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Dingoes Defy the February Slump: Keep Running, Mamas - Page 10

post #181 of 489

JenLove candle.gif For your grandma.


goodvibes.gifAlex! Congratulations!


Jo, I'm always amazed at what you are up to. 6 miles barefoot on the beach! Wow, lady!


Gaye, I'm living vicariously through you with all the partying. Have fun!


Shanti & Mel, I love the little differences in language!


That reminds me: one of the podcasts I listen to is by a Canadian, an Australian and an Englishman - three runners separated by a common language, so to speak. Good stuff!


DrJen, good to *see* you around!


Bec, congratulations on the weight loss!

blowkiss.gif To all the Dingoes out there. What a great group.


On school, I had one child who I felt was not being challenged enough, and now a more average child in 4th grade. We are up in the air about what to do with her for middle school, but might audition for an arts-oriented school which would take her from 6th - 12th. Auditions would be next fall, and she would probably try for a spot in their piano program, or band, which is the fall-back for those who can't make it in strings or piano, but are still musically inclined.


Work is overwhelming at the moment, and I am feeling very behind and stressed out. Then valentines were on the docket today - thank goodness my older DD and her friend helped my DS finish his so I could sit at the sewing machine with DD2. All in all, it went ok and just a few odd things to finish up. DH promised he would make supper. So I had better get back at it!


RR? What's that??rolleyes.gif




post #182 of 489

tjsmama--I will say that I've been amazed by the number of people who hold their boys back a year in school, all while telling me how they're already advanced. A friend's youngest is 9 months older than R (March bday) and she held him back so he's a first-grader like R is. R's already one of the oldest in the class by virtue of having a December birthday, so I can't imagine. Actually, I can though: she wanted him in the Cherry Creek Challenge school, which meant she needed him to score high to get in. She now brags about her first grader is doing third grade math. Color me unimpressed. R will be doing third grade math in a few months too (and is doing some now), and honestly, she's not that advanced in math--certainly nothing like some of the kids here!

It makes me wonder what the playing field looks like when it's level. There's a ton of competition to get into that school, and it's pretty obvious that someone's 4yo who is applying to the school probably wouldn't be as accomplished as someone's 5yo and yet some of the parents are counting on that fact to get their (5yo) kid in. Then again, it's Cherry Creek, so stuff is pretty skewed there anyhow. Not everyone who lives there is rich by any means, but the perspective is skewed. Another friend of mine applied for her kid to get in. I don't think she knew that he basically needed to be reading by the time the application went in and he didn't get in. He also has a March birthday, but he was entering kindergarten at 5. And her perspective on the Jeffco budget cuts vs Cherry Creek? "I think our district was better prepared." I looked at her and pointed out that the value of homes in her neighborhood was considerably more than those in mine. She tried to argue and I just looked at her before she said, "ok, I see what you mean." Strange, isn't it, how more expensive homes = more tax dollars = more money for schools = less budget cuts. eyesroll.gif

Jo--ugh on the science project. DH and R are working on the science fair project as I type. She started freaking out when she realized she'd have to point out that her hypothesis turned out to be wrong, but he calmed her down by telling her how his dissertation hypothesis was wrong. lol.gif

BBM--stay warm! I was going to run outside, until I realized it was 16 degrees out. I decided that's what treadmills are for.

sparkle--have you asked your doctor about an inhaler? It will help the bronchitis symptoms at least.

mommajb--I hear what you're saying too.

Honestly, holding kids back wouldn't bother so much except that after years of budget cuts, we have limited resources. So the kid that would be served well by being a 8yo in second grade isn't getting adequately served by being a 8yo in first grade. If we had all the money in the world to throw at it (and small class sizes), fine. But we don't.

We could solve many of these problems by arranging education according to learning styles/needs/levels rather than ages, but that has its own problems too.

ETA: now, I'm going to run. Really.
post #183 of 489

Jen, thinking of you as you remember and honor your Gram today.


Mel, what's the podcast called?Good luck with the valentines and


sparkle, good think you had an inside track at the ER! I hope you can catch up on some rest today.


DrJen & BBM, I'm impressed by and a tiny bit jealous of both of your mileage.


jo, agreed that 6 miles barefoot on the beach sounds idyllic.


My youngest's fever is hanging on- we're on day four now. I put her in the ergo on my back and we walked in to town because I could *not* do another day with no exercise at all and staying at home. She fell asleep on my lap in the coffee shop while I sipped tea and my older daughter played and read, and I only had a couple of dirty looks about having an obviously sick kid out in public. We then wandered through the village and chatted with a few friends, came home for lunch and she passed out on the couch while I prepped food.




post #184 of 489
Originally Posted by MelW View Post
Mel, what's the podcast called?


