Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘children’

My son’s school did some community service work at the Dubuque Arboretum.  They have a Veteran’s Memorial there.  For whatever reason, his classmates started spitting on it. They thought it was funny; we don’t know why.

My son had the nerve to say “what the HELL are you doing?”

He got in trouble for saying hell.  Nothing happened to those who spit on the memorial.

This is what matters in Dubuque. This is how life has been at Washington all year.  My son said “hell”, and that was a bad thing. Spitting is ok, even if it is on a memorial for all veterans from Dubuque. 

Read Full Post »

My son finishes work early.  He has a para that takes him out to the library when he’s done, so as to not disturb the class.  He spends a lot of time there.

He has a Kindle, so he has plenty to read at all times. The school itself (Washington Middle School in Dubuque) has kindles to loan out to students, too.  

His para, for whatever reason, thinks that Kindles are a disgrace.  She first banned him from reading whatever he wanted on it, even though he reads adult science books, and Greek classics.  He could only read what was assigned in school.

Then she decided that was unacceptable.  On Friday, she ripped it out of his hands, went to the shelves, found the book he was reading, and threw it down in front of him.  For whatever reason, she would not allow him to read it on the Kindle.

It is bad enough they wouldn’t put him in gifted classes because he has a learning disability (dysgraphia, cannot write legibly), but now to discourage reading advanced books, and only read school books on paper? What is wrong with this place?

We’re taking him out of school after this year, and using the virtual public school until we move out of Dubuque. When you have staff acting against the child’s best interests, you need to pull your child out.  This is just the latest in a string of incidents with this woman, and it’s the last straw.

Read Full Post »

I no longer think that Dubuque is a good place to raise a family. In fact, if you have a child with a disability, you may be better off elsewhere.  It’s not bad, and better than what we would have had in New York City, but I’ve been looking around and there seem to be better places.  Madison, WI is one place we’re looking at, and if it wasn’t for Walker, it would be close to perfect.

But the bloom is off the rose, and Dubuque, which once seemed a very grounded and open place, has turned to the usual bad habits of many cities.  The politicians are inaccessible, the police are unethical, and the laws are now going from protecting citizens to generating money off of them. Schools get cut, but special pet projects do not.  Small businesses suffer at the hands of larger ones. They found a way to get rid of undesirable “people from Chicago” (code word for black) legally.  Discrimination is almost as rampant as apathy and ignorance.  There are few people with strong convictions here, and it shows.

I want to fight for a community that fights with me, for me, alongside me. I’ll be the best thing that ever happened!  

We still have to ride it out more than a year, since we do want our daughter to graduate from the local high school. It would be foolish to pull her out now.  But if we can figure out how to make it work, we need to go to a good city, one that is family friendly.

Read Full Post »

Grover

Image via Wikipedia

One of the first apps I got on my son’s iPad was something I wanted for myself. The Monster at the End of This Book was one of my favorite books growing up.  When I saw it was at the iPad store, and it still had Grover, and not Elmo (which they had when my daughter was the age for this), I had to download it!

It keeps true to story, and is interactive in a seamless, appropriate manner.  It encourages the child to be involved in the story, in subtle ways. If they still don’t get what to do on a page, Grover will hint, building up the hints until the work is done.  He does it in a way, though, that suits the story. “Whatever you do, don’t touch that. Not that corner over there. That will make the page turn. You don’t want to turn the page!” Things like that, and maybe a bit of a flicker or flash to show where the child should touch.

My son is completely non-verbal, and can’t really read much at all.  He’s never been interested in reading, either.  He’ll look at I Spy books, or flip through something with a character he likes, but not much more than that.  After a while, though, Ted would read along with the book, running his finger under each word as it was said. Each word comes on the page one at a time as Grover says it, and he’s really starting to learn the relationship between what is said and what the word looks like. That interaction is probably helping him read more than the constant drilling we’ve done over the years in school, in therapy, and in the home.  He reads it every night before going to bed.  He also is engaged with it more than most other apps, without perseverating on it, reading it over and over for hours on end.  It’s also made a great reward for his educators and his therapists, because he will work for enough stars to have time with this app.

I’ve seen a number of children’s e-books, and apps based on children’s books. This is probably our favorite, and save for a handful of others, one of the better crafted ones. You can tell that not only did the software developers know what they were doing, educators and other professionals who know about development of literacy skills and children were involved. All the little touches not only make this app more enjoyable, but are a great way to help an emerging reader.

This award-winning app is $3.99 at the Apple App  store.

Read Full Post »

I made this video today, based on actual conversations over the years.

http://www.xtranormal.com/site_media/players/jwplayer.swfhttp://www.xtranormal.com/site_media/players/embedded-xnl-stats.swf

Read Full Post »

I think I posted a while back about the nonsense they presented as sex ed to my daughter.  False information about condoms, and made the girls responsible for everything, like they were dirty whores, and if they should get pregnant, they should give it up.  Sounded like a plan to get more cute white babies for adoption, to be honest.  (Another pro-life organization in Dubuque is very good at getting help for women who want to continue their pregnancy, and I respect them for that.)

Well now, on 105.3, they ran a radio ad where they said RU-486 was the Morning After Pill, and that you should come to THEM for the truth.

I’m checking with the FCC about filing a complaint (filled one out on the website), and anywhere else that handles lying during advertising.  And to think the Dubuque Community Schools financially supports them in their endeavors.

They lied to our children and now they are lying to us.  This HAS to stop.

Read Full Post »

I love that kids get recess here. I love that they go outside and play as long as it is above 20f.  Snowpants and boots are required, but that’s ok.

Back in Brooklyn, once it was a bit below freezing, or if there was snow, kids stayed inside. They’d watch a movie, or huddle in the gym.

Better for the health of the children, and the sanity of the adults, to have kids run off some energy and get some fresh air.  A lot can be said for the simple act of having recess. More schools should do this. And schools like this are one of the reasons I can’t see ever returning to NYC.  My children.

Read Full Post »