31 January 2012

Bad Names Lead to Bad Lives

"Oh, I’ll judge the dickens out of you if you name your child Nevaeh or Kristayll or Natorious. Perhaps it’s racist/classist of me, but I think you are putting your children at a disadvantage right from the start and that’s stupid. Maybe even cruel." - Jenny.

Did you know that the "wrong" name will set you up for failure in school?  Yeah.  Having an "unfortunate" first name sets you up for failure.  You're more likely to have a poor "educational outcome" or even become a smoker.  Of course... no one gives a list of these "unfortunate" names.

I want to know what they are and what sort of doofus would think "Tyler" is more likely to smoke than "Bertram" or vice versa.  I mean, how do they weight that scientifically?  I want to know if they think I "saddled" Emperor with a "horrible" name (yes, I was really told that once).  It's true that IM John Watson once remarked that with a name like Emperor, he should be out taking over countries or something.  I guess it's not a chess-player name at all.  If I had named him Bobby, would his rating be over 2000 by now?

Or Patrick.  Poor Patrick.  Patrick has a name that is nothing like the one I use for the blog.  He has a name that screams "I AM A VERY OLD MAN."  In fact, we've had to fight a medical company for transcribing his age incorrectly and marking him down as being born in 1933.  I guess they couldn't possibly believe 1993 with a name like that.  Oh man, what a pain that was to change an incorrect birthday.  At least... I think I was able to get it changed.  These people think once it's in the system, that's what it is, world without end.  Amen. 

It could be worse.  One of my relatives has a close friend with the last name of Assman.  Kid you not.  Of course, it's pronounced Oz-man; what were YOU thinking??  But only think of how many jobs this guy mighta missed out on if the HR people at a company read his name with the wrong pronunciation and thought some joker sent it in.

Apparently you can prevent all this trauma, though.  Just pay for a baby-naming service online!  There are several companies offering this "product."  I have to wonder if these services come back with generic suggestions such as "name your son Jacob or your daughter Emily" after they collect $50.  Bet you they have one-time clientele from all over the world and these people are not comparing notes.  Why ELSE would everyone name their chldren so similarly?  Jacob and Emily are GREAT NAMES, don't get me wrong, but it's almost as though about half the parents are consulting the "most popular names" list and the other half are going for names like "Blue" and "Steve."  (Kidding about the Steve part... but "Blue?" These parents need to get a clue... ha ha!)

What do you think?  Do you fall too far into the "weird" ditch or too far into the "boring, generic name" ditch?  Mostly our children have weird names but Elf and Rose have the same generic name, boy and girl version.  This is LOTS of fun when prescriptions are written for "Elf" and don't specify Elf-boy or Elf-ina.  :)

29 January 2012

Happenings at Home

I don't like yelling and I find singing at my children when they are naughty to be three times as obnoxious anyway.  I thought I knew for sure that I would be damaging any love for music that they would have otherwise developed.  Not so!  Elf wants to transcribe my angry song into something for EVERYONE at his school to enjoy.  He envisions the entire orchestra playing the "Mad at Kids Song," originally sung by his mother but properly composed by a very small Elf.  When it is finished, he will show it to his music teacher and she will love it for the masterpiece it is.  Elf also wants to be sure to have some sort of memory of my song after I am dead.  Nice, huh?

Woodjie!  I just luv Woodjie.  He was able to tell us that "ear hot" and fuss a bit so that we could take him to the doctor.  Sure enough, ear infection, in the ear he indicated.  Poor lil guy.  NOW he is almost done with antibiotics but has a cough bad enough that I would start to suspect whooping cough were it not for the fact that there is no outbreak here presently and also he had just gotten his booster vaccine on Friday.  I have sort of a love-hate relationship with those vaccines.  I feel like I am taking horrible risks if I do vaccinate, and also if I don't.  I hate that feeling of doing the wrong thing no matter what ya do, don't you?  It isn't just the vaccines.  Woodjie loves to play video games but gets VERY UPSET when his character dies.  I think if I didn't have a boodle of other children who are already into them that all game systems would disappear from the house.

