Friday, May 30, 2014

End of School Year............

Well, it's the end of school here at Family of 4 house.  We will have a middle schooler and 5th grade special ed day class student.  The girls' school is going magnet as well.  We had to fill out an application for it, so not sure exactly what that means for us as BGA is not exactly grade wise, in the magnet program.  I wish the teacher had explained more but she's easing off, now that school is ending.  That's fine with me.  I have enjoyed getting to know her and appreciate all she has done to help BGA this year.  We have seen so much progress from her, it's nice to see it and to see the compassionate person she has become.

School ends next week.  There will be no summer school for LGA this year.  Her teacher said that only the kids who really need it will be going.  I thought FASD and brain/retention issues would be a qualification but teacher says that the resources teacher who teaches summer school, has them play a lot and the focus is not on keeping up with what they have learned.  I disagree with this because we had to start (well the teacher did) from scratch last year and go over the stuff LGA learned and then get her back up to where she should be.  Last year I seriously thought we'd have some medication changes (to the more heavy duty 'mood' disorder meds) because the behavior was off the charts.  However, lots contributed to that, being in with the older kids (grades 4-6) and having some of the kids tease her (teacher moved her and some of her classmates to the smaller playground at recess and behaviors improved) some boys in the class who were teasing her, the teacher being out for Core classes and having her husband sub (a tall sort of intimidating older gentleman who LGA does not really like).  I didn't know some of this but from Aug to Nov we had real issues and it was so hard.  I was not prepared for it.  But once the teacher was back in the class, playground issues were taken care of, LGA started to take off.  She started to read and make lots of progress on that and writing sentences, doing some math, etc.  I was so happy to see her progress and home life settled down.  Her progress earned her 3 awards yesterday!!!  3!  The child who never got awards got 3!!  And two reading awards with certificates to her favorite buffet (shudder!) place.  I was so proud of her!
Her awards were honorable mention (which is the award they give when kids reach about 70% of their goals, for her I am not sure what % it would be but there must have been a good jump for her) a school pride award and perfect attendance.  Some people on FB have mentioned how did she get perfect attendance, etc.  Well, when you have a special ed kid it's very important for them to have a routine and to be at school, learning.  Some joked I needed a break (well yes, when you have kids that have issues it's nice to have that 6 hours when they are in school to gear up for a possible afternoon that might be tough, dealing with any school issues that come up) and maybe I do.  But I also feel she benefits from her routine being as close to structured as it can be.  I have taken them out when they are truly sick, but she's very rarely sick. I have taken them out for a special event, if we have them, but we don't very often. So perfect attendance for her.  She got two reading awards one last week and one this week.  I couldn't be more proud of this kid. Truly.  She has done so well.  What a way to end the year.  Her behaviors according to the teacher have been great.  She is learning to ignore kids who bother her and that is HUGE.  Wow.  BGA has a hard time with this concept, however is making progress in that regard as well.  Good stuff here, people.  6 yrs in the making!  6 yrs next month we have had the girls.

BGA got two awards but we don't have them as her teacher kept them I guess thinking she might lose them. I text the teacher (long story but we had homework issues so it was easier to text her and find out what homework was needed.  I got to know teacher who was adopting her grandchildren so we talked about the process, etc.) so I asked her what the awards were but she did not tell me.  I know BGA said one was an attendance award and one was a Principal award.  No honorable mention (which is below the honor roll award) so the grades probably slipped a bit.  They will slip next year for middle school as focus and organization is a hard issue for her.  We may need to adjust meds for that.  But I think (and here again I missed BGA's awards assembly and when they announced the principal's award in LGA's assembly I was distracted emailing Dave to tell him what awards LGA got, that I didn't really pay attention to what that award was about, never thinking BGA might get it for her grade) she got the Principal's award, but she couldn't remember either.  BGA goes to her last dance today after school.  Then she will sing Let It Go with the first graders (she really does not want to do this so unless her leadership teacher will play piano and sing with her she's stuck with first graders as teacher says several people want to sing this song) on Monday.  I am proud of her, she's in the kids club (the peer group led by the counselor) and in the leadership group for last semester this year and all of next year. BGA is ending the year on a good note too.  She will have struggles in middle school, and peer issues continue to be something we work on, but she has made progress and that I contribute a lot to the right teacher fit.  The leadership teacher is the teacher she had last year, who while she's a bit whacky in my opinion, she has a good heart and loves BGA a lot.  That's made a difference for her.

