Saturday, November 08, 2008

End of Quarter Grades

I almost forgot to mention that last week, Josh got his first-ever "report card." (Except the kind Mom gave him when he was little!) He made all A's except for one B in Pre-Algebra (a subject he insists no one should have to learn!). Now, I know that it sounds like I'm bragging about grades, but I'm not. You see, I'm NOT an educational legalist. The current school grading system is only valuable to me in so much as a teacher with 15, 20 or 35 students needs to be able to communicate how a student is doing in her class. I stressed to Josh that most of all I wanted him to learn and to do his best. That is what excites me.

To receive his report card we had to have a conference with the teacher. She just gushed about Josh. I had so many questions going in . . . questions about character, about his relationships to others. And in her comments many of those questions were answered. Josh loves to ask questions and learn more . . . even beyond what is expected. He often knows the answers, but doesn't try to answer every question. He works well with other kids and is an encourager. He doesn't often lose his temper and when he does it is more out of frustration because of his own inabilities and weaknesses. He is a strong leader (well, duh!). He is very logical and communicates well (he was awesome in a class debate they had!).

None of this really surprised me, it's just that doing this parenting thing mostly alone, it was good to hear from someone more or less unbiased. It was especially good to hear in front of the other parents. (Pray for me! Thier "part" in the whole school thing has been hard to bear.)

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed now at where to go in the coming few years. The "others" are pressuring to have him in public school in a accelerated program, but me . . . I tend to like a more gentle approach with less pressure. Not that I'll let that kid get away with doing little or nothing, I just like the idea of him having a more relaxed schedule at home. If I can ONLY find a way to keep him busy socially (without killing myself!). Anyway, lots of decisions to be made. Lots of things to consider.

For now, I'm crazy about this boy! And oh, so proud of him. Even when he picks on his brother or does a lazy kitchen-clean-up job.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Fun Fall Stuff

Ahh . . . fall in Florida! This year we are getting exactly what I love: cool weather! So here is our fall celebration so far:

Although we don't celebrate Halloween, we do love to cut up a pun'kin.
Even Josh wanted to do it this year, which was kind of funny-
watching him carve a pumpkin without ever putting his hands into it!

The gooey-er, grosser, or more disgusting, the more Stephen likes it.
He actually tasted the raw pumpkin this year!

Yes, lookout, folks! AJ got to carve his own pumpkin face this year.
And we all know what that means . . . . he's loose with a knife!!!
He sure was proud of his creation though!

Our actually "Halloween Eve" was spent at a great celebration at our church
(the Reformation is very important to us!).

Josh was in a skit.

Stephen and AJ spent the evening pal'ing around with their friends!

Election Amusement

This year it has been amusing to watch election developments. Of course, the amusement ended tonight. It hasn't been the bantering between candidates that has interested me, but the fact that there is someone else in my house interested in election developments. My 14-year-old surprised me this year with a political opinion. I'm not sure where he got it--I tend toward disinterest in most things political. (I take elections very seriously, and do research and vote on an informed opinion, I just don't care much for all the political stuff that goes on.) It has been fun watching Josh go from someone influenced by what others around him thought to someone whose opinions were directed more by what he learned about the candidates and his own beliefs and ideas.

Unfortunately now I have to help pick up the pieces of a very discouraged and disillusioned boy. He can't understand how a candidate who seemed so clearly unqualified and unworthy of being president could be elected. I'm not worried about it--I know this kid will understand more as he learns more that voting your beliefs is not always as clear and easy as it seems when you are 14. I'm trying to encourage him that God is sovereign and knew who would be elected before the U.S. was even a country! Not only that , but our great God will use even a president like Obama to further His cause and purpose. But I'm a grown woman and I still struggle most days to really believe that. How do I help a kid new to politics and to losing politically to understand it?

On the scary side, a thought hit me today as I talked of election things with my younger boys. My 14-year-old will be voting in the next presidential election. Man, I'm getting old!