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Old 11-18-2013, 02:26 PM
 
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lofty~ hug.gif

jaygee~ goodvibes.gif for everyone feeling better and jake the cat to come home!


I don't know a whole lot about the IB curriculum except that it's pretty intense. I lost two of my babysitters (twins) to it...I hadn't used them recently but last time I asked their mom if they could watch Tyler, she said they're not doing any babysitting anymore because they have too much schoolwork. I don't really know if I want my kiddo doing something so demanding that he doesn't have time for anything else...I'd really love him to be able to participate in extracurriculars or have the ability to have a part-time job if he wants. If we stay where we live right now (which who knows, HS is still a long way away), our neighborhood HS has an IB program. If he didn't want to do IB, I really wouldn't want him to go to that school...it's really the only thing going for it. Otherwise, we'll probably try to get him into the STEM school (if he wants) or choice into the next closest public school, which is actually the best one in the district.

After a stressful start to my day (it was the third installment of my basic dysrhythmia class wherein I had to take a test identifying rhythms and the proper interventions which had to be passed at a 92%!!!), it's been pretty nice for the remainder. I got out of the test early enough to take C to the airport (out of town all week for work, boooooo) and then ran a few errands, picked up some Starbucks and got a pedicure. Ahhhh. It was desperately needed! I still need to work on the Christmas decorations, which may or may not happen tonight, if I get motivated enough to try to fix the top of the tree, but I also have a happy hour to go to with some girls from work. With DS, unfortunately, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do... ;-)

rr~I worked out my tabloid magazine reading skills while getting my pedicure...that counts for something, right? Actually, I just told C that since Monday is his rest day, I'm taking a rest day by association. Sounds good to me! orngtongue.gif

Gaye, single mama to Tyler (5/06) and Baxter the labradoodle
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Old 11-18-2013, 02:37 PM
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Lofty - I have been thinking of you all day!  I hope Dane had a great first day.  I am drooling at the idea of a 12 person class for my kids!

 

RR: I got blown off by my early morning RP, and couldn't force myself out the door at 5:30 to be alone and in the windy dark.  So, I held off and went back to bed for an hour!  I did make it over to the pool and swam 2500 yards, though, so I'm calling that pretty good.  Tomorrow morning, I will do boot camp.


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Old 11-18-2013, 05:05 PM
 
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Lofty - 12 kids!  Perfect size!  I hope he had a ball.

 

JG - Sending prayers for health and homeward bound kitty.

 

I'm sneaking an hour at home (!) so the kids can have a "normal" after-school thing.  I've been parked in front of the computer for almost the whole time which I know I will regret when I think for a second about all the useful things I could be doing. 


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Old 11-19-2013, 07:25 AM
 
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Sending the kids to school today, even though they don't feel wonderful. I've got 15 people coming over to help wrap auction baskets this morning. This week can't end quickly enough!

And still no Jake the Cat greensad.gif.

~~Kristina~~ Mama to DS(10/30/01), DD1(VBAC 3/28/04) and DD2(HBAC 5/21/06)
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:49 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by sparkletruck View Post

AP: yeah, I think what he was saying is that the time students spend on AP curriculum comes as a trade off for other, more meaningful advanced work, like deep projects. He described it as a narrower but deeper focus vs. thin coverage of a lot of subjects. I can see the up and down sides of both, but I like the idea of high school students getting to do 'real' college level work and not just study for a test that shows the college that they are ready for real college work, if that makes sense. He said that the colleges he talks to about his students tell him that they are very prepared for advanced college work, and that if the students want to place out of intro. courses, many colleges will work with them to find the best 'placement'. Also, some of the kids at this private school have presented the research they've done for their senior thesis at conferences where they are the only high school students.

As for GT, AP, teacher resources, class size, and tracking vs. not tracking, I dont think we will ever have a 'solution'. This conversation has been at the forefront of ed. theory and policy since forever, and I dont know if we're any closer to an equitable, substantive solution greensad.gif

You know, I was not even considering the teach-to-the-test aspect.

 

And :thumb about the HS kids presenting their research! That's awesome - what an amazing opportunity for them! It sounds like a great school.

 

Lofty: How was day 1?
 
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... but I also have a happy hour to go to with some girls from work. With DS, unfortunately, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do... ;-)

:lol I had a business idea many years ago, it was a bar built around a playground.

 

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And still no Jake the Cat greensad.gif.

Oh no! I'm so sorry! And I hope that everyone feels better soon, too.

