Thursday, February 24, 2011

On Making Friends & Mean Girls

I love that the internet brings together people of all experiences, lives, and circumstances into one big mosh pit of vegetable soup. And boy, oh, boy, do I need that mosh pit right now.

This is going to sound corny and cheesy and odd, but I want to help Darsie make some friends. She has her casual acquaintances but no girlfriends to come over and play, no consistent friends besides her sister and brother.

I also am noticing that kids are starting to realize that Darsie is different. And not that they are mean or tease her, but she is starting to get excluded. I volunteer in Darsie's class every Wednesday and the little girls in the class were all abuzz over an upcoming birthday party for this weekend with A Princess for a Day theme. It seems the majority of the girls in the class were invited, but not Darsie. It appears that Darsie doesn't realize it, but who knows.

I've also been witnessing a lot of little girl cruelty. They are all about clubs and best friends. Luckily, they are also fickle and change best friends (and boy friends!) on a seemingly weekly basis. I did overhear a girl telling the girl that Darsie is friends with, that if she was friends with Darsie, that she wouldn't be friends with her anymore. Where do they get this behavior? Their parents? Their siblings?

Beyond setting up a play date with the little girl that Darsie levitates to in class, how would you go about facilitating positive friendships for a young girl?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

School Cononundrums

Darsie loves kindergarten. She goes to our local public school and it is a great place. The principal is fantastic, the kids seem happy. But I have a big problem with it which I didn't see as a problem early on. It is a three hour program. And in a class with upwards of 18 kids, three hours a day isn't a lot of time to learn the basics.

Since the start, we've been given updates on Darsie's progress and it has always been dismal. We were told she didn't know numbers, she didn't know letters, she didn't know sounds.

At home, she does know these things. And I made sure going into kindergarten, that she was prepared. I read the kindergarten brochure and the things they said kids needed to know going into kindergarten, she was on top of. Besides tying her shoes.

Recently, Darsie joined an extended kindergarten program. She goes an extra hour every day just for a reading class. They use a zoo-phonics program to teach them the sounds of the letters. And I've actually noticed that it has given Darsie a lot more confidence.

But she is having problems connecting those sounds and also sounding out words. I would imagine that a phonics program of some nature would help this, but I'm not a teacher. Just a mama that wants the best for her girl.

We've upped our reading time here at home and we spend time perusing every day to work on phonics.

I don't know if it that her kindergarten time is so limited and the teacher so maxed out, if it because of Darsie's brain bleed (it was in the language part of her brain), or if it is just a timing thing.

I just hate to see her frustrated and I know, to my core, that once she can read, she will be the over-the-moon reader who never puts books down.

I want to open that world up for her. So, if anybody has any advice, I'd love to hear it.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Time for an Update, Perhaps?

Egads, life gets crazy and the blog gets super dusty. But, I figure I can update at least every six months or so, I hope!

Anyways.....Darsie started kindergarten and has been doing fairly well. She does great with math and patterns but reading has been more of a problem than I anticipated. The school finally started an extended kindergarten program which gives her an extra hour with a different teacher and only nine other students (the extra hour means that she has 4 hours instead of 3). They use a zoo phonics program and since Darsie LOVES animals, it has really clicked with her. She has made tons of progress.

In July, she had a round of Botox which has been hugely successful. We're in the process of getting another round scheduled for her though as her foot is starting to turn in and under again. It is such a bummer that it doesn't last longer but I am SO THRILLED with the six plus months that we got from the last round.

The other kids are doing great as well. Elise is in preschool and thriving. She loves lady bugs and princesses. Bert is now 15 months old and walking up a storm. He loves destroying things and terrorizing his sisters and ME! We are a traveling circus.