Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Send sunshine

It's 50 degrees here today. And raining. And I haven't seen the sun yet today and it's almost lunchtime. This is definitely October in Seattle. I need to go get my full spectrum light and use it, but it's in the basement and that's just way too far away right now. This is not my happy time of year.

So I totally broke Ethan last week. After Vivian's dance class, we wanted to go get a treat with friends and the girls wanted cupcakes. Ethan started crying at this thought, since something on the walls of the cupcake place bothers him. I ignored this and took him along, as he sobbed and walked behind me. When we got in the store, he went and hid in the corner and cried. And then threw up everywhere while I was paying for a cupcake. I didn't react at first and the cupcake girl looked horrified. I'm just so used to him throwing up randomly that it didn't really register for a bit. And then I cleaned up the mess with bleach and the cupcake girl still looked horrified and was texting and I assume she is now never going to have children.

The girls ate their cupcakes and Ethan cried  more and then threw up again (thankfully in the bathroom this time) and we went home and he laid down and went to sleep and slept for 14 hours. And then was fine. And we are never going to the cupcake store again. I love the kid, but his issues are so random sometimes. It's hard to explain to people that my kid is essentially allergic to stickers and random wall decorations. So weird.

In other news, Vivian is showing some skills in the area of math. Which isn't suprising, given her family. We were counting coins the other day and she asked if she could count by tens and then keep tally of how many tens she'd counted, so she had a running count. I fear we may have another accountant on our hands (we already have MANY in the family).

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The school year is off to a slightly sluggish start

Ethan's struggled with his reading for... forever. He finally started making progress late last school year. It's required a ton of time and effort from his assorted teachers and specialists (of which he has many) and has required a lot of time and attention from Daniel and I as well. He ended the school year just below grade level with reading.

Vivian started K a bit ahead of where Ethan had started, but not much. However, she also started K at just 5 years old, whereas he was already 6. So I wasn't too worried about her. She ended the school year also just below grade level, but I thought her skills were coming along. We had planned to spend time this summer working on reading, but with one thing and another, it just didn't happen. Still, I didn't think anything of it.

So,  imagine my surprise when Vivian came home from school telling me about going to see a teacher that gave her Skittles. She informed me that only she and one other student went. When she named the student, I asked her if she was working on reading with this other teacher, because I know the other student that's going with her and that he is a poor reader (I volunteered a lot in her class last year).  Turns out that she has been assigned to see the reading specialist (they eventually sent home information to us about it). For some reason Ethan is not seeing the specialist. I'm a little confused about the whole thing, but as long as she's getting extra help, that's great.

But having two kids struggling academically is challenging. Both have quite a bit of homework on top of needing to read 20 minutes or so daily. And both need help with their homework, since they lack the reading skills to do it properly, so our evenings are very interesting around here. Fortunately Vivian's math skills seem pretty good and Ethan is doing decently with math as well, so there's some glimmer of hope.

I never wanted to be the type of parent that expected their kids to get straight As or anything like that. I was a very good student, but my husband wasn't particularly and he's still very successful in life. There are more important things than letter grades. As long as the kids are trying hard and I'm trying hard to support them, that's fine with me. I'm more concerned about them learning to treat people well and learning to ask questions about life and stuff like that.

That being said, it's still not where I expected to be with school, especially this early in their school careers. It's a fine line between getting them the extra help and practice that they need and not wanting to overwhelm them and give them an early dislike for school. They have a lot of years ahead of them!