Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why I Haven't Graded Your Essays

This is dedicated to the CHAMPs Class of 2011

I know I said I would grade your personal statements today. And really, I had every intention of doing that. BUT...
  • Even though I didn't have to go to my staff meeting today, I DID stay for the Peer Helping meeting.Which went until 2:15. Which is my normal time to stop teaching. So much for my afternoon grading time.
  • Then I was going to see Ms. Wilson, but she wasn't feeling up to a visit. So I went grocery shopping because we had no yogurt in the house. This is a major problem at my house. Problem solved.
  • Then I picked up Caleb and took the groceries home. We unloaded the groceries and then decided that it was very hot outside and the perfect weather for frozen yogurt. And I can't grade when Caleb is around anyway because he keeps interrupting me, so we went for yogurt.
  • Then I came home and thought that maybe I could grade TWO essays or something, but then Nikki called to pick her up from practice. Then I drove the wrong direction because I thought I was going to church (?!) but in fact I was NOT going to church. So then we drove completely around Santee to get to West Hills. Yeah.
  • Then I came home and Nikki took a shower and I drove Emma to school, and Nikki and Trina and Caleb to church.
  • Then I tried to come home but Emma texted me and her class had been canceled so I went back and picked her up. And then we were hungry so we went to dinner at Anna's restaurant but Anna wasn't there.
  • Then I picked up Caleb at church but Nikki and Trina weren't done so I texted Scott and told him to get them on his way home from his class at SDSU.
  • Then I came home and bathed Caleb and read him a book and now I am writing this blog.
So that is why I didn't grade your essays today. I'm really, really sorry. Maybe tomorrow?

Monday, October 18, 2010


So we had Caleb's big IEP meeting this fall. It was about what we expected. Nine adults in a room (psychologist, SLP, DHH itinerant teacher, audiologist, resource teacher, classroom teacher, principal, us) going over report after report saying that Caleb has delays when compared to his same-age peers. DUH! First of all, he's in kindergarten, not first grade like most six-year-olds. Of COURSE he's going to test behind them. AND he couldn't hear properly for the first four years of his life. That's why we held him back! But we were thinking that if we held him back, he'd be pretty much on par with the five-year-olds. And guess what?? He is! But apparently, this is enough to make him eligible for ALL KINDS of services. So now his IEP is not centered around speech and hearing, but around learning delays.

I wasn't surprised by any of this. I noticed last year that he doesn't process auditory information very well. It just doesn't "stick" like it should in a child of his age. I know, I know, BIG SURPRISE! But if he SEES something, it's permanently encoded and the object of much obsession. He was writing all of his friends' names on his white board last fall. He is now coming home and writing words he's learned in school. He can't tell you what sound a "d" makes, but he'll tell you that it's for dinosaur and dragon! The problem is that reading is taught phonetically, which isn't very helpful when you CAN'T HEAR. And all the tests he took? The directions were given verbally. So are the instructions in his classroom.

I refuse to believe that Caleb has been reduced to an IQ score of 74. Anyone who thinks that gives an accurate picture of what my son can do is sorely mistaken. I KNOW that once he can read, he will be fine. The question is how to teach him to read. So this week we are going to be labeling everything in our house. Don't be surprised when you come over to find index cards saying DOOR and REFRIGERATOR taped to every surface. We're on a mission now.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hello, Scoliosis

We had Nikki's first appointment with the orthopedist for her scoliosis on Tuesday. It has been established that her curve is at about 31º. This means she has a pretty significant case, but not enough to warrant surgery (50º). They established from her x-rays and other medical history that she has about two years left to grow, which gives her lots of time for the curve to progress. She was given several options. One was to do nothing and see what happens. Or she could choose to do some bracing, which doesn't correct the curve but can prevent it from getting worse. She can either wear a bending brace at night only, but it's a pretty severe form of correction, bending her back against the curve. She can also opt to wear a brace 20 hours a day, but it's a pretty inconspicuous brace. We just sat and listened, knowing that she is going to have to make this decision. She opted to wear the 20-hour-a-day brace. And she had a great attitude about the whole thing. The doctor was impressed by that, and so was I.

So now we get to embark on yet another medical journey. We're going to learn all about braces and x-rays and curves and hopefully NOT about surgery. Wish us luck!!