Friday, June 12, 2015

Speak to Me

Last year the kids' pediatrician told us that QT needed speech therapy.  I asked our school district to assess and they didn't.  The law requires the education agency to respond within 15 days of a parent request.  It was 6 months before the school assessed and offered him speech.

While we waited on a school district response, we funded a private speech teacher, but it makes me sad to realize how much QT would have suffered had we not been able to afford it.

QT went back to his doctor today and he was chatting away.  She was so happy to see him and told me that getting those speech impediments worked out gives kids a boost of confidence.

Mr A and I often discuss how QT bloomed since October and we have discussed  how confident and communicative he became.  Being able to be understood means a lot and if we had to wait for the school district to help, QT would have suffered.  That saddens me.

I am an education lawyer and that experience with my school district gave me first hand experience of how parents feel when their kids are not getting what the law has required school districts to provide.

I often have wealthy parents contact me and those parents will fund their child's placement or pay for service and ask me to seek reimbursement.  Everyone cannot do that and the time delays matter a great deal in resolving an issue. The earlier a kid can get a service, the more productive the child will become.

I am glad I do what I do. I am grateful we can help kids and families. I am grateful that our desire to help families allows us to fund and meet our own kids needs.

Everyone is not able to pay out of pocket and school districts should really do better by the children, because the kids are our future. As cliche as that statement is, it is true.  Why do adults who enter into the field of education want to deny our kids the services that can help them become better and more capable adults?

I look forward to opening our resource center and being able to help more families. I am excited about the growth of our business and one day soon, I look forward to hosting a conference and training at a hotel and seeing my kiddies run laughing through the hotel as their parents get business done.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Fast Speedy

QT is very proud of his running skills. He has changed his name to fast speedy.  He was a year and more younger than his competition because he began school a year early.  Watching the race made me realize he is really a natural athlete.  This was his first meet and his form looks like he has been on a track team being trained.

Now that school is out and I feel okay to post a photo and video of the meet.


Friday, May 29, 2015

Volunteer Daze

I have spent the last few months volunteering in QT's class each Friday. I do this because he demands it. Mr. A volunteers every Wednesday and has since the beginning of the school year but QT likes both of us to be there.

I take TR when I go and she gets to play with the kids and help the kindergarten class so its a win-win.  Some of those kids are as old as she is, so it works well.

Today I worked so hard that my back was hurting.  I worked like it was my paid job. I cleaned tables after the kids did a painting project, I washed sponges from the same painting project, I folded shirts that the kids wore to do their art project, I had the kids put their handprints on their graduation caps, and then I assisted another mom in taking down classroom decorations.  Before all that I laminated and cut large sized student artwork.

A kindergarten teacher's day is jammed pack!  I was there from 11:45 a.m to 2:55 and I literally did not stop moving until I got in my car and drove away.  I give lots of respect to good kindergarten teachers because a lot of work in front and behind the scenes goes into keeping the class of students engaged and excited.

QT will be homeschooled next year and I am excited about the opportunities that will exist for him.  The A family joined a homeschool community and we met some parents who we will be joining in a home school co-op.  For 2 days a week about 3 hours each day we are hiring a Spanish language teacher who will immerse the kids in Spanish only time.  This includes playing at the park while speaking in Spanish.

A few weeks ago while we were at the park I saw a class of elementary aged kids from a nearby $30k/year private school running laps around the park.  Their teacher spoke to them in only french and the kids spoke to her in French.  That school teaches 3 languages.  I was thinking I would love to enroll my kids there just for that.  Now we get the same opportunity so I am very excited!

QT likes sports so I am sure he will return to a formal school situation at some point. TR is still in love with gymnastics so homeschool is perfect for her and our being able to design classes and participate in home school co-ops is great. TR really enjoys homeschool.  Someone recently described her and said, she is not afraid to try new and difficult academic tasks and if she gets something wrong she does not feel like a failure.

Resilience was a huge thing for me when I was in search of a school and we are raising a resilient kid.  QT is a super perfectionist.  If he gets something less than perfect he gets frustrated.  I want him to embrace being a perfectionist since it seems to be natural for him but I want him to understand that mistakes are opportunities to learn how to get better.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Arts Corner

I rearranged furniture in the living room and I made an "art corner".

   I don't have a hunger for a grand piano but I do like to see them in homes.   We use all of the space in our home.  We are not the people that have unused rooms or a too big house.  A grand piano would require us to move.

  I would like to have an art room and if we bought a large enough house I would have a baby grand in the middle of the floor and art on the walls.

   I moved the piano, guitar, karoke stereo, easel, paints, paper and crafts box to this area.

