Friday, February 29, 2008

Kidstown, USA

Samantha had one of the leading roles in the school play (4th & 5th graders) I'm going to try to post a little video of some of her lines..... She played "Darla" one of the country cousins who moved into Kidstown & found a difficult time fitting in. Of course there is a big storm & the city kids are scared & the country kids comfort them & at the end they realize that they are not that different at all & live happily ever after!

I hope this works, she is in yellow w/braids & yellow bows, I love her "country" accent ....
I won't upload all her "parts" just a couple..... And being the proud Mom that I am, i didn't film the city kids , so use your imagination! They had two performances, a "matinee" for the school kids, and an evening performance for the parents! It amazed all her teachers & friends how someone so quiet would not only try out for, but get one of the leading roles ! There are 55 kids in the drama club :) One day I'll get a real camcorder & not use my camera for 30 second clips!



video

video

My girl ...

I took my baby to the doctor's for her well-child visit yesterday. She is 81 pounds, and 57 1/2 inches long. :) Alright, I guess at age 11 I should be saying she is 4 ' 9 1/2 " and maybe I shouldn't even disclose her weight, a lady shouldn't tell right? And Lord help me, I think she is a young lady now!

At each well-child visit we get a sheet of paper letting us know what to do/not to do, what milestones she should have reached (more when she was a baby than now) . I call them her instructions. Because other than a few baby books, and advice, some solicited, some not, they were the only instructions that she came with!

I used to laugh at people when they said that kids should come with instructions. I thought it must be pretty straight forward. And for the most part Samantha was a pretty straight forward kid. The things I would have liked explained to me were important, heart wrenching, but few & far between. Like when she wasn't even two years old and we had to get her glasses, and she would cry and cry , "no glasses mommy, please mommy, no glasses" because it was different, and we had to make her wear them. It hurt. But she had to. And when I put her on the kindergarten bus. And they wouldn't let me go. At least not every day. But even if it hurt I knew what I had to do.

Now it's things like how to handle gossipy friends, what to do with peer pressure, why school starts so early, and why I am the meanest mom in America. And I don't always know the answer. I know what I want to tell her to do when she tells me her friend says her shirt is stupid, or that another friend is mean to her because Samantha won't sit with her on the bus. What I want to tell her is to go all Jerry Springer on her friend, and tell her "OH NO YOU DIDDINT" and hold up her hand in front of the child's face. But instead I try to get her to understand why the other person might be acting that way. And to just continue to be nice. She thinks that it is hard. I know it is hard. And I find myself feeling angry at that other child. But I can't show that. And again, there are no instructions.

In the future I know there will be more difficult problems. I know this because I was 11 once. And I remember. And I survived.

Middle School is looming. Next school year. It makes me want to throw up a little bit.

So for now I follow the instructions they give me each year at the doctor's office. I make sure she sleeps well, is physically active, involved in activities. I make sure she is healthy.

I hope that next year the instructions cover, hurt feelings, cliques, mean moms, and not being allowed to have everything every other kid in America has. Because I am certainly at a loss.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pic





The first picture is our cake using the betty crocker cake decorating kit my niece & nephew gave me for Christmas :) We each did a part, Libby did the blue hearts, Sam did the grass & I wrote the names.

The second is in our front yard. Aunt Carie gave the girl a snowman kit last winter, & we've used it a lot, unfortunately in the big winds on Sunday Frosty lost his hat :(

The third is from Sam's D.A.R.E. graduation she is in the bottom row, farthest to the right.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

pressure

Samantha graduated from D.A.R.E. on Friday. It is such a fantastic program, dealing with assertiveness, staying healthy and drug free, and not giving into peer pressure. I am so grateful that she had the opportunity to participate in this program.

It got me thinking though, (I know --- uh-oh---- this means another six paragraph ranting blog post, but I'll keep it short & sweet)....... I was thinking about the pressure part of it.

As a kindergartner, Libby has to read & document twice a week (with us obviously) , then once a month there is a home-school connection project that we work on together, and this week there is a teeth brushing chart where she checks off when she brushes & notates what healthy snack she ate. She has a book box, where she is to practice reading those books to us, and a 3-ring song binder that she brings home to practice on weekends.

As a fifth grader, Samantha FINALLY does not have a reading chart, her teacher (Bless her Soul) wants the children to read for the love of it & feels that if they are forced to read they will lose that ..... Unfortunately every teacher before this one required 20 mintues of reading each night....... Now add that to the 20 minutes of flute practice a night, and add that to the 45 minutes - an hour of homework, and the book report with project & presentation once a month. And trust me those projects are pretty in depth...... The teachers like to see that they took a few days to put together.... The presentations have to be long enough, loud enough, informative enough, and have eye contact throughout. (since 3rd grade) . Poor Samantha ended up with her only C+ due to one of those presentations............ too quiet aparently.

Sometimes when I go to the school I just want to scream " THIS IS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL" should there be this much work? Should there be this much PRESSURE?

I guess with 5th grade I can understand, preparing for middle school & everything, but 45 minutes - hour of homework !!!!!!!!!!!!! And I know Libby will be starting with "official" homework next year. Yup, first grade. I know this because she will have the same teacher Sam had.

I don't ever remember having homework in elementary school........ Maybe a book report, but it was just that, a report, on paper that you handed in. Is my memory faulty? (on this subject, no commenting on other subjects) Help me out here everyone........... Are we asking way too much of these kids?

Should band, drama, dance, religious ed, & newspaper club be eliminated to make sure that there is enough down time? These are choices, not requirements, but they are my kids choices. Well okay, not religious ed, that's my choice..............

Is it peer pressure that turns kids to drugs or is it just pressure? Are they so stressed out that they need a little escape?

Let me know what you think? Leave a comment. Is it me? Is there a method to this maddness?