Monday, August 10, 2009

You can lead a horse to water...

But it's a real shame it's such a bitch to drown the damn thing in it if it won't drink.

We, like most parents, are in school preparation mode. First day of the kid's 2nd grade year is Aug 24th which gives us 2 weeks to prepare. She got back with her daddy on Friday and all I could think of was "Damn it's awfully loud now". I only turned the tv on once in the 10 days he had gone out to San Diego to pick her up. It had nothing of interest on it so I promptly turned it off. Until Friday night where the hubby immediately turned it back on again. You know it's funny, at his mom's house where they both stayed, she rarely has a tv on. It is housed in a cabinet in front of their bed in the bedroom so it's not terribly accessible like in most houses. The kid did just fine for 7 weeks at this house. Why do we have to have it on in our house? I'll tell you why, she doesn't shut up otherwise. She will at high outside yelling voice volume, prattle on and on about nothing, ask questions that she will not listen to the answer to, proceed to then repeatedly ask the same questions again. If you turn the tv on she'll zone out and shut up for like, a whole 3 minutes. You know it's bad when you have to crank up a tv to get the house volume to go down.

Did you know that my mother in law is a retired school teacher? It's true, that's why my hubby got a degree in teaching. May also be why he doesn't teach, who knows. Regardless she's really fabulous about getting her grandchildren to continue on with their school work over the summer. Which was done, the nephew is not doing so well in school (his home life, not so good, looong story) so he went to Sylvan Learning Center. I have no idea how well that went but we'll see. My kid was given work out of a work book (which is great) and she had to read too. Do ya'll remember how I mentioned before that the kid does not like to read? Like hates it worse than Chinese water torture? We had to fight long and hard with her last year, with threats and whatnot, because she would not pay attention and read. Just wouldn't do it. We eventually found the right bribe for her and she did much better but it was MONTHS of fighting and her tears. No, we did not feel bad for making her cry. She's smart, she can read just fine. She just doesn't want to read. That's exactly what she told her daddy last night "I don't want to read". That went over real well. Like 9/11 well.

Now most of the time he's not the hard ass with her, I am. This particular point though, it's killing him. She found daddy's breaking point Sunday night. He had a discussion with her as to how it's not her choice whether or not she wants to read, she has to read. She started out the summer at a high reader level 2. She's barely at low reader level 1 right now. I am really surprised it's like this, if she read at all over the 7 weeks she's been gone I would think that she would have improved or at least not back slid so far. I am totally confounded. We are now practically back at square one. We had a talk with her about how embarrassing it would be to have to go back and repeat 1st grade while all her friends would go on without her. Her daddy was totally serious too, he refuses to have the long drawn out battles of will we did last year. If she doesn't want to move on then we won't force her, we'll stick her stubborn ass in with the little kids and see how she likes it. Not exactly what we were going for, to be sure, but if that's what we have to work with well then, there ya go. Hard asses much? Why yes, yes we are.

On prep note though we got a list of what we need to get her in school supplies. The list looks like:
1 5" pointed Fiskars scissors
1 12" ring bound shatter-resistant plastic ruler
1 12ct box sharpened #2 yellow pencils
2 Sanford pink pearl erasers
2 4 oz Elmers washable school glue, white
2 24ct Crayola Crayons
1 1" assorted durable 3 ring binder
2 200ct wide rule filler paper
1 4-pack spiral notebook 1 subject wide rule 70ct (rd,bl,yl,gr)
2 3-pack 2-pocket paper folders w/o clasps (rd,bl,yl)
2 yellow highlighter chisel tip
1 8ct conical tip Crayola washable markers classic color (thick)
1 8 ct Crayola washable watercolor paints w/brush
1 pencil box 8.5L x 5.75W x 2.5H
2 200 ct Kleenex tissues
1 gallon size storage freezer bags
1 quart size storage freezer bags

Does this list seem a bit, ocd to ya'll? It specifies the brand and color of erasers to buy. We were given the option of purchasing them all in a kit for $40 at the end of last school year. Then we wouldn't have to worry about it. Really though, $40? Do you think you could buy all that for less than $40? And you know we pay taxes here, higher than most states, specifically for our school districts. Our property taxes are 2%, that's a lot. And yet we still don't have enough for a our kids to not have to buy these in class supplies. No these aren't the things we have at home to do school work, these are for classroom use only. We give them to the teacher the week before school starts so she can do what she needs to do with them. Really though, erasers and pencils? With all that tax money they don't even have enough for erasers and pencils? What the hell do the poorer schools do? We opted to buy the stuff ourselves this year. Managed to get even more than the list had on it for around $30. We're in a recession here peeps, look for the sales!

Plus you know at this rate we may have to do it all over again for first grade if the kid doesn't decide to shape up. Her daddy is waking her up an hour early (when he gets up) and going over her sight words and doing flash cards. In the evening she gets to read with me. It's odd really, I'm normally a lot harder on her than daddy is but not with reading. I think she finds it less stressful to read with me. I, on the other hand, find it just as frustrating as her daddy does. I still correct her on every little thing she does wrong (at this stage it's important) but I don't add in a lecture. He tends to start in on a lecture in the middle of every sentence she reads. It doesn't work as well that way, she just ignores him and stares off into space. Yeah, we aren't playing this game again this year, we're too old. Last night I couldn't take it, he took over after about 3 pages. We're in the uphill climb folks and school hasn't even started yet. How in the world do people with more than one child survive?


Stephanie said...

That list is outrageous! Since when do children have to bring their own GLUE?! The school used to provide that when I was a kid. Although, that was many, many years ago and, like you said, recession and all.

Kimberly said...

and yet most of us want more than one of these little buggers. me with 4, WTH was I thinking?! back to school does have pros and cons-I do not look forward to the fights over reading/homework...

Brand New said...

I'm starting to think that people shouldn't have more than one child.. two at the very most. I don't have kids so I don't know. BUT I'm starting to dread the day when those little monsters take up MY time. Maybe China got it right.

And I'm not the only one... As Drew Magary said, "If you have more than three kids, and really even two, you deserve to have your have your uterus filled with sand".

Trailboss said...

I used to get so pissed when Steph was in the younger grades and we had to buy that stuff. I don't mind the crayons, paper and stuff but the kleenex and paper towels always got me. I would bitch and bitch about why I should have to buy this stuff for everyone else to use etc, etc etc. The last year I was supposed to buy them I refused. I never did buy them that year. And I felt better for it! I know, silly. This year Steph is a senior so we just got a few spiral notebooks, some pens and mechanical pencils and she was set. It was simple.