Rose can "poo poo in a potty."  And is a "pwincess."  And had her birthday.  She lost her three!  She is now four, and that means pink PRINCESS cupcakes.  She has all the sparkly rings from the top of these storebought concoctions (schools don't let you bring homemade... and as there were 13 children in the class and I had to buy cupcakes in dozens... sigh).   I couldn't find a good present for her and D said yesss, we don't have to spend any money!  Ha.  Nooo, that just means that because Rose doesn't realize she is missing out and therefore won't pester me, I have lots more time to research expensive gift ideas on Amazon.  I'm thinking lifesize pink pony. 

27 January 2012

Tips for Homeschool Fakers.

"And while I'm sure that you (name), are a responsible homeschooler, I've met women over the years that are basically pretending to homeschool and teaching their children almost nothing, or only teaching the subjects that they themselves enjoy. I believe strongly in every parents right to homeschool, but both parents and school systems need to be accountable for teaching real skills." - Andrea Rayna Withers, from the comment section of a recent HSLDA post on facebook.

Oh, yay! I love pretending to homeschool.  How about you?  There are just so many ways to do it!  Here are a few I thought up off the top of my head.  Feel free to add your own in the comments.

1. Say things like, "E = mc SQUARED these are low prices!" near the shelf stockers in Wal-Mart.

2. All y'all religious homeschoolers, make sure to train your children to say, "WOW, Momma, that done fulfilled prophecy according to Jeremiah 4:29 right they-yer!"  Have a silly contest between your eight children for "most obnoxious religious reference spoken loudly in front of strangers" on each outing.  Nothing like reinforcing those stereotypes.  Unfortunately, this ploy does not work for ethnically Chinese or Indian homeschoolers.  Snap.

3.  Train your child to have an obsessive interest in one area and then turn him loose on the town when he's feeling talkative.  Make sure their obsessions are nerdy or this won't work.  Obsession with chess and Ancient Rome is *good.*  Hello Kitty and her accessories *bad.*  Got that, Emperor?  It's ok... recently he discussed obscure Latin sayings and the battles of Julius Caesar with some old guy named "Homer" in the post office. 

Okie-doke.  It's your turn, Great Pretenders!  Let's have it.

25 January 2012

You Cannot Walk Away.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama said that students shouldn't be able to "walk away from their education" and has called on every state to require attendance until graduation or the child's 18th birthday.  Wow. 

I think everyone should be screaming about this, but especially homeschoolers.  I have a real problem with compulsory attendance in the first place personally.  WHY should a child be compelled to learn what the state wants him to learn for one blooming minute, let alone 13-plus years of his life?  I thought liberals were extreme into this "choice" thing. My brain, my choice, my right to decide? 

Though I "get" the whole "graduation means opportunity" business he's trying to get at.  Very nice idea on paper if one imagines that school is always a pleasant place for all children and that all children are even flipping well CAPABLE of "graduation." 

Dang, if just requiring attendance is going to change American education, let's require post-graduate degrees or school attendance until 23.  Only imagine the American innovation that would occur then!  Oh, oh... not good enough.  Let's require it in a math or science field.  Something high-tech.  Yeah, that will do it.

Anyway, it's a very nice little America Obama's dreaming up where no child is disabled, no bullying happens in school, and the local public school provides real learning experience regardless of its location.

I'm sorry.  Even our state has admitted that Kansas City schools are for crap and have de-accredited them.  What does that mean really?  It means even dodos like us, moving to this area 15 years ago, knew to avoid the 'hood like the plague it is.  The state is only just now getting 'round to admitting what everyone with a brain has known for 30 years but didn't want to say out loud:  the schools suck.  Obama wants to doom kids to staying in schools like that?  Seriously.

God help me, I'm about ready to pull the lever for Gingrich if this keeps up.  He's endorsed by Chuck Norris, you know.