 

I just spent 2 hours at the high school listening to presentations on financial aid for college. On one hand, I am really thankful for DD1's good grades, but I couldn't help my mind from wandering again and again to DS and his school situation. We had an appointment with his ped yesterday morning, and I spent a lot of time talking to her about his performance in school. So now I have a copy of the "Vanderbilt ADHD Diagnostic Parent Rating Scale" to fill out. :( I just don't like the sound of that. And my gut tells me that this is his personality and not a *disorder,* you know? I mean, you should see him when he is engaged in something - playing tennis, he hangs on his instructor's every word! Working with his dad building something, he is so focused and motivated and willing to learn. But put him in his desk at school and give him a series of verbal instructions? Oh, he does what he thinks he was asked to do, he just forgot/didn't hear at least 50% of the instructions. Add to that the fact that he reads and writes slowly, and the result is that most of his work is incomplete or incorrect.

So... I'll fill out the survey, and the teacher also has one to fill out, but I am not putting him on any medication, no way. gloomy.gif


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Old 11-19-2013, 08:03 AM
 
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JayGee, sorry to hear about Jake the Cat. :Hug

 

Gaye, happy decorating!

 

Lofty, how was ds' first day at school?

 

Mel38, love the business idea. And we are having the same issues with ds. We also did all the evaluations, etc. and are waiting for the observation from the school district. I too will not be giving meds. And I believe there are a few things going on -- active, kinesthetic kids who learn by doing and engaging actively. Normal male cognitive development issues with processing verbal instructions (not nearly as well developed in boys for the most part until puberty and even then, dicey) as well as the slower handwriting skills in boys. (Not all, obviously -- but it's very common for these to lag behind girls in elementary school while other skills are better developed, but those are the ones that are not as 'school friendly.')

 

I am so close to fed up for ds that I don't know what to do with myself anymore. Have been researching the public schools here like mad, waiting for evaluation to see if he qualifies for an IEP or 504 (I don't think so) and then what (if any) accommodations are required/mandated. MA does not accommodate for 'gifted' IEPs at all. And our district does not have a GT program -- the principal of the elementary school told me, "well maybe the teacher will give extra work if she wants to." :irked  As if GT was only about volume and/or acceleration (it's not). 

 

Bleh. I have to talk more with Geo I think.

 

I'm slowly moving into self-directed project oriented learning with most of my classes this year. It's a lot of work for me up front to prepare the project phases, scaffold/give the kids small group lessons and piece it out, but the first project was a big success (my 10th graders did an advanced version of a classic Montessori project - "Imaginary Island" -- when they create their own society, complete with physical structures, climate, economy, social structure, industry/agriculture, currency, religion and folktales, art/music, and a constitution -- plus a model -- or map -- for the hands on part).


 "Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible." (William Shakespeare -- Julius Caesar)

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Old 11-19-2013, 09:35 AM
 
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Nic, your project sounds great! I'm sorry to hear the school is still not working out for ds.

Mel38, love the bar/park idea. Reminds me of our little neighborhood park in Austin where a dad/brewmaster always brought fresh-brewed beer. We were a happy group of parents! lol.gif I don't remember how old your son is but my 13yo was very much like that. He can definitely focus but is so easily distracted when work is not interesting, challenging, etc. As far as the reading, writing pace goes, he is great now but up until he was around 10 and 11, he would've been considered behind, I'm sure. He's just my slow-growing kid. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this.

JG, hug.gif Be well.... goodvibes.gif

Bec, Sorry you got blown off by RP! Aaargh!

Tjsmama, your life sounds so busy but so fun. Enjoy "your" rest days! smile.gif

Geo, Plady, Jo, wave.gif

Day 1 was meh. I think the anticipation must be the exciting part. He felt rushed through his work and then frustrated at having to wait for the group. But this is life. The good news is that he got to be with the kids he considers his friends from sports, so he was thrilled about that! He's also on the chess team, but as an alternate, since the names already had to be submitted and he has his first field trip on Friday - which happens to take place near me at the oldest settled area in Texas (as in before Texas was part of the U.S.) so we'll meet him there. And Thursday is Thanksgiving lunch with parents/grandparents day, so I'll go up to school to eat with him. So even though he didn't have his socks knocked off the first day of school, he still packed his lunch last night, did all his homework for the entire week, set my alarm before going to bed, and still managed to get up before me to go downstairs and practice his long division. Yes, he made up some problems and I guess he was caught off-guard by it yesterday at school and couldn't remember how, so he worked on it last night and this morning to make sure he has it down. I guess I'm just grateful he cares so much. Now if I could just motivate my 13yo to care a tiny bit about his algebra. He LOVES geometry but is just so unmotivated. He is currently inventing some game with his cardboard. Aaargh.

RR: Hot Yoga tonight! Woot-woot!

NRR: Marriage counseling this afternoon.

