As for the kids, they are doing well. CootieGirl is in middle school this year and while I had a major panic attack at the idea of it being a whole new ballgame, it appears that I had nothing to worry about. She misses having her best friend around (the girl is a year younger), but has adjusted very well. Not only that, but she is doing well academically, too. Many long-time readers know that CootieGirl has struggled with school – specifically her reading abilities. She does not have dyslexia or anything, but learned how to read in kindergarten strictly using sight words, and it ended up removing her ability to learn phonetics. She would see a word that started with “th” and just start guessing. That? Those? This? There? On and on – never sounding out the word phonetically at all. As a result she struggled in her early years of school.
I’m happy to report that this year she is a solid A/B student – even her Bs hover near A most of the time. She is fortunate that she has teachers who don’t believe on bogging down kids with tons of homework, and so she has become very responsible about completing it on her own without my having to nag her. She has made a few new friends (the middle school combined a few elementary schools so new!people!) and doesn’t dread going to school. It’s a happy change.
She did recently get into trouble at school and end up having to participate in in-school suspension. I was really surprised when she showed me the slip of paper I had to sign to prove that I knew about it. She was really distressed and after a lengthy conversation (it took me a while to get down to the brass tacks of what actually happened versus what she thought I wanted to hear), I determined this was (hopefully) an anomaly and something that (hopefully) will not happen again. She understands that if she does something like it again she will suffer OUT of school suspension which is a much bigger deal not only at school but at home. I assured her that if she gets out of school suspension she will not leave her room other than for bathroom breaks and meals. No tv, no electronics, no computer, no radio in her room. Just herself and books. That’s it. But I’m reasonably confident this was a one-time only deal, because she’s a good kid. She just didn’t choose to use common sense last week when she got in trouble.
As for CootieBoy, he remains in the gift/talented program and is also an A/B student. However, he HATES school. I’ve had to bribe him to not be lazy. I’ve told him that if he can make the A/B honor every quarter of the school year, I’ll let him get an Xbox next summer. That is high reward for him, and so he’s really doing his best to get good grades. He has occasional mishaps – a rare 60% on math classwork – but make up for it when the quiz or test comes along. He is struggling with division this year, but apparently the whole class is because the teacher recently sent an email to all the parents to say she is going to change up how she teaches for the next few weeks and see if things improve for the class.
He does really well on project work and has gotten As on all of those. He has also recently gotten back into reading. Oh, he still loves playing Minecraft, but I recently challenged him to read a book I picked out for him (The Maze Runner) and he not only read it in less than a week, but he has started reading book 2 in the trilogy. YAY for him picking up a book that does not have cartoon drawings of some kind on every page! I’ve already bought him the next book I want him to read – a Rick Riordan book that I know he’ll enjoy just as much.
All in all, they are doing great. They still get in fights (CootieGirl’s hormones enable her to flip on a dime at any time) but when they get along, it’s GREAT.