So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished! Luke 1:45

Friday, January 3, 2014

Whoa, December!

December kind of threw me for a loop there -- for lots of reasons.

The first was that Rugrat began a small group class through her school in November. She has to go 4 times a week. This is basically the result of her 'low' DIBELS (reading) score when we registered her with the online school.

You know, back in August, when she had not been forced to go to daycare or preschool and just after she entered a regular classroom with a teacher who was too over-run with the immense number of 5-year-olds in her room to give her the individualized attention she needed to begin with, and before we were amazed to watch her suddenly become a reader who can remember geography and zoom through her math lessons. You know, before all that happened.

One unfortunate result of being in a virtual school is that the teacher can't really pick a day and test the child formally. That would require being physically present on both their parts in the same place at the same time. So until that time (standardized testing usually happens in the spring so I'm assuming it will occur at that time), a large percentage of their kindergarteners are in these little online "classes" -- primarily so that  they can point to it and be able to say they are taking measures to insure their student's success. It is the direct result of some federal law -- not common core but something else (which I think the teacher I spoke too is hoping very hard will go away in the next year or two thanks to a grass roots push).

I don't have a problem with the classes. If she had stayed in her other school, I feel certain she would (or at least might) have been placed in a program that she absolutely didn't belong in after a year or two of being so ignored and passed over that she would still not be learning anything (unless I chose to teach it to her -- in which case I might as well sleep in the extra hour, have decent lunches, avoid mass contamination from other sick children, cut out all the politics, and enjoy every moment with her while teaching her myself anyway).

The classes aren't long or involved. They are pretty simple actually and I was surprised to learn that she seems to occasionally enjoy hearing the other kids and speaking to the teacher. The only problem is that they are FOUR days of the week. They allow us to watch a recording if we have to miss them (like when I work) so I can't really complain.

But having that there and knowing we have to get it in was initially a little stressful. By the end of the semester, I was getting better at it though. Figuring out the little chat tools and how to hook up and work the microphone also relieved some of the stress.

Another reason I was thrown for a loop was the multiple big storms we had here in Oklahoma. I think there were four total in November and December here. In fact, the little field trip that I'll show later was done specifically on that day because of the massive ice storm that was supposed to (and did) move in a couple of days afterward.

While the weather did not affect our schooling or even much of our day to day stuff, I did have to make sure to plan my grocery shopping well and plan everything else far more than I usually do around the weather forecast. There were multiple times (including almost a full week at one point) that we all just holed up in the house for days at a time. Can you say 'cabin fever?' All the while, we were stressing that the power might go out or that we might have issues we hadn't thought of.

I also managed at some point in some way to throw out my back during all this. Necessitating my first visit ever to a chiropractor. And one of the big snow storms moved in only a couple hours before my appointment. Nonetheless, I was hurting pretty bad and we navigated our way there. I limped in about fifteen minutes late (we live five minutes from the office) but I walked out nice and tall later. I will not be waiting out the pain anymore -- at least, as long as that man and his wife are in business. I have been converted. That was one loop I was thrown that I am glad of.

Another little toss came from Christmas itself. I have heard more than one person point out how little time there was between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hubby is a Black Friday shopper -- both out and about and online -- so he got a big portion of his done before the first weekend in December. I, on the other hand, did not.

In fact, he had only one or two things left when we ventured out the second weekend of December. I was really not in the mood for it but I was feeling the pressure of Christmas closing in. More stress! In Kohl's (one of my favorite places to shop), I managed to find one thing that I thought I might get. We got to the lines only to find it backed up to the end of the aisle. I was so disgusted I was done. We went home. And I sat down on (we have Prime so free 2-day shipping on most of it) and ordered the majority of what I needed. Never mind that UPS (I sooooo can't stand UPS) lost a bunch of it which caused even more stress.

So, blogging among other things fell by the wayside. But I'm feeling back in the swing now so maybe I can work my way back into it. I guess we'll see.

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