Have a great day, y'all. And Kerc, I didn't eat that chocolate bar after all! That walk was just what I needed. thumb.gif

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Old 11-19-2013, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Mel38 - brilliant idea! My bff irl (lol.gif) lives across the street from the park where all the kids would play Friday afternoons and then head to her house for continued play, and wine for the moms.

Geo - I'm interested on your pov when you get to ot

JG - Im so sorry about kitty greensad.gif Have you done a neighborhood search, calling and looking for him? I wonder if he is getting senile and that's why he was pooping and now wandered off. Maybe someone found him? Have you put signs around the 'hood?
Good luck with the auction stuff goodvibes.gif

NRR: the thing, or a thing, I'm wrestling with as this school decision unfolds is how much this decision will or wont affect her life. Of my three kids, she is the most like me, as in, a mini-me. I have to remind myself "she's not you" all the time to separate anything I may be projecting on to her, and just to see HER for herself. In any case, my parents were not involved in my development much at all, save for a structured household (dinner at the same time every night, chores, etc) - which I definitely appreciate as the counterbalance it was to my chaotic alcoholic childhood), so that I might have done things differently if I'd had more support or meta-awareness, provided by experienced elders. As it was, I didnt get any input on school or college, and everything I achieved was largely due to osmosis (very intellectual dad) and grit (main care-giver for my alcoholic mom). Of course, everything worked out mostly ok, but I have struggled a lot and achievedd a lot of what I have by learning later, and with hindsight. I wish I could have saved time and used time better by having more support in thinking about what I was doing.

This is what I am trying to do for DD1. Im not a hovering parent (at all - which another mom mentioned like "... at ALL!" headscratch.gifirked.gif), but I do have a lot of meta-conversations with all my kids. In thinking about schooling, I want her to be supported in making decisions that push her to achieve her potential in the face of her introversion and self-criticism, which I worry, in a big hands-off school (like my high school and college) would not be noticed, as her performance is generally good, but which can hold her back, and keep her at good enough.

On the other hand, maybe she is who she is, and whatever environment she's in, she may ultimately have to learn all the lessons I did and the school wont really affect this process that much and I may just have to let go and support her as much as I can, as I have been, but really its on her to take hold of what I offer or not. And she may just be a slow bloomer, and I hope she doesnt have the regrets I do, but if she does, there's not much I can do?

I know this probably sounds like cutting the sausage into bits to study it, but it feels really important. Maybe its not. Am I just being stupid here? (and I dont worry about the other 2 like I do her. They are extroverts. They already grab on to their interests and harass people to get what they need and want and are totally fulfilling their potential (DS loveeyes.gif , but even DD2, who is 5 going on 13 redface.gif)

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Old 11-19-2013, 10:37 AM
 
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Killing time before class: 

 

IB/AP stuff.  I see both sides of the teach to the test issue, but one point about "wide and shallow" vs "narrow and deep."  If you take something like AP US history, getting the survey done allows you to dig into a deeper class later.  Doing the deeper class would be difficult without the survey first.  If you look at most college majors, they either start with classes called "intro to..." of "... Survey."  That's because you need the context.  If I took a class on the Civil War without knowing something about where the US had been before that, then it would be difficult to follow.  I also wouldn't have much of a context to place it in to infer the consequences of the Civil War. 

 

Enough IB/AP/dual enrollment credits can chop a year or more off of college.  I'm wary of this.  You need to pick your major after 2-3 semesters.  If you come in planning on graduating in 3 years, you have to pick your major before you've gotten a chance to get to know the school or to have some of those late-night-in-the-dorm-talking-all-night transformative experiences in the freshman year.  Further on, you generally need to plan what you're going to do with your life the start of your last year.  How many of us knew what that would be when we were 20?  Dang, many of us are still figuring it out at 40.

 

I think that the place for IB/AP is (1) to free up breathing room in college or allow for a second major or additional minor, (2) give a much more intensive learning experience in high school, teaching the organizational skills necessary to master a radically larger body of knowledge than any time previous, and (3) get you out of an environment where the kids that drive you up the wall dominate the teacher's attention.

 

Mel ADHD stuff:  Those surveys are not a diagnostic tool, and DONT LET ANYONE USE IT AS SUCH.  Use it as motivator to look closer.  You note attention issues when the material is not engaging, but also slow work pace.  A closer look could uncover working memory or processing speed issues, which are part of ADHD, but also very much a part of other things.  It gets more interesting (and difficult!) when you uncover a vast split in cognitive ability and processing speed.  Is like someone gives the kid a Mac Truck engine and puts it in a Yugo body.  It's just going to lead to frustration.  The first step to uncorking bottle necks is to identify them.  GOOD FOR YOU FOR PURSUING IT, but not course parent/teacher rating scale is the determiner of it all.  It's just one piece of information.  I prefer the Conner's if the school will do one, as it screens for way more than ADHD.