   Our house has a wall of windows which is pretty to look at but it gets hot and fades things.  The shoji helps the room be more useable.  I love sunshine and lots of windows so I am wiling to deal with the heat and fading.

   Back to ART

  I encourage my kids artistic interests because I want them to feel confident in creating things and developing ideas.   Creative people always have a skill to rely and because they create they don't need  others to employ them.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Graduation Upon Us

In less than 2 weeks, QT will be a kindergarten graduate.

I have many of complaints but overall it has been a positive experience for him.  He entered kindergarten with his sister attending the same school and he was dependent on her to be his friend.  He would cry at recess if she didn't play with him at school. Once she stopped attending the school, he was on his own.  It was his first time without his sister or his parents.

We gave him the option to leave school too but he chose to stay.  Drop offs were a challenge.  He would go into his class alone but he wanted Mr. A to stay in the parking lot for at least 20 minutes.  Eventually he began jumping out of the car and barely saying goodbye.  He became social, independent, outgoing and a leader.  His confidence has grown by leaps and bounds.  That made the experience worth it.

Now to the academics.  QT started kindergarten at 4.6.  I knew he was advanced academically and capable of doing the work but I figured kinder would offer a challenge since he was the youngest and it was his first formal school experience.  School started well, he got to learn new things and it was good for him.

Then the repetition began because other kids needed repetition and perhaps typical kindergartens are repetitive.

I recently went to volunteer in his class and did kindergarten assessments. I saw his and he entered kindergarten knowing the bulk of what they would be taught. We were not trying to teach him kindergarten things, we were interacting as most parents do.

    So the social aspect has been good because he gets to play with 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade kids.  He is confident now that he can make friends on his own.  That is huge. I went to school with my older siblings and never had to make friends.  I just borrowed their friends.

  TR's kindergarten class had 3 kids, so her teacher was able to let TR learn at higher grade levels.  QT's teacher has 16 students so she seems to be catering to the masses and forcing everyone else to review and review some more.

 So we are excited about school ending and allowing QT to flourish in homeschool.  QT needed speech so I had him assessed.  As an education attorney, I am on high alert. He was 4 so he did the preschool assessment which is used on kids up to 7 years 11 months.   He went to the end of the test book. The assessor said no one had every done that before. In all of the domains QT was advanced/superior.  The assessor said the test results  should be viewed with caution as they don't indicate his true ability because the test ended and had it gone higher, QT was likely to have gotten higher scores.

  QT has enjoyed kindergarten but for months when we asked him what he learned he says he doesn't remember.  He can recall what they do, but he hasn't been learning anything new. For months we've  taken QT from school early to go to art or speech and we'll ask his teacher what he will miss.  She tells us, he knows everything the class will be cover.

He has certainly learned things, but it stagnated a while ago. On the bright side, he likes to rough house and play like little boys are known to play and the school has plenty of boys for him to play with and the school permits the boys to play like boys.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Makers and builders.

I like to make non-alcoholic tasty drinks.  My kiddies like fizzy drinks and it recently occurred to me that I can make my own.  I put sugar in berries, let it sit and use the syrup to flavor sparkling water.  The kids love it and it's like drinking a soda without all of the additives.

   This morning I was thinking on how much Mr. A and I love being parents.  Raising people is a gift! Kids grow so quickly. They begin as totally dependent and grow into their own independence and soon they fly.  Parents raise children to set them free to bless the world.

  It occurred to me that when our kids leave us Mr. A and I we won't be the parents who have nothing to do or put our energy to.  We are builders.  I think one huge reason that we love parenting is we get to help humans develop into the full potential and give them the foundation to walk in their purpose.'

Mr. A and and I always find a way to help others and God has given us the ability to earn our living helping others.   We help others and God has made provision for us to give our kids the extras and the gift of our time.

 Mr. A was coaching high school football for pretty much no money in L.A. but his coaching opened up lots of doors and networking opportunities for us.  It also allowed us to get great and no cost to us, health insurance which was priceless! We were blessed that we could afford to coach for free and gain access to things.  This year he took a break from coaching and a door has opened for him to do private coaching for Division 1 college bound and Division one athletes.

  We are makers and building and if we aren't making people and building them into good human beings, then we will be making and building other things to benefit people and our blessings arrive  in the process of our serving of others.

Monday, May 18, 2015

To Learn

I am making a note to myself to make sure TR learns more than the 3R's.

Study skills, time management, goal setting, prioritizing, work ethic are vital.

These are the things I have to ensure we cover in our curriculum. It's easy to teach academics but those lessons that are necessary to live successfully as an adult have to be instilled through training.

I came across a great article that reminded me to be deliberate with making sure these skills are practiced.

What A Child Doesn't Learn