Zevyn’s Kindergarten Progress

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I am very proud of Zevyn! He is a wonderful helper, very lovable, and teaches everyone to be loving & kind. <;– (Our motto @ home) All who know him will agree, he is one of the sweetest boys there is.

First semester, I honestly worried about him. They expect SOO much of Kindergarteners these days! His biggest 'issue', tho, was needing to write/create everything sooo perfect, it took him longer to finish. (Wonder who he got that from..lol)

This quarter, 3rd, he still is very eager to learn. He's like a sponge, soaking up as much as he can.

Besides the 32 site words they have to know (<;– words they have to know by site without sounding them out), they, also, have to know:
~11 colors & color words
~ 10 shapes & the shapes words
~ All letters, upper & lower case
~ Numbers 1-25 and reading the number words
~ All consonant & vowel sounds
~ Counting to 100. Counting by 2's & 5's
~ Arranging pics in sequence order; describes plot, characters & setting of a story; distinguishes between fiction & nonfiction
~ Using Capitalization and Punctuation in sentences
~ Tells time
~ Identifies & names all coins and their values
~ Simple subtraction & Addition
…..and the list goes on and on.

Zevyn is doing really well besides needing extra help with site words. He just missed 2 weeks of school, with a horrible flu, but has caught up and is working as hard as ever!

Love You, Cowboy…<;3

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We (I) work very hard with Zevyn each and every night on his school work, or extra learning activities. Too see how well he’s doing and all the compliments he receives from his teacher (among others), makes me one very proud Momma! Love knowing that all the time and energy we put into our children, really DOES pay off!

TRUANCY — Part 2

So, the court date, for Taigyn and I, was set for the 14th of October for Taigyn’s ‘truancy from school’. But, before I tell you about the lovely conversation I had today, let me tune you in on what and why…

It’s been so long since the beginning of this started, I don’t remember all the nitty gritty details, so I’ll just sum it up for you.

My son missed almost 30 days of school last year.  But before you gasp, shake your head and judge, wondering how and why I would let this happen, please read the reasoning for this.

It was, I believe, right after Winter Vacation in January of ’11, a boy at school was upset with my son trying to say that he was ‘getting with his girlfriend’…..blah, blah…teenage drama. Taigyn had told the girl that if she was with someone, he was not going to get involved, but the other boy was beyond the ‘listening phase’ and just wanted to fight.  That boy came to our house and, low and behold, they fought outside in the street.

-NOOO…I was NOT at the house at the time.

-NOOO…Taigyn has NEVER been in trouble at school for fighting or been in trouble for ANYTHING for that matter; at school or at home.

Although, with the kid and some of his friends at school still irritating Taigyn, I made him PROMISE (again and again) that he would not fight.  I will not have anyone look down on my boy because other kids can not control themselves.  Anyway, a couple months went by when another boy, who is coincidentally friends with that first kid, wanted to fight Taigyn. I’m guessing that the first kid couldn’t do any damage to Taigyn, so they conjoured up a bigger boy to do it. (Mind you that both these boys are older than my son.)

Taigyn came home from school begging me to, please, let him fight him, but I respectfully declined.  Fighting? Why?  What exactly would that solve?  That you CAN beat them?? And then what?  They get a bigger boy?? They can’t beat you with their hands so they start bringing in weapons? Okay, okay…I may read too many stories.  Hear too many things that happen, but…I’m a Momma and those are the questions going through my head…

I happen to go outside to get something out of the car when my husbands daughter comes out of the house and tells me that he’s here.  I look up in the court at the end of our street and see 4 carloads…YESS…I said 4 carloads of kids just waiting for Taigyn to come outside!  Are you freakin’ serious????  At first I was appalled, then angry, then questioned if they thought it would take 4 carloads of people to beat up Taigyn…since only one couldn’t do it.

Anyway….talked to police man, the SRO at school, etc, etc…went to court, got a restraining order from him or any of his friends coming into our neighborhood, removed my son from school because they couldn’t promise any protection.  Taigyn was too happy about this, but it was my decision, not his. We waited for two weeks to hear an answer and, lo and behold, his transfer was denied.

That was two weeks that he missed from school.  10 days.

In Nov, I believe, Taigyn underwent surgery having his tonsils and sinuses removed.  He had two doctors appointments before coming to the decision to undergo surgery and one appointment after his surgery to make sure all was well.

