Jessica's school conference was this morning. Marc went to it, as I was home with millions of children, and just reported in. We didn't really have any concerns going in, but wanted to touch base because she had missed so much school this year. Between strep throat twice, a week long bout of H1N1, all the Jewish holidays seemed to fall mid-week, plus some major drama around getting her there sometimes... she had missed more than she should have. She's doing wonderfully! Her math skills are right at grade level, not behind, but if we're going to work on anything over the summer, it would be that. Her reading is way above grade level. On the end-of-the-year reading test, the 1st grade standard is looking for a reading speed of 45 to 50 words per minute with an 80% comprehension level, and Jessie read 90 words per minute with a 94% comprehension level. I'm thrilled by this - I have been such a bookworm since I was little, in fact, I distinctly remember learning to read and being just so thrilled and amazed at all the BOOKS that were out there that I could look forward to reading. I'm really happy that she'll get to have similiar experiences. Plus, I've always felt like if you like to read, everything is easier. History is a much easier class, even science is more interesting because you enjoy reading the texts. And she'll pick up so much more info - I know all kinds of stuff about all kinds of things, not because I've got a great education - I only made it thru one year of college before I ran out of money, but because I LOVE reading. Her teacher (who I adore) recommended that we continue reading more adult books to her, because at this point, she's working on building her vocabulary and that's the best way to do it.
In other news... I'm cracking down. I've become a super pushover mom, and my kids are really starting to suffer as a result. Bedtime is one area where I need to be a lot stricter. Jess fights sleep, and I've been letting her doze off in the living room and lugging her into bed after she falls asleep. As a result, she's not getting enough sleep and suffering because of it. She cried this morning because all her clothes made her look stupid - and you know it was just that she was so tired, she was completely irrational. I need to get her back on a routine with a regular bedtime so that she gets the sleep she needs. Even though it's going to be a lot harder in the beginning, she's going to hate it, but this isn't good for her or for me.
Sam and I had a forty five minute battle of wills this morning - he was just screaming and mean. Jordyn was over, and he didn't want her to watch the television with him. It was his show and he didn't want her in the living room, let alone watching his television. And I put him in his bedroom until he could calm down and be nice. Over and over and over again, because he kept coming out, screaming. I was ready to kill him. Or myself. But eventually, he calmed down and stopped. And honestly, he's been angelic all morning, because once he understands that he can't get away with it, he stops. Clear rules, consequences they understand and follow thru. I know how to do it, it's just easier to be the nice mommy who indulges and makes her children happy. I don't like making miserable, but by letting them get away with crappy behavior, I'm not doing them any favors. Short term gain, long term loss.