Wednesday, September 24, 2014

School Adjustment

I never thought I'd be in this position. I am the parent of the 'bad' kid in class. Monkey girl has always been outgoing, opinionated, and jubilant. I've struggled recently with how to rein in her enthusiasm, especially focusing on socially acceptable norms, but I also don't want to stifle her own unique personality. Anyways, her 1st grade teacher does the normal clothes hanger behavior monitoring chart. Kids move a clothes pin with their name on it, up and down a color coded chart according to behavior, with purple being 'great' and red being 'parent contact'. Every morning, they all start on green 'ready to learn' and progress through the day. Most kids stay on green, apparently no one's made it to blue or purple (standards of excellence), and a few go down to yellow (slow down) or even orange (warning). Since school started 22 days ago, Monkey girl has been red twice, orange once, and yellow twice.

Today was a red day. I haven't had my 'parent contact' yet, but according to Monkey girl she clapped her hands at an inappropriate time during class when the teacher had specified not to prior to whatever applaud-garnering event was going on. I'm torn because I know she's not a 'bad' kid, but know she needs to work on listening more. However, she went directly from green to red today for this one incident. She didn't bite anyone, throw a book across the room, refuse to do her school work... she clapped.

Unfortunately now it seems as though she's gotten this 'bad' rap and will be labeled as such by her teacher for the rest of the year. Of course, she has her green days which let me breathe a sigh of relief, but these red ones are terrible. I feel like they've might as well make me move my pin down to red for the horrible parenting job it appears I've done. Despite my wonderment at the extremity of these behaviors, we've instilled a punishment at home for any warm tones she might bring home. Though, I've also given her the opportunity to earn back any privileges she might lose. Apparently she's not given the same opportunity at school. For today, I'm going to be on the lookout for my 'parent contact' email and abide by the punishment we've agreed on, all the while hoping things improve beyond this first month of the school year. Otherwise, it's going to be a long one for all of us.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Two Months Later...

We made it! We're living in Northern Virginia now and loving the change. There are big green trees and beautiful lawns. I didn't realize how accustomed I'd become to living in a drought prone region. It's gorgeous here. I can even see the mountains from my house (if I walk out a few meters and crane my neck just so). The climate is slightly cooler, but much more humid. A couple of mornings have called for light jackets for the walk to school, but on warm days, like mid 80s, the humidity has made it feel a bit like south Texas 100+ degree temperatures. Sadly, the pools closed Labor Day weekend, but we haven't missed it too much.

There's so much to do here too. Every weekend, I've been combing through different calendar of events and trying to decide what the Monkey family should try next. There's still so many things to get to, but I love that there's always tons of choices. We're really looking forward to fall and, unlike many of our neighbors, snow!

Now that school has begun again, I will be back to updating the blog more often. Stay tuned for some Monkey family adventures and recommendations!