Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dear Local School District

I have an issue to discuss with you. Can you please tell me WHY you have decided to start the school year on AUGUST 18??????????? That is still summer! FULL ON summer! Now, I realize that you are ending the school year earlier next year to account for the early start, but please, tell me why?!?

Do you see this picture? These are my kids (adorable, I know...) on their first day of summer vacation. That would be June 4. And it is RAINING (even though you can't tell- it really was!) In fact, it has been raining for about two weeks. And the temperature hasn't even topped 80 degrees. So please explain to me why you want school to start on August 18 (when it is sunny and hot and 90 + degrees) and end on May 26 (when it is not quite 70 degrees.)


I hear you are having budget cuts. Wouldn't it make sense to save on air conditioning by not starting in the MIDDLE OF AUGUST? Wouldn't the kiddos learn better when the weather was cooler and not so tempting to be outside? I mean, nine months out of the year here it is cold yucky weather, but do you have to start school during one of the few actually warm sunny months? It is enough to make someone want to move out of Idaho :) :) :)

Now I know that I am a wimp from California. But even with my newly defined warm weather as anything over 60 degrees, I still find it hard to understand why we have to start school in the middle of August.

So please, PLEASE, reconsider for next year.

Your local parent,

Amy

*********************

Okay, so the past two days have been much better weather, but it is supposed to rain again tomorrow. And you can probably tell that I am sooo bitter about the early start in the fall (make that summer!).

We are just going to make the most of the summer that we have.

As you can see from this picture, these yahoos won't have to try too hard to have a good time.



Thursday, June 3, 2010

End of the Year and me on my soap box

The last day of school was today. I am usually so excited about the last day of school. I love having my kids home with me for the summer. This year I just feel caught off guard. It does not seem like summer is here, mostly because of the weather. We are barely topping 70 degrees and it has been rainy. So I am glad my kiddos are home but I wish it felt more like summer.

Yesterday the elementary school had an assembly where they gave out Accelerated Reader awards. For those of you without school age kids Accelerated Reader is a program in which the kids read a book and then take a test. They earn points depending on the level of the book and the percentage of questions they answer right. At this end of the year assembly they gave out first, second, and third place plaques for kids with the highest points earned in each grade. Seth and his two buddies, Cade and Brady, have been competing all year for these titles. Seth was new to the AR program this year- his school last year didn't offer it. Brady and Cade have alternated first and second place the last few years. Seth felt he didn't have a chance to catch up to Cade and Brady, but since the first quarter, when he found out about the whole deal, he has been trying for third. He was pretty sure he had it in the bag, but the school never called me to let me know. So the night before I was preparing him for disappointment. "Now, Seth, maybe there is someone you don't know about in another class that got more points than you..." The morning of I decided to call the school and just double check. Sure enough, he was getting the award and the assembly started at 8:40. It was 8:30. And I was in my pajamas. So were Grant and Russell. But we made it. :)

Seth earned the third place award for all of the third grade.
Here he is with his buddies. How fun that they were all in the same class. I have a feeling they will be split up next year. :(



Tonight was Brenna's dance recital. It was a long day but we made it through. I think she really enjoyed dressing up in her costumes and being on stage. She was dancing around the house when we got home.
This is her costume for her ballet dance. They were the colors of a rainbow.






This was her jazz dance costume to the song "Alley Oop". So yes, she was supposed to look like a cavewoman. She wasn't too excited about her hair. :)






This was my favorite dance and costume. This was a tap dance to "You've Got Friend in Me" from Toy Story. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of her by herself.



Here comes the soap box part :
Her dance class was taught in her teacher's home. It was very affordable, however I was unimpressed. I now know that just as there are different quality piano teachers there are different quality dance teachers as well. Brenna was in the youngest class and I can understand their performance (not really knowing the steps- following the teacher, and not doing any technique.) But the oldest class- 9 and 10 year olds- they should know their dances and actually know some technique! This experience makes me so grateful for my dance class experience as a girl. My teachers were excellent- thanks mom and dad! (There was a 9 year old girl in my pointe class- and she was GOOD!)
I probably sound so judgemental but this is how I feel. If you want your child to learn something- be it sports, music, dance, art, whatever, PLEASE research a good teacher. Don't just think that because you sign them up that they are going to learn. Now, if you just want them to have fun, then I guess it doesn't matter. But for me, when you actually learn how to do something right- when you actually learn the skill-that is when it is fun.
And one more thing- may I just say that a 2 1/2 hour rehearsal for nine total dances in a recital is way too long?????!!!!! Okay, thank you.
** Okay, I want to add something positive. I DO like how this teacher did the whole costume thing. Seriously- does it bother anyone else that most dance studios charge $50 something dollars for a costume that the kid is going to wear once? And if the child is in more than one dance, then it is even more money! I really like her idea of just having a basic black leotard for every costume, and then spicing it up. Every costume looked great (that was the best part of the recital- oh no, I am getting negative again-) and the cost was much less than a traditional studio. So dance teachers out there- that is my vote. Sew some sequins bands together, and we are good to go. :)