 

Nic 504/IEP/ Gifted.  Just holler.  Yeah, I'm opinionated, but I certainly agree that the goal should be appropriate work, not more work.  Gee, I feel like I *just* had this discussion with DD's teaching team. 

 

OK, off to class.  Coal, clean coal, nuclear energy, and global warming.  More light stuff coming up!

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Old 11-19-2013, 12:17 PM
 
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bec~I think 2500 yds in the pool is way excellent. I can't really remember the last time I swam that far! That will be changing soon enough, I fear, lol...

mel38~I think the bar/playground idea is brilliant! There's a local place that's an indoor play area for kids, with all kinds of stuff to climb through/on/in, etc., that has a coffee bar and wireless internet...same basic concept, and I also think that's brilliant. I utilized it many times when DS was younger.


I did indeed get the Christmas decorations up yesterday. I gave up on fixing the lights on the tree, after attempting to swap out a few bulbs and replacing the fuses, so instead I just slapped a 50 bulb string of lights oer top and called it good. bag.gif It looks totally fine, unless you look closely enough to see all the unlit bulbs underneath, lol. I even got the outdoor lights hung (which really isn't that much work, since all I do is slap some icicle lights onto the balcony railing with cable ties. And get this...I'm so ahead of the game this year (ROTFLMAO.gif) that I even picked up this year's Lego advent calendar for DS while I was at Target yesterday!

Happy hour/dinner with the girls from work was quite lovely. DS came home with a (relatively speaking) ridiculous amount of homework yesterday, so I made him take a book to dinner so he could do his reading while we were waiting, and he was thoroughly occupied for the duration, including the car ride to/from the restaurant. Not too shabby.

rr~Went to the Y after school drop off and got in a quick 3 mile hill workout on the dreadmill, followed up by spin class. It was a really good class, too...good music, good workout. I'm pretty happy and feeling slightly less guilty about eating the free sample cheese danish they forced on me at the bakery outlet store this morning. bag.gif

Gaye, single mama to Tyler (5/06) and Baxter the labradoodle
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:40 PM
 
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And get this...I'm so ahead of the game this year (ROTFLMAO.gif) that I even picked up this year's Lego advent calendar for DS while I was at Target yesterday!
 

This was on my list today since I have to find a couple of different ones, preferably all Lego, before Thanksgiving when the niece/nephew arrive.

 

Nick, thank you for putting all that into words! I copied a few key phrases, and Geo's too, for my talking points: "not a diagnostic tool" is written on a green sticky note right on the top of the file :) followed by "kinesthetic learner".

 

Lofty, my DS is 7, but it really helps to hear about others who have seen this process through with their own children. I'm so glad that your DS is doing fine so far in school. 15 kids in a class? :twothumbs


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Old 11-20-2013, 01:11 AM
 
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Enough IB/AP/dual enrollment credits can chop a year or more off of college.  I'm wary of this. 
True, but I don't think many use it to graduate early so much as to take extra courses that one might not have had time for otherwise. That's especially helpful for students with multiple interests who need time to make a decision.
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I think that the place for IB/AP is (1) to free up breathing room in college or allow for a second major or additional minor, (2) give a much more intensive learning experience in high school, teaching the organizational skills necessary to master a radically larger body of knowledge than any time previous, and (3) get you out of an environment where the kids that drive you up the wall dominate the teacher's attention.
Yes and yes, especially to #2, though I felt like our honors sequence prepared me so that AP wasn't radically different and, in turn, my coursework in the honors college wasn't radically different either in terms of expectations. In other words, I didn't slide through high school like most of the people I know did, but it also meant that there was no rude awakening when I got to college. It was more of the same, in all good and interesting ways.

There's clearly some misuse as a tool for prestige or whatnot of IB/AP too.

lofty--12 kids!! That's awesome. R's class is twice as big and my niece in first grade has 28 in hers. (There must have been a baby boom that year because that's happened at our school too.) Hope he enjoys it and the transition is smooth.

Geo--hang in there. Did you sleep at all during that week?

tjsmama--you sound more on top of things than I do!

bec--sounds like a nice long swim!

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Old 11-20-2013, 05:00 AM
 
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As an advisor, I see a mix of what students choose to do. For a lot of them, it's a financial decision first, and an educational decision second. I get that those constraints are very real, and I just try to guide them towards decisions that keep as many doors open as possible. I see it more severely with dual enrollment credits than AP, though. I'm not sure if the difference is the origin of the credits or that it's generally the wealthy suburban schools that offer the 22 AP classes, while the less-well-off districts are offering the dual enrollments, and so finances remain at the forefront for many. I did have a 17 year old girl in my office who was simulatenously going through all the first year experience classes and applying to grad school. She had a lot of internal drive, was very motivated and focused, and yet her ideas of success clearly derived from what mom and dad advised.