23 January 2012

Michigan School Prosecutes Mom for Tardies

Kid, nevermind your autism and how it affects your being able to get to school on time.  We think you should just go into foster care and your single momma? We'd like to send her to jail. 
Yeah.  That's pretty much what this school in Michigan is saying.  The mom and son duo start their day TWO HOURS EARLY and still can't make it in time on some days.  Have you ever dealt with an autistic child who has it in his head that thank you, he is NOT going some place or another?  You have a choice of beating the kid or hoping you can figure out some way to help the situation resolve itself.
This single mom looks like she has everything together at first blush, and maybe she does.  But I think before we send her off to jail, maybe it would be cheaper for the taxpayer and better for everyone all around if an autism specialist of some kind were hired to help the mom with techniques that will at least decrease the tardies or help the CHILD to regulate his own schedule a bit better?  Or perhaps bring some of those programs in the morning to his home and transport him from there?  I don't know what money pot that would come from funding-wise... but... looks like common sense to me.  This mom needs help, not jail.  It wouldn't "teach" her anything but the fact that the system is stacked against her.  I think she knows that already.
I've spoken out against this whole parent "accountability" thing for truancy before.  It's just wrong on so many levels.   Sure, if kids are signed up to go to school, parents should make *every* effort to ensure their children attend.   But wow.
My friend Kerima Cevik is angry about it.  "As I read the comments associated with this case, I realize that this woman will go to jail and her son will go into the foster care system," she wrote recently. 
"Because no one cares."
"The hate messages are frightening. And everyone assumes she is an irresponsible single mother who along with her son, are just not interested in education. Their judgement is based entirely upon her race. How I will navigate this biased system and keep my son from harm as a woman with the same skin as her, God only knows."
I'm pretty scared about the whole story myself.


22 January 2012

Hobbit Cloaks

Can you tell which is Elf, and which is Emperor?  They love their new Hobbit cloaks.  Patrick and G want their own as well, but I will have to guess and amend the pattern so that I can make a garment that would fit much taller Hobbits.

18 January 2012

I'm Very Upset.

My kid accepted a dollar in the bathroom from some man we don't really know as a prize for beating the man's friend in chess.  (Both men are well over 50.)  Emperor does not seem to understand why accepting money in the bathroom is not OK.  He doesn't see why this is a dangerous situation.  He doesn't understand why I flipped out about it and said it just looks doggone weird.

I don't know that the man was really attempting anything odd; he seems like the type who can't stop talking for an hour even if someone bet him $100... so it's hardly surprising to me that he would strike up a conversation with Emperor in the bathroom.  Or strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere.  He is *probably* harmless enough...

But this incident has freaked me out.  D has instituted a "Mom will go with you and stand outside the door, and you will do what you have to do and get out, no chatting or accepting anything" rule for bathroom breaks that occur outside the house.

Anybody else out there think their child "knew better" than to do something and then, wow... you realize he didn't really know it?  That's what I'm going through tonight.

17 January 2012

Fat is the New Normal.

Get over it, people.  Really.  It bothers me that someone would even say that 1 in 3 adults is "obese."   I looked up the definition and it said "very fat or overweight; corpulent."  Obviously if 1 in 3 people are above a given BMI, it is now NORMAL to be in that weight category.  One THIRD of ALL people are in that weight category.  That means they need to adjust the charts because you can't say it's unusual any more; it must be evolution or something (cough cornsyrupandotheradditives cough).   How can you even be called "fat" if 1 in 3 people, 1 in THREE, is also "obese."  Um, good grief, they aren't even bothering to get hepped up about "overweight" any more.

When I was a size 5 and walked for six miles a day and lived on 1600 calories, I was actually overweight.  By a pound.  And that pound really, really REALLY bothered me.  Now?  I would be ok with about 40 pounds over that ideal for reallio.  Actually, I think about 30 over is a healthy weight, not this running about, living on diet pop and a handful of chocolate chips and a bowl of cereal.  Not that I do that anymore.  At all.

I think decisions about who needs to lose weight and who doesn't should be made by a physician and a patient.  The physician can keep build and family history and other factors in mind when advising his patients. 

It really bothers me that people are just looking to the charts and not just being realistic about things.  People of "normal" weight can be overweight and "overweight" people can be just fine.  And yeah... I won't dispute the central premise of articles like these... you can't really expect to be 4 ft 2, weigh 899 pounds, and be perfectly healthy... I get that.  I'm not disputing that.  Nor am I disputing that most of us could stand to lose a few.  But don't say they're obese because that's a more relative term.  Overweight.  You can be overweight by a pound or 500 based on YOUR body and what its best weight would be.  Why do we have to classify people by HOW overweight they are on some dopey chart?  Is it a case of "yeah, I'm fat, but not quite as dangerously fat as you?"  Why do they do that on the charts?  Why do they even have charts?

