Thursday was parent-teacher conference day. Kaylin has had two nutjob teachers, so the thought of conferences is horrifying. (Kindergarten rubbed my thigh and back the entire time, 2nd grade was an insane drama queen who had a major personality conflict with my kid.) Last year I got lucky and loved Kaylin's teacher (she was that special, once in a lifetime teacher Kaylin will always remember) and liked Logan's teacher. I wasn't too concerned about Logan's conference because both kids had his teacher for several weeks of kindergarten before they were moved to another class so I have gotten to know her. I was a little concerned about Kaylin's teacher because of some things she said at the back to school night. I thought we might have another personality conflict...
Fortunately, I was wrong. Kaylin's teacher doesn't "get" her and love her like last year's teacher, but she also isn't offended to the point of major drama by Kaylin's quirks. Mrs. M was matter-of-fact about Kaylin's disorganization and doodling and writing silly things on papers. She feels Kaylin is bored and seemed really happy she channels her boredom in these ways rather than being disruptive. (That's what I couldn't figure out about 2nd grade!) Kaylin's ISAT scores from 3rd grade were very good so I got a small lecture on how her class grades would be higher if she would turn things in on time. Are you calling MY KID disorganized? Yes, I know. All-in-all, a good conference. I came home and showed Kaylin her ISAT scores and her report card grades and told her that Mrs M said that Bs were not ok because she was only getting them because of late assignments and disorganization. Kaylin was somewhat impressed, but honestly, she understands the material. I don't care about Bs in 4th grade!
Logan's conference was a breeze. He is doing well and is well-behaved. We discussed his hatred of reading and how incredibly stupid the "decodable books" that are constantly sent home are. Kaylin breezed through those things so I don't think I paid much attention to the stories. Logan struggles with them so this time I've noticed how bad they are. I mean, they're written for phonics, not content, but when you have a kid who struggles (and Logan isn't that bad, I'm just comparing him to Kaylin) the story means a lot. I think they make him hate reading even more and I can't even blame him! I know I can't stand listening to them! Mrs. S asked why we haven't turned in Book-it! forms the past two months (free Pizza Hut pizza for reading) and I replied that there was no way I could get Logan to read 15 extra books every month on top of the ~10 decodable books he brings home every week! That is a battle I choose not to even think about! She said we could record the required decodable books for Book-it. Whew. No problem, I'll start sending in his forms.
I survived another round of conferences! The teachers were both fine so I'm not dreading the spring conferences :)
The kids were off of school Friday so I decided to take them to Bloomington. We did some Christmas shopping (sorry, Sarah, it was a bad idea to involve them in choosing your kids' presents...) and then went to the Children's Museum. We had spaghetti at Fazoli's and got doughnuts from Krispy Kreme (both favorites that closed in Peoria.) We went to the wonderful Gingerbread House toy store. The kids played for hours at the museum. Of all of the activities and displays, Logan's favorite thing was playing with crutches in the medical area. That cracked me up because that would have been my favorite thing, too. Logan and I played several games of giant checkers while Kaylin spent time in the art room. There were at least three other families from their school at the museum, but no one they knew really well.
The museum is on the campus of Illinois State University so when we were done, I took them to one of the bookstores and then showed them several of the buildings where I had classes or hung out. Neither of them could wrap their brain around this huge area and all of these buildings being one school. I tried to explain dorms, but they kept comparing them to the gigantic, multi-level apartment in the tv show iCarly. Next time I'll walk them around the quad and take them to the student center and the library. Hmmm, we usually go to the smallish Lakeview branch library which is one large room. I think they'll be impressed with the floors and floors of books at the university library. Well, impressed or bored...
Today's my last day of vacation from work. I feel like I've spent the entire time recuperating from last week's flu. I guess a week of rest was probably good for my recovery. Still, it sort of feels like a lot of wasted time. I really wanted to make a major Goodwill run, but I didn't go through all the junk I wanted to. I planned a major fall cleaning that never happened. I did get a haircut and got most of my Christmas shopping done. I guess that's something :)
Tomorrow is Logan's 7th birthday. (Wow, where does the time go?) We're not having the usual theme party, but he's been wanting to eat at Logan's Roadhouse for months. We're planning to eat there with Grandpa and Grandma (and hopefully Andy) tonight. It should be fun and will hopefully be great food!