I slept 4.5 hours each night last week. I then slept 12 hours Friday night, then took a 90 minute nap Saturday afternoon. I hope not to have a week like that again. Like, ever.

DD's been making an excellent back-up running buddy for when my RPs are stuck at work. She's been pushing my speed, and last night we did 3 miles in 27 minutes. And this morning we read this : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24998497. Statistics are just statistics.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:17 AM
 
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She's been pushing my s And this morning we read this : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24998497. Statistics are just statistics.

DH and I read that article last night and thought the same thing! DS would smoke us BOTH in the mile. Last time he ran it in PE he ran a 6:50. Not sure I've EVER run a mile in 6:50, even when I was 12.

Interesting about the IB/AP stuff. Our local HS prides itself on the wide variety of AP classes offered. It's always great to get the perspectives of Dingo sisters, especially those who have experience in academia.

Mel38 - count me in on that business plan! Bar + playground
brilliant!

lofty - sounds like DS if off to a great start in school. I'm really impressed with his class size too! Both my girls have 28 in their classes, and our 5th grades are all 30+ kids.

NRR (because really, when am I going to run these days?) - We got 22 of 26 auction baskets wrapped yesterday and more people coming over this morning to help finish up. DD1 is now coughing, and congested, and feverish. Will this never end! As for Jakey-boy, we've talked to all our neighbors and no one has seen him, DH and I walked the woods behind our house and no sign of him, we checked the drainage culverts to see if he got stuck, but nothing there either. I even checked the animal shelter website and he's not there either. Honestly, he was not well, had lost a ton of weight recently, and last time I took him to the vet he said the next steps with him were to check for cancers. I have a feeling he just went off somewhere to die. Meanwhile, the last cat standing seems to be greatly enjoying her time as "only cat". Stinker.

~~Kristina~~ Mama to DS(10/30/01), DD1(VBAC 3/28/04) and DD2(HBAC 5/21/06)
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Old 11-20-2013, 07:51 AM
 
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Ap/IB/College: So much depends on what your view of college is. If your intent is for it to be a formative experience. A chance to dig deeper, a chance to learn a lot about yourself and explore, then AP credits give you a chance to do that. If only because you got a 5 on the AP exam lets you out of writing 101.

 

AP/IB/High school:  for me the AP coursework was a chance to do what I thrived on: to dig deeper, to ask tougher questions and to be somewhat rigorous in the course load. I enjoyed that. College was tough to adjust to socially, but not so awful to adjust to academically.

 

In any of these cases: is it possible to do the same thing in a non-labeled course?  yes, of course. But we all like to label ourselves, don't we?

 

 

 

Jaygee sorry to hear that your kitty is still missing.

 

Dana:  Hope today continues to be a good day for ds at school and that counseling yesterday was productive.

 

Everyone else:

I'm following the discussion re: kinesetic learners with interest. But have nothing to add.


Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:40 AM
 
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I'm here, just been busy (as usual I guess, lol).  Getting lots of homeschool done with ds1 this week playing catch up for those weeks we were barely home.

 

RR: I will work out today, I will!!  :)

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Old 11-20-2013, 08:55 AM
 
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Oh JG, I'm sorry to hear that. It does sound like he might have gone away. :(

 

Gosh, Geo, I hope you get some sleep!

 

I got a horrible haircut yesterday. The cut is probably fine, but then he parted my hair in the middle (never works) and blew it dry straight down, totally flattening it. This is twice in a year that I haven't been able to communicate what I wanted... and both times with hairdressers who I have seen in the past. They seem to think I need a suburban mom bob, and it's really not flattering on me. :irked 

 

The rest of yesterday was filled with stressing out over DD1's first college application using that Common App, which is apparently very buggy and was basically at the root of the problems we had yesterday. I felt a little resentful - well, I still do feel that way - that she is not owning this process more. She can not see the benefit of turning anything in *before* the deadline... so if anything doesn't work out, it invariably causes a huge headache for everyone involved (DD, teachers, counselors, advisors, and, yes, me!). Yesterday was the second full-on freak out day in 2 weeks, and I am over it. I told her she needed to submit her next one (due 12/1) by this upcoming Sunday night. And the third, due Jan. 1st, by 12/15 at the latest.

 

Then for DS, I filled out the ADHD assessment form, and it barely scratches the surface of what I see as his "issues." He rates only 4 so-called positives on the entire form, which are behaviors seen often or very often. One of those relates to anxiety/self-esteem, and the other three are all under "predominantly inattentive sub-type," which would require from six to nine of those positive traits. So he doesn't even belong there, really! But none of this addresses the reading/writing, not following oral instructions... Whatever, I am bringing it to the ped's office and going to ask what comes next, diagnostically.

