Am I smarter than a 7th grader?

Well, I might be smarter than the AVERAGE 7th grader, but I’m certainly not as smart as the 7th graders in  Termite’s Honors Math Class who can graph liner equations quicker than I can say it.

Before I go any further with this tirade, though, I have some unfinished business.  Community Coffee is after me to submit last week’s winner!  Oops!  By the way, Kim, you never claimed your prize from two weeks ago!  So, here we go with the winner.   There are 11 different commenters.  I will ask The Captain to pick a number between 1 and 11.   He picked Number 5!  That would be Heather.   Heather, did you go shopping at Community?  Please email me with your choice today!

How in the world can I help Termite with his homework when he can’t even bring a textbook home?  There is one text to serve the desk he sits in.  That is where it reside–in the metal rack under the desk.  So, I ask a big favor of the teacher.  Can you please loan me a textbook so I can help him?  NO!  But she could burn me a CD which would have more information than the text.

I sent a blank CD.  She burned it.  My computer said it was made on a MAC and so my PC could not open it.  Teacher swore it was burned on a PC.  Please just let me borrow text.  Heck, I’ll buy the **** book.

I can tell you all, having homeschooled all my kids, and now having one in 7th grade public school for the first time  is as frustrating for him as it is for me. Nothing against all you wonderful teachers out there, okay?

This weekend was spent on a project that will comprise about 80% of his science grade this semester:  Science Fair Project.  I have to admit it was a good break from algebra helping him put together this project.

Science Fair ProjectSo, do people who play video games on a regular basis have faster reaction times than those won don’t?  Common sense would answer that, but he proved it using scientific method and then graphed his results.  It might not be a prize-winning project, but he managed to make it through.  I only had to sit down and take my blood pressure once during the process.

Graph TimesThat would be when the internet kept going out while he was trying to generate eleven of these graphs from a web site, and the color ink cartridge ran out while printing the graphs, at the same time someone was calling to rent the camp, while the guest at the camp was calling with a question, while  another friend beeped in, and yet another friend was texting.   All that was going on while The Captain (unasked by me) put my delicates in the dryer (EEK!) And if you are reading this, and you were any of those people, hopefully by now I’ve apologized to you for being so “short”.   (Except the guy who called about renting the camp.  He won’t take my calls now!  And I can’t say I blame him.)

Now, I am getting ready to drive to town and deliver said project to the gym, where I’m sure I will find out that Termite forgot one important element and that the school would not let him call me, which will bring his “A” project down to  a “B” project, and life goes on.

He’s learning that school is much harder than home school.  He’s wishing now he had applied himself more at home when he had the chance.  He does enjoy seeing his friends every day; but that does not make up for the amounts of homework he has when he gets home.  With only 3 academic classes, 90 minutes each, I wonder why he even has homework.  Seems like teachers could get the teaching done and the kids could get homework done in that amount of time.

But what do I know?

I’m just a little old bayou woman.

So bring forth your condolences, criticisms, encouragements, and advice.  And your comments will provide the next Community Coffee winner!




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  1. I feel your pain. School isn’t what it once was, is it? And for those of us in rural areas, the internet is not a given, it’s a maybe so-maybe not kind of service. Bless you and your son. You survived and maybe he’ll even enjoy the final display of his project. And you can kick back and relax–until the next one comes along!

    1. Yes, we did survive, and you know what made it worth all the hassle? Was seeing how proud he was to display it in the gym after school yesterday, and the big hug that followed with the words, “Thanks for all your help, Mom. I love you.”

      1. Awww, yay! That’s sweet. I’m glad he was proud. 🙂 Did he place? And ask him if I get a hug for my rubber cement and crazy-good-eyeballing centering skills??

        1. Don’t know yet, Dotter! I’ll ask him about that hug. And btw, the rubber cement behind the yellow letters dried out totally and looked fine after all. Thanks again for eyeballing all that!

          1. Aren’t big sisters wonderful? Wish I had one when I was growing up. Oh, I forgot, I was the “Big Sister” to two younger brothers. LOL!!

