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Dingos Fall into September Action! - Page 12

post #221 of 344
Geo, I knew that would be your response before you wrote it. Challenging practice vs law when you are not or do not feel supported by anybody is hard. This is why you suggested the advocate. Maybe school will be more helpful than when she pulled him out. I hope if she thinks an advocate will help she can find one and afford it and gets good results. I hope the same about a therapist. I also hope that her son knows how much she cares and that is why she does what she does. I also hope she feels helped by those she turns to for help. I have a lot of hopes today. eyesroll.gifgoodvibes.gif Lisa.
post #222 of 344

Lighter comment:  excellent book - we read it aloud.  Children of the Green Knowe    . We read 2, but I'm looking for more. Not a long book, but sophistocated enough to keep both kids engaged.


post #223 of 344
Geo - lol.gif She read all those in 3rd/4th, but we also read the ones you mentioned, although I consider some of those more like light airport fare (as in, the kind you purchase at the airport)... I really liked the great brain...
post #224 of 344
Originally Posted by mommajb View Post

Geo, I knew that would be your response before you wrote it. Challenging practice vs law when you are not or do not feel supported by anybody is hard. This is why you suggested the advocate. Maybe school will be more helpful than when she pulled him out.

Glad to be predictable.


Lisa, you need to head back to the therapist, and I think you know that.  Do you have a diagnosis that covers the behaviors you're seeing?  Is this the right therapist?  I recall some negotiation with your DS over going.  Maybe you need someone different or with different expertise?


The schools might be able to help and they might not.  It's a slow process to get services set up, though.  It will be a family decision to send him back, but knowing what services would be available from within and from outside the school building will have to be part of that decision.  You have a narrow needle to thread.  I do suggest an advocate.  If you can't afford one or can't find one, I do wonder if maybe there's a black-belt IEP mom at your church that can help you navigate the system.  The acronym soup is enough to throw anyone for a loop.  You need someone you trust and who understands your parenting and educational goals for your son.  You need someone who is sharp, understands the system, and can keep the key pieces of information on hand.  I would totally do this for you if I were 100 miles closer.


Thinking of you and your loving family today.  Best.


Major changes in dingo land happen today?  Sending out as many good vibes as I possibly can.  :goodvibes


Kerc, the picture is dated 2000.  It was so long ago you were missing a name.

Books, I was assuming that JayGee was looking for recommendations for her school library, so books at a 3-4th grade level of interest to 3rd and 4th graders.

Run.  Yeah.  That should happen.

post #225 of 344
I too am glad we can rely on you. Your very detailed and analytical perspective helps me more often than I say. Thank you. If I came across negatively I am sorry.

RR If swimming upstream counts I am good.
post #226 of 344
Not negative, just cynical;)

Somehow in all my experiences getting my kids' diagnoses and services, I still remain an optimist who believes that educators want to do the right thing. They often need to be educated in the specifics on the situation, but given enough time and friendly persistence, they can get there.
post #227 of 344
Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post

Somehow in all my experiences getting my kids' diagnoses and services, I still remain an optimist who believes that educators want to do the right thing. They often need to be educated in the specifics on the situation, but given enough time and friendly persistence, they can get there.

Could you come to the next meeting I have to have with a PI on a small grant?  I pretty much said the same thing, not about IEP related stuff, but about being accomodating to students of color.

post #228 of 344
kerc--ugh. I understand that it might be his gut reaction, but DH needs to leave it there and go back to his head. The therapist is right, and obviously, that means being more punitive when she was younger wouldn't have solved anything any more than it would now. It's so hard though. Sending goodvibes.gif for everyone.

RM--if school would mean you get a mental break from the 24/7 watch, you need that break. Public schools should have psychologists, though their availability may be budget-limited. They should be able to put you in touch with other local services and arrange his school environment so that he is supported. If it helps, our violin teacher has a child with multiple special needs, including mental health. He goes to school. Homeschooling isn't an option unless they are willing to sacrifice the mental health of the entire family. She has found him a school that's a good fit, but with his particular needs, pretty much everything contains some degree of struggle, yk?

1jooj--I really enjoyed Flight Behavior. Glad you did too.

