Thursday, February 12, 2009

Just a Quick Little Rant

Les Miserables... Double Shot is in the 10th grade and they are reading this in his english class. Double Shot does not like to read. He likes to be outside running, throwing balls, and getting sweaty and smelly.

He's been in big trouble over his grades and we took away his cell phone, have not been letting him drive, have not been allowing him to go to football conditioning or pre-season baseball practices, rarely allow computer time and I've been e-mailing and have met with many of his teachers.

The only way I can determine if he's doing the reading in his english class is to do the reading also. I bought the same copy the school is using. Double Shot complains that he can't focus when reading. I cannot read aloud due to the SD... but, I can whisper read. So, we've been cuddling up on the couch and taking turns reading the book to each other. Les Miserables is a HUGE book. You'd think it would be the only book for the semester... uh, no. They just finished Shakespeare's, A Midsummer Nights Dream and will be moving on to The Red Badge of Courage, Lord of the Flies, and The Crucible before the end of the semester. How can they do this? Well, they are skipping sections of the book. This is about to drive me insane. Unfortunately, Double Shot is like me in that it is very difficult to jump past parts and be aware that where you are at is referencing the part you didn't read. They have way too much reading for Double shot to read the parts they are not covering in class (He's also in an AP European History class he has to read for... and is in Chemistry this semester... OY!). So, I am trying to read those parts so I can fill him in quickly so he's not so frustrated.

Did I also tell you that the book was originally written in French? That means that the names of people and places are in French. How the heck do you pronounce that stuff??? We've started coming up with ridiculous coping strategies called grunting in a French accent when we have no idea how to say the word.

All that to say... I don't have much time to blog. Really, if I were seriously attending to my duties as a housewife and mom... I wouldn't have any time at all. Eight loads of laundry in the cue... yes, 8. There are only three of us here for Pete's sake! The bathrooms? Don't ask. The office? I don't even go in there anymore. You can't even see the top of my desk. My room is looking spiffy though.

Anyway, el laptoppo is being shut down for the day. I get on here and tell myself I'm just going to check the news... before I know it my belly is growling and I look at the time to discover that hours have gone by. Seriously, I forget to eat. That. is. AmAzInG. Unfortunately, I make up for it when I remember.

You know... I didn't realize how much the girls did when they were home. I could call them and have them run everything up and down the stairs (we have four levels...UGH!). That in and of itself is HUGE. When I went grocery shopping I had people to tote it in and put it away. Our deep freeze is in the basement. I could tell others to put all the folded laundry away... shoot, I could tell them to do the laundry, fold it AND put it away. Dishes... bathrooms... floors... Now, it is just me. Mr. Macchiato and Double Shot are gone all day. IT IS A LOT OF WORK!!! And... it. never. ends.


Trisha said...

Wow! That is a LOT of reading for one semester even skippin HUGE sections. You have my vote for Mom of the year for doing all that reading to help your son!

MaBunny said...

Oh I love Les Mis, and the Crucible and all the others that you mentioned. But I'm weird that way. Good luck with his grades and try to enjoy the books!

Just Me said...

Yes, it's an assload of work, but they look at it this way: "but you're HOME all day!"

For Double Shot, would books on tape/CD help? It's still best if he reads along, but it's something he could do on his own.

The library usually has books on tape to loan, and library networks these days shuttle resources between branches for you. With a little planning, you could get the books you need, copy the tapes, and have them on hand for his assignments.

If the library doens't have a book you need, try Lighthouse for the Blind. I know Double Shot is sighted, but maybe they would (our could refer you to a resourc that would) lend books on tape at a reasonable cost.

Just Me said...

I should've clarified: Being home all day doesn't mean that it isn't a buttload of work. They immediately assume you have all the time in the world. It's irritating to say the least!

Gladys said...

May I make a suggestion? Find a reading for content class locally. This is something akin to speed reading. I took one years ago in college. It was the most impacting class I ever took. When you have that much content to read and remember it is a life saver. I took the class in the evenings at a community college. It was about a week long and they taught how to scan the page for content. I still read this way unless of course I am reading for pleasure.

Coffee Bean said...

Great ideas ladies... however, I've tried the book on CD before. He falls asleep. The only way to keep him engaged and comprehending is to read it aloud. Very time consuming! I did just get an e-mail from his english teacher telling me that he is on fire in class and that she's very impressed by what all he's retaining. He was reading cliff notes online but I nixed that. Partially because when he was supposedly doing school work he was actually on facebook. I really feel that the best way for him to get it is to actually read it and form his own conclusions about it.

As for a reading for content class... I will look into that. It is something he'd have to take in the summer though. Baseball starts next week and he's not going to have a spare second until after it is over. We really struggled with whether to let him play or not but... sports are really important to him. We've got to help him find a way to do well in his classes while he is in sports. Part of what is going on here is a maturity issue. He doesn't quite get it that he needs an education. He'll figure it out though. We are just trying to get there sooner rather than later.

hanagrace said...

By age 16, I had pretty much had it with school. And I was still being homeschooled, or more accurately, homeschooling myself, so I can understand his side of it. But he'll appreciate it later. Hang in there, you can make it! Are you into FlyLady at all? I just recently re-found her, my mom was a huge fan, I never really got into it but for whatever reason I decided that I would try it, probably because I was totally fed up with my lack of motivation to get things done. I am HORRIBLE at keeping house. It's not that I don't know what needs doing, it's just that I didn't know where to start! Anyway, if you haven't already found this resource, it's

Sometimes you just have to take a break from the computer. I only say this because someone needs to tell the same thing to me!

Just Me said...

Drat. Blogger ate my comment.

Books on tape: Sleepiness is why I suggested he read along with it. And don't permit headphones. Throw in the tape/CD and let it run through the amps.

Noise-cancelling headphones emit a white noise that knocks me out in no time. If I'm editing a job and have the house to myself, I use the computer speakers instead of headphones. I don't droop as quickly.

Chris H said...

Thanks for the looooooong comment... it really was like reading a novel! lol
It is funny how we all have 'crap' going on in our lives and manage to hide it so well from others eh?
On the surface all seems great.. but look underneath and WOW!
I hope your family life eventually settles down, but if it's anything like mine..... it won't! bummer eh?

noexcuses said...

I hope you can work out a schedule that gives you time to do all the things you want to do. I have the same problem as you, when I get on the computer. I just want to check a few things, and before I can say yipee's dinner time!

You're doing a great job with Double Shot. I tried a little reverse psych stuff with mine and offered back something I took away if she could get to the next step of work. Things did get a little steps.

Hang in there!

Karen Deborah said...

I hate it that schools are assigning books that the kids are not expected to really read, just synopsis. i remember when using Cliff notes about books was cheating now it seems to be the MO of the public school system. Have you ever seen them?
sounds like you are in for some serious weight loss!
Kids with learning disabilities can concentrate better when they get lot's of exercise better let him play sports.

Sarah said...

I *love* Les Mis! did you know it has the longest sentence ever in a printed book? it's two pages long in most prints. it's somewhere in the last book, I don't remember exactly where. see if DS can find it.