Tuesday, November 08, 2005

We know drama!

My very uneventful life has suddenly become quite eventful. I'd rather it not stay this way!

Our neighbor decided to threaten one of my kids in front of me again yesterday. I've spoken to her before about it, and Tai tried to talk to her last night, to no avail. So we called the police and had THEM talk to her about it. It's not ok to be calling your neighbor's kids names and threatening to beat the shit out of them. It's just not. Oh, on top of the threats, she actually sent her 7 year old out to beat up Perrin with a stick. I love mature parents. I really do.

To add to my stress level, I went to Darcy's parent-teacher conference yesterday. It was nothing like what I expected. I expected to hear, "It's nice to have a child who just turned five recognize all but two or three letters of the alphabet. I love that she knows her numbers and can add and subtract simple equations." What I heard instead was, "She knows about half of her alphabet, and she doesn't know her numbers." What?!

This is the same kid that loved to be drilled over the summer. I have a wall that has nothing but school posters on it, and people ask me all the time if we home-school. She knows all of her letters, capital and lowercase, except M, N, and W. She certainly recognizes all of her numbers through ten, and she can count much higher than that. She knows beginning sounds, and she can phonetically spell out several words. But she's not sharing that with her teachers. And she certainly didn't share that with the person giving her the PALS test. This isn't good. She's totally holding out. We'll have to work on that.

Parent-teacher conference number two occurred just a little while ago over the telephone. Alex was a straight A student up until last year or so. Then things started to go downhill. He's a very strong reader - reading at a high school level since 3rd grade - but he is very opposed to writing. Thus, any assignment that requires writing he does poorly on. He writes as little as possible, and sometimes less than that. His grades have slipped so far this quarter that he's getting his first D (in writing, surprise!) on his report card! A D! And two Cs as well. Mama is NOT happy.

So I'm turning into Nazi Mom. From now on, Alex must keep a writing journal. In this journal, he must write at least two pages every single day - weekday, weekend, holiday, it doesn't matter. I've written up a list for the month of November - one topic per day. The topics are very broad (examples: Australia, weather, planets, UFOs, Mount Rushmore), and he'll be able to choose what he'd like to write about each one. He can choose to write a story involving the topic, or an informational essay, or a descriptive essay...the point is to get him more comfortable with writing, so he'll be more comfortable writing what he neeeeeeeeeds to write for school.

Along with this, we'll be taking the television out of his bedroom. Giving it to him was a big deal - we did it over the summer as an acknowledgement that he was getting older and growing up. We figured he didn't want to watch the same cartoons his little brother and sister watch in the playroom. Well, he's going to have to earn that privilege again.

And now it's time for me to run a brush through my hair and head out to the third parent-teacher conference. Wish me luck!