Thursday, October 13, 2016

Fall Optimism

I swear Cooper, Dorothy, and Stuffy Tuffy were having a fun time making pumpkin pancakes for breakfast yesterday morning, but you'd never know it to look at them.

Something about fall turns me into a TOTAL Susie Homemaker, and the kids have something hot for breakfast most days.  I used 2 dozen eggs this week, and it's only Thursday, meaning I had to leap out of bed this morning and make eggless banana muffins while the big kids walked the dog, Dorothy colored, and Cooper whined about not getting to walk the dog.  I'll have to pick up more eggs on the way home from work, even, because I think the pie crust I am making for tomorrow's dessert will need a nice egg wash.  I mean, you guys. I am already thinking about tomorrow's dinner and dessert.  Suzy Homemaker indeed.

What else?

We got a new donut store in town, and the line was around the block yesterday.  Yuck.  Also YUM.  I complain about my wight all the time, but I am not enough of a fat kid to join a 45-minute donut line.  But, I mean, I might stop by on my way home from work to pick up a breakfast surprise for the sneauxflakes.

I volunteered at the kids' school for the first time this year, and I was afraid it would be awkward, but I decided to not let it be and remember instead how much I love to be read to by third graders.  I only got through a few of the kids on my list, though, because one little girl was reading The Babysitter's Club, and I was enjoying it so much, she read to me for like 25 minutes.  It was great.  You know how much I love audiobooks, and this was even better.

Jack's tutor showed me the coolest thing.  You know how books that kids read in school are leveled?  Well, I am always really confused because curricula change-- our school has had 3 separate reading curricula since Harry started kindergarten.  It's hard for me to understand what the levels mean anymore.  First they did letters; then they switched to a numbered system, and now they are back to letters-- but a different company's letters.  Super confusing for me, especially as I am trying to make sure that Jack reads just-right books because when books are above his current level, he gets really frustrated and has a hard time sticking with them (Harry leveled out awhile ago and just reads whatever the hell he wants which is totes easier).  Anyway, according to Jack's tutor, the lexile score of a book is the most important thing and can be a common denominator among different leveling systems.  So, she showed me Reading A-Z.  When you click the blue button on the top right that says teacher corner, you can choose "level correlation chart" from the drop down menu.  There you can find the leveling system your kids' school uses and the corresponding lexile level.  Then, I can use the Level Books Wizard on the Scholastic website to search the books he's reading or thinking about and find their lexile level.  I found out that Magic Treehouse-- a series Jack still loves-- starts out in the 400's and moves up to the 800s as the books progress-- because it is designed to grow with your reader-- how cool is that?  Harry Potter is in the 800s-- just a teeny bit out of Jack's current range.  But Beverly Cleary is in his grasp, especially Henry Huggins.  He's been reading Ramona and occasionally getting frustrated, which makes sense because her lexile score is 100 more than Henry's.  It's also important for a kid who needs extra help in reading to read books that are challenging enough, so I am happy to find this tool to help Jack find "just right" books.  I checked out Homer Price for him, but it's in the 1000s, so maybe Harry would like it instead.  I am fascinated.  And I have to say that Jack is a lucky, lucky kid-- he has a wonderful tutor who lives down the street and has tons of teaching experience and is a terrific resource, and he has a really smart, engaged third-grade teacher who is helping him love school even more than he already did-- and he loved it a whole lot to begin with.

Look at me and my fall optimism!  Time for donuts and apple pie.


  1. Thank you for the link to Learning A-Z! I'm totally lost re reading levels, but I also know that my gifted kid shouldn't be reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid three years in a row. This helps so much!

  2. Anonymous11:07 AM

    Ha! I recognize that Pioneer woman batter bowl. So cute!