That was two weeks that he missed from school for recovery and 3 more days concerning this surgery. 13 days.

He had missed 4 days of school that we ended up having to take him to the doctor for.  One time missing two days in a row and another time, two days in a row.  All excused from his doctor.  

So, to sum it up, 10 days were missed because I pulled him out, as advised by the head of the school board herself.  13 days for his surgery and appointments leading up to and one after.  Which leaves us with him missing 7 days of school, 4 of which are excused.

So, of course, we had a court date which we attended and we just had to talk to the board about what had happened, then we went back to court and sat with about 100 others families to hear a speech about the importance of school and then we had to wait for a letter for our own individual court date.  Mind you, that it was now April and as soon as Taigyn’s transfer was denied, I enrolled in him in home schooling.  

By the end of May, I still haven’t recieved a court date and was concerned that his would come up while he was visiting his dad in the summer, which would’ve been WAY too much driving. So, I called the court house and we finally had our court date set.  October 14th.  When the date was made, I didn’t realize that it would fall on the children’s Fall Vacation of their next school year.  So, we just planned our family vacation (and our trip to IL) around it.  

Two days before the court date and the day we planned on leaving for vacation, I received a letter in the mail telling me that they changed the court date to the next week. I immediately got on the phone leaving messages for the truancy officer to tell her that we were going to be out of state that day and that we needed to reschedule it.  Thursday, no call back. Friday, no call back.  I left another message with my cell number and did not hear from her the entire vacation.  Yesterday (Monday) morning came around and when there was still no call back, I called again. This time leaving messages, not only for Taigyn’s truancy officer, but the receptionist, also, directed me to two other officers, whom I left messages for. By the afternoon, I called back and the receptionist put me through to the supervisor and after a couple calls, I finally got a hold of her.  She said that she would have our truancy officer call me back.

Today, I get a call from the irritated and annoyed officer. I explained my story again, probably for the hundredth time.  Of course, the first thing she asked or ‘accused’ me of was…

‘So what you’re telling me, is that you DID NOT send your child to school on the 21st?’  

‘Ummm….no. He doesn’t go to school.’

‘What does he do????!!!’

‘I pulled my son out of school last year because….’  and I filled her in, again, of what had happened.  

We will change the court date for you and your son for the December 9th.  But, I’m telling you that you have to be there because we will change this court date ONLY ONCE!’

‘Wellll, you’ve already changed the court date once, so…..’

She didn’t respond.  

So , now, we have a court date for December, for a truancy that happened last school year, in a school that he doesn’t even go to anymore.  One of the ladies that we spoke to on the first court date, told us that it will probably be thrown out, but if not, I could serve 10 days for each day that my child was absent from school.  *Sigh*  Fun, fun, eh…

Don’t get me wrong. I DO understand the importance of school.  But, I have to say, that I care more about my childs health!  

…*Please refer to Dear Miss Truancy Lady

If my son (or any of my children for that matter) is sick, I WILL keep him home. If he is seriously ill, I WILL take him to the doctor. And, if my son is threatened in any way (even if he doesn’t believe he is), I will remove him from the situation.

Another thing that I should add to this, is the ‘no guarantee’ for my son’s safety at school.  I told the SRO, principal and vice principal that THEY are responsible for the safety of my child.  From the time he gets on the bus till the time he gets off the bus after school, I am leaving him in their hands.  Can You Promise The Safety Of My Son At Your School??  This was their reply….

The first couple times, the kids might get away with fighting, but by the third time, they usually get cocky and they end up getting caught.  The teachers are usually standing outside the classrooms during class exchanges, so if a fight starts, we can usually break it up within the first 30 seconds. Although, if the kids are in the bathroom, we don’t usually get to them as quick.’

GASPPPPPPPPPPP!!!   Really??!!  Well, thanks for the assurance and my child WILL NOT be coming back to your school.

What parent in their right mind wouldn’t do the same??!!  There were a number of kids threatening him and shoving him the hallway.  Do you know how HARD it was for me to tell him NOT to shove them back??  Too back down and not just kick their arse??!!   I know it took a few days for him NOT to be upset with me for that and for taking him out of school.  But I still stand firm in my decision.  I think it was the right thing to do. And, because of that decision, Taigyn still has not ever gotten into any trouble. He is getting a 93% in school.  He works 4 days a week.  And I continue to hear good things about, not only him, but about the rest of MY children.  How polite they are. How respectful they are. What good kids they are…..from people whom I don’t know to the neighbors whom I barely know.

