Stalked by the Stork...a diary of raising twelve kids

Having twelve children is an amazing blessing and one heck of a crazy ride. Join us through all the joys, smiles, tribulations and trials as we navigate this fabulous journey!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Halloween and Beyond

Halloween was a fabulous night for all of us...sorry it took so long to update! The kids had a blast and some even made it to every house in the neighborhood. They now have huge pillow cases of candy. In previous years we've had to deal with the "He took candy out of my candy bag..." so this year I told them all to pick 10 pieces they didn't want to share and wanted to keep to themselves and then the rest went into a big family pot. I expected lots of disharmony about this but happily, we've encountered none. The only disharmonious part (for me) is that daily I find tons of candy wrappers and packaging strewn about the kitchen, bedrooms and living room. How hard is it to pick up after yourself and throw away your trash!!!! Many times now I've said "That's it! No more candy!" It is to no avail though...a few hours later I find yet more wrappers and when I inquire about it all I get is a chorus of "NOT ME!!!" and "I DIDN"T DO IT!"

Tomorrow we will be 37 weeks pregnant. Hard to beleive we are at term already!!! I had an appointment with the midwife today and am 2 centimeters dilated. I have an ultrasound on Tuesday. I'll post more details in the pregnancy journal so we can focus here on the kids.

We had parent/teacher conferences for the elementary school yesterday. Brice's conference was hilarious. Apparently, as he is one of the younger kids....he isn't quite up to par with some of the skills his classmates have mastered. When the teacher showed me his writing sample of his name...all Brice had managed was to draw a circle around the space in which his name was intended to be written. I laughed so hard I almost cried. Additionally he only knew one color and when asked to sing the ABC song..he only made it to "H". Oh well. He'll get it evenetually. When the teacher suggested writing activities to help him along, I explained (with a grin) that in our house, Brice is STRONGLY discouraged from handling writing utensils of all types...that includes markers, crayons, pencils, pens, ect. His creative genuis is only allowed to flow outside using sidewalk chalk...and then only occasionally (as in on the occasion I am able to follow up the activity immediately with a bath). I assured the teacher that by the time Brice reaches college we are confident that he'll have mastered both writing his name and identifying his colors. In closing I mentioned that the less he demonstrated this year....all the better for qualifying for pre-k next year! The teacher then told me that she didn't think Brice would have any problem qualifying for next year! Ha! I assured myself that there are plenty of skills Brice has mastered.

For example, he is an expert at what he has termed "Fart-singing." That's right. Brice makes mouth noises that sound very similar to passing gas and makes these noises to the tune of a given song. He then asks other family members to "Guess which song I'm fart-singing?" See, he's a genius!

Jackson's conference was next. I'm happy to report that Jackson's grades were a 97, 93 and 91 adn that he has scored above the district ave in almost all areas in his testing. All of his scores in math and reading came out average, high-average, (except one) with most being high average or high. We were quite proud of his, espicially since he's the kid who often appears to be clueless. In fact, for a few years now he's been nicknamed "Helpless Jack" around the house because he seems unable to accomplish ANY task no matter how small, without sibling or parental assistance. This includes mundane tasks such as pouring water, removing his coat or even ensuring that all of his pee-pee makes it IN the potty (as opposed to behind, beside or above the potty). His teacher reports that at school he is very independent, and very respectful, well behaved and a great student. And super smart.

Brandon's conference was last and his grades were pretty good. Reading is still a struggle for him and he has extra pull out time to help him catch up. The teacher feels the same way we do that he is extremely intelligent but that all the missed school in Kindergarten, First and Second grade has put him behind. We've been very lucky this year in that he has only been sick a couple of times and has missed very little school as compared to previous years. The teacher did mention the need to control Brandon's excessive talking for which he recived an "N" as in Needs Improvement on his report card!

Emanuel's teacher never did get back in touch with me to schedule his conference so we still have that to do although his report card arrived in the mail and we were very pleased. He does have a couple of grades that are good but need to be 85 and an 86. These are fine grades in most places but in our school district they are C's so those need to come up. All other grades were in the 90's.

Drew is another story completely and in fact, we've made the decision to homeschool him. After many years of struggling we have made the decision that his success as a person is our top priority and if a traditional, public school, classroom education isn't working for him (which since Kindergarten it clearly hasnt been) then its not just our option but our responsibility not to let him fail and to stop the downward spiral immediately. Some kids learn differently and we beleive Drew is one of them. He has so many talents and gifts that are just not able to be tapped in the classroom. There is more that played into the decision aside for only acedemics. To put it breifly, he seemed headed down a path of dishonesty, sneaking and poor choices in social interactions that we certainally don't want him on and we think its alot easier to make sure we are his primary influence now than it will be if we wait five years. To put it mildly, we aren't wanting to be grandparents in the next couple of years so its either intervene now or wait and see what thanks. We've already pulled him from school and our first week (while short due to the other kids being out of school two days this week and we keep him on that same schedule) went fairly well. He actually did much better at his math when all the pressure of it being "official homework" was removed and he has a quiet environment (when babies were all in bed and other siblings were in school) to work. It may be related to the fact that we are doing review stuff for now, but it occured to me that this was the only time since...well...ever that he had been able to do his work in a quiet, peaceful environment, free from distractions with as much time as he needed to work on his assignment. He stayed on task soooooo much better.


Debbie Moore said...

Still hanging in there, good for you! Just for the record Caleb would have no idea at all how to write his name, do three year olds really know how to do that already? Good to hear from you, I have been thinking about you and your next addition to your family!

Sheri said...

Wow Angela, I can't believe you are almost there. Its nice to be able to check on here and see what you are up to. I'll be waiting to see what you have.

Sharlene said...

OKay Brice's teacher must have either thought you were hilarious or completely insane. LMAO. And I hope things go better for Drew now that he is homeschooled. You can do it all my friend!

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