I can't imagine people have less willpower today than they did in 1874... and yet until recently the number of people considered overweight has increased.  I wonder why.  Just seems the more we measure this the worse it gets.  SOMETIMES I think that we should just toss the scale and look at our pant sizes, what we should realistically be able to wear.  We really don't need an exact weight unless our doctor needs it for dosing medications.  Based on my pant size scale, I have a lot of work to do.  :)

15 January 2012

Second Place!

Please congratulate the tied-for second place winner at the Lead Bank Tournament in Lee's Summit.  This was a two-day adult level tournament, USCF rated, three-hour long games.  With CASH prizes! Emperor now has $33.33 to spend as he wishes!  It has been an exciting but very long weekend.  :)

14 January 2012

Zombies Just Need Better Medical Care

I still am not sure how to react to this story.  Scientists studying the "Haitian Zombie?"  It would make me suspicious that it's not real if zombies only happen in Haiti.  BUT apparently the voodoo doctor can capture your spirit or something in a jar, and everybody knows that zombies make good slaves (no, really, read the article...) and so scientists are investigating this possibility.

The reality they're finding is pretty sad.  Grant you, the sample size is pretty small (how many zombies do YOU know in real life?) but it sounds like the wanderers are simply mentally ill or have developmental/cognitive problems.  These poor people need some serious help.  I just wonder how many of these "zombies" have been killed by people who think they are their undead relatives.

Do you think the whole article is wacky?  I'm not sure what to think.

12 January 2012

Nanny Workplace?

At first I was outraged, watching this.  It's really pretty dehumanizing to go to work and get weighed and measured.  I have to wonder if any of their workers are over 6 ft 2 tall that they really expect a waist size of 33 inches to be even remotely, remotely practical.  You know it has to be discriminatory toward tall people (read:  African- and European-ancestry people... you know... racism).  It's just outrageous.  But honestly?  It would be nice if some workplaces didn't expect employees to work 10 hour days, work through lunch, give their employees projects and deadlines that make exercise difficult to impossible if sleep also has to happen that day, weekend work... and so on and so on and so on. Somewhere there is a balance of you taking care of your work and your workplace and the people at work taking reasonable care of you.  No, not nannying.  But maybe not shipping in pizza and donuts to meetings.  Maybe getting rid of the 12-hour workdays and the vending machines and offering your employees an apple and granola bar, maybe some cereal each day with a badge swipe in the cafeteria.  And not because anyone told you you had to, but because you want to save some healthcare dollars and have employees who have a sound mind in a sound body

After a Little Help.

"Oh, no, you just want my picture on the blog and that will embarrass me!"  But he conceded that the embarrassment is worth about $1.50 and so here you go. Emperor says he wants YOU to send money to him right now as well.

Is This How I Wear My Hat? I Think So.

And he's serious.  And he says it with such a straight face.  And see how he's perplexed as to why I said, "Awwww!" and took his picture.  Awwww!  Notice the little narrowed "why are you documenting this" eyes.  I don't know how to put it, but Emperor is so straightforward and serious that he is creative without realizing it.

10 January 2012

Catchall Drawer Post

1.  I recently heard that Barbie trashed her dream house.   This is sad, sad stuff.  I always thought Barbie wasn't nearly so perfect as she looked, but then, I also know that there really are people whose lives are almost very nearly perfect.  Poor Barbie.  Everyone keeps projecting dysfunction of every sort on that chick.  She still looks good, though.

2.  Also sad?  Republican candidates for president.  I'm starting to panic about the economy because it seems the Republicans are purposefully putting up real losers as contenders.  Call me paranoid (twitch!) but I think they really want whoever is going to be in office (coughObamacough) to take the blame for how crappy things turn out these next five years or so.  I mean, seriously.  Gingrich wasn't even all that special in the 90's.  He and Romney are just recycled semi-bland wannabes.  Behh.

3.  On a way brighter note, Emperor earned enough $5 chess coupons for winning tournaments to buy his own brand-new digital chess clock!  Oh, yeah... that's $30 I didn't have to spend.  Do not ask me what we are spending annually on this sport.  And yes, it is a sport.  (See?  Sports section.) I am logging Emperor's practices and tournaments down as PE hours.  Thanks.

