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Casper was hilarious at dinner tonight. She told me Aydan is suspicious of her because "he doesn't like women" and also told me that she and Thomas kissed "again" today (I never heard about the first time) on the cheek, behind a tree.

And now we are having tears and recriminations, because homework is an idiotic word search. I thought Ms. C last year gave too much homework, but at least hers generally had a point or theme (spelling words based on the sound of the week). The generic word search makes me deeply skeptical about Mr. H as a teacher. (I hate word searches, not least because Casper sucks at them. And this one has some 30 word, many long and backwards and diagonal.)

And Dillo came home DRENCHED in pee. Seriously, at first I thought he'd been caught in the downpour we had, and then I had to ask if he'd fallen in the toilet.

Oy.
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Casper was singing this song in the car on the way home from her first dance class (a great success!) and I was thinking, is this some song from Clifford? (Non-parents may not realize that Emily Elizabeth and Clifford move to Birdwell Island when Clifford becomes too big for the city.) I asked where she knew it from, and she said the YMCA, and they'd just played it in class. I said, "Maybe the lyrics are actually 'best of both worlds'?" Nope, she was sure - until I got home, put on Youtube, and found the Hannah Montana song "Best of Both Worlds."

I assure you we will all continue to sing "Best of Birdswell" and think of Clifford in our house.

School has gone great for both kids; I am stressed about the afterschool and Girl Scout situations. It turns out that external groups wanting to meet at school now have to pay $75 per meeting, so the Girl Scouts, not being made of money, can't meet at school. AND nobody wants to lead. I hate this idiot school district policy - last year GS was at 3pm on Fridays and as a result was the most diverse school-related activity Casper did (after school is more heavily middle-class than school itself, and TKD even more so.) I am so torn (short of Aims moving to GA and running the troop, which would be perfect!) - I honestly feel I don't have the spoons to make Girl Scouts happen myself, and yet I really really want it to happen. I have begun conversation with the new (adorable) 25 year old parent liaison at the school, and need to get over my phone fear and call the girl scout office.
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And you know what that means - a new crop of names!

Dillo is in a PreK class with 13 boys and 7 girls. His teacher, Ms. R., has been with the school a long time, is well-regarded, and reminds us both of Casper's old nanny Tonya. His classmates (all born before 9/1/2003): Clayton, Devin, Jimmy, Antoni, Deyanira, Dhaijah, Justus, Tekit, Brendan, Eli, Jaylen, Amos (who was the only one we met - total cutiehead!), James, Trinity, Yvana, Lizabeth, Jeimy, Kayden, Michael. The paraprofessional is Ms. W.

Casper for second grade has Mr. H, who has been at Chase since 2004 and has a good reputation as on the silly/goofy side (a major plus for Casper!), hand-on and pro-science. I've also been told he is much more comfortable with children than parents, and this was pretty obvious from our interactions. No parapro at this level. Casper's classmates from last year who are with her again are Danilo, Eliza, Angelo, Roan, and Dynasty. New this year are Owen, Anyssa, Dhuntez, Ja'Quan, Braiden, Taneia, Kourtney (too old to be blamed on the Kardashians!), Skylar, Anatasia, Gavin, Tyreon, Aydan (Siena's twin), Cassius, Da'Naya.

We registered for After School, and learned that the new after school director is about to leave, back to her old job within the school system. So they will AGAIN be basically leaderless, which is a problem. Two kids is only $10 total per day, which is a nice little bonus. There was no solid information about whether Tae Kwan Do will happen, but the rumor is yes, Tu/Th like last year. Two of Casper's friends are doing swimming at the YMCA Tu/Th, and we are thinking about that for Casper to. (Y after programs start at age 6, so not an option for Dillo.) There was no info about Girl Scouts, so I need to email a parent I know and ask what is up. If they are dying for troop leaders for Brownies, I could use my flex time from working Wednesday nights and take Friday afternoons off to do Girl Scouts. We'll see.
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We got a letter with Casper's results on the CRCT last night. There were three sections: math, reading, and language. To meet the standard you had to get an 800; 850 or more is considered exceeding the standard. Casper got a 825 in reading, so solidly middle of the standard. She got an 846 in language, near the top of the standard, and an 851 in math, just exceeding the standard. I'm interested by these results in that they do seem to track very closely to what I observe of her abilities in these three areas. So maybe the CRCT is about to accurately assess some kids, anyway. I am pretty sure they are dropping it for 1st and 2nd graders next year, as a cost-cutting measure, and I can't say I'm sorry.

