Monday, March 2, 2009

Stash Busting (it sounds so dangerous!)

This weekend was a perfect time to sit and knit. Papabear worked nights...and I have an unabridged Pride and Prejudice audio book that was calling my name.

The "laying out of the stash" last week prompted me to dig in and finish a bunch of projects.

When I was a new knitter, my Aunt Jeanne sent me over a box with just scads of really cool, novelty yarn. *Laugh* but after my 6th garter stitch scarf, I needed to move to hats. So now I have alot of really cool yarn that I have no idea what to do with. This weekend saw the first of them finished. (I refuse to send my stash for a FOURTH trip over the ocean.)


I also received a welcome note of confidence from Littlebear's teacher. Littlebear's been missing LOTS of words on his tests (in his defense, they're tough words: Adjacent, asymmetry, altitude, absolute, Electricity, properties, Triangle, etc.) so I have him write them six times apiece each night. (it has slightly improved the score.)

So, in true overbearing mother bear fashion, I emailed the teacher:
From: Angela
To: F
Subject: spelling tests
Dear Mr F, Is it possible to get the next week's spelling test on Fridays?
LB writes his words 6x a night, does daily oral and written tests....but he still missed five on the last test. Obviously we need to bump up his practice time.
Do you have any ideas for us? I feel so bad because we spend so much time each night on spelling...and he's failing.
Thanks for all your hard work!
Love, Angela (PS yes, I do use "love, Ang" writing to his's just one of my quirks)

And he answered:

Ciao Angela,
Yes, I will start giving the words on Fridays because some words are quite complex.

I intended to do it this Friday, but I had to take my son to the clinic. Please do not allow him to study more than 10 minutes a night on the spelling words. The spelling words that I give are actually part of the second grade vocabularies in language arts, science, and math.

I'm currently teaching the kids how to study in short bursts, which is much more effective than long periods of study. No one fails the spelling tests. The purpose of these tests is to build their vocabulary and teach them study skills.

Please do not feel bad about the spelling test because he's not failing...LB's doing fine Angela, not only in spelling but all subjects. He's right where he's supposed to be academically. I know that he will succeed because he's such a hard worker in class.

As a parent, I often wonder how my kid is doing in class because sometimes he complains about studying at home and it just burns me up. When I talk to his teacher though, she says that he's doing fine in class. Kids also try to do well in class because of their peers. They want to show how smart they are, and I just love to see that.

Suggestions for you...please do not allow him to study spelling for more than 10 minutes a night, and try to limit his overall study time of 45 minutes a night. I give them a lot of math daily, (much more than I'm required to), and I allow them time to do most of their homework near the end of the school day. I do want them to read everyday and you have that covered already.

I apologize for not clarifying my class program for the students better. I'll put that in my enhanced newsletter next week.

I think that you are a wonderful mom because you are interested in LB's education and you're doing a fantastic job. I really wish that all parents thought like you. LB's is not failing...please give him a hug for working hard in class. I really enjoy having him in my class because he's a wonderful little boy.

Please have a good weekend.

Wow! How's that for putting the wind in your sails. I don't even care if he's just trying to soothe me.....That's what I needed to hear. OH! it's so nice to get these kind of comments instead of the DAILY "Littlebear did this...and that today...totally uncontrollable"

I love this teacher!
And I love you!

PS Papabear left this for me in a Notepad document. It may offend religious you're forewarned. But I thought it was clever and so very Papabearish.

"When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bike. Then I realized that The Lord doesn't work that way, so I stole one and asked him to forgive me."

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