4. What is uuuup with this puzzle?  I change the cut (on the left side) to 184 piece crazy and play it several times a day.  WHY?  I even got up early to do this.  I felt drawn to it.  Why couldn't I get some other obsession like cleaning or crafts or something??  I wonder.  I'm hoping I can quit soon, but then... I also never do.  As soon as I publish this, I will go back and play again.  I always find my favourite piece before starting, too.  How weird is that??   And I am developing nicknames like "New Jersey" and "Connecticut" for some of the pieces.  You would think I would think of better nicknames like "Jamie" and "Robert" but ohhh nooo... sorry...

08 January 2012

A Note From My Dad

Reprinted here with permission:

Believe it or not, this is the home my father grew up in at Towanda, PA. Built in 1876 by my great-great grandfather William Ronan. I visited here every summer until I was married. My "Uncle" Teddy Whyte and Aunt Mary Barron lived here long after Big Gram (Margaret Ronan) and Little Gram (Bridget Barron, my Dad's mother) passed away.

The house was painted white then, but seems little changed. A scary place .. Especially the root cellar and barn out back .. A barn my Dad raised his rabbits in as a boy.

The house is at the very top of the immensely steep hills above the Town of Towanda.. And you can see the slate slag behind the house as the mountain crested. Big Gram used to drag Don and I up the hill ... with buckets ... to pick blackberries for her jam and wine. We were exhausted by the effort ... which didn't affect her ... dressed in her all-black mourning clothes and lace and black button shoes ... and she was 104 years old!

Don (my father's identical twin) and I would sleep on the upstairs porch of the house .. outdoors.. when we visited.

Weird to see this.. And I sure wouldn't pay this price .. even with the updated kitchen and bathroom!

Working for a Living

When I was a kid and worked at menial jobs, I noticed that the people I worked with went out of their way NOT to go out of their way.  At the end of their shift, they'd clock out and that would be the end of it. 

One of my close relatives used to say well, that is why they are IN these sorts of jobs.  See how they are talking with their friends instead of organizing shelves or seeing if that customer over there needs help?  Or that lady.  You can tell she is talking with her boyfriend on the phone the way she is swooning about all over the place.  She needs to do that on her own time.  I'da fired her.

Another great thing he used to say was that employees should get sick on their own time.

I agree with this mindset pretty much.  If you're at work, you're supposed to be working.  Really working.  Not giggling with your friends or chatting on the phone or flirting with some guy who "happens" to come to the store when you are working.  Get moving.  I can't see my way clear to paying some of these morons seven bucks for doing pretty well jack crap nothing.  They deserve maybe $1.50 hourly for their efforts on a good day.  These minimum wage laws are an absolute shame because companies can't pay these losers what they're really worth.

I worked really hard when I had a job.  Really, really hard.  I just couldn't seem to keep a real job, even a "simple" cash register job.  (They are not as "simple" as they look, by the way.  I have a college degree and COULD NOT keep everyone's stupid orders straight or remember which buttons to push WHILE talking with the customer.  I can do one or the other.)

What would happen is something like this:  I would go in for training (which consists of a 45-minute video and a worksheet) and I'd learn that our NUMBER ONE priority is customer satisfaction.  NUMBER ONE.  We want to keep those customers happy with us here at Brand Name, so they come back.

Okay then.  "So Customer, would you like ketchup with your fries?"

The manager takes me aside.  Oh no, no, no, he tells me.  We do not "suggestive sell" ketchup because we give away the ketchup.  We "suggestive sell" additional products.  Like this:  say some old man orders a cheeseburger.  You ask him, "Do you want a drink with that?"  You don't ask him if he needs jelly with his muffin, or salt with his hash browns!  Why are you doing this?

Now I am genuinely confused.  The NUMBER ONE priority was supposed to be customer satisfaction.  That means how happy the customer is.  Ketchup made this customer happy.  But I am being yelled at for giving away the ketchup. 

And so on.  Or the rule is that "if you have time to lean, you have time to clean!"  You can't lean on the counter between customers.  You need to find something to clean.  WOW these shelves haven't been totally emptied and reorganized in forever!!  *dump* Sort, sort, sort.

"Why are you making this big mess?"  The manager is displeased again.

Nevermind that job.  I also was a reporter for a while.  My editor would give me five or six stories to work on.  All of them entail tracking down several people to interview and/or travelling to a given location.  I need to prioritize here as I am the only reporter on the daily paper.  Which story is the most important?