We had a really hard night with Casper last night - devolving into asking to come to work with me today (promising to be really good!). And then we had a hard morning with Dillo this morning. Both kids are tired. I hope like heck we can get them to sleep in this weekend, since we are so spectacularly failing to get them to bed at a reasonable hour. Oh, the woes of June in our latitude, when it's light from before 6am to nearly 9pm.
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I'm all, like, crazy lately, so I;m making plans to keep up Casper's school learnin' over the summer. We attended the kickoff for the summer reading program at the library on Saturday (tap dancer! - get it - kickoff?) and then I came up with this in the car this morning (with kibbitzing from Casper, who picked Friday):

Math Mondays
* Money exercises
* Algebricks
* CRCT practice worksheets
* Abacus
* Wooden shape works
* Fractions (also works with cooking)

Music Tuesdays
* water in glasses to make a xylophone
* rhythms with Peter's drum
* what can we make a drum out of/kitchen musical instruments
* learn a new song (youtube, cd)

Postcard-Writing Wednesdays
* Grandparents
* Friend away for summer
* Mrs. B (girl scout leader moving away)
* Cousin R

Thursdays - TBD - I have two days to come up with something! Maybe cooking. Or bike practice.

French Fridays
* vocab
* Look for short videos online
* Look for stories online or at public library

Swimming Saturdays
* practice at the pool!

Science Sundays
* mentos and diet coke
* kite flying
* baking soda volcano
* measuring liquids
* work science lesson into house project (measuring, level)

Reading Everyday
* short books Casper reads to us (one a day)
* Long books to read out loud (as a family?)
o Rabbit Hill
o Final Spiderwick Book
o Misty of Chincoteague
o Little Princess
o fairy tales

We'll see how long it takes me to burn out. I figure I can make it two weeks...
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Last day of school today, Casper came home with a book of stories each of her classmates wrote about her. Several people mentioned that she likes or loves Thomas. The story by Thomas goes:

"[Casper] is a super friend because she is nice. She is also pretty. She is a good friend. She is the one I want to marry. Me and her have a lot in common. We both like ice cream and cake, and stuff like that. She is invited to my birthday party. She is a good friend. I also lllooovvveee her! She is my most granted girl friend."

It was illustrated with a picture of them getting married. He's in a top hat.

He's actually a total doll, and his parents are great. If they still love each other in 20 years, I will be all for the wedding. And I will trot out this paper to embarrass them with.

poem

May. 6th, 2010 07:44 pm
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by Casper

The title is "Dillo"

as cuute as a buoten [cute as a button]
he's as mase as a toornado [messy as a tornado]
as smart as a fox
as ranbunsht as a Jesus Lizard [rambunctious]
as crle as a vain [curly as a vine]
he's as silly as a posum [possum]
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Casper is finally getting good enough at reading simple books that she can get through several sentences at a time. I've been reading with her several nights in a now, mostly practice examples for the upcoming standardized tests, and it's sort of fascinating to see her process. Sometimes she coasts along for three sentences including some harder words I wouldn't expect her to be able to sight-read, and then gets stuck on "then," which is a word that she's supposedly been able to sight-read since kindergarten. When she sounds a word out, sometimes she sounds it out fully, getting all the sounds right, but still has trouble making it into an actual word. But other times she begins to sound it out, maybe even getting some of the sounds wrong, and then it clicks as a word. She has special trouble mixing up of, for, and from. She never seems to remember that "ea" is often pronounced "ee," no matter how many times I remind her about Danny Rebus (who is annoyed by this homonymy on Electric Company). Sometimes it seems like she gets *tired* after a few sentences, and starts to stumble through things I know she can do. I feel like if we keep up reading like this every night, she might develop more stamina! It's like a muscle, right?

I should note that she breezes through the comprehension questions after the little stories. They are, in fact, so easy that one often needn't even have read the story to answer them accurately, even if one is only 6. I have no fear for her abilities on the CRCT, though her ability to focus for a long enough period may be a problem, especially if they turn the pages slowly. It's hard when it's hard (on one level, because she can't read well yet) but also boring (because the content is too simple).
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Casper's class watched a movie about Claude Monet recently, and she came home full of chatter about the China Bridge, and benches, and water lilies, and his 8 children, and painting in the garden.

