dyslexia for the ears. Physically, there is nothing wrong with his ears, and he hears fine, but he doesn't always comprehend exactly what is said. A good example of this: in our house, we don't have fried egg sandwiches, anymore...because P calls them Friday sandwiches. With this disorder, it isn't always that simple, tho. Sometimes they switch entire words around in a sentence. "The cat ate the bat" becomes "The bat ate the cat." Kids with this problem also have a very difficult time memorizing lists, and associating sounds with letters. This is proving to be a major problem as we struggle to teach him his alphabet and how to read. There is a world of difference between A and P, and not all of it is simply how they were raised until October.

One last thing: here's a friendly little reminder to do some good for your country. Click here to tell your lawmakers that you don't support federally sanctioned discrimination! It will take two minutes or less. Very easy to do. You fill out your name and address, and the system will send it to all of the right people.

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