Tuesday, October 6, 2009

ahem...well then, back to Ainsleigh

Wow, talk about an awkward silence. Alice and the beautifully named Sarah are the only ones to break the silence otherwise inhabited only by the sound of chirping crickets. Was it because it was, as Donovan so aptly observed, inappropriate? Or that there was just nothing to say? I'm not gonna complain about lack of comments, but come on - WORMY?!

You must like the serious stuff. The drama. The tears. Oh I can cry (but you know that). Yesterday I went and had a parent/teacher conference with Ainsleigh's teacher. Ainsleigh was home sick so Joel participated via mobile speakerphone. I was a little apprehensive, given the previous week's revelations, so I came armed with a pen for taking notes and an extra layer of skin (ok, that sounds gross. I'm trying to allude to a thicker skin here. ick). And a cinnamon roll. First of all, I love Ainsleigh's teacher more than she does. She kind of reminds me of my mom (similar rad hair). Also, she totally led with all the positive qualities about Ainsleigh, and there ARE a good number of those. Secondly, she was very thorough in reviewing work, test scores, what she observes in Ainsleigh during class, and how she has been working with her, along with suggestions for doing work at home. I came home with several ideas and I look forward to using them. Thirdly, I was her only conference before school, and while usually they're 20ish minutes, I was there for 45 and not once did she act like she had other things she'd like to be doing.

This morning I had a friend ask if I felt beaten down afterward. On the contrary, I feel empowered. I feel like together, Mrs. Fabuloushair and I are going to see Ainsleigh succeed. I guess my biggest worry was that she'd think I wasn't paying attention or didn't care and I think we were both relieved to see that concern is there.

Interestingly, she said Ainsleigh is a very strong writer and speller (I'll come back to this). And then she said, "And she's very good in math." Um, really? Are we talking about the same person? I wouldn't say Ainsleigh is very...mathy. But I'll defer to the teacher. What was of the most concern is Ainsleigh's reading. Huh? She reads a ton. The concern here is that she skips words, or substitutes words (usually a synonym, which I find odd and interesting all at once). The concern is that her reading comprehension will go down.

As she said "reading comprehension" I sat back in my chair and expelled a deep sigh. Here's the thing - school was never that hard for me. Phonics, math, history, reading, whatever - I was...ok I'll say it: smart. I had to be transferred to a different elementary school for a "gifted" program. Concepts and lessons came easily. I have always loved to read, unlike some people who say it makes them hot. So it was a bit of a shock when my ACT scores came back and I did well overall except for READING COMPREHENSION. Seriously, it's embarrassing. Like, my overall score was totally brought down because I don't comprehend what I'm reading, apparently. Maybe that's why I *do* read a lot - because my retention rate is so low I have to read 10 times as much to make it appear that I'm average? I dunno. But in this I totally feel at one with Ainsleigh.

So where are we? We're both going to pay more attention to what we're reading. Well, I'll do that after we get done refinancing. Seriously, my eyes just glaze over and it's all wah-wah-wah-wah appraisal, wah-wah-wah-wah amortization, wah-wah saving money (bingo!). But after THAT, we're both going to work harder. I was wondering how someone with strong writing and spelling skills can be lacking in reading skills. But then...I think I'm a fairly strong writer (at least I really smack those keys down when I type) and I'm pretty good with spelling (stupid spell-a-thons that I never got 100% on. Oh "again" why do you haunt me?!). But my comprehension was lacking. Oh good heavens, has this child inherited something from me after all?!

Other than that, things are just coasting into fall. It's getting colder in the mornings and the trees are turning glorious shades of sunset. I'm continuing our vow to organize our lives to eliminate even a shred of chaos. It feels wonderfully liberating to see empty counters and organized closets. Ainsleigh is feeling better and is back in school. Donovan is being quite charming and helpful (scored another goal - pictures to come. oh, ok, I'll post one at the end). Gemma is picking up more sign language and being terrifically tiny. And me? Well I made cinnamon rolls (except I don't buy margarine) this weekend, so that speaks for itself.


Lisa said...

Just because I didn't comment on the last one doesn't mean I didn't laugh out loud and then show it to John. Usually it's because I can't think of anything quite witty enough :)

Boo reading comprehension. I'm in the same boat. And somehow I aced science reasoning? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? I literally guessed. Should've guessed more in the reading section, I guess.

laura said...

My Reading Comp score on the ACT was 34. Just putting that out there.

Also, I find it very interesting that she substitutes synonyms when she's reading. I wonder if that's a sign that she'd be good at picking up languages?

NancyO said...

I found your post very amusing. Only modesty and decorum (and laziness) prevented me from responding. I’m sure that Ainsleigh has no trouble focusing on and understanding material that interests her. Some people aren’t too keen about studying something just because somebody else told them they should. School can be difficult for creative and independent types.

Margo said...

I thought the wormy story was hilarious. I love that you don't shy away from those stories because they make us all laugh, even if some might not admit it. I also think you are an amazing mother. The best thing your kids have going for them is you and Joel. Your kids will excel at anything they try because they have amazing parents that believe in them. I love you...

Allison said...

First of all, shut up. I think the hot thing came from me getting frustrated with how slowly I had to read to then comprehend everything. So my reading comprehension is good, it just takes time. Perhaps all you need to do is slow down, heat up, and then your comprehension would skyrocket.

And I didn't comment because I was taking a break from blogging land. Partly because I didn't want to get hot.

The Johnson Family of Colorado said...

Sarah, it sounds like you and Joel have the parent teacher conference thing down. :) Ainsleigh is a gem...so will do great with all of your positivness <---a new word. :) Hugs!