Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Welcome to My Blog

In case you haven't guessed yet, that isn’t this blog. That is its own separate blog, just as this blog will stand on it's own, and each very big part of my life will be given its just due. Wow. I guess this is my big welcome to you readers, and my official entry into the world of the blog. I was feeling so left out, I thought I'd join you all. Feel free to read about my (almost) daily (well, maybe weekly, okay, I promise, no less than monthly) exploits of a working mom living in a house full of men (DH and sons), where the toilet seat is always up, the milk is always empty, and all the other challenges I face. This blog is not meant to do anything but be cathartic for me. If a reader gets a laugh out of it, even better.

So, without further ado… we’re off and running.

It's July 3rd, and I'm the only one out of five people in my office who DIDN'T take today off. Why? Why waste a perfectly good vacation day when there's NO ONE IN!!!

DH and the boys are out running all sorts of errands today. DH actually had the nerve this morning to say that he sort of wished that the boys were going to camp today. For crying out loud, I ASKED!!! I asked when I was filling out the camp registration forms, because you only have the option of three or five days at camp, not two. DH is off Mondays (because he works Saturdays) and I'm off on Fridays in July. I asked if he wanted them at camp today, and his response was "no, send them on Friday, and then you can do stuff" which I truly appreciate, but he does this ALL THE TIME, and it drives me nuts.

On another note, I am coming across like the biggest hard-ass when it comes to my kids and schoolwork. Explanation: the 6yo has a reading list that is very short. It should be; he's going into 1st grade, and doesn't have a complete grasp on the whole reading thing yet. That we can handle. The 10yo, on the other hand, is entering the 5th grade, and has a boatload of work to do over the summer, including a science journal that needs at least 6 entries (and not all bunched up, but spread out over the summer), a book to read, a book project to do, a reading log to keep (because each 5th grade class that reads over 5000 pages this summer gets a pizza party), and if possible, some local American historical sites to visit. This is a shock to his system, and a few of his buddies, because they had the nice teacher last year who gave out VERY little homework. I mean, this kid had more in third grade than he did last year, and, as a result, I think he's going to be in for a very rude awakening this year.

Since they gave all the 4th-graders planners last year, and taught them how to use them, I gave him one that started with the first full week that he was out of school (since his school one ended at the same time), and told him to start planning how to do his work. He immediately questioned and argued with me (ugh, the start of adolescence!), and I told him that I was not going to deal with the teeth-gnashing that took place last summer with the summer assignments (you guessed it; he waited until the week before school started).

So, here’s my Summer 2006 rules for the 10yo:

  • he can go to bed at 8:00 p.m. and read until 9:00 p.m., or he can go to bed at 8:00 p.m. with the lights out;
  • three books are to be read during the month of July, and he can select one of them to do his book project on. He, of course, is welcome to read more than three books this summer, he just can’t claim he read something that he’s already read (like any of the Harry Potter’s);
  • he is to note what book and how many pages he’s read every day in his planner, making the log-keeping easier (I told him that he needs to pay attention to this one, and mentioned that he wouldn’t want to be the kid that costs his class a pizza party);
  • the last two Fridays in July and first two Mondays in August will be reserved for historical field trips (we will invite a few of his friends to go with us, so they can all get it done); and,
  • his science journal entries are to be done every two weeks, starting after the 4th of July.

Hopefully, we’ll make it to September without too much drama. It really is horrible. I mean, I know that my kids do lose some of their retention over the summer, and it makes sense to have them complete summer school assignments, but at the same time, why can’t we just let them be kids and enjoy their summers?

This thought was quickly overridden after being home with them this weekend. Between the fighting, demands for more computer time, complaints that there was nothing to do, and whining when we made them come outside and tried to engage them in helping to weed out a bed in order to plant it, I think structure may work better for this generation! I also know what I have decided makes sense, which was confirmed by on of the 10yo's friends' moms this weekend when we were talking about it and comparing notes on how we were handling it. God, I know I'm an adult, but it just makes me feel better when another parent agrees that you're on the right track!

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