So, summer is going to be a challenge with no summer school and the girls are fighting a bit lately and it's gotten a bit more physical, mainly LGA who lashes out a bit more physically and BGA used to take it and now fights back a bit.  I am looking for ideas to keep them busy.  We are looking into activities like swimming and BGA wants to play tennis or basketball.  I have bought some Groupons for roller skating, and a local reptile museum (ewww for me!) and there is the free bowling and $1 movies at Regal Theaters.  There might be some play dates and a trip to the Jelly Belly factory.  But summer is when I truly feel my parenting begins.  They are here 24/7 and I cook/make 3 meals a day, etc.  They are great at doing chores and helping out there so housework took on a whole new meaning.  The OCD for LGA comes in handy because she is an excellent cleaner.  It takes her awhile but it gets done well.  BGA has started complaining about doing chores whereas before she was all into it.  This is the first time in 2 yrs I have really had to plan out the summer.  But as they are older it's a bit more fun taking them places, etc.  We do still face LGA's issues in public, but if I time it right and read her cues I am getting better at redirecting her fits/tantrums in public.  I am optimistic for the summer and sort of dreading middle school for BGA.  But as always we will be involved more than parents probably are, with her teachers and helping her succeed.  Each time we have stepped back and given her responsibility, we have had to get more involved and work together with the teachers.  We feel we will do this for the rest of her school years and we are ok with it.  We have met some great and supportive teachers.

Here are our latest pics.  Some more of the grey/white growing out progress as well.  Fun pics and the smiles are wonderful, I love how LGA is smiling these days.  Here's to a fun summer for us.  :-)

Photo: Awards!!

Holding her awards.  SO proud!

LGA took this one of me on my phone.  She asked me to pose and told me what I should do, "Take a bite of ice cream mom."  She's actually very good at taking pics, I think a small camera will be part of her birthday this year.

"I want to take your pic mom, you always take mine."  I wasn't sure when she snapped it, so wasn't smiling, oops.  But she got me in focus and good angles, etc.

Photo: Another view.
About 2 inches of white on top.  Grey in back and middle of hair.  Still liking the blonde though. Who knew??
Photo: New haircut.
New hair cut, didn't have it blown dry, but liking the shorter length and bangs.

She won an award in the weekly raffle.  She got an Elephant Bar restaurant kids meal.  SO happy to use it.

Photo: Happy girl with her reading award to hometown buffet. More about that later.  Family dinner time.  Priceless.  So proud and I love this girl SO much.  Congrats Angel cake!
This was her reading award at the buffet.  She filled her plate high but didn't eat it all.  But she got to do it herself and we talked about not wasting food next trip.  A root beer float with more ice cream than soda filled out her meal. See the Fanta Orange too. Oh well, special occasion.  We don't do soda in our house.

Photo: Sundae she made herself.
She made her own sundae and really enjoyed it, LOL.


  1. Thanks for updating, I love to read about the girl's progress, and great pics of all of you! You are doing an amazing job!
    Kim from FL

  2. Thank you Kim and thanks for reading. :-) Hope you enjoy your summer.

  3. The girls are doing so well! And all three of you look great too! I give you total credit for being home with the girls over the summer - just the thought of that with my two really would turn my hair grey LOL. Have fun this summer - the time with them when they actually want to be with you goes too fast.

  4. I love the huge smiles in those photos! It's great to hear that the girls made such nice progress this year, too. Here's hoping you have a good summer!
    Maggie S

  5. Thanks, Maggie K and Maggie S. Maggie K. I am not sure I totally really want to be home with them during the summer but since LGA is not going to summer school this year, that's how it has worked out. Going to camps and things are not an option unless I can find one that accommodates LGA's needs. So, I am trying to schedule some stuff to keep us busy. They are already fighting with each other and LGA keeps asking me when the end of school is so I know it will be a transition for her. We'll do the best we can but summer is never an easy time. I am just hoping to keep them busy and they only have about 10 weeks and then school starts up again. Hubby goes back to working a schedule we are used to so that will help too. And yes, the hair is progressing at a rapid rate to grey/white. LOL. Wonder why that is? ;-)

  6. Wow! Congratulations on all the awards! The girls must be so proud of themselves!
    Love your hair.

  7. Leigh, they totally were so happy. Also BGA made honor roll for the first time! We were so happy for her! She was 5 points away from being Advanced. She did really well! She also got the most amount of books read in her class. We finished on a high note! The girls did well this year. It was a struggle for them a bit but they did well.