Charter, Public, Private, Magnet

What type of school is best for your child?  Is there really a difference other than a name and a price?  Charter,public, private or magnet schools…. is it the teacher or the type of school?

I am a new mom to this school thing.  And this thing called Kindergarten, was not really a good eye-opening experience for me.  I tried making everything easy by putting Jaden into a preschool.  He did very good, I started him in 2009 when we lived in Ohio for a couple of months.  And then with all of the craziness of moving back to Vegas, getting kicked out of another rental foreclosure, new premature baby, buying a house, moving, changing preschools 2 more times.  I thought that staying in 1 kindergarten class should be an easy transition for MY CHILD! 

Jaden only lasted about 3 wks in his first class.  The first wk, he went to class like a champ, but every night when he came home he would say “my teacher don’t like me”  what do you mean your teacher don’t like you?  I confronted her to make sure that we are on the same level, and so that maybe she could build a better understanding of Jaden if I tried to explain his learning…. she basically blew me off and said that he was one of the older kids in the classroom, and that there are too many kids…

My thoughts on too many kids???  It is not my child’s problem that there are about 35 kids per teacher.  It is not my childs problem that some parents don’t speak english.  It is not my childs problem that he is 6 years old, in kindergarten and bored during his 2 hour class.  It is your problem as a teacher to teach, it is up to you to communicate with the parents if you need to know more about each child to help them learn or to get their interest.  Needless to say, I did talk to her a few times, and each time she said that he was old enough to sit with his arm in the air for however long it took her to get to him when he was done with his project and that he should be able to make the sound of the letter that they were working on till she got there.  Ok…. a 6-year-old sitting for maybe 4 minutes with his arm in the air making a mmmmm sound till she gets there???? really!!!  NOT MY KID… HE WILL FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO IN ABOUT 1 MINUTE!

We did get him moved over to another class with a different teacher.  This teacher has been great for Jaden.  She does not allow slack time, she says the kids are there for 2 1/2 hours, and that they can play at home.  They sing, they go to art class, music, do their numbers and their letters.  I am not saying that my Jaden is an Angel, because he is not.  However we have still had some normal kid issues and not normal really bad 1 time issue at the start of her teaching him.  But she worked through it with us and him.  He is held accountable for his actions in class.  She says that he is a great helper, and that she loves that he tries.  He is behind in a lot of things according to the testing, but with meeting one on one with the teacher, she is telling us that the criteria is so high these days.  That kids need more one on one teaching.  That the classes are so large it is so hard to cram all the learning into the 2 hours.

Believe I do understand that 36 children being in Jaden’s class is a VERY LARGE class of kindergartens.  However not that I am going to be different from any other parent… I want my child to learn, that is why I send him to school.  I don’t think that schools should be a total playground, I think it should be a learning ground! 

I have sent in a letter of interest to a charter school.  Sean and I being on a military budget, can not really afford a private school.  And I am totally worried about his level of education.  I don’t really believe that every child is meant to go to college, or have a high-end job.  I do believe that you should however be given the same education at the start so that if you want to take or have the ability for either.  So what is the real answer, what is best for our children? 

I really hope that I can get Jaden into this charter school, it from what I understand is going to have smaller classes.  stricter rules, more accountability, and higher level of education.  From everything I have heard about people leaving this area and moving out-of-state… their children did very well in school here, and then when they move to a different state, the grades stink and they are way behind on the level of education that they should be at.  I don’t want to face that.  Sean will be retiring within the next couple of years and we will be making what I hope to be our last move.  I do not want Jaden to struggle.  I think if he can start out strong and exceed here, that he will have a far better chance of being at least even with another area.  And I am understanding that a charter school will give him the best of everything.

So am I putting too much hope in a charter school?  Or should I quit worrying about the school, and be more focused on the teacher, class and style of teaching?  I want a teacher that will not be afraid to confront me as a parent and tell me where we need to work a lot harder.  I am totally open to helping educate my child, but the truth is….. I don’t know what all he should really be learning at each step of the way….I don’t want to be the failing point of his education either.

So which school have you chosen and why?  Have you learned anything that you want to share with me, to help me make a good decision?  I did fill out an update form today.  The charter school that I have been talking about will be new for the 2011-2012 school year, so all new teachers and everything! 

