Shortening Summer Vacation

Know how to shut down an unruly kid in record time? Tell him that his school is shortening summer vacation. I’ve never seen a mouthy child go silent as quickly as I did last week while watching the evening news at our neighbor’s house.  Education leaders recently began serious talks about lengthening the academic year here. Of course, all my neighbor’s rowdy kid heard was:  “Next year, public school kids across the state could be dealing with a much shorter summer vacation.” The news reporter’s last three words nearly triggered an aneurysm in my neighbor’s kid. My child attends parochial … Continue reading

100 Days

Today is the 100th day of school for my child.  To mark the occasion she and her classmates were asked to bring in 100 of their favorite items. Yes, the assignment that parents from coast-to-coast dread each year. It’s even more dreadful when your kid reminds you that she needs said items two hours before they’re due. So, you run around like a nutcase looking for 100 what to cram into a Ziploc bag? Cheerios, LEGOs, coffee beans… blood, sweat, tears? When all is said and done, hopefully you remember to snap a photo of your kid holding up his … Continue reading

When Life Gets in the Way

Since I’ve been parenting alone it seems as if life gets in the way a lot. There are certain things that simply have to be done and sometimes those things get in the way of effective parenting. Tonight was one of those nights. As a busy full time student I normally try my hardest to work on homework during times when Logan is asleep or at his dad’s. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. Some nights the amount of work simply cannot be done without cutting into some mommy time. I had a big presentation for tomorrow. One that I … Continue reading

Stuck in a Rut

There have been many times throughout my life that I have found myself feeling stagnant. I had goals and I was working hard, but I didn’t feel like it was moving forward in my life. There wasn’t anything I could do to speed up the process, which caused me to feel completely helpless to get my life exactly where I wanted it to be. This feeling of stagnation can often cause depression, especially when you can’t do anything about it. I felt like I was doing everything I could to move forward after my divorce, but without my education I … Continue reading

Readjusting Teen’s Sleep for the Start of School

Welcome back to reality…the days of sleeping in are over and let me tell you, this is not easy for teenagers. To make matters worse, where the high school used to start at 7:40 a.m., it is now starting at 7:30 a.m. Yes, those 10 minutes really do make a difference to a teen. I remember when my children were younger it was much easier to get them adjusted back to school hours. I put them to bed earlier and woke them up earlier. Now I don’t have the luxury of putting my children to bed. Sure, I can tell … Continue reading

Mixed Feelings on First Day of School

Last week I had to register my children for school. I have such mixed feelings about the first day of school. I have some sadness in knowing that it’s the last year of high school for my oldest and the first year of high school for my daughter. But at the same time I am excited about what is to come. My daughter continues to have reluctant feelings about the whole thing. Her attitude hasn’t been the most positive but I have a good feeling about everything. I really do believe she is going to enjoy her high school…but I … Continue reading

A Shout Out to All the Great Teachers

Photo by radina grancharova I want to give a shout out to all the good teachers that make up our public school system. So often we only hear about or talk about the “bad” seeds. This is especially true in the city where I live, Milwaukee. The school district has a bad reputation. But this past week I have been very impressed with my 17-year-old son’s English teacher who has decided that teaching is about more than just earning a paycheck, it is about inspiring her students. While my son is incredibly smart and never studies for tests, yet gets … Continue reading

Middle School Can Be Brutal

Middle school can be just brutal. And the funny thing is I always thought it was worse for girls. But my daughter is about to officially end her middle school years in just a couple of weeks. Although it hasn’t been problem-free, it has certainly been much better for her than it has been for my boys. I tend to think it is the fact she stayed in a K-8 school, while my boys went to middle schools. I could be wrong but all I know is that I will be glad when the next two years are over with. … Continue reading

Tips For A Better School Year

A new school year is starting. Are you ready? For families of students with special needs, getting ready for a new school year involves more than buying new shoes, and gathering up school supplies. It also involves a partnership between parents, teachers, and school administrators. As a former teacher, who has worked in classrooms designed to meet the needs of children who had a variety of special needs, I thought I would share some advice that can help your child have a great school year. While some kids cannot wait for the new school year to start, this is often … Continue reading

Before Asperger’s Syndrome

One of my brothers has Asperger’s Syndrome. He was not diagnosed until after he became an adult. He is now in his 30′s. Not as much about Asperger’s Syndrome, autism, or the autism spectrum was recognized or understood then, compared with what we know now. Most people today have at least heard the term Asperger’s Syndrome before. When my brother was a child, people thought he was odd, but did not have any context to explain why he was so different from other kids his age. I think most of our family realized that something about my brother was atypical … Continue reading