It's called Run World Radio.


post #185 of 489
real, I am reading along feeling a bit like the odd one out on this whole when should the kids start school and then I go to the part about 8 yo in second grade and thought well, my 8yo (almost 9) is in 3rd grade so maybe I am not holding them back. 14 when starting highschool, 5 when starting kindergarten and I am calling it holding them back.

goodvibes.gif that all the sick dingos and dinglets are better soon!
post #186 of 489

Drive by hello all.


Zub, sending you love and sticky vibes. It should be, as we say in Hebrew, "in a good hour, at a good time". goodvibes.gif


I am feeling sort of down in the dumps today (shvach, would be an excellent and expressive Yiddishism for it) for no particular reason. And I am embarrassed to say I have to go act like the Punk Ne'er Do Well at a murdery mystery dinner party we are doing for the kids' school PTO. I can, it is true, do 'anti-authority figure' pretty well but the punk outfit is going to stump me. I think I'll go for all black and mismatched earrings. 


I am reading a very good book called "Quiet" that is resonating very deeply with me -- I'm definitely an introvert and it is refreshing to see it laid out so well (that it doesn't mean shy, anti-social misanthrope -- just someone who needs a lot of alone time to recharge and does not fare very happily in large crowds with a lot of stimulation).


Anyway, off to pretend to be social...

post #187 of 489

I'm sorry for those fighting educational battles.  My kids seem to be right on track for their ages at the moment.  They are both doing well in school and meeting the reading and math milestones, and the social stuff, too, but aren't remarkable enough to need extra attention either to overly challenge them or to pull them up to grade level.  My DD is one of the youngest kids in the second grade, though, due to having a summer birthday and also to the fact that our town has a gap year program between kindergarten and first grade that lots of parents take advantage of.  DD's class is eighty-something kids and I think almost twenty were lost to the transitional program her year.


I don't know why, but I was really surprised when I heard some parents talking about it and saying that some parents of boys, especially, take advantage of the transitional program in order to give their kids an edge in sports when they get older.  Apparently they separate kids by grade level, so it's much better for boys to be older when they are getting competitive and sending them through the transitional class is a way to make that happen.  I'm just not that forward-thinking, I guess.  And I'm hoping my kids' sport will be running, where being older and bigger is not necessarily an advantage.


I feel really lucky that my kids' needs are currently being met through their classes.


Tomorrow I have a running date with my neighbor, for the first time in ages.  She's gone on and on about how out of shape she is, so we should be a pitiful pair.  I'm hoping to run all of this week, now that I've spent all day today feeling okay.  I might finally be rid of the never-ending colds.

post #188 of 489

I am so tired today, I must have a virus of some sort because I have no energy. Maybe I am just a little burnt out but I can usually keep going anyway when things are hard. I don't even feel like knitting. I fell asleep for a while with dd this morning and I really didn't want to get up for the rest of the day. I wish I had a dh who would step up to the plate on days like this and know how to prepare meals, soup and tea for the sickies in the house and know it isn't a good time to ask when I am ever going to get around to some of the jobs that need to be done in the house. I love to cook but I sometimes wish someone else could prepare a really good meal. It is more likely to come from my kids than my dh. Does anyone else see that as wrong?


dd is a little better tonight. She has had a rough go with these chicken pox. She has them pretty much everywhere you can get them greensad.gif


ds and dd1 are in the grade that fits best with their age. Because they go to a small school and are in French Immersion they have split classes every year so they get a mix of where they fit in the age ranking every year. That has been good for them. dd2 has a late fall birthday and we kept her back a year when we made the shift from homeschooling. It had nothing to do with academics or gaining an advantage and everything to do with social and emotional readiness for school. She is the youngest in the family and quite relished that 'baby' role and being the oldest in her grade and the oldest in her class every other year has called out some good leadership and maturity qualities she would not have developed as readily had she been the youngest in the class as well as at home. Right now is the hardest time with this as she is the most mature girl in her class physically but she is managing things really well. I am proud of her. Being in a small class (only 15 students) means that her teacher can give her the kind of work she needs as she is a very strong student. We are very, very lucky to have the schools we do for our kids.


Okay, time to get dd2 to bed. The poor TV needs a break! Today she watched some Harry Potter, a couple of DVD's of symphonies, Singin' In the Rain and a whole lot of Little House On the Prairie. It distracts her from itching and moaning too much but I will be glad when she is a little better and can do other things instead!

post #189 of 489

babybugmama - do you want me to match people up from the PM's you sent or do you want doctorjen to do it? My foggy brain is confused!

post #190 of 489

Shantimama - I did it already - I should have PM'd you too to let you know it was done.  Bbm did a few pairings too, including you.  Everyone should have received the name of their secret sprinter (sprintee?) now.  Bummer that dh can't step up some.  I agree with you that's not right.