JayGee--right now, R only reads books about fairies. And apparently because this year she has to write how long she needs to read in her planner, she's stopped reading a single minute beyond that in favor of playing whatever idiotic app she can find on her Kindle (or watching a video or whatever). Perhaps it pushes her "don't tell me what to do" button? (DH has one too, and it gets pushed by mentioning that we need to do yardwork or he needs to check the oil in his aging car or for the love of Pete would he deal with the large tree branch that's been sitting under our deck for months like he promised me he would do.) We had a throw-down about it (books and R, not the tree branch and P) on Monday. Honestly, I think half her issue is that she doesn't want to read any books that look thick, because somehow that would be too much work. It's bizarre given that she lives in a family of bookworms. She really enjoyed The Mixed Up Files this summer, though she listened to it on tape and only after another round of dire threats from her parents.

tjsmama--sorry about the tri. I'm surprised they're even considering it for next weekend. I don't think there's much that's going to be cleaned up anytime soon. The "neighborhood" tri sounds kind of awesome though.

RR: some running, none of it willingly. I'm just tired.

NRR: just meh. Too much to do, needy kids, etc. I thought I might get the parent of the year award when I managed to make both my kids cry before 8:30 am (R because I asked why she's resisting reading, J because I wouldn't drive back home after school drop-off to get her a stuffed animal and then go to the grocery store located two blocks from R's school). The week's more or less continued in that vein.
post #229 of 344
Geo - you're right, I am looking for chapter books to read aloud to 3rd and 4th graders during library time. I read Chapter 1, and hopefully get get the "hook" and read something they ordinarily wouldn't. I'm looking for stuff that is at a grade level reading level. Thanks for the suggestions smile.gif.

Lisa - I am dealing with a similar reading issue with DS. He LOVED to read, plowed through book after book the entire 4th grade year. In 5th grade, he (re)discovered his love of cars and now reads nothing but Road and Track, Car and Driver, and Motor Trend. He's been "reading" the same book from the library since the beginning of August, meaning he may pick it up if he's digested every last automotive kernel from his magaizines and we won't let him on his Nook.

Speaking of reading, I'm in the middle of a book called The Smartest Kids in the World which is a case study contrasting high school education in Finland, South Korea and Poland with the US. Fascinating, interesting, and disturbing all at once. Especially the part about why US kids suck at Math. DH is tired of me reading sections of it to him every night lol.gif. Is it so wrong of me to want "more" out of education for my children?

Lisa - thinking of you and praying for you as you navigate this difficult time with your DS.

NRR - Still not feeling great, but headed to the Magic House children's museum with the 4th grade today. DD1 is thrilled that I am finally chaperoning a field trip with her. Pool middle child has gotten short shrift over the years bag.gif.
post #230 of 344

JayGee, I just started reading The New Global Student, and it's helping settle my mind. The author (whose writing is so marketing-y cheery it makes my stomach lurch) is examining a paradigm to which I can finally relate. The family basically sold everything and left with their 4 daughters to Central and South America, for the tail end of their secondary ed years. Rather than embrace an expat-centric approach, they immersed (duh) for all its benefits, and then blazed their own nontraditional trails to earn the bachelor's degrees. In their cases, they enrolled in universities that gave credit for language and experience and the girls must have tested/appraised for decent credit because at least 3 girls went in with junior standing and completed their BAs in good time, then went on to fields they're passionate about, not making the big bucks yet, but debt-free. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but for some of us, this is it. This was my education in a lot of ways, only my parents were not equipped to help me with the stuff parents would normally help with, and thus I didn't get the most out of it in terms of credentials--but I can pick up that ball for my kids. Doesn't leave out math or science, but looks at changing from trying to compete in the current contest to looking for one's own habitat in which to thrive. And opening our minds about lifestyle. When I think about how many of my young-adult choices were driven by other people's values that I (mistakenly) internalized, it makes me blue.


So anyway I started researching opportunities for next summer. I want to find a francophone working holiday, not in Morocco, that would accept my kids. I am looking forward a couple of years when I can send them off into a real immersion experience, but they are now a little too young, given the extended family's child mortality rate. uhoh3.gif


RM, I second everything Real says, too. I totally understand that sense of being overwhelmed. And if having him in school gets you the hours you need in order to be all over his business the rest of the day, then by all means do it. And if you can go in and make the demands for interventions that he needs, and push to have them met, he'll have a better experience. But you definitely need to dig into why he is seeking, and how to interrupt that. More hugs, mama. Sometimes it all comes down at once.


RR: Rainy and muggy here today. Very short run in my future.


School-related: kids are making good progress, and dd really has a knack for languages, I think. We should not be too terribly behind by the time we get to UAE.

post #231 of 344

Read The New Global Student a couple years ago. Gave it 4 stars on Goodreads. Loved all the helpful info re: education alternatives. Just finished Hacking Your Education and The Element by Sir Ken Robinson. Blogged about them here.

