Monday, August 10, 2015

New School Year

We are now preparing for the school year to start.  This year 4 of our 5 kids will be in school.  We are still doing Virtual School as our local school district is still pretty horrible.  I like being able to be more involved in my kids' schooling.  I tried to be active when they were in brick and mortar school but got pushed further and further out. There was the time I was told I could only volunteer if it wasn't in my own child's classroom but in another teacher's class instead.  How is that supporting my child's teacher to do her job more easily?

I eventually did volunteer to help with sight word intervention for 4 days a week. Then they took away funding and canceled the program.  Many programs got cut that were supported mostly by volunteers and funding moved into more and more ELL classes. (English Language Learner)  I don't have a grudge against kids needing to learn our language, but don't take from the ones who do know the language but struggle to read. Reading Improvement Programs were cut and so many other like programs to make way for more ELL classes.  It made me feel like my children who were born here in this city were considered second class citizens because their funding was cut left and right.  I had one child who needed these reading programs and they were cut while she was in them.

This year we made a move from Nevada Virtual Academy after 4 years with them.  It had started out as a great choice for my family and through the years many changes sucked the life from the program.  The changes made took away all that was good in the beginning. Their high school program was not what we had signed up for. It had changed and evolved into something that did not work.  I was not raising circus dogs that were being made to jump through more and more hoops eventually flaming. The school's idea of intervention was making my child travel 30 minutes one way for intervention classes with 20 or more students in it. How is 20 other students in a class intervention?  What kind of one on one time is that? They did nothing throughout the year to intervene when my oldest was struggling with a class.
When we had trouble with a teacher we were lied to about be able to switch her class. The teacher was a bully. Yes, teachers can be bullies too. They are only human.  By the time we had finally been able to get her switched my oldest shut down and withdrew into herself.  It is how she reacted to school after being horribly bullied before.(circled on the playground by and kicked repeatedly while she was curled up on the ground.) When faced with bullies that she doesn't feel like she can fairly fight back she turtles up in her "shell" and stops interacting to her fullest.  Her schoolwork was suffering and the school said it was all on her just slacking off. They were adamant that a teacher can't be a bully and that my child was lazy.  I'm not the type of parent to say my kids can do no wrong, but teachers are not saints. Sometimes they hate a kid for no reason. Not all teachers are in it for the reward of teaching our future generations. Many should never be a teacher.  I know I couldn't teach kids other than my own.

Our new school Connections Academy is the one I debated joining after the first Virtual school was shut down for the principal defrauding the district. (Soap Opera) It has a great family scheduling section to keep everyone on the same page.  It has a awesome centralized page for me to easily check what each student needs to do and how they are progressing.  Compared to K12 it is like night and day.    

Friday, August 7, 2015

Busy Nutty Mom

Summer time used to mean relaxing and doing nothing.  Then I had kids.  Now it's just as bad as the rest of the year. With no school to do you would think the kids have ample time to clean up after themselves.  All the extra free time did was give them extra time to make even more creative messes.
I could provide the confetti for a parade with all the tiny scraps of paper they have created.
No one will admit how paint got on the couch pillow.  It's red paint so it looks like they were sacrificing things over summer break.  I'm ready to throw the pillow away after many attempts to clean it have failed, but then they would just move on to kill the remaining pillows.  Plus if you visit my house you will know I have kids or a tribe of feral savages. (depends on their moods)

Summer camp for the oldest two was only a week long but they are stereotypical girls so they packed for closer to two weeks.  We almost had the youngest fully potty trained while they were away. Then his sisters came back from camp and it's back to refusals and accidents. I'm almost ready to ship them off again so we can be done with diapers FINALLY.

My husband was out of work with a broken wrist. Only reason he was out of work was because his work does not allow him to do light duty for his job.  It's full work or nothing.  Luckily we were covered by AFLAC for the accident and he had plenty of sick leave and vacation time saved up. With our 5 kids and mini backyard zoo we never go on vacation anyway.  I spent the 5 weeks helping him with everything. A few times I got cranky at his helplessness. Any normal human would after watching him play video games for hours then say he couldn't make his own sandwich.  I ended up telling him he was starting to abuse the in sickness and in health portion of our vows. I didn't begrudge having to help him shower even though he always waited until I was ready to go to bed to choose to shower.  Even though there was times he drove me crazy with his extra chattiness while I tried to steal some quiet time to read, I miss him now that he is back at work.

I choose summer time to deep clean the house, because I'm nutty like that.  Old school books are packed up and shipped back. I have the kids clean out their closets and dressers to shed any clothing they don't fit into.  It seems insane while in the middle of it all, but once it's done it helps the school year start off easily.

Our chickens have kept me on my toes this summer. With heat waves threatening to kill them if they went broody, so I had to keep a small swimming pool ready for them to wade for cooling off.  The girls have all suddenly decided they are explorers and have taken to escaping their run and walking throughout the yard. They harvested a few of my tomatoes before I had a chance to get to them and before the summer heat scorched my whole garden.  

Recently one of our girls was discovered to have a hidden clutch of eggs.  We didn't even know she was laying yet.  My oldest found her hidden behind the duck house, sitting on 5 eggs! The little feathered stinker has been laying for almost a week with that big of a clutch hidden.  They were rotten as she wants nothing to do with our rooster.

Speaking of the Rooster.  The one we aren't technically supposed to have. (I hate legislation on my backyard due to jerks that pay to watch roosters fight)  Bubo recently learned how to crow.  Our guy seemed to think he was Chantecler from Rock-A-Doodle.  He was doing his best to crow up the sun every 5 minutes from 5am to 10am plus anytime the sun went behind a cloud.  He was quickly fitted with a homemade rooster collar to prevent his call from being so excessive. He can still eat and do all other rooster business, it just prevents him from crowing when fitted correctly.  The law around here state you can't have a crowing rooster, so technically he not a crowing rooster.  He's just a rooster.  This guy is much sweeter than our last one and so pretty with his white coloring. I'll try to get a picture of him. My husband is afraid to share his picture too much as he doesn't want any trouble for having him.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Summer is HERE!!

It's finally here. Summer time!! Ok not really that excited for it as that means my power bill is going to sky rocket from running our ancient a/c unit in the rental house we live in.  Plus my husband's schedule goes all crazy from school being out.  Why was I excited about summer?  Going to have to think about that one.

Oh yes! The teenagers that have invaded my home with snarky attitudes and bitchy hormones are going to summer camp.  YAY!! One whole week where their hormone roller coasters are someone else's problems.
Magnus is going to be sad when his Morgan leaves for a week, but will quickly figure out there is one less person telling him no around the house.  We jokingly refer to Morgan as Magnus' monkey handler. He picked her as his favorite person.  He calls her My Morgan.  He calls his oldest sister, Lauryn, Mean Morgan. No love lost there. One more good thing about a large family you don't have to like all your siblings. You have other options.

I am not looking forward to the triple digit heat that we have already gotten a few bitter tastes of already.  I am one of those people that prefer to be barefoot. Barefoot in a Vegas summer does not work. I end up scorching my feet a few times every year before I learn my lesson and wear shoes even while on my back patio.

Our poor chickens are not going to love the heat. Our egg production always suffers that first day of triple digit temperatures.  This year it was such a drastic change that we got not one single egg on that scorching day.  Our spoiled girls have access to a small swimming pool and tons of frozen treats.  I would love to add a mister but Las Vegas is in a drought.

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