Samuel Jerome and Richnightder

Samuel Jerome and Richnightder
Our boys in Haiti

Monday, November 22, 2010

The moon in retrograde

Thomas has had a difficult time focusing for about 3 weeks now.  The pressure is on him...and complete his academic year by December 31.  He can do it, but when faced with the pressure of completing daily work which includes small compositions, he folds.  He gets angry and yells and storms around, all of which I recognize as his way of avoiding the work.

Today I had high hopes of a calm, productive school day, but alas, it hasn't been that way.  Thomas has been argumentative about finishing his work, heck even starting his work.  He doesn't mind reading and doing independent work, but intensely dislikes having to write his answers and form complete sentences in coherent paragraphs.  When faced with difficulty, Thomas creates distractions by being naughty which tends to shift my focus from him and his responsibilities as a student, to mom mode and me stopping his behavior.  He knows he must complete his work but become soooo frustrated he can't even focus on accomplishing one small assignment.

I swear the kid can find 9 gazillion reasons to avoid school work:  the room is too dark/bright; hot/cold; loud/quiet; pencil is too short/too long.  I could go on and on.  So in the midst of this regular annoyance, I try to get Richnigthder and Jerome settled and into their school day.  They usually both start with math and are able to continue without much hovering and typically complete said assignments independently and correctly.  While they begin math, Madison begins her day reviewing her lesson manual and getting an idea of how long her day will be.  She has a full day and works about 75% independently with some help from me on grammar/composition and geography. 

Just for fun today we added in a 'lost' dog to the mix.  It is snowing and about 7 itty-bitty degrees above zero.  We are expecting even nastier tomorrow and lasting into Thanksgiving morning so having a lost house dog would be devestating.  No one could find Gucci anywhere in the house.  We checked closets, beds, cabinets, tubs, basically we scoured the house and garage.  I called Marc, crying or course, and as he headed home, we got dressed and hit the snowy fields looking and calling for him.  I got in the car and drove to the neighbors calling and calling, hoping to see his little black head pop up somewhere in the snow.  Sadly that did not pan out.

I drove home and could see the kids searching the culvert under our driveway and saw they too, had failed to find him.  I couldn't believe that one of our 4 dogs, that we never let outside without one of us could be lost.  Had we left a door open?  Did the dog run out with Marc when he went out to feed the horses?  It was a mystery.

I told Thomas to run to our back deck and see if Gucci had climbed into the cabinet below the bbq.  I was grasping at straws here as I had no idea where he could be.  A minute later I saw Thomas WITH Gucci running down the driveway to me.  Seems when he was on the deck checking the bbq, he heard whimpering coming from the utility room.  He went inside and heard Gucci in the dryer!  Marc had taken a load of clothes out this morning and figures he left the door open and Gucci jumped in.  I suppose it's completely possible that as he jumped in, it flipped the door closed behind him.  All I know is that I am soooo happy and thankful that my dog is not outside lost and wandering in the cold and snowy weather.

I love my Gucci, Carlos, Kitty and Bunny.  I love my Tommy, Hondo, Josh, Lucki, Ka Ching, Coco, Blue, Lolly, Corntassle and Baby.  I love my April, Elmer, Momma and Tulip.  I love my Panda and Darryl.  I *like* Cochon and Bacon.  I don't think I've forgotten anyone...since these are all my furry babies!  And yes, I am thankful they are all safe and sound just where they should be!


Kristi said...

Oh! I am glad you found him safe and sound before you started the dryer to finish drying the last round of laundry!! Thomas' behavior must be frustrating. I am a big time procrastinator when it comes to school work - mostly because I cannot focus on any one boring thing for more than two seconds. I just cannot. Hopefully he will learn some skills to cope with that for your sanity, oh and his!!! :-)

Sarah said...

Having children hit those walls of frustration is difficult. The benefit of homeschooling through it is that, as a mom, you have a vested interest in both seeing your child finish his academic work and seeing your child develop coping skills when faced with those challenges. The complete detriment of homeschooling is that, as a mom, you have that vested interest and it can drive you abso-fricking-lutely batty sometimes.

What curricula do you use? Nothing to do with the post, but curious :) Does ND have mandated testing?

So happy you found your pup. That's scary, especially in bad weather. We once had our beagle and German shepherd running through Milwaukee city proper at rush hour in a sleet storm, and it just about killed me. They survived, thank God, but those moments truly let you know just how important our fur babies are to us.

Also, Hatfield would like you to send her an application to The Laurie Animal Reserve Summer Internship.

Love you!

Kathleen said...

In re:Thomas; Alex would do the same sorts of things when it came time to writing. He had great ideas - very creative - but couldn't get them on paper, especially if he had to do it himself. Teachers at Edison diagnosed it as dysgraphia meaning he just couldn't figure out how to convert ideas into words on paper. Solution? DragonSpeak! they installed the voice recognition software on his computer at school and voila! Problem solved. It was the genesis of many short stories. Perhaps this would make it easier for Thomas? I know for Alex it worked wonderfully well, especially early with the novelty factor.