Let me know your concerns with each, if you have some!

A memory of my cross country travel

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I was going through my pictures trying to download some onto Snapfish, and I was looking at some old photos I had taken.  With this wk being Easter, I thought that I would share with you a memory (photos) of my cross-country travels.  It is only going to be the one stop that I am going to show you, and this was a little detour for us.  The photo’s were taken in 2009, so maybe things have changed since then!

I believe this is in Groom, Texas.  We had traveled for days, and my being a high risk pregnancy, my friend Holly took some of these photos for me.  Some of them were from the car window and some from her walking around.  How sweet it was to experience this in person with my dearest friend!  The lighting on some of the pictures when I was looking at them last night just touched me even more!

If you ever have the opportunity to make this drive, it is so worth the detour from the highway!  We had seen the cross from the distance, and was wondering how close we would actually get to it.  Never did we imagine that it would be this large!

Egg time and Easter

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Sorry about the messy kitchen, but it was egg time!  Now, I know that I am going to hear it from my sister… but this was the first time that Sean and I have actually done eggs with the kids.  Last year we did Easter at a friend’s house and did eggs with them, just never on our own.

I do remember doing eggs at my mom’s house when I was growing up, and how I loved mixing the colors.  What I don’t remember is her constantly leaning over my shoulders or telling me how to do it.  Maybe that was because she did always let us do things like that.  I know that Sean and I were helping the kids ALOT.  All you could hear is…”be carefull, please don’t spill that”  All I could think of is that mess all over my floor.  Then Schyler was crying… then she grabbed the paper and pulled. Somehow (by the grace of God) only the bottom paper came out, had the entire thing came off I would have had green dye all over the living room carpet.  I think next year this is going to be an outdoor event and then I won’t be so scared!!  We all still had fun.  I just have a hard time with 1st time experiences and being at ease with it…

Easter outfits!!  One of the best things I can remember as a child is our Easter outfits.  Every year we would either get a new dress from the store, or when we were younger, our mom made them.  When she made them, Andrea and I usually had to match  the dresses were exact matches though.  Nothing to make them the slightest difference other than who was in them!  I know that I am a sad mommy.. but with the girls being so close in age, it is so easy to get them the exact same outfit.  So I did at the BX (AAFES Exchange), but Shyla’s was without sleeves and Schyler had short sleeves.  Shyler’s dress has green trim on the bottom and looks like a ball gown on her, and Shyla just looked like a beautiful little girl.  Jaden, he is old enough to pick out his own clothes when we go to the store.  So I took him to Old Navy, because we had a gift certificate that we have had for a year now!  I still wanted him to match the girls in color that is!!!  So he chose an orange with white polo shirt, and some dark grey shorts.  I bought him some sandals too, but he chose to wear his boots to service!

Canyon Ridge is a very large church.  They had a 8,10 and 12 service on Sunday morning.  We decided to try to beat the rush and get up and ready for the 8 service!  It was really good.  I always enjoy the services there, it’s just with it being such a large church, I still have not acclimated! 

Do you know what an Easter Cantata is?  I have not seen or been to one for years… when I was growing up all of our churches did them, and I truly miss this part of Easter services.  So, if you are local to Las Vegas, and your church does these.. please let me know!!  I would absolutely love to attend next time!  Or maybe just to visit your church in general!

After church we stopped by a local park.  I wanted to get some pictures of the kids with some grass!  So, luckily we got some great pictures, even if they are mommy pics and not professional!

My friend Phyllis, as I have mentioned many times before has now moved to Hawaii, but her parents live here.   We invited them over for dinner yesterday.  It was fantastic.  Ham, real mashed potatoes, corn, stuffing… and pumpkin cheese cake!!

We fit a lot of things in on our Easter.  You know as much as we have enjoyed our family time together, it is also a time to be so grateful and rembember why we are here.  It is a time to be more grateful than ever for the blessings that we have.  The ultimate sacrifice was made this time of year so that we can share in the ultimate gift given to each of us, which is the gift of eternal life with our Father.  Thanks to Jesus, for being that gift of sacrifice……..

Patio cover complete!

Our Patio cover is now complete!  It was completed in a short 5 hours on Thursday.  I would say the only thing that caught me by surprise was that I did not know that they were coming.