JG, my guys just plowed through the Charlie Bone series and apparently loved it.

Am trying to finish my latest book and move on to Death Comes to Pemberley on Kerc's recommendation.

Started Flight Behavior but had to turn it in before leaving NY this summer unfinished and the local library doesn't have it. greensad.gif

Schoolwise, we are deep into Early British history: Dark Ages, Saxon invasions, etc

RR: Can you get a swimmer's high? Bc if you can I definitely found the sweet spot. Got to the pool late yesterday and had to squeeze in my usual workout in less time so didn't pause much. Felt fantastic! I feel like I keep using that word fantastic a lot when it comes to swimming but it's just so true. Nirvana. I can no longer live without it. Not losing any weight but clothes fitting pretty well. Adding weights this week to try to tone up / slim some more. Stupid 10 extra lbs doesn't want to leave.

Kerc, rewards and consequences don't really work for one of mine either. (Ds1) The only thing I've found that works for him is minimal scheduling, lots of time for transitioning, lots of slow. I can have meaningful conversations with him only if those other criteria (his needs) are already in place. What did my therapist say years ago? H.A.L.T. You can't process properly and choose good behavior if you're in H.A.L.T. H- Hungry. A-Angry. L-Lonely T-Tired I know it's different for every kid. And having both parents on the same page is crucial. hug.gif

RM, no words. hug.gif You just don't get to rest, do you, without having a lot on your plate? Like MommaJB said, in a state like TX where Hs is not monitored at all, the flip side is that there are no services either. I don't the legalities like Geo does but I know that TX is a hands-off state which also means that they offer nothing. Or so I'm told.

Plady, good luck with those audition numbers!

Gaye & Real, still following the flooding problems for your area on KCFR (?) and thinking of you daily.
post #232 of 344
Reading: Beautiful Ruins. Fun, hard to put down. Not "great lit" but liking it better than Gone Girl. read Death Comes... when it first came out. I'm a sucker for anything related to Jane Austen (reading P&P to Dd1 now lol.gif), which is why I loved Major Pettigrew probably

NRR; spending wayy too much time contemplating cocktails for this party. I'm offering two pitchers worth, and having fun deciding what they will be nut.gif
post #233 of 344
Thread Starter 

Hi mamas,

:hug To RM  - I don't have any better or new ideas but I agree that you need some time to gather your forces, you cannot be 24/7.


Kerc - :rotflmaoI nearly peed myself today when I tried to reply to your text.  I can't text, as you undoubtedly figured out. 


I'm way behind and missed some of the book talk so I'll be back for that.  Got the casting figured out though.  Tomorrow to make the calls.  


Dh got himself on the local news tonight. You wanna see?  My geeky looking lawyer boy.  He was googling "what to wear on TV" and didn't know what check print was.  Hmmm that tie is sort of along those lines. :lol

post #234 of 344
My thoughts on education after sitting through a 4-1/2 hour school board meeting? There's a huge difference between education and achievement. I think we focus too much on achievement, including, yes, comparing all of our scores obsessively to other countries without also comparing poverty rates, access to healthcare (Finland has socialized health care), etc. One has to wonder whether Finns spend their time obsessively comparing their tenth graders' math scores to ours. I'm betting not, which means they're probably spending a lot more time looking at how they can support their teachers and how best to meet the needs of individual students. And here, we're all about production: how quickly can we make it (students), how little can we spend on materials (buildings, teachers, support), how much profit can we make (achievement scores), and how can we outrank everyone else? They're bad questions.

Nevertheless, we continue to compare students as if the kids who finish what's typically a four-year degree in two years, like the children in The New Global Student are better than the students who take four or six years. Cost savings immediately springs to mind again, but it ignores whether they feel equipped for lifelong learning, whether they felt excited and engaged by their education, and whether they are equipped for their adult lives as measured by: do they have a job they enjoy and are happy with where they are right now? (That's typically translated as "workforce readiness," but because that term is associated with mastering certain skills (math, reading, writing) but not others like being bilingual or having a working knowledge of world cultures, I won't use it here. I'm not dismissing subjects, but pointing out that our vision of "readiness" is limited and "readiness" means a number of different things depending on the career under consideration.)

