Parent-Teacher Conference

OK, OK. I know I said I would blog about the parent-teacher conference we had with Jenna's teacher, but I just have had other stuff going on and forgot.

Steve managed to get there (it was on Tuesday, the day before the surgery) which made me so proud. He is so involved with what goes on with her and that makes me happy.

Anyway, the teacher's first words were, "Jenna Grace is doing great! She's doing wonderful!" That made me much more comfortable. I've very concerned about her reading. I believe reading is the basis to doing well in school. I am sure some would disagree with me, but I truly believe that. I love to read and I loved school. Steve...well, not so much. He never learned to read really well and as a result, he hated school and didn't do well. I believe Micah and Chase were the same. I want for Jenna to read well so that she'll love to read and do well in school. Anyway, that was the first order of business was that Jenna is already at the level in which they like to see children when they LEAVE pre-1st. We still have another 9 weeks of school and I would like to see her reading at another level or two above where she is. And I wanted to work on a summer reading program with her so that she might go in to 1st grade ahead of many of the other students and already reading well into the 1st grade level.

Her teacher agreed wholeheartedly and said that we should choose books for her to read that are about one level under where she's currently reading at. That way, she doesn't struggle too much and get discouraged. I thought that was a fabulous idea (don't know why I didn't think of it myself!). She's going to work on and send home a list of books as summer reading ideas. Perfect!

She continued on about teachers for next year. There are 4 teachers and there's one that isn't my favorite because of some lack-of-response issues I had previously. I am too interested and involved in Jenna's education (ok, and IMPATIENT!) to have to ask multiple times for something. I know me and I know that would not set well...anyway, her teacher said that Jenna loves learning (thank you Jesus!) and that she does better in a structured environment. If you let her know the rules and boundaries and what's expected of her, then she does well and makes good choices. If you throw her out there in an environment where the rules aren't clear, she tends to make less-good choices (not bad, but less good). She told me that Jenna would do well with 3 of the 4, but she stopped short of naming all three. She named one of them and wouldn't you know, it was the teacher I did not want. I brought up another teacher who I had heard wasn't the most personable teacher, but was pretty strict and she said she'd do well with her too. I can already tell 1st grade is going to be a little bit more tough than pre-1st...especially for MOM!!!! At some point, the principal will send out a form for the parents to fill out and while you can't actually request a certain teacher, you do list what learning style your child does best with. And if you have a problem with a teacher, you can list that as well. I'm praying about it. Because if I know my God, I'll end up with the very teacher that I don't want just so God can work on me. :) I'll keep you posted.

Finally, we discussed the kids that Jenna should be separated from going into 1st. This apparently has also been on her teacher's mind. I know it had been on mind. There is one child in particular that Jenna seems to be close to that I just thought was not the best influence on her. But then, I only see it from one perspective and I wanted to know what really goes on in the classroom. I must have pretty good mother's intuition because the teacher agreed wholeheartedly about the child I had in mind and even added another child to the mix. She says that they are all 3 strong-willed to some level and when they are together they either get along great or...well...NOT! :) So, she wants them separated and I'm cool with that. And I mentioned one of the girls who Jenna has been with since pre-K. Her mom and I are friends and we have been room moms together and just for every selfish reason in the book, I'd like to see them continue on together. She did say that they try to pair the pre-1st kids with 1 or 2 other classmates because there's only one class of 18 pre-1st-ers going into 1st with 2 full classes of kindergarteners...

Anyway, all that is probably more than any of you really care about reading, but it's important to me and since this blog is about me and my family... :) We are really going to miss Mrs. Seay, her pre-1st teacher. This has been a great year for Jenna. Probably her best so far. I had some reservations about doing it as most 1st time pre-1st moms do, but it has been the best educational decision I've made (and I'm just getting started!) For any of you who might be considering the pre-1st option. DO IT. I think about Jenna's reading...she's exactly where she needs to be for leaving pre-1st. But what would that have meant if she had gone on into 1st? She would have been struggling and behind. And there's not much that she's struggled with this year. They've worked ALOT on reading and math and so they have already gotten a foundation when they go into 1st grade. I believe these pre-1st kids will be the cream of the crop when in 1st grade...it's a wonderful thing and if I ever had another child, there would be no discussion...they'd go through pre-1st too.

OK, that's all about that. Update on Steve...he has begun to really pass those little pieces of stone. It's wild to see, but they are coming out which is good. Except for the fact that he experiences pain still especially when they are passing, but usually because they are moving out, the pain is not as intense and doesn't last as long. He asked me if we could please go out ot eat on Thursday because he has just been stir crazy. Since a week ago, the only places he's been is home, the doctor and the hospital. We went to Logan's and then he wanted to stop by the super-Target to get some of those Crystal Light packets to go in your water. He's been drinking so much water lately and I'm so proud because I really think it helps tremendously. Yesterday, Jenna had teacher in-service, so he stayed home with her. He'd planned to anyway and he was not really feeling like going back to work yet. He plans to take her to riding lessons today and I have a hair appt. at 1pm.

I also was able to get online and choose my shore excursions for the cruise. Thank you SO much for your input! It was fabulous. The one thing I heard most was the Stingray City at Grand Cayman. I think I have had that brought up as a must-do from about 5 different folks. We are definitely going to do that. I know it must be good because they have 3 different times to choose from to depart! I didn't realize how dang expensive the excursions were! It's going to probably cost us about $600 for just excursions cuz, you know me...I gotta do something EVERYWHERE we stop! Two of the islands will be just beach days which are next to nothing, but I was figuring up the cost last night and this vacation is going to end up costing us WAY more than I think even Hawaii did! But, with that said, this is the first "exotic" vacation that we've had with Jenna. Since she's been born, we'd just ridden to the beach, stayed with family etc. With her, everything is times THREE and that changes alot. But the good thing is...believe this...except for the deposit (which I put on a credit card) every dime will be paid in cash. How cool is that? The only way we were able to afford Hawaii is because Steve got a worker's comp settlement the year before. This is just hard-earned savings through the year, tax refund and President Bush's check (which I don't think we'll have to use). I'm just totally stoked! God is so good to us.

One last thing and then I'm done with this incredibly long post...pray for us...we have another job situation (good thing, not bad) and while I can't give details here, I *think* it would be a good opportunity if it works out. But you know what happened last time...so just keep us in your prayers.

Oh, and if you are a blog reader, I've gotten hooked on 2 new blogs recently (thanks to Carrie and Allison!). Check them out. Some of you might already read them, but both families need your prayers.

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