"All of them," my editor replied. Sigh.  I can't tell you how many times I worked on the "wrong" most important story.

Or I am to report on the police blotter every day.  That is interesting stuff.  The dispatcher would just hand me a big stack of reports every morning when I showed up.  I would look them over, copy relevant information, give her back her papers and then leave.  Reports would have the names of the people involved in the incident, where and when it took place, and the MO (or "how it happened").  Here is an example of an interesting police report I copied:

Name:  Mr. Joe Smyth and Mrs. Sally Tucker
Date:  June 15
Location:  Elmer's Parking Lot 2101 E. 17th St.
Summary:  Suspicious car reported, investigating officer found Smyth and Tucker engaged in a sexual act.  Told to go take it somewhere else.
MO: Missionary

Dear friends, most of the really interesting stuff never makes the paper.  Even though it is public record, my editor kept making all these "judgment calls" on what is news and what isn't.  Though the ad staff did have a good laugh at me for including it.  You would also be surprised at how many important people's cousins and/or staff's relatives never had their names in the paper for anything bad.

07 January 2012

Homeschool Slump?

Are you in one?  Seems as though everyone is re-evaluating their homeschool curriculum and schedule around this time of year.   New resolutions are being made on the 'web to actually GET OUT THE BOOKS and make kids read one or two by the end of this year.  I find it pretty funny because these writers are the people who were working hard already.

I do know some people who have literally scheduled their children's lessons into fifteen-minute increments (complete with page numbers in each subject for each day).  The problem with this way of thinking is that it just takes one sickness to totally screw up your schedule.  For the YEAR, baby.

I use the sticky note method.  I know you're tired of hearing about it, but seriously.  A sticky note to tell your child where to START in the book and where to STOP.  Move the sticky notes to new START and STOP positions at the end of the day.  Stick a worksheet into the book in question if you want one completed tomorrow morning.  Or whatever.  I guess I'm just not colour coding all my lessons and scientifically portioning it out so that I get 1/36 of an academic year done in a given week.  Mehh.  I sort of look at the book and feeeeel how long I want the next lesson to be.  It's not very scientific. 

We're finished with our Science books for the year.  And our Latin.  And The Story of the World (Ancient Times).  And our Reading.  I'm not saying we won't work on these subjects at all until the next school year, because we are going to be doing our extensive study on Ancient Rome now.  It's also probably time to get cracking more on the grammar and writing.  And to just keep on keeping on in the mathematics department. 

The reason for our uneven curriculum completion is simple:  I was doing drugs for about a month after my surgery and was too loopy to actually teach.  That meant Emperor needed to do mostly subjects in which I could just check his work at the end of the day.    Writing is such a guided process, the outlining, the editing, the brainstorming... I just couldn't do it.  I can now!  So, we'll work on that. 

Maybe my "slump" just happened earlier what with the surgery and all.  It really stunk for a while there.  I cannot lift anything much bigger than a couple milk jugs ever again, but I do feel much better and not slumpy at all.  I'm grateful for that.  I can even vacuum a room or so if someone brings the vacuum up or down the stairs for me.

How are you doing?  Are you re-evaluating your homeschool plans currently?  It's ok to leave a comment even if you are not homeschooling at all but just wanted to say "hi."

06 January 2012

Emperor's Test Results

I was floored that the kid received a "very superior" in the "verbal comprehension" subtest.  VERBAL COMPREHENSION??  No, really, they think that.  This is the kid who will walk right through doors that say "DO NOT ENTER" because he is exiting.  Does that sound like comprehension to you?  :p

But they can admit he also lacks "higher cognition skills to carry multiple objects, perform task in proper sequence or with multiple steps, and imitate actions."  Translation: he's smart but not smart enough to figure out how to carry stuff?  That is sooo... Emperor.  And so confusing.  Just... why.  But hello, this is why he is not allowed to go swimming or even use sharp scissors.  You might think I'm overcoddling but I'll just let you go ahead and think that and keep my kid alive and in possession of all his limbs for another day.

Anyway... I asked for testing because I was hoping that we would see some sort of offer to help Emperor with his handwriting, but they said it was just fine.  Composition?  Nope, doesn't qualify for help there, either.  He's actually ahead.  Then I sorta felt bad for bothering them, especially since I know that testing is not cheap.