Last night at bedtime she pointed to a painting made by mr. flea's grandfather, which she keeps propped on her bureau, and told me she wanted to make a painting like that. It's of sunflowers, done in a thick textural style vaguely reminiscent of Van Gogh, on a canvas board. So we talked about Monet again, and painting from life in the garden this weekend. She wants an easel and a real canvas. I think those canvas boards are quite cheap, actually, and we could get her some acrylics (we only have tempera paint and watercolors right now). An easel is probably pricey, but we talked about how we could make one using a chair.

She was full of what she would paint (our big yellow rose bush which is in bloom) and where she would position herself. Surprisingly mature, for 6, I think.

In other news, she seems rather stressed about the CRCT (standardized tests) which start next week. She seems to be doing fine on the practices, and Mrs. C told me she's only ever had one student fail, and that student was not a native speaker of English. I think Mrs. C is stressed about it, though, and that communicates to the kids. And there is definitely teaching to the test going on - the content piece I think they would cover anyway, but they spend a lot of time on the format and practice tests. Sigh.
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Well, the YMCA summer camp is suddenly registering now, as opposed to their previous plan to start in early April. So we need to hammer out summer plans.

I think we are going to Cape Code the week of June 18-25. I have a fare alert for plane tickets and it's down to $276 today and I can't see it going much lower (it's been $341).

mr. flea would like to get Casper to do a summer art camp, since she loved spring break at Good Dirt so much. Good Dirt has camps, but for 6 year olds they are with a preschool group (4-6) and only run 9am-12. And they're expensive. Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation has camps with a good reputation, but again, only 9-12, and they are in Watkinsville (a 10-15 minute drive). The county has art camps, I think probably located at Lyndon House, which is downtown. They have two art camps that run 9-3pm and take 6 year olds, the weeks of June 7-11 and June 14-18 (the rest only run 9-12 or are for teens). These are a more reasonable possibility, but I think we'd need to find an afternoon pickup and babysitter situation. Having had the spring break experience of coming with Casper to the office at 8, leaving at 8:40 to walk to downtown, getting back at 9:15, leaving again at 2:45, getting back at 3:20, and having Casper in the office with me until 5, I really don't wan to do that on a planned basis. I have a flexible office and Casper was no trouble, but it felt and feels unprofessional. The trouble is finding an appropriate babysitter/pickup situation.

I think our plan will be to sign up for the YMCA, for the whole 9 weeks (omitting the week we'll be in MA). We'll only take one week in MA in case we don't come up with a child care solution for the first week in August (no YMCA camp and the school board changed the calendar so there is a blank week). That way I'll have the vacation time to cover it if we can't find something else.

If we drop out of 1 week of the YMCA, it will only be a loss of the $25 deposit. I think the peace of mind of having things settled is worth that for me.

I wish we had a wife, though. She could clean the house as well as taking Casper to fun developmental and art camps.

wah

Mar. 24th, 2010 05:02 pm
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Casper and mr. flea are at the ER right now, getting a splint for her broken left thumb. She fell off the monkey bars at after school at maybe 2:30 (early release day) and seemed to have jammed her thumb, and it swelled up immediately. They called me, I called mr. flea who happily was not in the field this week. He fetched Casper and took her home, and our neighbor who's an ER nurse and mother had a look, and recommended we get an x-ray. mr. flea called the pediatrician, who I guess said to go to the ER, since that was where heard from then next. The ER did an x-ray and there is a small break at the base of the thumb, which may involve the growth plate, so they are splinting it for now and will give us a referral to an orthopedist. (My brother has one thumb that is very much shorter than the other; although the family joke is he stunted it playing too many video games, I think he actually broke it skateboarding and nobody realized it was broken, and the growth plate must have been affected. So, we want Casper to have symmetrical thumbs.)

Drama of the moment is mr. flea is at the ER with no cell and no clear idea of when they'll be done. Dillo is still at school which closes one hour from now. mr. flea has orders to call me if he's not walking out the door of the building at 5:30, and I will call Dillo's school and call around our neighbors to see if anyone can go get him.

Poor bunnies. I am not worried for anyone's longterm health, but Casper must be in some pain and a little scared, and mr. flea is obviously worried and stressed out, and Dillo is languishing at school in ignorance of the drama. Poor Casper just got a second crown on Monday, too, so it's like the week of health woes.
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I think I read a blog-review of this book somewhere, and then I happened to pick it up at the library last week. (The "parenting" books are right next to the dollhouse in the childrens' room.)

