Thursday, September 11, 2008

Today, I got nothin'.

No witty title, that is.

Yesterday was another less-than-stellar day for J. The note from the teacher said she had to ask him ten times to sit down and do his classwork, and he didn't finish it. I told him he was lucky she didn't just wash her hands of it and send him to the office. So we had to finish the work at home last night. Oh, the drama. He screamed and cried and said it was too much and that he couldn't do it. And when he finally sat down and did it, it didn't take long at all.

I'm learning that J needs lots of hands-on attention with his work - he's not internally motivated like I was as a kid. He got through his work a lot quicker with me sitting there encouraging him and telling him he could do it. As he went, he saw that he was in fact doing it and then he probably could have finished it up on his own. But he needed that push, that encouragement from me to get started. How can I help him learn that he can do things, he just needs to jump in and start and keep on going until he's done?

I e-mailed his teacher today. I explained about Brian's job and the fact that he was due home this week, and said that perhaps that had something to do with why J has had such a hard time staying focused this week. I told her I appreciated her letting me know what's going on with him, and let her know we're working at home to address the issues as well. I don't want her thinking J's parents just let him run wild, and I want her to know that we can work together to help J do well in school. This is just so foreign to me. I would no more have gotten out of my seat in class when it wasn't time to do so than I would have jumped off the roof of the school. I hope I'm handling it OK.

In other news, I get to ring handbells! I'd signed up on a list expressing interest back in June, and the director of the advanced handbell choir called. They have two openings, and since they practice at 4:45 on Sundays and there are activities for the kids from 5:00 until 7:00 on Sundays, it looks like I'll give it a shot! I'm so excited. I love handbells, and the logistics of me ringing just didn't work out when I was single - J didn't want to go to Sunday school, and didn't want to sit by himself in the congregation during the times when we rang, so that didn't leave many options. (One time he came and sat by my feet behind the handbell tables while we rang.) But now that he's older, I'm hoping he'll be better able to be somewhere without me and make friends and give me a chance to do something I enjoy.

And Brian is home! Yay!!! He got home a bit after 8:00 last night. So, six more sleeps before he starts it all over again. He went to sub training this morning, and he said that given what he's doing now (working with middle school and high school kids with behavioral issues), he'll take middle school assignments as well as older elementary. Hopefully that will open the door to more sub work for him, and hopefully that will ultimately open the door to a job closer to home.

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