RR - I'm on call this weekend, so made it a priority to get my long run in at the first available time.  There was no one in labor overnight, so I got up earlier and knocked my long run out of the treadmill.  14.32 miles, the last 2 of which almost put me over the edge so I bumped up the speed so I could get done!  Star Trek (the new one) is a great long treadmill run movie, btw!  Now call can do whatever it likes.  39 miles so far this week, will do a short run tomorrow if babies permit.



post #191 of 489
Whitney Houston - R.I.P. candle.gif
post #192 of 489
Shanti - hug.gif and goodvibes.gif That sounds miserable. I have a had a similar day of exhaustion and nodding off, and then actually sleeping on and off from 1-7 - bleh - BUT, my dh took the kids to the park, then the grocery store and made them all dinner luxlove.gif I wish we could give you a break!
post #193 of 489

Just spent some time catching up on the last three pages of posts. Wow! There's always so much going on in dingoland. The discussions about educational resources, competitiveness and red-shirting fascinate me. I live in Canada, and there's really almost no competitiveness for school admissions. None at all where I live, and almost none even in bigger cities that have more specialized programs. I'm honestly quite at a loss to explain why Americans have so much of this stuff and we have none. I wonder if part of it is just built into the individualistic, competitive national culture? But also, if the discrepancies between rich and poor, and between rich schools and poor schools, is the rest of it. Add to that the high-stakes standardized testing that US school systems seem addicted to and gosh, it seems like common sense and the best interests of the kids just get lost in the shuffle. 


Here KG starts at 4y8m to 5y8m. No one red-shirts. If a child clearly isn't ready, their parents will keep them out of school and typically put them in 1st grade the next year. KG is primarily about reading readiness and learning to be in school, with lots of play and social time. We haven't seen the same trend towards down-loading of early academics on earlier grades, yet even though our academics only really start kicking in the year after KG, our Grade 5 seems to be at basically the same level as your 5th grade.


The down-side is that there's less specialized programming, and less extra stuff. We don't have many high schools with pools, tracks, smartboards or theatres. We don't have gifted programming or school nurses in every school. We don't have cafeterias in small schools or dozens of after-school and extra-curricular offerings. I don't know how much of a loss that is. What tends to take the place of those things is more community-based and family activities and more individualization and flexibility. For instance, high schools don't tend to have junior and senior orchestras, but instead there will be a local society running a non-profit Youth Orchestra program. My highly gifted eldest dd was grade-advanced and further accelerated in her areas of strength, given independent study options, allowed to take up to two months off for study/travel, granted credit for advanced out-of-school work and allowed flexible attendance. No gifted program, but no end of individualization of her educational program. If your kid needs to learn to swim, you look after teaching her or getting her lessons for her yourself. 


Quick RR: I'm managing to keep my mileage in the 30-40 mpw range and am pleased with how I'm feeling. Currently running 6 days a week. Hope to be up about 45 mpw by early next month. Running about 1/4 of my miles barefoot and I'm hoping to increase that proportion too. Treadmills at the community gym are both broken, so I have to deal with the dark / cold / gravel / snow or whatever the road presents. We'll see how it goes.




post #194 of 489
DrJen--bow.gif for 14 on the treadmill.

mommajb--No, that's not holding kids back. That's normal, IMO. And really, I don't count holding fall birthdays (Sept-Dec) back as redshirting, especially since most districts have a cutoff date somewhere between Sept and Dec 1 anyhow, and November birthdays, especially, struggle in some areas (my November-birthday cousin repeated kindergarten for that reason). Redshirting, IMO, is when someone has a kid with a May/June/July birthday *and* based on nothing more than concerns that they might be a few months younger than their classmates, decides to wait until said child is 6 before starting kindergarten. Those kids are 6 years + some months when they're entering school with kids who are still 4 and won't turn 5 until say, October.

RR: 3 on the treadmill in memory of Sherry Arnold. candle.gif

Also, I'm running a half-marathon tomorrow. It's supposed to be 27 degrees and overcast. cold.gif Seriously, what was I thinking?!?!? Right now it's only 10 degrees out, so I'm really hoping it warms up overnight like it's supposed to.
post #195 of 489
Thread Starter 

Real, good luck at your half! I don't think I'm even capable of conceptualizing the cold at this point; hopefully, some good carb-loading will help you maintain the speed and energy you need to finish fast and stay warm!