 

Yesterday was so fraught. Cripes, I need a run.


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Old 11-20-2013, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Looking for recs. for kids books on Greek/Roman/European history, also world exploration generally (i.e. true tales of trade-route sailing adventures/drama, discoveries, wars, etc)

Mel38 - seems like Geo would be a better resource than the ped?

NRR: I wasnt a high achiever in the sense of being a gunner, although I did well, or well enough in school. I was a jock, or at least, that's what I was passionate about, and when I fell in love with Bio. and the teacher told me I should be in AP, I opted not to b/c it conflicted with my practice time. I did my sport 4+ hours a day, 6 days a week, and while I always felt like I could have been a better student, I just didnt care enough. In the end, I I was an A/B student, and that was enough to get me into Berkeley with the help, ironically, of them wanting me for my sport. Then, college turned me on, and I engaged in classes and got A's without it being a rude awakening at all. Dh had a similar experience, although inverse: he did the AP thing in HS, went to a good college and partied, smoked, and played fusball a lot and almost got put on academic probation, found his passion years later for med school (then a stretch due to college record), and ended up in the top 5% on the MCAT and at the top of his med school class of 140 shrug.gif Hence I wonder how much (over)thinking my kids' experience is just that; overthinking.



rough couple of days. coming to think that any 'solution' is relative and still very hard. feeling so beaten up, and down. I cant imagine a doctor/professional I could see who would say "dont worry, Im familiar with this and here's how it usually plays out ...". feeling utterly alone with this, sad and scared a lot, and have to just. keep. going. because that's all there is to be done. dont tell you details b/c its so awful to even have in my head, let alone live through. its so hard you guys. Oh well

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Old 11-20-2013, 09:55 AM
 
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LOL, sparkle.  Mel, ask for a Conner's as another cheap screening tool to guide further investigation, or ask the ped if this lack of result with remaining unexplained issues can at all be used to motivate a complete neuropsych exam.   I would also see if you can get a full hearing & vision workup to eliminate the basics.  Following oral directions can be developmental, but in rare cases, it can indicate an issue with processing auditory information.  (This is something called auditory process disorder, something that I'm seeing a lot of parents use to label their kids, and seems to be in vogue at the moment, but my reading is that it's pretty rare without a history of major, early hearing disruption.)  Vision problem can also look like attention issues.  The complete neuropsych exam, however, can get you that measure of Mack truck engine in a Yugo body issue, which has been such a big issue in my house, and my sense is the ultimate underlying cause of a lot of ADHD-like behavior in bright kids.
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:37 AM
 
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Geo, that's it. That's exactly it. The mack-truck engine in the Yugo body. My ds. 

 

Mel, on the Common App. -- as a teacher of seniors this year, the general atmosphere these days is :dizzy and faint.gif and help.gif. And this is my AP class. They are flummoxed by the bugs in the system, by the due dates, by the volume of seemingly absurd and inane essay topics, etc. etc. It might help to sit down with her (if you haven't already) with a large desk calendar (the kind with the tear off sheets and the big pad, large squares for each day) and mark in different colors (by school) what is due when -- not the final due date, but the 'submit by' date (in order for it to get where it needs to go on time). This helps the kids organize visually, which gives them more a feeling of control. Somehow the techy calendar functions don't give that needed executive functioning input. I do this with most of my students for a variety of long term projects. (And for myself)

Hang in there, mama. This too shall pass. Then we move on to Senioritis. :lol

 

Supervising mandatory study hall now. Fun. 

 

RR: 5.25 tough miles this morning. It was FREEZING. :cold I was actually dressed appropriately but my stomach was giving me a hard time so I had to keep stopping to walk, so I got really cold. Blehg.


 "Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible." (William Shakespeare -- Julius Caesar)

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Old 11-20-2013, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Nic - bow.gif I hope you take a moment to hear this: I think you are amazing! Every day I marvel at what you accomplish in the face of what I know is real anguish, anxiety, and lack of emotional support. I admire you so much. The fact that you are out in the cold and dark running even though you feel crummy in so many ways, and that you perform at such a high level at work, and stand up to forcibly for your kids, every day. You are awesome hug.gif

Geo - interesting about the auditory processing. I can imagine the parents who want their child tested (an eyeroll issue, but I get it). I need visual cues, have a harder time with auditory (less as an adult, and b/c I am aware of it), and I see this in DD1, who frequently glazes over when I start giving her instructions or information. It can be very frustrating

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Old 11-20-2013, 11:04 AM
 
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Man Sparkle, you sound so desolate, I wish I could somehow help. Just please turn to us for at least some understanding ears, if nothing else, ok?