Our final decision was… Beat The Heat Solar Screens.  They are the same company that installed our Solar Screens on our house, and we love them just as much as I expect that we will love the Patio Cover.

The patio cover was installed by Beat the Heat Solar Screens, manufactured by Metals USA Building Products, and the type is Elitewood Solid. 

Larry is the owner of Beat the Heat Solar Screens and is the one that came out to give me both of the quotes.  His son Chris is the one that answers the phone.  Both of them have great personalities.  Larry can come off a bit gruff sometimes, but you need to look past that and see his genuine care for the products that he is selling and the quality of service that he is providing, that is all he is trying to do is make sure that you understand the difference he and his company are bringing to the table.  I will not say that they cut any corners.  They put 4 beams in because that is what the engineering called for, some of the companies said that 3 was all that they would provide cause they could stretch out the specs of engineering.  The color that we chose was adobe, I think it looks good next to the house.  I really did not want to go with white, that would have stood out like a sore thumb!

I am pretty sure that I now have everything that I need to buy, that I can or could get from Larry, but I am going to be more than happy to send my friends or people who ask, his way!  So if you are looking for a company to do solar screens or patio covers…. Beat the Heat and go call Larry!  They even left the North Las Vegas city permit paperwork in a large zip type baggie, so that the inspector could get to it easily.  They set up the day of inspection and everything.  It was all totally easy for me… they did ALL the work!

I hope to show you better pictures in the next few wks, when we decide to do the back yard!  Can’t wait to see a little green!

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Coming to the end

The wk of my dad’s visit is coming to an end.  He leaves tomorrow, so today I am going to try to fit in as much as I can.

I have really enjoyed most of the time that he has been here.  However once again, I made the same mistake that I do every time someone comes for a visit.  I went on vacation also!  I did get laundry washed, but I did not get any of it put away. I should also admit that the dryer is still full and has been for 2 days…..

Last night when we were at Taekwondo class, one of the other parents stopped us and started talking about contacting his wife about Schyler.  He thinks we should submit some photos to get her into magazines.  I know what it is… it is those eyes.  This is kind of amusing to me, because my sister and I were just talking about this a couple of wks ago.  Her kids have the same bright blue eyes.  Her children of course have bigger eyes than mine, my kids have somewhat squinty eyes compared to theirs.  Anyways, when Andrea and I were talking we got onto the topic of submitting photos. If the kids could get modeling jobs that would be nice as long as we were not exploiting them.  Now, I am not going to say that she was agreeing with me, she was more just listening to me rant!  I was thinking and talking is more of what I should have written!  I was thinking with the economy and the cost of schooling, that if they could do something like this when they are young, then putting everything to whichever child’s education that earned it!

I did not really talk with this her, as a thought that I had completely processed, but now that someone basically a stranger has brought up the same idea of modeling to me.  I think I am a little interested.   Will I do it???  Ummmm truthfully I really don’t know, but it might be something to consider!

Back to the real topic of the time coming to an end with my dad’s visit.  I am thinking of doing a few different things today! 

1.  The Hoover Dam has changed since the last time that he saw it, so maybe we will drive down that way!

2.  I need to go by the outlet mall to get Jaden an Easter outfit.  (not that it is the right thing to think about, but I loved getting a new outfit to go to church in, every year at Easter)

3.  I really need to hit the grocery store again for Easter dinner preparation!

4.  My dad wants to go by the Harley shop again, there is a large one here in Vegas.  He does not have any money to spend so it should be safe!

So this a little bit of notes on what I want or need to get done today, and also what happened yesterday.  Maybe nothing real eventful, but we will get to see a little history in the making during Jaden’s spring break, when we go to the dam!

At peace with the view

I know that horses are not some people’s thing.  However they just really take my breath away.  I am always amazed at how much peace I find when just taking in a view.  It’s not that they are the most amazing animal created, because they are not.  They are not even the most gentle or affectionate.  I just find them simply at peace.   I really like going up to see them, maybe this should be my new outing as long as I have a full tank of gas, when my days just seem stressed. Or maybe I will just visit my pictures.

I hope that you enjoy the peaceful pictures of the wild horses, yet again.  These were taken yesterday!

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