Miranda, bow.gif to you, too, for that kind of mileage without the aid of a TM to achieve it. In Canada. For reals.


Sad about Whitney Houston. The world has been missing her for years, in truth. So sad when such amazing people are lost to such terrible circumstances. candle.gif


Mel38, I hope you got caught up on work. Your dh sounds supportive and wonderful, and that has got to help! thumb.gif


Nick, I think I am an introvert in a similar vein. Writer types are often "gregarious introverts." That fits me. I am very interested in others, and in interacting with people. I get lonely without my people. But I need a lot of placid down-time and solitary space, too. I think it makes me impossible. nut.gif


RR: 10.2km around the track + 2km walk to and from. Obviously a lot of walking during the run, too. My barefoot muscles were tired this morning, so I put on the shoes and took to the rubberized track around the big park. It's nice enough, with bathrooms and a cold water fountain, but the car exhaust makes it a lot harder for me than the beach. Anyway, it's done, and now I am going to do my abs and upper body and get on with housework and writing. At the same time.


NRR: Dinner at the boss's tonight. How to prep the kids to not have one of those granola-bar commercial moments?! Wish me luck! I can just see "Mom really hates it here," or "We might not come back next year" or some such not-appropriate-for-the-occasion stuff coming out. horrors.gif



post #196 of 489

MirAnda....you're really not helping my long time desire to move to Canada. Really now.


I have two fall birthday - my kids are slightly younger than geofizz's dd and slightly older than her ds.  That means they were both almost six at the start of kindy. What I keep saying is that if we do a good job teaching school readiness in kindy, then the reading and math happens when it needs to.  My dd1 was ready of school at 4 (but couldn't go because she wasn't old enough) and dd2 was not at all ready. Neither went and both seem to be thriving.


Jo: extroverted introvert here too.


Spent yesterday skiing. We drove t the. Snowbell (western edge of Michigan- 2 hrs) and my older dd skied about three times farther than she ever had. Our usual pattern is ski together as a family then one adult hangs with the kids while the other skis/change.  Unfortunately the long skiing by dd crept into my time, but it won't be long before she's skiing faster than me. 

post #197 of 489

Honestly, I never considered holding any of my children back in school either.  DS is an October birthday, so he's on the older side of his cohort.  DD1 is March and DD2 is May, so it really wasn't even a consideration.  A friend of mine whose DS is one day older than DD2 is holding her son back this year and starting kindy next fall (he'll already be well into 6), but she did it because he had NO interest in anything academic at all and she really felt he wasn't ready for it.


Add me to the "want to move to Canada" list too!


kerc ~ that sounds like a lovely ski with the family.  Glad you finally have some snow up there too.  Your DD sounds like she's really getting good!


jooj ~ hope the dinner went smoothly and your children managed to keep their feet out of their mouths twins.gif!


Real ~ have a great half!!!!!


Shanti, sparkle, and all the other under-the-weather Dingos ~ I hope you're feeling better soon grouphug.gif.


NRR (because, there is no R to R, again...) ~ I've started on a Whole 30 to get myself off the junk food, break the cravings, and feel better.  So far so good thumb.gif.



post #198 of 489
Has anyone been paying attention to the attention Finland has been getting as a result of their PISA scores over the last ten years? Here is a good discussion. Reminds me of what Miranda described about Canada's system, and makes me sad that The "American way" will probably preclude us from ever having an educational system that approaches education in a similar way

Re: introversion. I have only in recent years started to accept that I am an introvert, that I need more time to be alone or "down time" than others, and it doesnt mean Im less capable or less driven (although its hard to stop beating myself up for it most days). I relate to what you said Jo; I love to be around people, watch them, hear their stories, learn about others and otherness, but not to be at the center of the action. I rad once that an introvert is enervated by spending time in a crowd and an extrovert is energized nod.gif

JG - That looks like a great way to get cleaned out, physically and psychicly. I hope you are able to find balance. Our discussion of last week woke up for me the realization that for me it has a lot to do with snacking. I eat healthy meals, but more than not, I dont "need" the snack. When I dont snack I feel much better, find that I am really respecting hunger cues, etc, and when I do it's the opposite.... this leads me to critique what the snacking is about, which helps me see that I am using it in that moment to fill time, or offset boredom, or whatever, and if I see that I'm boredom eating, I can think of something that I truly want to do instead... You know how to eat well, you've done it many times, so what is going on in those moments when you dont?

