Last day of school, and a surprise.

David on his last day.

David’s last day of Kindergarten is today. Did that go fast or what? It gets me misty-eyed, as I remember my own year of Kindergarten so fondly. There’s no escaping it… he’s a big boy now.

Over the weekend we had a little family party for David’s birthday. He had so much fun he slept until 9am on Sunday (unheard of in this house)! In fact, we spent much of the day Sunday recuperating from a busy weekend.

David and “the cake”.

Not much else to report, except to say you’ll want to stay tuned to my blog this week.

Why? Well, I’m hosting my first official giveaway, and I know you all will enter, won’t you??? You won’t want to miss it. The retail value is a staggering $400.

I’m no joke.

The zoo, and a very large totebag…

I remember my first official elementary school field trip. We went to the zoo. I don’t remember a lot about that trip, but I do remember we did a lot of walking. Most of the stories are retold by my Mom (she remembers the early days a lot better than I do).

Yesterday, I took off a day of work, laced up my walking shoes, packed a bag that I swore I would regret carrying (more on that in a sec), and joined the commune of (mostly) SAH Moms for the Kindergarten extravaganza of excitement and torture… otherwise known as the “trip to the zoo”.

Fifty 5 and 6 year-olds, two buses, and 12 chaperones.

Oh, the bag… I must tell you. I didn’t want to bring the Coach bag, so I switched to a Vera Bradley tote instead. The contents? Plentiful for student emergencies. I had wipes, tissues, band-aids, sunblock, water, tylenol, extra clothes, an umbrella, snacks, camera, napkins, and about 5 other miscellaneous items that made the bag so heavy I could have used it as a lethal weapon.

Overkill? perhaps.

But then as I met and started talking to some of the other moms, I realized they were carrying small purses or NOTHING. Which kind of intrigued me.

Let me tell you a little bit about my son’s catholic school. Most of these Moms have LARGE families. If you work full-time or have two or less kids they marvel at you like you are some sort of endangered species. So, I have to wonder, why pack so light? I thought they would be the ones hauling the stuffed backpacks and acting in line with the Girl Scout motto… “Be Prepared!” But no, not the case.

So what if I told you I used EVERYTHING in my bag? Oh yes. I administered first aid once (to one of my assigned kids), donated all my napkins to another Mom cleaning vomit, dispensed all my band-aids, and used up my sunblock, used all my wipes (when the bathroom ran out of toilet paper), and donated a shirt to a poor little guy who got sick on himself. I strategically used all my snacks to bribe two kids to sit quietly and stop bugging each other on the bus.

I even became the staff photographer when several moms forgot their cameras.

The kids had a great time, the only downside was the zoo we went to was more than an hour away, so our time actually IN THE ZOO was compressed to three hours (and we had to build lunch in there too).

It was a nice day. And, after trolling the zoo looking at zebras, snakes, and alligators keeping track of a herd of kids (and saving the day with my two ton tote) I think I would qualify as a mom deserving of more than one kid, don’t you?

Should I ask my RE to transfer a litter of donor embryos?

Whatcha think? lol.

Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?

I just hate weekends that are gone in a flash.

This (upcoming) week is just awful. Work is crazy… I have a deadline for a massive presentation that I am not confident I can put together.

Life is crazy, but what’s really bugging me lately?


Today, a school conference this afternoon with D’s teacher. I have to admit, I am stunned that Kindergarten is so… hard. David is struggling a little with his work, and I think I need to take a little of that blame since I didn’t realize the serious time commitment over and above regular homework reinforcing the concepts. His weakest areas… sight words and the sounds that letters make (he knows his letters, but consistently stumbles on sounds which affects “sounding out” sight words).

When I was a kid, my reinforcement came in the form of Schoolhouse Rock on Saturday morning TV. Those days, ummmm yeah. GONE.

I have flashcards I made for the letters, numbers, colors, ordinal numbers, sight words, and letter sounds. I printed off exercises I found on the web to help him with his writing but I admit, I spend more time searching for stuff and I can’t seem to find what I am looking for which frustrates me to no end.

David has “official” homework 3 nights a week (it’s supposed to be a 10-15 minute exercise), but clearly they are delusional because it takes much longer. Hell, sometimes I don’t understand the assignment (NOT KIDDING).

I found that the key with David is repetition and repetition. The weeknights he doesn’t have assigned homework I review with him, and we do extra work. Maybe 20-25 minutes or so. Sometimes less when he’s particularly in a bad mood. And on the weekends, I try to fit in a little review here and there when we find the time. Emphasis on FINDING THE TIME.

But now I am coming to the conclusion that it’s not enough. This is a problem. Now I completely understand why some families choose to home school. Because if I have to teach full-time after I am done my regular day-job, that presents a serious dilemma. Let’s face it, I need the day job for the money, but my son’s education is way more important. Well, except for the “house over the head” thing. Kinda need that.

(Note to self: buy lottery tickets pronto!)

I love teaching David. I love to teach, and if I wasn’t doing technology consulting for Big Corporation, this would be a job I would love to do. I just wish there was more time to do it. David needs more of me, and I feel guilty because he shouldn’t be struggling because Mommy and Daddy have a crazy schedule.

For the parents out there that do it well (or hell, better than my sorry ass)…. any suggestions? Perhaps a favorite book with activities? Home school website? Suggestions how to make the time more valuable? Any hints/tricks?

I feel so scattered at the moment. I really need a new plan.