The subtitle is, "A Parent's Guide to Helping Children with Executive Function," and it's really geared towards parents with children who are AHDH or have other official diagnoses. The whole first section is about getting appropriate diagnoses for kids who are struggling in school. It also has a pretty nice chart that reminds worried parents what level a child ought, developmentally, to be operating at. Your six year old losing jackets is totally par for the course. Your 15 year old doing the same is possibly more problematic.

"Executive Function" isn't really one thing, in my understanding - it's a combination of skills that work together to enable people to be responsible and manage complex tasks, and includes memory, ability to both initiate actions and follow through all the way, planning, impulse control, and organization. The second half of the book breaks these different skills out and has examples, using schoolchildren, of specific skills breaking down. So, for example, the disorganization of a kid who has short-term memory issues and doesn't remember the homework assignment is a different disorganization from that of a kid who can't get started on homework or has trouble transitioning from task to task.

I can see this book being really helpful with adults as well as children; I've only had time to skim it so far but I can see things that I think help me understand some of mr. flea's (to me) bad habits better. One big thing is to establish routines, which in some cases can bypass the need for executive function altogether. A lot of adults do this as a matter of course; the keys go in X location without you even thinking about it, so you always know where they are.

One of the big points of the book is that kids often feel really bad about things like forgetting homework, and get into a cycle of blame, poor self esteem, and poor performance, when it's a matter of simple short term memory and developing a routine. Many kids may simply be developing organizational or memory skills more slowly than their peers - a parent can provide structure to keep them from cycling downward while the skills mature.

Casper strikes me as pretty middle of the road for her age; she occasionally forgets stuff, and has trouble getting started on homework some times, and she's not hyper-conscientious like a couple of her peers I know, but nothing to worry about. mr. flea has trouble with structure - he resists using a calendar, and in general is unwilling to make plans for things or commit to doing things. In contrast, I am always full of long-term plans, reviewing activities coming up, etc. While I sometimes get overwhelmed by the complexity of our lives (the book notes that sometimes things are so complicated anyone's executive functioning breaks down), I manage to keep things running. I'd like it if mr. flea and I could work together better, maybe doing morning IM chats to go over calendar activities for the day/week, so I don't feel like the only one who does the executive work in the family.
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Every Wednesday, Casper has to write sentences using each of her spelling words. This week's words feature th and ph. So, the sentences went like this:
I have a cell phone!
I took death to the skies.

Yeah, I don't even know. Maybe she will grow up to be George Patton. Or Darth Vader.

I was at work last night, and my bedtime phone call included a long story from Casper about building a leprechaun trap. She took a box and wrapped it in tin foil (Dillo unwrapped most of the new roll of tin foil, natch) and set it up on a forked stick in the front yard, baited with (fake) gold coins and grapes (since leprechauns eat green food). As of this morning there were no captives, but we shall see.

I also came home to find Dillo asleep on an air mattress in the living room, and the high chair placed at his place at the table. I had gotten both things out to prepare for our weekend houseguests, but apparently Dillo has appropriated them. Since he's coming up on 4, I hope to convince him that the high chair, at least, is for the BABY.
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Children from Casper's school who have art in display at the University this month (ages K-5th grade):
Laura
Aleshia
Kiara
Davion
Ty’Quavious
Cristina & Kenya (probably siblings)
Ziah
Carolina
Quindarius
Kim
Danarius
Victor
Haleema
Shaqrius & Shycrius (probably siblings - how do they pronounce the names so they sound different, I wonder - "shack" and "shy"?)
Juan
Elizabeth
Jordan
Stacey
Uriel
Ty’Dria
Jetssiri
Tiger Lili
A warning to anyone making assumptions about ethnicity based on naming style - I don't know any of these kids personally (I think they are mostly in the older grades), but I did have the last names, and basically, the names are all over the map, as far as Anglo name plus Latino last name, African-American style name plus Latino last name, Latino name plus Anglo/Afam last name. Make no assumptions about what a given kid would look like!
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In NC, standardized testing in the public schools didn't begin until 3rd grade. When we moved to GA, I mistakenly thought it was the same here. Last week I learned I was wrong; Georgia has been testing 1st and 2nd graders using the CRCT since 2002 (http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/ci_testing.aspx?PageReq=CI_TESTING_CRCT). Georgia is in fact one of two states in the country that test in grade 1; only 7 test grade 2. There's a bill in the GA house right now that seeks to stop testing in grades 1 and 2: http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2010/02/26/house-bill-would-eliminate-crcts-in-first-and-second-grade-hurrah-or-hurrumph/

Meanwhile, Casper is being taught how to take a bubble test. She told us in some detail about the practice this morning. She explained a story about a girl names Jane who buys some skates at a store and plans to skate at her grandmother's skating rink. There are questions after the story, and it was pretty cute to see her explain how the choices would be a, b, c, etc. She said (unprompted) that she was worried about the test because she wasn't always able to read the story very well. I asked if they practiced math tests too, and she said yes.

