Monday, February 23, 2009

From Neutral to Nascar

That was the best I could come up with a title for this post. I'm basically saying this day started so lazy, so relaxed, and by the time I'm writing this, I feel like we had to hit 100 mph, and woah, I sure wasn't ready for it.

As for the start of the day, after taking Mikayla to school, I just hung out with my Brayden. We started out playing Bolt on the PS2 - and then moved on to the Lego Star Wars game. In this game, two people get to play simultaneously. We were moving through the "Empire Strikes Back" storyline, me playing as Princess Leia and Brayden as Han Solo - what a hoot! Sometimes, you get stuck in rooms where you don't know what to do next, and I found myself killing time while Brayden tried to figure it out, by taking out C3PO - leaving him without an arm or a leg - or randomly slapping Han Solo. We were both laughing so hard, it was a priceless moment together.

Then, the time came where we had to head to the school to pick up Mikayla, drop off Brayden's class' fundraiser stuff, and then pick up the work that he had missed and had as homework. That's when the day changed. SO MUCH WORK! Not to mention, the teacher making the realization as I was standing there, that he hadn't even done a couple of assignments he was supposed to have finished last week (incomplete journal entries). All this stuff, it all involved WRITING! Let me tell you, that's not an easy task for my boy. Sure, he likes the idea of creative writing, but getting the thoughts from his head then on to paper, in a well-formulated thought pattern.....a very difficult thing for this guy!

Case in point, once we got home, he sat there with that Journal Entry assignment (he's supposed to pretend to be a character on the Oregon Trail and journal what his experiences and feelings are) - and it took an hour to get two sentences written. This is without the tv on, Mikayla in the other room, as much stripped away to keep him from being distracted. I finally allowed him to dictate his ideas to me while I "transcribed" so that he could "keep up with his thoughts" without forgetting all of the train of thought by the time he reached the second word in the sentence. Of course, he had to rewrite it all on his own (and even just recopying the words took a LONG time). He's seriously been at work on some aspect of his homework for about 4 hours at this point.

This writing thing, my gosh, so tough to teach! I feel like, on one hand, I'm totally enabling, but then, on the other hand, I'm modeling the right way to write. Long story short, since grades are kind of a moot point (and his teacher never returns anything to us to let us actually know how he did on stuff....), I figure it's better to err on the side of over-helping when it comes to writing. It's not like math where, if a parent steps in too much, they never learn the concept. You don't just all of a sudden have a light bulb flash on when it comes to writing. Sentence length, remembering punctuation and capitals, topic sentences, adding your own "voice" - like I said, not easy. And, especially not easy when you have a child that struggles with his attentiveness.

So, there you go. The day ended much differently than it began. We're all about to head to bed, and Brayden is still finishing a different part of the Oregon Trail work (deciding which of the 92 items and how much of each he'll take on his wagon). Health-wise, Brayden is doing better, but needed some more medicine this afternoon as I think it was all too much and he was getting warm again. I think it's sad that I'm sending him off to school tomorrow (at least for the morning) so that we don't end up with him even further behind - and we're only in 4th grade. Because, really, I just want to be Princess Leia again......

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