Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Jack the High Schooler...

For parents of MERLD kids, this is where we are with Jack as a high school freshman.  Long gone are the days where there might be an evening with no homework.  That said, we're very pleased with how things have been.  I continue to consider us very lucky that we found this school system when we did. 

An example of the level of attention we typically get:
Hi Angeline,
Thank you for the email! It’s great to hear from you.
Jack uses his Resource time for school related things every day which is a very good thing! He isn’t in here trying to socialize and be on a phone all the time, rather he’s committed to using it to help him. That being said, he does get distracted and so he is unable to get a lot done in the 45 minutes. I would also say a large portion of the time is used for him to complete tests/quizzes. We’ve been working on test-taking strategies such as eliminating answers, answering questions with confidence, not second guessing all the time, trying not to lose focus during the test, etc. Jack tends to ask a lot of questions during the test as well, which I think leads to him spending more time than he needs on the test. I also think that sometimes this results in lower scores for him, because when he returns the next day or the day after that to finish incomplete tests, he may have forgotten what he studied.
One thing that I think will be much better this semester is that he does not have Health. Health seemed to be a bit of a stressful course for him whether it was the material being discussed, or the work load (tests every week, tons of homework). I think he’ll find Art to be a lot less work outside the classroom. We’ve also implemented a separate testing room this semester, which should help students like Jack be less distracted and give more opportunity to stay focused and on-task since every student in that room will be there to take a test.
Jack definitely does not go to his locker. I can take him to it just as a reminder, and review his combination. Unfortunately, it is very true that most (if not all) of the students do not use their lockers. I’ve had him leave stuff in here before and he’s more than welcome to continue doing that.
I hope we can continue to help Jack work on time-management and organization and that in turn will alleviate how much work he does at home. I’m hoping this new set-up of our rooms will help with that. He has been off to a great start, like you said, and one thing that has always impressed me is his use of his planner. Jack does a great job of writing down what he needs to do at home at night. Another suggestion that may help is that we do have our Learning Center open before school and after school until 4:30. A lot of students use it to complete homework and study. There is also one or two adults always in there to help answer questions. If he needs to, he can always get an extension on homework/projects if he is overwhelmed and stressed. The teachers are very good about that and know sometimes the workload on any given night can be too much.
Let me know if you’d like to meet this spring to discuss 10th grade transition and goals from this year. I think that would be great. And always feel free to email me with any questions or concerns. I know Jack has been stressed and frustrated, and I will continue to do what I can to help him.
(High School Resource Teacher)

© Copyright 2016 Angeline Larimer

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Jack is 15 (and Pick is 12)

Lord help us.  Almost 6 feet, and halfway through freshman year.  (I don't know how Tom managed to look taller than Jack in this shot.  Must have gone up on his tiptoes the last second.)
Ellie turned 12 the week before.  Sixth grade going on grad school.
I love their ages.  I love how we still all work well together.  I keep waiting for the arguments and dramatic breakdown of familial structure, but there's nothing that feels more natural to me than the four of us all laughing at the same joke, or three of us singing "Happy Birthday" to the fourth.

Turkey Buzzards

The older I get...

Watching The Wheels

By John Lennon

People say I'm crazy doing what I'm doing,
Well they give me all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin,
When I say that I'm okay they look at me kind of strange,
Surely your not happy now you no longer play the game,
People say I'm lazy dreaming my life away,
Well they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me,
When I tell that I'm doing Fine watching shadows on the wall,
Don't you miss the big time boy you're no longer on the ball?
I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round,
I really love to watch them roll,
No longer riding on the merry-go-round,
I just had to let it go,
People asking questions lost in confusion,
Well I tell them there's no problem,
Only solutions,
Well they shake their heads and they look at me as if I've lost my mind,
I tell them there's no hurry
I'm just sitting here doing time,
I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round,
I really love to watch them roll,
No longer riding on the merry-go-round,
I just had to let it go

Songwriters: Lennon, John
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
For non-commercial use only.

© Copyright 2015 Angeline Larimer
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