Friday, December 12, 2008

When did it get to be December?

We are nearing the second week of December. I can’t believe how quickly this school year is progressing. I am more relaxed with my abilities and some days, I find myself enjoying this job for a few hours a day. Some of my students are wonderful. They are earnest their desire to learn. Those students help me to remain motivated. Unfortunately, I have other students who do not want to learn.

Part of the problem is the standards that the state of Georgia has decided that fifth grade students need to know. However, the vast majority of the children are simply not ready for these standards. We need to be focusing on arithmetic skills. Instead, we are teaching to the test and hoping that these children will somehow remember enough of the instruction to pass the CRCT. It is obvious that whoever came up with these standards have never been in a classroom. So, we end up with extremely frustrated students who become behavior issues. I am sure that if we actually allowed to teach to their readiness, many of the behavior problems would be solved. Discouraged children cause problems. I wish we could focus on getting their computation skills perfected to understanding not simply memorized.

The sad fact is that the bureaucrats that came up with these standards are probably sincere in their aspiration to improve student’s problem solving skills but instead they are ruining an entire generation’s math knowledge. These students are so confused with math ideas that are above their comprehension skills that they are unable to solve problems. The bureaucrats blame the teachers and the schools instead of looking at the ridiculousness of the standards that they believe are necessary.

Well, enough of my soapbox.

I do have WONDERFUL news! Paul has decided that he wants to complete his high school education at home. I am thrilled. I think that this will be wonderful for him. I have enrolled him in a satellite school called Homelife Academy. He will graduate with a diploma and a portfolio.

Normally, I take months in deciding on curriculum; however, since I am working full-time and this decision was only made this week, I haven’t had the luxury of time. But, God is good. I have wonderful resources in the ladies from my Christian-Moms board! I asked for suggestions on curriculum and my moms responded. In fact, several have offered to give or loan me curriculum to use so that I do not have to buy it. This is such a blessing due to the financial needs we have experienced in recent months.

The first major need was in purchasing the Mustang. While we were blessed with a wonderful price, it drained my savings. Michael’s truck has needed several repairs. Thanksgiving week, Paul wrecked my van! It was an accident. (He hit a pole at Sonics. The pole survived but the front side panel and light on the passengers side didn’t!) Now, I have to pay for body work. Also, my van decided to try and die mechanically. This week, we spent nearly $400.00 on it and were told that we needed to put a rebuilt engine in it by February. I keep telling myself that it’s only money.

I still do not have my tree up. The only Christmas decorations that I have out are my Fontanini Nativity, my Advent wreath, and poinsettias and garland on the stairs. I am not in the mood to decorate. My tree is always up by now. I usually put it up the day after Thanksgiving.

This blog has gone on and on. But, that’s an update on our family.



Hope said...

Wow! So many things have happened. I'm so happy for Paul. What a big decision to make. So good to hear from you!

I love you,
Hope :)

PS Don't feel so bad, we have just today put up our tree today!

Deborah said...

The decorations you DO have up sound beautiful, and quite complete. Even without the tree!

Your students are blessed to have such a caring teacher.

I am very happy for Paul. I know that decision blessed your heart.

I love you!

Graham said...

I just couldn't get into decorating this year. I finally got my tree up this week, but no other decorations are going to make it into the house - I don't think. Why drag it out at this point only to take it down in a few weeks. I've heard several "big decorators" say the same thing - they just couldn't get into this year.
Hope you have a blessed Christmas -last week of school, YEAH! And I'm glad about Paul's decision.
Love you, Danna

Briony C said...

Don't worry, we have been late getting up our decorations as well, but Mum is really enjoying the lights and tree we have put up. I have been busy with something I have never done before - make a pinata for Christmas! I haven't made a pinata since school, but this year I was inspired and made a Christmas pinata, simply because I felt like it. The pinata is bright yellow and covered with stars drawn with glitter pens. Inside are loads of chocolates, some of which I have made myself! I took a chocolate making course years ago and Christmas and Easter (and more recently, Halloween) are the biggest times for it! It seems almost a pity to bash it to bits on Christmas Day.

Do you make any pinatas?

Debbie B said...


BTW, I have been meaning to ask if you Blog? If so, I would like to visit yours!

I made a pinata years and year ago for a Vacation Bible school class that I was teaching. It was a lot of work!

I am planning on making some Christmas candy over the next few days. I have already made peanut butter fudge.

I hope you have a very merry Christmas!!!

Briony C said...

Dear Debbie,

Thank you for your reply. No, I don't have a blog, but I have a website which you may visit at

I hope you have a Merry Christmas too!

Debbie B said...

Dear Briony,

I went to your website. I had to laugh at the thought of a proof reader reading my BLOG! I bet you have your red pen out and correcting all of my mistakes. LOL

It was nice to put a face with your name.

If you blogged, you could post pictures of your pinata!