Monday, January 07, 2008

The Great Wakkarotti

Reading Becca's post on gas, and her son's reaction to the Animaniacs: Vol. 1-3 set has prompted me to do a little extra educational spending. So today, while ordering my school text books on, I added aforementioned DVD set to my cart. Everything should arrive on Friday, just in time for me and Jamie to have an Animaniacs marathon in celebration of his birthday (coming on Sunday), and as a last blow-out for me before school starts back up on Monday. (Jamie went back to school today. Poor thing!)

Another part of our weekend o'fun is a planned surprise trip for me and Stinkbumps to see "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" at the movie theatre. Jamie and I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this movie for over a year now. We may even buy the soundtrack to it. I'm going to see if Rachel will let me take Destiny, too (or even if she wants to go see it, too).

Sunday is Jamie's birthday bash at Inflatable Wonderland. I have a feeling I'm going to need a really BIIIIIG dose of Excedrin when it's all said and done. What's important though is that Jamie have fun, and the birthday party is NOT in my home where I have to worry about who's breaking what, how loud the dog is barking, etc. etc. etc. I'm very happy to pay for a party elsewhere if it prevents me from having the worries associated with in-home parties. Jamie is going to freak when he sees what Momma got him this year - however, I won't say what it is here lest he sneak to my blog to see what all I'm writing about him. He's gotten pretty savvy to the fact that Momma talks about him on her blog, and sometimes he isn't too happy about (welcome to the wonderful world of being embarrassed by your momma, kid).

Finally, Jamie's hopes for a Nintendo DS have been dashed by a 66 in reading on his report card. He's been told he'll get one when that sucker comes up to a B or higher. An appointment with Sylvan Learning Center is upcoming. Also, Rachel's aunt Merrilou, who works at the church's school with kids who have learning difficulties, has volunteered to work with Jamie for 20 minutes every week before AWANA. Hopefully, all this helps.

"Okay, I love you. Bye-Bye!"


Tooz said...

Did I ever tell you about my middle child's year in third grade? She made an A in reading the first six weeks. The next six weeks, it was an F. Of course, the A in reading was accompanied by an F in math...and the math grade went to an A when the reading dropped. Funny. She only did that the one year. Every other year was well within normal and acceptable limits. We knew she could read. That same year, when she was making F's because she wasn't always finishing her work (maybe often finishing would be more appropriate), her teacher was nominating her for "citizen of the month" in the classroom--mainly because she kept her mouth shut. David and I both went to a conference with that particular teacher, and David asked her--I still have trouble believing he was this bold--how she could call a child who did not do her work, a citizen of the month! I still have a limited amount of respect for that teacher.

All that to say, give the kid a little time. You know he can read. You know he has an excellent vocabulary. Don't worry about it. It's fourth grade, for Pete's sake, and what happens now really DOESN'T show up on his high school transcript. If you have any doubts, check your own transcript!

Becca said...

I bet I know who that teacher was! It wasn't my 3rd grade teacher (who incidentally punished me for going to LEAP by making me complete a full day's worth of schoolwork when I got back before letting me go home. Her reason? She figured if I was so smart, it shouldn't be a problem, and the other kids weren't allowed to take it home.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with tooz, what happens in Elementary paves the way for middle school and then high school. If you have a child struggling now then you need to seek help. Keep that appointment with Sylvan Learning Center. They will give you a very comprehensive assessment to pinpoint any needs Jammie may have. Then you will get a program designed only for Jamie. All the teachers are state certified and love to teach. Let us know how it goes!

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Just keep in mind, I generally discourage anonymous postings on my blog, especially ones that read like a commercial for whatever service on which I'm publicly ruminating in my post. As there is no objectionable content in said post (other than the fact that I object to anonymous comments), I'll leave it up this time. If it happens again, it will be deleted without a second thought. 'Nuff said. Thanks for reading, y'all.

Strangeite said...

I am sure that you are getting sick of advice concerning how to help Jamie with his reading, but I can't help myself.

I agree with the anonymous poster that what happens in elementary school carrys forward into a child's academic life, but not because grades become a part of their record. Scientific American had an excellent article about three months back showing that grades in elementary school have a corollary effect upon a child's self-image all the way into adulthood.

Now, with that being said, when I was Jamie's age (almost exactly the same age) there were two things that are directly responsible for turning me into the reader that I am today.

The first one has already been suggested and that is discovering comic books. I started collecting them as an extension of collecting baseball cards, but it was the arcing storylines combined with visual images that hooked me.

The second thing that turned me into a reader and in my humble opinion is the most powerful educational tool ever created was roleplaying games or RPGs. I played Dungeons and Dragons for the first time in third grade but really got into it in fifth grade. D&D is the most famous RPG but you can find one in almost any setting you can imagine (including Avatar The Last Airbender).

I can not speak more highly of RPGs and their educational potential. I am not exagerating when I say that greatest influence on my intellectual development was roleplaying.

And they are fun.

(In case it is not clear, those stupid things called RPGs on video game systems are NOT roleplaying games. A true RPG utilizes the players imagination not the imagination of some programmer.)

If I can help concerning comic books, RPGs or anything else for that matter, feel free to email me.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

I know quite well the value of RPG's, seeing as how in high school I used to tag along and play Ravenloft with my brother and his friends (I was a Kender, how fitting!). And I also know quite well that the video game versions have no intellectual value whatsoever. However, I thank you for reminding me of these.

As far as comic books go, he is interested in the Avatar graphic novels, which I keep buying for him in the hopes of stimulating his reading. I also buy him anything and everything space related, as that's about the only other thing he'll willingly read and retain enough of it to be able to give my a brief synopsis when he's done. See, it isn' the reading itself that seems to be the problem - it's getting him to read the words correctly and be able to retain it after he's done. He also likes a graphic novel called "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" that he got for Christmas. He also loves watching "Justice League Unlimited" so I figure he's just about the right age to start reading superhero comics. Any suggestions on good ones to start him on?

Again, thanks to you all for the suggestions!

Tooz said...

I'd like to add here that the study skills a child develops in elementary school are important, Anonymous, but the actual grades (to which I was referring)aren't. I know about study skills and lack of organization, especially in an ADD child. I also know of the burnout that comes from too much school at this age.

Becca said...

I just love the idea of someone anonymously lecturing a retired teacher on the importance of education. Especially when they anonymously emphasize the wrong points.

Makes this ol' debater and academic underachiever proud!

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

What makes this all most difficult for me is that I am what I would call an intuitive learner. I don't have to study all that much to absorb what I read and be able to regurgitate it on command for a test, assignment, etc. Jamie, however, takes after his biological father, apparently. He wasn't the most educated of persons, and had a host of learning disabilities and barely made it out of high school, from what I remember about him (regardless of the fact that I'm trying oh so hard to forget him). So for Jamie, I just don't know how to tell him how to better his reading, or improve his reading comprehension. I've never had trouble with reading. My brother and sister taught me how to read very early (3 or 4 years old), so as far back as I can remember I've been able to read. I don't know how to break it down for him to better understand the process. That's why I am seeking out Sylvan, or whomever's help in getting this child re-taught the basics. I appreciate everyone's suggestions and feedback (please, just don't make it sound like a commercial!)