It brings tears to my eyes knowing what great children that I have raised. Love you guys!!  xxoo

 

Smile :)

Have you smiled today?  I did…a lot.  Today was an awesome day!  As soon as I woke up, I jumped out of bed and started getting ready for the day ahead.  (This ‘jumping’ happens about once a year, so that alone brightened my day.)  A little bit of mascara…check.  A hair tie….check.  Brushed my teeth, got dressed, grabbed the keys and I was off.

First stop, teaching Math to Mrs. Lile’s class.  Best 2nd grade students ever!!  I love seeing how excited they get when I arrive.  They scurry around like little mice cleaning up and getting out their papers that they worked sooo hard on that week.  Before I even got started, I had a couple of the children come up to me to tell me that they got 100%’s on their AR tests that day.  Of course, I smile real big, tell them how awesome they are and give them all high fives.  Seeing them walk away with great big smiles on their face just melted my heart.

I finished the assignment in an hour…usually takes about an hour in a half, but they were so organized and well behaved today, we got done early.  And as I turned to leave, I feel little arms going around my waist and look down and see three little girls hugging me and thanking me for helping them today.  Those moments…right there….are the reason I LOVE teaching children. Whether it be at school or my own children at home, there is no greater feeling then to see a child’s eye’s light up when the finally ‘get it’.  When they finally conquer whatever it is their learning.

The Kindergarten hallway is always so cute.  There are little things everywhere.  Little chairs, little desks…..little people.  I watched as one of the Kindergarten classes walk down the hallway.  Single file…finger to their lips. Quiet as mice.  It’s absolutely adorable.

Next stop, Zevyn’s classroom. The class is in Art still, so I sit with the teacher until it’s time to pick them up, all the while, hearing all about Zevyn. ‘He is THEE sweetest kid.’ ‘He helps anyone with anything they need.’  ‘If someone drops something, he’s right there to pick it up.’ ‘If someone trips and falls, he’s the first to make sure they’re alright.’  ‘He always uses his please and thank you’s.’ 

I felt on top of the world at that moment.  She goes onto telling me how the teachers can always recognize the children that have great parents.  I could’ve cried.  I have heard that from my other two children’s teachers, too. How respectful they are…how they are always trying to help out with everything.  I’m proud of my children.  So very, very proud of them.  

When we enter the Art hallway, Zevyn sees me, smiles so big you’d think his cheeks would be killing him and restrains himself from running over to me.  I follow the class back to the classroom.  Mrs, Denson, Zevyn’s teacher, pulls him aside and tells him to show me around the school.  As we walk around down the different hallways, he’s points out which rooms he goes in, where he eats lunch…the gym.  We reach the library and walk inside.  He pick out three books and we sit down on the little chairs and the little tables and begin to read. We giggle, laugh…..using my imagination can be so much fun with a 5 year old.  After about 25 minutes, we put the books away, he thanks the librarian (for letting us read, I guess) and we head back to class.  They’re gone…I forgot that it’s recess time!  We head outside and around back where’s Zevyn tells me that he loves me a thousand times, I get two hugs and three kisses.  ‘I love you, Momma!’ “I love you, too, babe.’

As I walk through the door to our house, I hear Meysa before I even see her. ‘Mooooooomma! Momma’s home,’ We grab something to snack on and sit down to read a book.  Aytric wakes up and as I’m feeding him, Meysa comes around the corner. ‘It’s beautiful, Mom.’  What…..oh geeez. Mascara. At least, she knew that it’s supposed to go on her eyes….*sigh*

We clean her up and head outside to wait for the school bus.  Meysa practices her jumping and counting.

‘1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,GO!’

‘It’s 10, Meys, 10’, I correct her. But she didn’t hear me. The only sound she heard was the bus coming down our street.

‘NYYYYOOOO! ZEVYYYYYN!’, she screams as she runs across our front yard in an over sized T-shirt and bare feet. She gets so excited when they come home.  Another smile spreads across my face.

As we all trample back into the house, everyone talking at once and SUPERMOM kicks in. ‘Put your book bags up. Take off your shoes. Bring all your folders over to me.  One at a time.  Don’t throw your shoes!  Watch out for Meysa…she’s right behind you!’  I look through all the paperwork.  See the awards they got, the stickers and candy they received for doing extra work or work correctly.

The day ends with having our Bible study and popping some popcorn to cuddle up and watch a movie together. I love my family.  Love my kids.

