Saturday, October 28, 2006

Kids are so Amusing

Aubrey was at a friends house while I went to an appointment. She said to her friends mother, “My mom said that I shouldn’t ask for food, but if you were to ask me I would say that I am starving.”

We were at my sister-in-laws and Aubrey looked at her and said, “Some day I want to be as fascinating as you.”

We were driving home late one night when it was very dark. Brennen said to me, “Mommy, you will be okay. Here hold my hand and I will protect you.” Then he took my fingers and stroked them and said in the most assuring tone, “I won’t let any monsters get you.”

I picked up the kids from a friends and Brennen was very tired. He started to whine, “I don’t want to go home.” I asked him if he wanted to stay to which he replied. “I don’t want to stay here.” I asked, “Then what do you want to do?” Eighteen month old Logan replied, “Eat.”

Kamron pushed Brennen in the stomach and he came in crying and holding his tummy, “Mommy, Kamron hurt my baby!” --He’s convinced he’s going to have a baby just like mom.

Kids Toys

While I was going through the kids rooms I decided to go through their toys and put most of them in the garage until they could pick things up a little more consistently. We sorted and got rid of several garbage bags full of things and then I put everything in plastic tubs and put it in the garage. I made a set of written routines for the children and told them that if they learned to follow them every Saturday they could get back one set of toys. The first week this worked well and Kamron asked for his bionicles back, while Aubrey wanted her stuffed animals. The second week went pretty well and so I asked what set the children would like back. Aubrey told me I think I have too many stuffed animals out and I don’t want any toys back, that way my room will be easier to clean up. Kamron also said he didn’t want anything back except for one stuffed animal so that he could play with Aubrey. They are content with only a few toys and I guess don’t really need the six large boxes full in the garage, though I am not going to get rid of anything else just yet.
It reminds me of a story I heard about a little boy who loved his one match box car and played with it every day. A friend of the family decided to get him fifty or so more cars and when she came to visit the little boy was just staring out of the window. She asked him why he didn’t play with his cars, to which he replied that their were too many to love.

Going Through Clothes

I was getting behind in school and housekeeping, the children’s school a little and housekeeping a lot, so I declared a catch up week. During the week I went through all of the kids’ clothes. I began by making a list of what I considered necessary clothing items and then added on a few extras. I then got rid of the extra clothes that we had and kept the best items, I also got rid of or handed down all the clothes that were too small. Because of the generosity from three families who hand clothes down, Brennen had 43 long sleeved shirts. What child needs 43 long sleeved shirts? Then I recorded on the list exactly what each child had and then I could more easily see what each child needs. The list ended up like this;

Clothing needs, October through April

6 to 9 pairs of pants, L-10, B-8, K-10
10 pairs of underwear, B-10, K-10
6 pairs of socks, L-3, B-3
3 pairs of shorts, L-3, B-3, K-3
5 T-shirts, L-5, B-7, K-7
4 to 6 long sleeved shirts, L-6, B-7, K-6
2 pull over sweatshirts, L-3, B-1, K-2
2 button up sweatshirts or light jackets L-1, B-2,
1 Coat B-1
1 long-sleeved Sunday Shirt, L-2, B-3, K-2
1 short sleeved Sunday Shirt K-1
1-2 vests, L-2, B-3, K-1
1-3 ties, L-3, B-3, K-5
Hat, L-1 , B-1, K-1
scarf and mittens, B-1, K-1
3 Pajamas, L-4, B-4, K-2

Logan Needs-3 pairs of socks, scarf and mittens
Brennen Needs-6 pairs of socks,
Kamron Needs-6 pairs of socks, 2 button up sweatshirts or light jackets, a coat, 1 pajama

5 to 8 pairs of pants, A-7
10 pairs of underwear, A-6
6 pairs of socks, A-3
2 Tights, A-2
3 pairs of shorts, A-3
5 T-shirts, A-5
4 to 6 long sleeved shirts, A-1
2 pull over sweatshirts, A-4
2 button up sweatshirts or light jackets, A-3
1 Coat
2 long skirts, A-2
3-5 dresses, A-3
Hat, scarf, and mittens, A-1 set
3 Pajamas, A-3
Aubrey needs- 4 pairs of underwear, 3 pairs of socks, 2 long sleeved shirts, 1 coat, 1 dress

Monday, October 23, 2006

Home school

I completed an assignment in my last class. The description of the assignment was to write a rough draft of our final essay, we would not be graded, if it was turned in on time we would get the full five points if not we would get zero. I recieved the paper back and to my suprise was given three points, because "You need to do spell check (you misspelled home school)." This confused me as the assignment said we would not be graded. I emailed the instructor and asked him to explain why he had docked any points when the assignment clearly stated he wouldn't. He wrote back that it was, because of spelling.

I again wrote and said;
I was able to read the comments and I know you are referring to my spelling of the word homeschool, because in the current dictionaries it is spelled astwo words though you will find most of the homeschooling community spells itas one. It is occasionally spelled with a hyphen like this; home-school, but homeschool is the most predominant spelling. If you look it up with either spelling on Amazon you will see that almost all of the book titles relating to this topic are spelled as I have said.
My question, though, is why did you take off for spelling when the directions specifically say that a full five points will be awarded for submitting the rough draft. It further says nothing will be graded. The directions appear that partial credit is not an option, if you turn it in you get five if you don't turn it in you get zero. When asking for a rough draft somethings must be left rough or else it is really a final draft that you want.
I do not mean to be a nuisance, but if I may be so bold it appears that either the assignment was written wrong or you are grading more harshly then the assignment allows.

He replied with:
I do have to grade the assignment, despite what the site states. I am goingto change you grade to a 4, because I probably took off too much forspelling, in hindsight.

So, I am to take from this that the assignment descriptions are not always accurate and the instructors may freely follow them or not. We will be docked according to what is in the insturctors head and we will be told what it was after the due date is past and it is too late to change things. Furthermore, we are to rely on spellcheck to give us the correct spelling of things and not worry about what the correct spelling really is.

I could take that from the assignment or I could sit back and realize that I am falling into a trap. The trap of grades in lue of learning. I know all too well that an A does not make you smart, yet when I get in a graded situation the grade is what I strive for. Because I am not always interested in the material and do not feel it is completely relevant, it is even easier to fall into this. To get an A takes minimal effort usually, but to understand something takes a great deal more. For instance, two days after my third class started we were given the assignment to show from personal examples the difference of the central nervous system and the periphial nervous system. I did not have time to read the whole chapter and did not totally get it, so I just read what everyone else wrote (we post on a discussion forum) and thought of something similair from life to what it appeared they were talking about and wrote it down. I got an A, but I really don't get it.

I feel like I am playing a game and not getting an education, and I am thankful that my children don't have to deal with this yet.