What's great about those students isn't how quickly they mastered undergraduate material or if they had before they arrived, but that they have a rich variety of experiences and knowledge to use in their life. I'd argue that taking longer, in high school or college or even in elementary school, also allows students to get the experiences they need, whether that's more time to master material, more time to spend also pursuing semesters abroad or internships or just taking time off to pursue interests not covered in the academy. Yes, in American society being quick has all sorts of advantages (probably the reason DH's and his 5-year-PhD program is now tenured, and I'm sitting here unemployed with a PhD that took me a decade (technically, one of those was a "time out" year, when I realized that an intense baby is nothing like a pet. Also, that all those tales of babies sleeping a lot were LIES!). I could have done the degree more quickly--if I didn't have the kid. I could have pursued the academic market more aggressively instead of choosing to be content with the part-time adjunct status (especially if I didn't have kid #2), but that looks at it purely from an economic stance that insists making money is always more important than anything else (like those kids). Education is correlated with income, but education, IMO, shouldn't be focused on income or being competitive to the exclusion of most other issues.

So an education in which one is traveling the world? A kind of fabulous.

Plady--congrats to your DH.

lofty--it is KCFR. It's so weird that the ground is still quite damp. That's pretty much never happened. Maybe I'll get to finish aerating the lawn yet! (I have one of those two-pronged things you step on, so it takes, oh, forever).

More personals tomorrow, I hope.
post #235 of 344

Real, agreed! In fact, the author was pointing out the shortened time at university (and no SAT) solely as a cost-saving for her family, and she repeatedly points out that she's not pushing a one-way-right-way message. IIt's time to move away from compete and compare on all terms. If my kids come out the other end and decide to pursue vocations that don't require academics, OK. And if they have the means to spend extra years studying, my hope is that they do. I'd just hate to push them through twelve years as fast as possible, and then 4 or fewer, for them to lock into a career they are stuck in because they owe too much to turn around and think about it again. On the same note, I don't ever want them to think that a baby means you have to buy a house (duh, I know, but that was what was served up to us before we were really ready for it). But yes, the production model is not where we get all our best creative solutions. And yet, this is where we expect them to come from. Grr.


Wow, Plady. That's quite a story too. Holy smokes.


RR: So I managed to run about 3.5 of 5 miles yesterday. It was pretty awful, but it was hot and humid, so it's fine. Will probably try to throw a little jogging into the half.


Dh is in Morocco. I am hoping that means no more last-minute requests for odds and ends. One week left here in the apartment.

post #236 of 344
I will definitely add the New Global Student to my reading list. I had the most interesting conversation yesterday with my co-chaperone on the field trip. She and I drove to the museum (no, I don't do school busses) and we talked a lot about education. Her DH works for the State Department and they have lived all over the world. She was telling me about her daughter's kindergarten experiences in Brussels and contrasting it with her son's current kindy experiences here. It's like day and night between the Montessori-based, Dutch-language school and the worksheet based, plowing-through-the-curriculum at any cost school. So last night DH and I were talking about maybe looking for a government job in Europe sometime in the next few years. I was worried that DS would be almost High School aged by then, but maybe living abroad for High School would be a good thing. I think I need to do more research wink1.gif.

I had a wonderful time yesterday at the children's museum. We had the perfect ratio for 4 girls and 2 parents. They had a great time, but wished they could have stayed longer. It was funny because I always think my kids are "too old" for the children's museum, but there was SO much there for these 4th graders that I really want to take my kids back there again.

Plady - your DH looked great on screen! What a weird news story. That poor woman! I would think that once the city paid out an eminent domain payment the money couldn't be recalled by the city?

Real - I know the Finnish experience can't be translated well into the US experience, but many of her findings highlight the differences that are not socio-economic. The one constant between the three high-performing countries on PISA is the student's attitude toward education and their drive to do well. One of the most interesting points the author makes is that sports are not part of school in these countries. Kids play for club teams and do sports, but you don't "play for your school" as you do in the US. School = learning. Period.

jooj - enjoy your last week in the apartment smile.gif and good luck with your 13.1 mile walk this weekend orngbiggrin.gif!
post #237 of 344

gloomy.gif BIL's cancer is back.

post #238 of 344

Jo~I'm so sorry to hear that.  :(  prayers and hugs to you and the family.


my besties MIL's cancer is everywhere when they thought it was going into remission.  given 1 month to live.

post #239 of 344
So much to say, I dont know if I can keep it all straight:

What was interesting to me about the Finnish approach was that they do not have private schools at any level, they require all teachers to have Master's, and teaching is considered a serious profession, the schools all offer meals (plural) and health care (mental/physical)... What this article described is that their focus is on parity, not achievement. When they started turning away from a focus on scores and toward a focus on access for all, the scores went up.