Geo, thanks, I will ask about that! I'm not sure how much of a Mack truck is in my little yugo boy (love the analogy) but any understanding will help me to help him navigate school with self-esteem intact.

Nick - great idea!!!! I love it, so simple! I am sure that would help her! Next stop, Target!

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Old 11-20-2013, 11:07 AM
 
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Well. clearly you said something interesting that I was going to comment on, but mdc has decided to delete it in this box. :rotflmao

Oh yeah.  Little dd was being super sloppy and bored at school.  Come to find out, she just couldn't see and so thought it was boring.  Glasses + an excellent teacher have solved that.

 

 

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Mel, on the Common App. -- as a teacher of seniors this year, the general atmosphere these days is :dizzy and faint.gif and help.gif. And this is my AP class. They are flummoxed by the bugs in the system, by the due dates, by the volume of seemingly absurd and inane essay topics, etc. etc. It might help to sit down with her (if you haven't already) with a large desk calendar (the kind with the tear off sheets and the big pad, large squares for each day) and mark in different colors (by school) what is due when -- not the final due date, but the 'submit by' date (in order for it to get where it needs to go on time). This helps the kids organize visually, which gives them more a feeling of control. Somehow the techy calendar functions don't give that needed executive functioning input. I do this with most of my students for a variety of long term projects. (And for myself)

Yes. You pretty much just described how I plan my classes.
I have my very own set of crayola markers devoted to the cause.


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Old 11-20-2013, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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truedat.gif Um, I have such a thing on the wall in the kitchen. I call it my brain. Have started one on DD1's wall. Cant do the daily reminder/book thing that I would actually have to remember to look at, or the apps....

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Old 11-20-2013, 12:03 PM
 
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Nic - bow.gif I hope you take a moment to hear this: I think you are amazing! Every day I marvel at what you accomplish in the face of what I know is real anguish, anxiety, and lack of emotional support. I admire you so much. The fact that you are out in the cold and dark running even though you feel crummy in so many ways, and that you perform at such a high level at work, and stand up to forcibly for your kids, every day. You are awesome hug.gif
 

Thank you Sparkle. I hardly feel amazing. The running is a lifeline to feeling in control, and sanity. It's the one thing I have control over my body in, insomuch as I ever do -- and the fact that I am not a lot heavier than I would otherwise be plays a role too (when I hear my mother's voice in my head about how 'fattening' something is.)

 

As for work, well, thanks. :shy At the moment I really want to take a nap. My AP Euro students are working on a project and I am finishing up some grading and dreading having to come back later for 3 straight hours of parent teacher conferences. That is, I'm driving 45 mins. home so I can pick up the kids and get them settled (otherwise I wouldn't see them until after they were asleep and they would be freaked by that), then coming back here (another 45 mins. drive) then having conferences 5:30-8:50 (new parent every 10 minutes, no breaks), then driving home. After teaching all day. Yes. Tired. Need nap. :zzz  but will settle for :coffee


 "Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible." (William Shakespeare -- Julius Caesar)

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Old 11-20-2013, 12:25 PM
 
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As for work, well, thanks. :shy At the moment I really want to take a nap. My AP Euro students are working on a project and I am finishing up some grading and dreading having to come back later for 3 straight hours of parent teacher conferences. That is, I'm driving 45 mins. home so I can pick up the kids and get them settled (otherwise I wouldn't see them until after they were asleep and they would be freaked by that), then coming back here (another 45 mins. drive) then having conferences 5:30-8:50 (new parent every 10 minutes, no breaks), then driving home.

This is the AP of school aged kids: making that round trip to get the kids settled in. I seriously see a difference when I am home vs. when I am not home right after school. I mean once upon a time we gave up going out for beer with friends because baby needed us to be home to nurse to sleep. But this too mama, this too will pass. And I hope you have a nice podcast to listen to on the drive. Or a book on tape. 

 

Speaking of being home after school. Must get on the road.....


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Old 11-20-2013, 12:36 PM
 
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Sparkle, I don't think it's so much an issue of parents going out and looking for evaluations and disorders, but noticing a distinct difference in how their child is able to operate vs the expectations placed on the child.  I think APD is a bit in vogue right now.  It's gotten some popular press, and people are seeking out such diagnoses.  People who don't like the ADHD-> med implication seem to instead seek out the APD (not responsive to medication) diagnosis as somehow easier to swallow.  ADHD is statistically significantly more likely. 

 

The good news on Mack Trucks in Yugo Body kids (at least for my N=1), is that the skills needed are teachable, but recognize that they come on line after the school figures they've taught the skill and since moved on.