Dear Ms. Truancy Lady

This is a letter that I wrote to the truancy office on March 5, 2011….

 

 

Dear Ms. Truancy Lady,

 

Thank you for the call I got today, informing me that my son has missed upteen days of school.  As I told you on the phone….I have given you all of the doctors notes that excused him for most of the days he’s missed.

Ten of the days were because he had surgery, getting his tonsils removed and a turbinate reduction. Three other of the days, which were also excused, were his apps leading up to his surgery.  

You, also, informed me that he has 6 days that are not excused with a doctors note. And after I told you that I didn’t take him to the doc on those days…you said that now you were ‘concerned with his health’, implying that I don’t take care of my children. Really?

Again, I do not take my kids to the doctor for every runny/stuffy nose, every cough or every tummy ache.  Nor, do I run them to the doctor every time they have a sore throat, every time they throw up or every time they have the runs. That is why they have over-the-counter medicines…..is it not?  It’s because of the parents that send their sick kids to school…. that MY children bring it home!  So, instead of calling me and wasting your time telling me what I already know, why don’t you spend your time calling the parents of the sick children and tell them not to send their kids to school, so MY children DON’T get sick!

Oh…and while you’re worrying about a piece of paper with a doctors signature on it, here are a couple things that you maybe out to know…..  I bath my kids in a vinegar bath, wipe them down with alcohol pads and give them tylenol when they have a fever.  I give them cough/cold meds, fliuds, turn on the humidifier and rub vicks on their chest when they have a cold/ cough.  I sit down next to them, rub their back, sometimes have to pull back their hair and wipe their faces down when they’re throwing up.  I spray throat spray in their throats, give them popsicles, make them gargle with salt water and watch to see if white dots appear when they have a sore throat.  I give them pepto bismal, pedialyte and soft foods when they have a tummy ache.  I, also, hold them close and cuddle them. Change their clothes when they wake up soaked from their fever breaking. Stay up with them all night, keep them warm, keep them cool and keep them clean.  Read to them, watch movies with them and so on and so on….

Even though I don’t have a degree in medicine, I have earned my degree in motherhood.  Attached you will find the notes from myself that should excuse the other 6 days of being absent.

So, thank you for the call and thank you for interrupting my first afternoon out to lunch since the baby’s been born.

~Shana’e L L Brewer

P.S.  By the way….do you have any children of your own?

Bathroom Break – DENIED

Would you let your child get up and go to the restroom if they were in the middle of doing their homework?  Or how about, if you were all eating dinner…would you let them go then?  Most of you would probably say, ‘Of course!’ You may tell them to hurry up and do whatever it is that needs to be done first and then go….but you wouldn’t deny them the right to go to the bathroom if they needed to.  Now what about this question:  What if your child was in the care of another and THEY denied your child the right to use the restroom.  How would THAT make you feel?

That is what some teachers and schools are doing today.  They are ‘charging’ the children or just completely denying your child from going to the restroom.  I’m NOT kidding.  Let me tell you what happened to my son and to my niece….

Last week, my child came home and told me that he was tardy for his 5th period class because he had to go to the restroom so bad, he couldn’t hold it any longer.  I, probably with a question mark literally hanging above my head, asked him why he waited so long before he went.

‘I didn’t have time before 4th period to go.’

I stood there, confused for about a minute before I asked him, ‘Soooo, did you hold it through your WHOLE 4th period?’

As he nodded, of course, I blurted out my next question, ‘Why didn’t you just go DURING 4th period?’

His reply turned my confusion into questioning myself, who exactly ARE these ‘people’ who are supervising my children for 8 hours a day.

‘She gets mad and yells at us when we ask to go. She tells us that we should have went before class started. Mom.  I don’t have TIME to go before her class! I have to stop at my locker, drop off {2nd and 3rd period} books and grab my other {two} books {for my next two classes}.  The halls crowded and I just make it on time as it is! I don’t have time to go!’

By this time, my head is burning up and a million questions (that I’m NOT about to ask my child) are sprinting through my head.

‘Why wouldn’t she let her students go to the bathroom? If she had to get the kids started, why wouldn’t she just ask them to wait for a couple minutes and then let them go?  And, of course, why the hell is this teacher, this person whom I do not even know, yelling at my child??  And not just yelling at him, but yelling at him because he has to …… pee??

