Reading a book and other ramblings

Friday Lance and I stopped by Walmart to grab a couple of things that I needed. I picked him up from school and we went to pick up Kyle from school. We got to the school and I realized that while I did need to pick up Kyle from school, we did not need to pick him up for another 30 minutes because he was still in Viola Choir until 4:00PM. What to do?

I needed to pick up some liquid dishwasher detergent as we were out and it works best for certain things. I prefer the tablets for most washes but they are too concentrated for some items that I wash so I have to keep a bottle of liquid dishwasher detergent around at all times. Since my loads in the dishwasher are getting smaller and more frequent, I am burning through the liquid detergent fairly quickly simply because it is easier to use with the smaller loads. I honestly do not have to think about what is in the dishwasher at any given moment – just turn it on and go. So I have been using it. I can also just put in less detergent for those smaller loads and not feel guilty that I ran a half full dishwasher. My dishwasher allows me to adjust my settings for a small load.

It was officially the start of Spring Break for Lance. Well all of the boys, but Lance was the only one officially out of school thus far. I asked him if he had already read through the books I bought him back at Christmas time. He had. I need to make sure we stay on top of his reading over the break so that he has “reading logs” to turn in when he returns to school. He is still 4 reading logs behind according to the current “real time” grading system. I am not 100% certain that this is accurate based off experience with his teacher. Fortunately, with what has been done in class over the past couple of weeks, his grade in Reading has gone from an F where it has been hanging out since the end of February to a D sometime in the last couple of days. Now keep in mind that this D is barely a D at a 70, but it is in fact a D instead of an F. I will take it.

Now if his teacher would just give him credit for his reading logs that he claims to have turned in, that would be fantastic. Since I know that his name was on the last 2 he did, I know that this is not the problem. I am going to jump straight to the fact that the teacher just cannot be bothered at this point. That really irritates me to a level that most people will not understand. Pay attention to the children that are failing, especially the ones that are actually making some sort of effort. If you do not catch that effort, they will eventually give up. It has taken everything I have at this point to get him to care enough to get him to (1) do the reading logs that he did at this point and (2) turn them in. Just take the time to grade them and return them. That is all I am asking as a parent.

It is not all bad. He did managed to pull his failing grade in Language Arts up to a B somehow. I am not entirely sure how he did that, but he did. Surprise! I am not sure it will stay that way as there is still time for it to slip away, but he is at least passing more classes than he is failing at this point.

Of course, he’s failing Social Studies of all things. His teacher claimed it was because fifth graders find it to be a “shock” most of the time at this point in the year. They find it to be hard. I am not buying this line of bull at all. Why? Well, Lance has been doing just fine in this class off and on throughout the school year. For some reason, all the sudden, his grades plunged and they have not come back up. That tells me that there is something “more” to it than it just being hard. Since the class is taught by the teacher that seems to be the over-all problem for him, I am going to guess that this is a bleed-over from the fact that him and this teacher do not get along. What part of this is hard to understand? Oh wait, that was me playing the devil’s advocate there. Or was that me playing in my child’s corner and not supporting the teacher?

I am not entirely sure which it was. Honestly, I do not care. I know that she does not always play nice and frankly I want to reach out and smack her when I see her. I know that she blatantly lied to me in a parent-teacher conference and I do know that I am not okay with that. Since the thing that she blatantly lied to me about is what is causing Lance problems in the classroom, I am not going to simply lay down and let her walk all over me as a parent and I am not going to let her walk all over my child.

My child has rights in that classroom whether she thinks so or not. My child has the right to a comfortable environment in the classroom where he feels safe. He also has the right to an environment that does not make him sick every single time the teacher walks by. It might not be every day all day long, but one day a week is too much. Since it causes distress, it is a problem for his “learning environment” and that is causing him problems for his “grades” in the long run. You want good results, you give good input – that includes the environment in all regards.

That might mean that you have to make some additional sacrifices. It might mean you have to skip bathing in your favorite perfume every morning or night. It might even mean you have to skip the local Bath and Body Works for your favorite hand sanitizer. Heaven forbid you actually have to use the stuff that actually smells like alcohol. It might even mean that you have to skip the latest trend in essential oils and actually call a real doctor to get over the latest thing that ails you.

Anyway, that was not the rant I wanted to end up on with this post, but I am okay with that. Rant over for now…

While we were at Walmart getting the couple of things we needed. I had Lance pick out a new book for Spring Break. I wanted to see if they had any new books in any of the series books that he likes to read. I am okay with him reading the more graphic novels for pleasure and since this was for pleasure I would totally succumb to allowing it. His teachers, however, think that he should be reading something “more advanced” than graphic novels so I was hoping we could find something that he would WANT to read that would also fit that bill. Walmart does not have a great selection of books, but they do have a few to choose from. I knew that they had some Star Wars themed novels that would fit the bill for something more advanced that I was hoping would catch his interests.

Since we would be on the road a bit over Spring Break, I really wanted him to have something that would keep him entertained. I was also hoping to find something that maybe we could get the “audio book” for so that we could try what my friend Nicole Skidmore recommended. She has her son, Russell, read along with the longer books instead of expecting him to read them himself. He just will not sit and read them by himself. They do not hold his interest. He’s 100% boy like Lance and getting him to sit and read for extended periods of times is a challenge. Go figure that those 2 boys are friends.

Of course, Lance did not want anything to do with many of the books on the shelves. He wanted the MineCraft video game “hacks” books. I am not a person that buys books for “hacking” video games to begin with, but I am also not a person that buys books for video games. Those books just got 2 strikes right off the starting line. I was NOT going to buy them no matter what. I have nothing against them, personally, I am just not going to buy them. I do not care if he spends his own money on them or if someone else buys them for him but I, personally, am not going to buy them.

I did finally get him to agree to a chapter book – a novel.

He has not touched it since.

I honestly did not expect him to want to read it much unless I forced him to sit and read it. I have not done that yet.

I have, however, tried to find the audiobook for it and I have not been able to find it yet. I am not sure if I am just not looking in the right places or what. I am not a huge fan of audiobooks personally because they make me fall asleep. That is just me. I am willing to try anything with Lance if it will help him focus and maybe enjoy reading a little bit more. If his reading increases even double of what it is now, it would be worth it.

That being said, today I sat down with that book and I started reading.

I did not go retreat into a quiet room. I sat down in the living room with everything going on around me. I am pretty good and tuning everything out so I did not think that it would be a problem.

Maybe it is the head cold? Sinus issues?

Maybe it is the fact that I do not like contemporary literature? Would this even be considered contemporary literature? I am not sure what we categorize things anymore. My guess is, yes, it is still contemporary.

I am not sure how any one can be expected to keep track of what is going on in these books. What the heck?!. This is the second book I have picked up in the last year and how the heck did this get past the editors?!. The last one I had to just stop reading…

This one, I have made it in 3 chapters and now it is starting to jive a little better, but in the very beginning it was not easy to keep track of. Do kids really think like that? ALL OVER THE FREAKING PLACE?!. The train of thought (I am assuming this is what they were attempting) was ALL OVER!!! Like a freaking slip-n-slide. That feeling of being all over the place and not being able to stop it was just too much. It is actually how I feel watching my niece, Katlynn, often. Sad, but true.

Please do not take this first impression as a bad sign. It is not. It should not be construed as me not liking the book. I am only 3 chapters into it thus far and I do actually like it. Once I got past the “all over the place” feeling, I do like it. It was just enough to pull me in. Not every kids novel has done that so that is a good sign. I will keep reading and let you know how I feel about it.

For now, if you are interested, check out Story Thieves by James Riley.

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