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  • The “Class”

    Avery, Naim, Aaron

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April 10, 2013

VH Day.

What did I hear? Discoverers? Nada. Filmmaking, I was asked to come in next week for an interview to be filmed. I will have to ask the teacher to confirm this. Science Olympiad sounds like it was about bottle rocket making out of 2 liter plastic bottles. Measure for Treasure is focusing on Money this term.

Avery and I worked on some Buttercups when we were home together, but mostly he wanted to lay around with me. We read some books. In particular we have been reading the “Baby Bug” Magazine on the iPad, which I am actually pretty impressed with.

April 3, 2013

Kids were excited to go back to VH today for third term. It will be their last term for Discoverers after three years. Which seems like Wow! We had teacher Terri for Little Villagers for so long it seemed like, but we have had teacher Bobbi for longer. Naim is excited about moving on to the next level, but Aaron is not. But he did not want to leave Little Villagers, either and then he was fine. Aaron said they made Bottle Rockets in science Olympiad and he made a bunch of ??? in Messy Garage. Naim said his teacher in film-making had a shit fit because something on the computer wasn’t working. Since I just recently had the same shit fit over his hamster movie, I can’t really judge. Measure for Treasure was met with similar enthusiasm. He says he thinks it is boring, but is always excited to go to VH.

Avery and I stopped by HFAC and signed up again since I HATE 24 hour fitness with a vengeance and the kids can’t do anything at all there and the whole thing is about getting everyone in the family more active. Again, I hate how all of that is segregated and I have to sit around while the kids are active or they have to sit around while I am. At HFAC, at least, there are several things we can do together. At age 9, the kids can take a safety class and then do everything except weights and hot-tubs/saunas. Until then, there is some co-adult/kid classes like yoga and zumba, which we will try. Avery can stay in childcare, which is now open full-time again.

Avery and I then came home and worked on some Buttercups stuff. We are working through his Spring Bulletin board, but many more things to go.


The current theme is on food, moving into easter eggs and Spring, which I guess we are late for, but whatever.

March 6, 2013

Today was VH day and I dropped the kids off and came back home. Avery and I worked on Buttercups curriculum with an art project. I noticed that he has some idea of color, and when prompted could say pu pu for purple, boo for blue and geen for green. Obviously there are signs that he has been working with color in one or both of his preschools.  We also read some books and played with some puzzles, barn and blocks. I like having a day to spend with just him. He did start getting sick midday and had awful diarriah. He slept on and off from about 11:30 on through the night.

The VH report was that Discoverers was discoverers, filmmaking was working on editing, measure for treasure was again MATH! and fractions. Aaron did not tell me much about Science Olympiad, and he made some small things in messy garage for Avery and Naim.

October 20, 2012

Naim had soccer and won the game, so their team has a pretty good record.

After soccer they went to BFG, Big Friendly Giant at NWCT. Before they got there (they=Nik, Naim, Aaron) they stopped at the Burnside McDonald’s where someone apparently screamed and found a newborn baby in the toilet. Meanwhile, Nik and kids were in the mens room changing out of Naim’s soccer gear while someone in the next stall was shooting up. Don’t know the whole story, but some guy who was a army medic got the baby out of the toilet and wrapped it up in paper towels. The EMTs were called and all were taken to the hospital. It sounds like the mother was there, she did not abandon her baby in the toilet, just had it in the toilet and then sort of didn’t know what to do. Sad. As I told Nik, you do not have your baby in the McDonald’s bathroom unless you’ve got big problems. Hopefully they all will get the help they need. But sigh. The kids were really excited about it, but it was a hard question to answer why someone would have their baby there. We talked about homelessness a bit, which we’ve talked about before. I lit a candle for her and baby at Church today.


They all really liked BFG. My Boyfriend John Ellingson was BFG and Nik said he had a really good Scottish accent. After they went to the dollar store and got a few decorations for Holloween and went to D’s house for the afternoon.

Meanwhile, at home, Avery and I did a little bit of Buttercups stuff. He did a puzzle that he pasted the pieces together, we made a paper bag scarecrow. He really liked crumbling up the paper and stuffing it in the bag. And the gluestick.

October 2, 2012

Aaron with his walk on water shoe next to the wading pool. He carried that thing all the way home like a sail, which slowed him down even more than usual. Rather than Pluto, I think he became an exoplanet.

VH day.

Aaron made “walk on water shoes” in engineering. They even tried them out in a small wading pool. I now have this huge thing in my office. Legos was Legos. But the best news is that I solved my Aaron scheduling mini crisis. Because Hillary is an awesome teacher. THANK YOU, HILLARY! It was going to be a major pain in the butt to have to come get him at 11:45 and then come get Naim at 1:00. It sort of screwed up Avery and my whole morning. So, I gave him a choice of Ukelele jam session or Naim’s drama class to check out today to see if either of those would work for him. I thought he would be way too young and ameteur for ukelele, and he doesn’t want to be in plays, so yeah. But he chose Hillary’s class. And she took him even though he really doesn’t want to perform and she has already cast al the parts. (Which actually doesn’t matter so much for him.) He is going to just sing the songs in the chorus. I think it will still be good for him to get the content out of the plays and stuff, which is sort of the whole point. He was very happy when he came out and said he had fun. It sort of goes to show that sometimes comfortable-ness with the teacher/group goes further than content. I have nothing against the art teacher (don’t even know her) but Hillary was a former PS teacher. And it isn’t so much that I think PS teachers are automatically better than non-trained teachers. It is more that when you work in public schools, you work with the kids you get no matter what. You don’t go calling the parents to remove them at the first sign of trouble. This gives you mad skills to work with kids that are a little harder to deal with and you don’t even think of kicking them out. I’m not blaming the teachers that have kicked Aaron out for kicking him out, because he is totally frustrating. But the classes he has had a lot of success with is when the teacher has a lot of teaching experience and has worked with him a little bit in the beginning to get over his hump or whatever it is. It seems like he always has to start a new class with a blow-up, and then if the teacher is willing to deal with him, he does fine after that. I think the art class was way too structure and advanced for him, so I did not even give that teacher a chance. But if he had really wanted to stay in that class, I would have worked with her and him on it and I predict that in a week or two, he would have been fine.