It comes down to this:  he'll get no extra help, really, except for maybe a "social skills" class here and there.  But I know he could probably use a social skills class here or there.  Maybe even a lot of them.  It makes the decision as to "what to do with Emperor education-wise" that much more difficult.  He tests and performs at or above the seventh grade level. Mathematics computation level?  Grade 12.2.  I just can't see enrolling him in fourth grade and having that be an effective use of his time.  Unfortunately with all the comings and goings in the house  it is not feasable to do a co-op.  All SIX children will be in different schools next year; FIVE if Patrick makes good on his threat to becoming a hobo.  Still... crazy times ahead.  Especially if Patrick decides to become a hobo. 

D says I should call the school and just ask for Emperor's flipping diploma since he tested so high.  Or at least ask to place him in seventh grade or something.  I sort of doubt they would consider either option but at the same time, I know that as he gets older they would help him acclimate to the social aspects of school far less.  He is very socially quirky (!!) and waiting until ninth grade is almost certain disaster.

My mind is not really made up on anything.  Though overall?  I feel as though I want him home at least another year.  Maybe two.  Maybe for always.  I don't know.  Lots to think about.  One suggestion I got from the peanut gallery was to wait until we're done with our hours homeschool-wise this year, and then try to enroll him and just figure that's your social skills right there. The only thing is that D might not let me pull him once he is in.  And I really am not ready to let him go fer real (not just playing school at the end of my REAL school term, you see) just yet.  We just get along too well and what would I do all day without him?

05 January 2012

Linky Luv!

Parents of public schoolers NEED this free guide to eduspeak

Harry is blogging again!  Missed you, Harry!  It's a great post on the poverty mindset and how much money is too much?  Enjoy.

Do you think that it is discriminatory to require a high school diploma for a job?  The discussion is over at Darren's place.

Virginia is crazy.  Most crazy people are harmless.  :)  Seriously, my goodness, I would have to do illegal drugs to get this kind of energy.

Unrelated to anything.  I am obsessed with this.  Click this and then "change cut" to 185 piece crazy cut.  Then try to solve the thing under the "average time."  I worked and worked and... why? but I worked a long time and now I can do it more often than not.  I was just determined.

You know a blog post is going viral with good reason when you read something like this.  You know... I don't blog a lot about it, but Woodjie has a lot of troubles and our kids have a hard enough road ahead of them without people being mean.

And ... this is not a blog post, but what do you think?  Should feds track your kid through school?  One friend tells me this may be so that there are more assurances that special-needs children get the help they need.  I dunno.  I don't like federal involvement in education, but then, I'd be one of the first to be ok with a no-restraint and seclusion law to be on the books, you know?

03 January 2012

Crazy Comment Monday!

It's a crazy video this week, but you will enjoy this one.  You know how when you were in school, you copied a few sentences out of an encyclopedia, changed a few words and wrote a conclusion sentence such as "I like birds alot," and that was your report?  In a similar vein, DESE ("Dessie," our state ed. department) slapped together this hilariously atrocious video for our enjoyment. 
Ok, ok.  It's funny in an oh-so-unintentional way.  First off, the narrator never spent more than three days in Missouri, and at least two of those were likely spent making this bad film.  He sounds as though he is from "vaguely somewhere American" because he has a strong broadcaster accent.  Being "Missouri Proud," as the website suggests, means we need to outsource.
But that alone doesn't make it obvious that DESE did a slipshod job.
No, folks.  We need to make it more ridiculous than that.  We need to have a few shots of people cavorting outside a house with a tile roof.  A TILE ROOF.  Do you know how long those would last with our winters?  No one has a tile roof around here.
STILL not obvious enough.  Throw in palm trees while we're talking about "Missouri pride," and that's a wrap.
Oh, yeah.  You can see palm trees.  I'm feeling Missouri proud when I see those.  Ha ha ha!  And I love the stock photos of "feet walking on pavement," and "man with bagel" and "overly professionally dressed teacher calling upon student."  Sooo quintessential Missouri.
DESE wants me to do my good civic duty by alerting you to this glorious Top 10 by 20 program, and if I answer this survey, I'll even get a certificate of appreciation!  Whoopeee!

Woodjie's Roller Dance Routine!

Only a few people were selected to perform their routines at a recent club fundraiser.  I went to upload this video and was pretty shocked...