Miranda, Real, DrJen - bow.gif

NRR: I think Im turning the corner - knock wood. I think I needed to sleep - I was so exhausted and child-like-weepy all week, and finally yesterday just could. not . get out of bed. Today I feel so much more rested, and the lungs feel less ticklish. Im hopeful
post #199 of 489

I don't want to move to Canada. Well actually I'd love to for many of its qualities, the cold NOT being one of them. It's cold enough here in western Massachusetts, thankyouverymuch. High today on my long run was about 15* but the wind was killer on a few of the streets. My neck is stiff now from hunching against the cold. Ah well, 10 miles is 10 miles.


I must say, the peckishness (how do you make 'peckish' a noun?) I feel about 45 mins. after a long run or an intense run has only been matched in my life by the same feeling of voracious hunger/crankiness when nursing. Whew. I might be turning back into a human now that I've had my omelette, GF toast, and caffix.gif. Maybe more of the last, yup.


On birthdays: interesting. My oldest dd is an October baby and originally, when we lived in NY where the deadline was Dec. 31, she started kindy at 4. Then we moved to FL and because their deadline is Aug. 31, *and* she was in a Montessori with multi-age classrooms, we decided for social/emotional reasons to reclassify her in 4th grade for the second time so she wouldn't go up to the middle school and be in a classroom with adolescents almost 3 years older than she was -- there was no way she was ready for it. Since she was in the Montessori she got work that was appropriate for where she was academically, and we have seen no ill effects whatsoever -- she is way ahead in her verbal/reading/language/humanities work and more or less grade appropriate in math (although because she did the Montessori math for a couple years, she is ahead in some ways and thinks of math conceptually, and not as quick with the kind of worksheet-fast-computation skills most traditional schools emphasize). Now that we're in Mass., she is in 5th grade and doing extremely well academically (again, challenged where she needs to be because her class and school is very small) and socially/emotionally in the correct cohort. 


I would not have held her back at the outset but due to our circumstances we took this route and I think it was one of the best decisions we made.


I will say, that having taught middle school, those years (mainly 7th/8th grade) are the ones where that extra year of age difference manifests in difficult ways socially in the classroom. Having some kids who are turning 15 in 8th grade, with other kids who are barely 12 -- it's just very difficult to manage. Younger it doesn't matter so much, and once they get to high school also, but that middle school period is already very challenging and that adds another aspect to the complications. 


My younger two are both late August birthdays and both the youngest in their classes, but no problems. Dd2 is quite bright and in a nice group of kids, and can hold her own socially. Ds also is where he needs to be academically (although he still has writing skills issues as he just picked a dominant hand last year) and he's tall, and quite social. So although he may always be the very youngest in the class, so far we're ok. He'd be bored out of his mind if we held him back.


I think it might be time to work on my sugar addiction...I ate some candy last night at the murder mystery event and it made me feel very ill. Ugh.

post #200 of 489
I've been meaning to ask Dingo advice about kids and music education:

DD1 has been playing violin for 2 1/2 years. She started with Suzuki for the first 2, and is now doing ? - I dont know what the name is. Anyway, she started at my suggestion, so it's not exactly a "student led" endeavor, however, I have sat down with her every 6 mos. to reassess her interest, and freely given her an out. She has always wanted to continue.

But, it is very hard to get her to practice. My goal has always been to keep her interested long enough so she could get good enough to play some self-directed songs (Dixie Chicks, Bob Dylan?) around a camp-fire or something. So far so good. But it often feels a little ridiculous that I, me, have to work so hard for her to play. I don't have to work at all to get her to climb, and that was my idea too. She likes lessons, but not practice.

For my part, I played violin at her age for 5 years and ended up quitting mostly, in hindsight, because it became an obstacle to doing other things - I was not allowed to go out after school until I had practiced for 30 minutes. Also, I practiced in my bedroom, alone. I try to make her practice time more social if she wants it, I dont make her practice every day (3-4x/week, plus the one lesson).

She attended a sleep-away music camp last summer for the first time and loved it. And he playing made huge strides in that one week. The goal there was to show her that there is a community of musicians in the world - kids just like her - playing isnt something you do lone in your room b/c mom makes you wink1.gif She doesnt have access to a group music experience, although I havent investigated possibilities as much as I could.

So the question is, do I keep slogging along like this until one day she either wants to quit or she gets the bug enough to self-motivate, as I've been doing, or just tell her she needs to show more initiative or we're done. It's not like its free - hello! That camp aint cheap! But we just got the sign-up form for this summer's camp and she is SO excited dizzy.gif Really!?

Im trying to find the balance between pushing her and paving the way, you know, but I get so sick of being the one to make sure this happens. She's nearly 9 1/2.... I just dont want her to quit greensad.gif
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