 

Things that were most effective:

*Oral directions: Club soccer with pro coaches who have no problems making your kid do pushups for not following directions.  Evidently there was one practice in which she did more than 100 pushups.  (she was tired, a little annoyed, and actually proud she could do that many)  We saw a dramatic increase in the skill of orienting to instructions and following them in about 2 weeks, enough so that 3 different teachers all sent me emails commenting on it, asking if we needed a medication form from the nurse.  (They each figured we'd started stimulant drugs).  This skill came online 5 years after the school thought they were done with this instruction.  Age 10.

*Organization: Daily calendar check on an ipod (advantage: Mom can add stuff/reminders from work) got us a long ways by a daily reminder of what to anticipate.  Age 9.

*Organization: IEP for organization finally, with daily instruction on using her planner for EVERYTHING - assignments, homework planning, personal life schedule.  Color coded, taught 4 years after the school thought they were done with this instruction.  Age 11.

*Self Esteem: Nearly daily, open discussion about how the brain works, what working memory is, and what reduces it (i.e., stress/anxiety affects working memory), as well as how different people develop their skills at different paces, and kids can get out of sync.  We celebrate strengths openly at home, discussed weaknesses openly at home, and frame development as a process, and individual failures are part of the learning process.  Age 7- ...

 

Read Smart But Scattered.  It's a good into on the slow development of many of these skills for a good fraction of kids, and the mismatch in school expectations to normal development.  This helped immensely in both scaffolding things at home that teachers asked us not to (because their expectations were not reasonable) and backing off and reducing our frustration with the kid. 

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Old 11-20-2013, 12:45 PM
 
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Also to be clear, my reading of ADHD medication is that it's an art to get the medication and dosage correct, and the role of well-managed medication is real and therapeutic when done right.  The role of medication is not as a patch or "to drug the kid into submission," but is to get the brain to pay attention long enough to learn to coping skills that are shown to be effective for ADHD.  Done right, those coping skills are taught throughout childhood and teenager-hood such that medication is not to be expected throughout adolescence.  A child that is really severely affected by ADHD runs a real risk of losing self-esteem because they are unable to trust themselves to respond appropriately in academic and social situations.  If you have enough mis-steps socially when growing up, this leads to things like anxiety and depression. 

 

We looked into in closely as we were going through each kid's diagnosis process.  In the end, DD was diagnosable, but the neuropsych said "doesn't smell like ADHD to me" and told us to come back after a year if we didn't see improvement from the LD and anxiety remediation.  For DS, he isn't diagnosable on the three axes, and yet they said "smells like ADHD."  DH, myself, the principal, and the current teacher all scratch our heads at that diagnosis, so we've go bare bones interventions in place, and a promise to re-evaluate all around if things go south this year.  So far, things are awesome. 

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Old 11-20-2013, 08:30 PM
 
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Geo, as always I'm impressed by your understanding of all of this. I will hand sell many copies of your book when you publish it. If you ever set up a consulting company to help people navigate these issues, I think there would be a lot of business for you!

 

Sparkle, thinking of you all of the time and how amazing and strong you are to make it through each day. Check in when you can!

 

Kerc, I love the AP for the school-aged kid. We did our connection time on the playground after school today, for which the payoff was letting me get some school work done this evening.

 

Bedtime came too soon! Thinking of you all and reading along even if I'm not posting much.


"Guess what? It's a magical world. And when I sing, my songs are in it."
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:40 AM
 
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Geo, I'm with Mel. I was chatting with a mom here yesterday about ADHD, sensory stuff, etc. and she told me how she once accidentally took her kid's medicine instead of her thyroid pill, and what a good and productive day it was. Like you said, though, dosing would be an art.

 

We are having rainstorms. A whopping 18mm in 24 hours reported. :rotflmaoOf course, here that's a real thing. Streets flood. Dirty water everywhere. And of course, no roof is actually sealed, so it rains inside and out. Anyway, I canceled our AM tutoring because I didn't want to be in a cab in AM traffic with rain (seriously, tires squealing everywhere). Kids did school work, and I worked on apps, and when it cleared I went out to pick up my medical report for my new visa, and walked the 3 miles home under overcast skies, and even in sprinkles. What a treat! Got home just as the wind whipped up again.

 

So, I did get a walk yesterday and again today, but the sandstorm threw me off, and now the wet weather will keep me out of the park.

 

So, I had chickens thawing in the fridge, and I experimented with oven-fried chicken, and it was :yum. Chickpea flour, sesame seeds, flax meal and Arabic masala as the coating. Really tasty, GF but not paleo. We'll see what my intestines say about the gram flour!

 

Practiced some math with ds yesterday. That was good. I need a geometry brush-up next.

 

Thinking of you all, all the time. :blowkiss Trying not to let the melancholy of the season pull me under.

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