Naim had math, drama and theater as well. He said theater went well and it was OK for Aaron to be in the class.

Avery and I had a diaper emergency. I put 6 diapers in the bag last week and only used one. That many will usually last me for two weeks. We only went to church and today, he pooped and NO DIAPERS! What? Nik denies knowing what happened to them. I suspect he dropped them at church or something without knowing it. I have no idea. Anyway, everyone in the playroom at the time had tiny babies…so I walked a fucking mile with a poopy kid to a 7 11. No diapers. I walked a bit further and found a mom and pop store. Victory. One size too small, but will work for today. Thank you, Allen Street Market. (Nik also got me in trouble by packing nut products in their lunch. I think work has him losing his mind.)

So Avery and I missed pretty much our park and library time running around to find diapers and getting back to deal with Aaron’s schedule. This afternoon we did a felt board scarecrow poem, a pumpkin vine tracing activity, and a scarecrow puzzle from Buttercups.

Naim had soccer tonight as well.

September 26, 2012

Avery and I worked on Buttercups curriculum, which we are trying to do more of this year since last year it was just too beyond him. We are working each unit as a decorating a bulletin board project. The current themes are Apples, Fall Leaves, and Nighttime. This three month theme is a bit truncated as we did try some of the activities last year before we sort of put it away for next year.

Today we talked about leaves, sang a song about leaves, did a pattern/grouping activity with different kinds of leaves and did an art project. We used the signs for leaves, tree, orange, and red. I’m not sure where and when we will stick this in, I’m thinking after his nap and before dinner we will take 30 or so minutes to spend time on Buttercups.

The art project was gluing tissue paper leaves on paper and then brushing them with a glitter solution using a paintbrush.

2012: 4

Avery and I did a few “Buttercups” things. We tried punching out pics of balls and apples and then sorting and patterning them. That went on for a whole 30 seconds. He did look at some of the pictures for the theme of “good night” one of which had a baby in bed. He got interested in that picture, so then I got out the book, “Good Night, Baby” and read that to him. He actually let me read it to him 3 or 4 times. It’s a MIRACLE! This child who absolutely hates books. It is all photographs of a baby going through a bedtime routine. He even turned the pages correctly one run through. I think he is finally figuring out pictures a bit and showing an interest in them. He may be starting to get that pictures actually represent real things and are not just colors on a page. One picture had a rubber duck exactly like his, I showed it to him and then next time I didn’t. He wouldn’t let me turn the page unless I showed it to him again.

When I think of the first year and a half with this kid, I remember how he was just a dud as a baby. No personality, no excitement, very little laughter and smiles. A lot of whining or just zoning out. Now he is the happiest kid ever. He laughs all day long. I feel like all the bonding we were supposed to do the first year I am catching up with now. He is fun to be around. I don’t know what the long-term effects (if any) of all this will be, but I do think he will learn to talk eventually. I wonder what he is going to say?

Big Kids:

  • Read Usborne Book 2: The Dressing-Up Box and did the activities in the back of the book. That is our final read through of that for now and next time we will start book 4.
  • Math: Did Lessons 6 and 7, which was more Venn Diagramming and patterns. They named patterns ABC, etc. and had to represent them. Next is just a review and then end of chapter test. I might have them do the test like a real test to start getting them in that frame of mind. (Meaning, separate tables, no help, no sharing answers) They can’t go through their entire lives without taking tests or working independently, so it won’t hurt to do it once a chapter.
  • Sylvan: Aaron finished lesson ten about clothing words. He always puts his little Aaron flair into everything. In this, he had a word search of clothing words (pants, dress, hat, etc.) When he circled the word, he turned the circle into that item. The hat circle looked like a hat, the mitten circle had a thumb, the dress circle-which was vertical-was dress shaped. He always figures out how to make his own fun. Naim did Ll.
  • Naim watched Lesson 34 of ZigZat. There are only 6 more lessons and then we will swing around and do ’em again. He also did the HOP bonus book pages on -am words.
  • Aaron did Lesson 3 in HOP, which was wh- words. We need to swing back and do a little review of the th- words. He doesn’t know them well enough yet. I think we will do a flip book review next time. And Ack! I forgot to do spelling with him.
  • Word Time was AIRPLANE and CLOUD. I usually have Aaron read these and then Naim spell them back. Then I have Aaron read the sentences in the teachers manual about the words. We talk about them (whatever comes up…today it was that you really can’t lay on a cloud.) and then they have to use them in a sentence. Sometimes they write them on the chalkboard, too. We are near the end of the book and then the next book is “Sentence School.” All this is from HWT. After that, in about second or third grade, when the bulk of reading instruction is done, we will switch to the Writing Strands series. All this is to say that I am ready for Word Time to be over and move on, it kind of falls under the Classsical Education model of copy work. But it does lead to interesting discussions and the very beginnings of writing concepts.
  • Handwriting was Ll.