Common Core, DRA, MAP, Standardized Testing: What it All Means to Me

Mar 27, 2014 by


It is school conference and report card time and with 3 children in the public school system, there are a lot of numbers coming at me.  Reading test scores, math test scores, and everything in between.  Some of these numbers have been listed as “above average” and some have been listed as “below average”.  There was a time when these scores would  have meant a lot to me, but now I try to keep all the percentages in perspective.

Parent-Teacher Conference

Dec 31, 2013 by


Parent-teacher conferences were scheduled for the end of November this year. Even though it was a crisp fall day, I soaked through my blouse before I walked through the front door of school. No matter how organized I feel, these meetings are the most stressful part of parenting school-aged children.

One of the most influential moments in my life was my fourth grade parent-teacher conference. I knew I wasn’t Mrs. R’s favorite student, but that moment confirmed it. In front of my mother, she essentially dismissed my performance for the first marking period and really didn’t have many practical suggestions for how I could improve. I was invisible; and without overty saying the word, “lazy”. It was a wake up call and a challenge that gave me purpose.

So grateful

Nov 26, 2013 by

Time to give thanks!  I know how fortunate and blessed I am, and give thanks every day in my mind to whatever higher power has brought me this amazing life.  But sometimes it’s good to say it out loud.

I am thankful for (in no particular order):

  • Healthy children who have grown up to be wonderful, accomplished young men.
  • An amazing stepson who is the third child I always wanted.
  • My husband, in so many ways that I don’t have room to spell them out.  He’s the kindest person I know.  Over the last 8 years, he has made such an effort to get to know himself and to change damaging thinking that kept him from appreciating and enjoying his life.  He continues to evolve and that’s what makes our relationship interesting and exciting.  I have fun with him no matter what we are doing — even grocery shopping.  Sometimes I think about what my life would be like now with my 2 sons grown up and out on their own.  I’d be a crazy dog lady hoarder if good fortune had not brought my husband and my stepson to me.

Advice to My Daughter: How to Enjoy School

Sep 25, 2013 by

Walking into school

Entering the great unknown.

Please try not to eat your friends’ lunch. Thank you for opening up and telling me that is what you did the other day. I know your friend’s rainbow yogurt is staring you in the face saying “eat me” and the person sitting across from you is happily devouring a tempting bowl of mac ‘n cheese while you eat almond butter & jelly for the second day in a row, but please, PLEASE stop trying to steal their lunches. This does not score points with the teacher who has to pry said rainbow yogurt out of your hands, nor will your friends want to eat with you if they are constantly looking over their shoulders waiting for you to move in on their spaghetti and meatballs. Mommy promises to get a little more creative with lunch. I think you’ll like the leftovers I packed for you today. Just a few more years until you will be served school-provided hot lunch, then you’ll have the same food as your friends. Mommy is counting down the days!

Vagina is Not a Bad Word

Apr 29, 2013 by

My four and almost three-year old are obsessed with body parts. They are inquisitive about bodily functions, they want to understand how and why people are different shapes and sizes; we have had lengthy conversations about why Mom pees sitting down and Dad pees standing up. My daughters can properly identify their body parts.

The other day the two of them were playing on the porch. My four-year old has a strict policy at her school about using potty words inappropriately, and she has been working on refraining from using these words inappropriately at home and around her younger sisters. In the middle of playing my oldest daughter said something about changing her baby doll and having to wipe the baby’s vagina. My almost three-year old used this as a chance to tattle and came running inside, accusing her sister of using a “bad word.” This, of course, resulted in the classic argument: “did not,” “did too,” “did not.” I intervened and helped to guide the argument into a productive conversation about why vagina is not a bad word.

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