She had a tough week at school this week, struggling to pay attention in math especially, such that her parapro wrote us a note home about it. It turns out they were doing fractions this week, and she didn't understand, so she was goofing off and talking. So we did some fraction work on Saturday morning, with an apple, and then with drawings and using the 1970s math book the kids both love. I hope that helps her feel better about fractions. It's interesting to me that Casper's reaction to not understanding, and apparently being distressed at not understanding, was to goof off. I originally thought that maybe she got it instantly and was goofing off because she was bored, but it became clear that was not the case, and she was stressed out about not understanding.

I tried to get Casper to read some of Babymouse to me last night. As usual, her first response was "I can't read." I said she'd read out loud one of the titles on the movie screen before the movie that afternoon ("The Book of Eli") and she claimed that wasn't her, but someone else sitting near her. Ultimately she did read a good chunk of Babymouse with me, getting at least 3/4 of the words (though partly because she knows the story well and has it semi-memorized.) So frustrating for me; I can't see how to help her forward much further. She has to decide she can do it and do it, I guess.
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When you advertise an event as including dinner and send out a form to RSVP asking how many people will be eating dinner, it is disconcerting to the attendees to show up and find NO DINNER. Many small children, as well as this 37 year old woman, are completely incapable of lasting until 7pm with NO DINNER. Potluck baked desserts, while charming, are not the same as DINNER.

So we left early and I made spaghetti carbonara and ate about a pound of it.
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The kids are now both old enough that I can leave them with Grandma with almost no qualms about how things will go. (I do expect the possibility of tiffs between my hard-headed daughter and my hard-headed mother, and generally get them.)

Grandma and husband are off to Asheville, leaving me in great hopes that mr. flea arrives at the Athens airport as scheduled at 4:40pm, because I don't have a backup plan to collect Dillo from school if mr. flea ends up kicking his heels in Denver or someplace. Taxi, or my neighbors (who would be happy to help and there are enough of them that one should be home), I guess, would be the answer.

Had parent breakfast at Casper's school today. Thomas' mother informs me that Thomas told her that Casper plans to marry him. This is news to me, but he's actually a great kid, so if she still feels this way in 20 years and can convince him, I'd be okay with it. He's going to be tall enough, too (his parents are as tall as we are). Lots of parents showed up, including many of the ones you always suspect won't, and I got to spend some nice time talking to kids who were parentless as well as loving on my kid. I told Jeremiah he had a beautiful name and he was so shyly pleased. There are a bunch of seriously beautiful children in Casper's class.

Dillo had a charming habit of hating it when I push up my sleeves. He always pulls them down for me. He is doing GREAT on the potty lately, and I feel like we are finally finished with diapers in my house!

Tomorrow is mr. flea's birthday and I am planless. It's been a very distracted week, all out of routine and dealing with Mother. I am also planless for Thanksgiving and Christmas (though I have preliminary gifts bought for my mother and siblings at least.) This weekend needs to see some serious planning happen.

(Oh! Grandma got the kids flu-misted yesterday at the county. They got 2 of the last 3 available doses of mist, but the county did have some shots. They say they need another dose in a month, but we'll see how the WHO/CDC work this advice out in the next month, and also, will they actually have any in a month?)
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Casper has started to bring home some schoolyard rhymes - stuff I remember knowing and using as a child, but that we never say at home, so she's clearly learned it at school. The big example is Eenie, meenie, minie, mo (wikipedia is interesting and I think fairly well-documented on the topic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eeny,_meeny,_miny,_moe).

I (b. 1972) learned the "catch a tiger" version, and that is what Casper has learned too. I didn't realized there had been a racist version (using the n-word where I have tiger) in the US prior to the 1960s until I read about it in a children's book when I was about 10 (in the book, a child notes that it used to be said that way but now they realized it was wrong.)

It's fascinating to me that my kid learned this rhyme from other kids on the playground, and I'd bet that most of the time these things are passed down by the children - it's not like anybody's mom sits them down in kindergarten and says, "Okay! I's time to learn counting-out rhymes!" So, since "eenie meenie" is documented as far back as 1815, and in close to its present form in 1850, that's many, many generations of schoolkids passing it along.