It took a lot, and I mean A LOT to calmly tell my son that she was probably busy, with other things on her mind and didn’t mean to actually yell at him. But, he simply shook his head and walked away.

From then on, I’ve been helping 3 children with homework, cleaning, cooking, doing the laundry, etc. The weekend came and went in a blink of an eye. And, when Monday came back around, the week started repeating itself again…..homework, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, etc.  Until today, that is.

Today, as soon as my child came home from school, he told me that this {same} teacher told the class today, that she is not letting any more children go to the restroom during her class. Shocked is one word I could use. Pissed, irate….those are a couple more words.

There is NO way that I am allowing someone to tell my child when he is allowed to go to the restroom.  Not a chance.  I get it…I do.  I’m thinking kids are always asking her and, maybe, some got caught fooling around in the hallways or something, but do I care?  No.  Should all the children be punished for another childs action? Never.

At this point, I grab a piece of paper and a pen that’s nearest to me and start my letter to this….teacher:

Yesterday (she’ll get it tomorrow so…), {my son} came home and told me that you told the entire class that you are no longer letting your students go to the bathroom while in your class.  I don’t know what the ‘situation’ was that happened that made you decide something like that, but whatever it was, it is not fair to the other children. I understand that you want the children to use the restroom between classes, but, sometimes, it’s something that can not be helped. I put my children in the care of their schools for 8 hours a day.  I would never deny my child the right to use the restroom.  Nor, will I allow ANYONE else, I don’t care who they are, to raise their voice or tell my child NO when he asks to go. I told {my son}, that if he has to go to the restroom and can not hold it, to politely tell you and excuse himself.  

~ Mrs. Brewer

P.S. …..If a child is repeatedly asking to go to the restroom, simply send a note home to their parents and let them know.  Maybe, the parents are not aware.  Tell them that you’re concerned with the childs health and if this continues on a daily basis, you’d appreciate a doctor’s note to continue excusing him from class ….Or, something like that.

Now, for my sisters story about how they manage bathroom breaks in her children’s school.  Her younger 5 children go to Rock Island Academy in Rock Island, IL……which is an elementary school. They are given $500 of ‘fake cash’ at the beginning of the school year.  Any more money that they get throughout the year has to be earned.  If they have to go to the restroom during class, they are charged $500 and if they’re late for class, they are charged $1000.  They are put into groups, and if one student in a group goes into a negative, the group as a whole, gets punished.  The severity of the punishment has to do with how negative ones account gets…..from sitting out of recess for 10 minutes to after school time.

Before you form your opinion, though, let me tell you this.  They get only 3 minutes in between classes.  Now, my sister actually timed herself going to the bathroom.  From shutting the door, unbuttoning, pulling down her pants, doing what needs to be done, pulling them back up and re-buttoning.  This took her 2 minutes.  This doesn’t include walking to the bathroom and walking back to class, let alone washing their hands!  So, not only do the children, most likely, not wash their hands, but are afraid to be late and get into trouble by the teacher and make the other children in the group angry for getting them in trouble as well!  All for using the restroom!!!! It Is RiDiCuLoUs!  

Please, ask your children about their bathroom priviledges that they get at school and put a stop to this.  No child should live in FEAR of getting in trouble for asking or going to the restroom and being late to class.

If you didn’t know, these are the complications you may have from holding your urine: The ureters, the tubes that feed from each kidney to the bladder, don’t have valves to prevent reverse flow. If your bladder gets too full, the fluid can back up into the kidneys, leading to potentially serious medical issues. Kidneys work by a pressure differential system involving a fine network of capillaries and tubules, and fluid backup will make them less effective at filtering your blood. Depending on how high the back pressure gets, your kidneys could be damaged. The area at greatest risk is the kidney’s central collection region, the pelvis and calyces, which may become dilated, a condition called hydronephrosis. Another risk from high bladder pressure is kidney infection due to bacteria forced up from below, called pyelonephritis.

As you can see, and this, of course, is not always the case, but ‘holding it’ CAN cause health problems.  It is NOT a myth.

—–

Last year, I also wrote a letter to the truancy officer that I’ll share with you, also.  You may have read it on my Facebook, but, if not, I’ll copy and paste it to a blog on here.  There are many issues at school that we may be concerned with.  We have to speak up.  Maybe, in your OWN way…..but it’s something we, as parents, NEED to do.  Children spend more time at school than at home during the week and we need to be more aware of what goes on when they’re not under our supervision.