This country is going in the opposite direction. I wonder how much of that has to do with our culture of elitism (we are the best country in the world, bla bla bla) and our drive to maintain economic dominance. "Success" and "achievement" seem very tied to monetary reward. The outcome of all this "success" is a good paying, stable job that offers health insurance! It strikes me that so much of parents interest in schools grades and their children's achievement is fear-driven - parents just want to know that after 22 years, their kids will be financially ok, right? If they happen to like or love their work, or find fulfillment in whatever they are doing, well, that's all fine, but if they are a poor painter, bummer!

And I am wholly complicit in this. I want to praise Jo and Lofty for leading their children the way they are b/c it is so BRAVE. I am realizing this summer/fall how invested I feel about my kids "achievement" (or have felt) at the expense of their development as human beings and really soaking them in experience of all kinds. This school year, so far, has been all about joy in whatever they are doing, and lack of competition with others, and they seem to be really liking what they are doing more and getting along better.... I dont know. Maybe its coincidence. But it has really hit me this Fall how much I want them to love to learn, and want them to delve into study, and that I need to let go of caring about achievement. Its been this weird relief, like oh yeah, now we can really get into some fun stuff (and why wasnt school "fun" before this?) Anyway, I now see formal school as an adjunct and support, but not the entire ballgame. Its fun to think about all the things I can add. The GT program, so far, has been wonderful for this. I think that is also why they are happier (as much as this may contradict what Im saying)

Reminds me of this article I just read in the New Yorker looking at the relationship btwn. happiness studies and public policy. In short it questioned our policy's drive toward increasing GDP, "production", etc (ala achievement) when study after study shows that affluence does not make people happy, and often the opposite. It looked at what has been shown to make peole happy and then suggested national policy changes that would do this... Lets just say that beating our kids over the heads to achieve (achieve what?!) doesnt account for happiness....

JG - I met a family 2 years ago who moved to Germany on a whim. Got jobs teaching with the State Dept. in Bavaria. None of them spoke German (they all do now). Dad is a math teacher, mom is a SLP. They teach at en English school for Army kids, but put their own 4 kids in German school (immersion style). When I saw them they were visiting the states and said they will never move back. Their quality of life is so great there, and they said State dept. teaching is the best kept secret. They were given a beautiful house, health care, etc. and they love their community etc. I have been coveting that since. Germany is the only place we could go b/c its the only place dh could work (on a base). Dont think it will ever happen for us, but I hope it can for you orngbiggrin.gif

Jo - we are VERY seriously considering a month-long trip to France next summer. Just sayin'. Now to figure out how to home-school my kids in French this year ... that is, me learn it first, then convince them to practice it every day bigeyes.gif

RR: Woot joy.gif 52 minutes on the bike. 30 on the TM. Now to start baking. T-minus 29 hours until party time. Did I mention there will be about 60 people here bigeyes.gif
post #240 of 344
Two videos you might like. Yes, I'm a Ted Talks junkie, why do you ask? smile.gif I've blogged about them both, of course, bc I'm also an education-information junkie. Raise your hand if you've already seen these.

Hackschooling Makes Me Happy

Forget What You Know

Another fun book: Hacking Your Education: Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More Than Your Peers Ever Will

And an article by Peter Gray, PhD that was just published today on Psychology Today: Schools Are Good for Showing Off, Not for Learning

JG, I think that would be an incredibly rewarding, life-enriching, scary-yet-unforgettable experience for your kiddos. You have my vote. orngbiggrin.gif

Jo & RM, gloomy.gifgrouphug.gif

RR: Weights today. Check.

NRR: I'm trying to write 1000 words a day. Sparkle, Jooj, anyone else want to be accountability partners? I'm thinking something like making a weekly goal every Fri or whenever and checking in the following week. Or maybe once a month would be more feasible. We could skype, chat in real time, etc. Which would be fun. Not like holding each other's feet to the fire or creating unrealistic expectations but helping each other to keep up with our own very real and very serious expectations. (Got the idea from Hacking Your Education.)

It's raining. It's so exciting. The kids immediately put on bathing suits and went out and played in it. They're jumping on the trampoline now.

Tomorrow: DS1 has violin recital at Farmer's Market (yes it's an hour away) and DS2 has first football game an hour away in a different direction. In good news, DH is acting as headcoach for the time being. Which makes me feel better about ds2 playing. They already had to move one dad off the practice field for trying to make the kids be too physical and too aggressive. Sigh.
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