(I did teach her Miss Mary Mack, but she's picked up a hand-clap rhyme I don't know.)
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We had our first teacher conference yesterday, with Mrs. C. I felt generally good about it.

1. Social issues. Mrs. C acknowledges that this class had a very different vibe from her class last year, especially driven by the fact that there are two outspoken and competitive girls who seem to be setting the social dynamic. She is trying to get the class more involved in collaborative work, but this group hasn't gelled as well as some of her previous classes. It's a pity, since Casper seems to be good at and enjoy the collaborative work. The social issues are going to be discussed with the parents in question, and I ran into one of them after school and we had a good talk. Mrs. C knew that the dynamic was occurring in recess, but I was able to tell her that it was also happening in after school.

Mrs. C's concern about Casper is that she is shy in class, won't speak up, and sometimes when she does she used a baby voice or a very quiet voice. We said, "OUR KID OMGAREYOUKIDDING?" and told Mrs. C some anecdotes (like Casper's mean notes) that I think opened her eyes. She was interested in my suggestion that Casper held things back at school. When I talked to Casper about it at home, it was clear that this is a problem - she got very shy and embarrassed. She said the Mrs. B (the parapro) yells a lot (huh? wouldn't have expected that, and Mrs. B runs girl scouts which Casper loves). So we had a pep talk about speaking up and not worrying about being wrong, that Mrs. C loves her and wants to hear her voice.

The other concern Mrs. C had was Casper's distractability, especially when they are seated on the floor working together. Interestingly, at the end of the session mr. flea remarked that he was having a hard time focusing on our conversation because there was so much going on in the room (i.e. in the decorations and work posted). And Casper has always been a little daydreamy - I think this is just her nature, and there's not a whole lot we can do to change it. Homework at home has been a problem, with maintaining focus. We've had to take Dillo completely away.

2. Reading. Casper is right at the "normal" point for first graders. It's a little hard to be there, because there are 7 kids in the class who are reading way above grade level, and obviously everyone in the class can see that. Mrs. C wanted to emphasize that Casper was doing well and making progress and she should not feel bad about her reading skills (nor should we) because she is not exceptional. Happily at least one of Casper's friends is in her reading group. I see some clear progress when she reads to me - which she is now more willing to do and more able to do fluently. Mrs. C also had some good suggestions that we can use when we do the reading homework, to keep her from reciting the book from memory based on the pictures (which is her tendency). We've also been watching some of the new Electric Company at home, and it's pitched exactly at Casper's current level, and she seems to like it.

3. Math. Casper picks stuff up easily (she totally got greater than and less than instantly), and loves that this work is more hands-on and collabroative. No content concerns at all with math.

I think there will be some social fallout in the class based on conversations Mrs. C had with parents. I'm interested to see what happens. I'm also thinking of asking Casper's friend Penny's mother to keep her after school one day a week, as a sort of break from the very long day she has with all the same girls, some of whom fight with each other which stresses Casper out. I still think the main after school teachers aren't very good.
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Last week at some point I found a tiny little note in Casper's book bag. It had a list of "best friends" and included Ali Cat (Allison), Siena, Katie Sue, Mrs. C, and Mrs. B. Both of the latter (Casper's teacher and the aide) had the word "love" written next to them. I think it's cute that Casper loves her teacher, but I was a little concerned about this process of writing notes about who is one's best friend and who is not.

Yesterday she brought home another list in Siena's handwriting. It was divided in two and labeled "good friends" and "bad friends." Casper was on the good side, as were Katie Sue, Allison, and Dynasty, a couple of other people I don't know, and Mommy and Daddy (hee!). On the "bad" side were a girl I know from after school, a boy in Casper and Siena's class, and a couple of other names I don't know. Notably absent from the entire list was Siena's twin brother!

I know kids do stuff like this; I probably did it myself when I was a little girl, though I don't really remember it. We've not made a big deal about it, but mentioned to Casper that it's important to treat everyone well even though there are some people we get along with better than others.

What do y'all think? Is it worth taking any further? I know Siena's mother well and could bring it up as a "common problem of 6 year old girls" thing (as opposed to a "your kid sucks" thing.) Should I mention it to the after school people (which is where I think it is happening), or Mrs. C the teacher?

Ugh.

ION I think I am getting my act together to take us to NC this weekend (western). Anyone want to join us? The weather looks a tad iffy, but that actually might make it easier to find last-minute camping spaces.

IOON I need to buy a Daisy Girl Scout uniform. Yoicks!

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