  2. Here’s my take on the textbook situation. Call your School Board Member and Beotch! Unlike many States, Louisiana pays for those books and EVERY child is supposed to be issued one at the beginning of the school year.
    You’re WAY more advanced than I am. I can’t even do 4th grade work. They changed the terminology years ago, and I wouldn’t attempt to help using my antiquated education. I would really confuse them.
    P.S. I’m really glad I emailed to reserve Camp Dularge. I would have felt terrible if I had caused some of the problems y’all encountered while doing the project!

  3. School as we know it is extinct, I put forth a plan where every 4 or 5 year old gets a laptop. Every county or parish has an advisor. Kids are allowed to ask one question a month till 14. After that one question a year and if not a good one they are immediately put in work pool. Where they get to work and learn skills at same time. No freaking college funds or scholarships etc.

    Anyhow relax a bit. I think Termite has got all the tools and experience to survive.

    Have the kid print the name of the book on a note pad. I’ll bet Amazon has it.. Heck I’ll buy the thing. Got to pay back dues I earned as a 7 year old during the battle over adult books at the ‘public’ library.

  4. As a former educator, well…this could lead to a rather long tirade. So let’s just keep it simple and say that Louisiana and No Child Left Behind hasn’t been a blazing success. But, then again, can’t say it’s been a blazing success in a whole lot of places unless the goal was to make the educational process as frustrating and wholly “un-fun” as possible for teachers and students alike. And with that, all I’ve got to say is…bring on the Social Studies baby!!!

  5. Diane told me about your blogging website while I was down in Louisiana this summer, but of course like all things in my life, I was slow to getting around and reading it. Anyway… it looks like I’ve picked a winner to comment on today. As a teacher (and not one from Louisiana), I have to say that Diane is right on. It seems that during my 15 years of teaching I’ve seen the educational process goes from child centered to government centered. It seems that even in the great state of Indiana our government thinks that they have figured out the right way to educate our students. I can tell you first hand they so have NOT figured that out. I am almost 100% sure that most of those gov. dudes in Indy have not taught one student or taken one education course. Anyway…as a positive note you should be encouraged that your son is applying his learning to real life situations. You’re right…learning about gaming and its reaction times isn’t super scientific, but it is real life and I’m sure it was fun for your son. He did science, learned, and had fun. That is a win win situation. As far as the textbook…you probably can blame the fact that the teacher will not send home a second copy to you because some less caring and less responsible parent lost the loaned out copy. Welcome to public education! Don’t blame the teacher…she/he is only human and sometimes we teachers are barely keeping our heads above water. Wow…sorry for the long post. Wordiness has always been my gift. 🙂

    1. Welcome back to the bayou, Kristina! Did you take a ride on my boat? Okay, I won’t blame the teacher, but I will blame the school system. If the kids can’t bring home a text, how can we help them? When all they bring home are homework sheets, with no explanations, there is no way to help them. This whole school adjustment is hard on both of us! Truth is, I’d like to just bring him back home to be my deckhand again! Come back and be wordy any time, K! BW

  6. As a grandmother of 9, I can say: Been there, done that and oh Lord still have lots to go!! This computer was purchased to help with homework & science projects in particular. I like Termites chosen theme. Hope he does well on it & hope it all levels out for him in public school.
    I agree with Diane about education now. Too much emphasis on those government required tests and too much time spent preparing the kids for them instead of being able to really teach them what they need to learn in order to head out in the world and make it. I certainly would not wish to be a teacher. I would be willing to bet that if the public had been able to vote on TAKS (I think that is the right title) and the no child left behind bills, they would never have gotten off the ground. I always believed in “You pass the grade by hard work and study or you go back thru it”!

    Hope your day has settled a bit and you can sit down, relax and let the night sounds soothe you. As far as phone calls go, if it is important, they will call back.

    1. Our Government has effectively taken all creativity out of a teacher’s hands by making them “teach for the (Gov.) test”. Well, I just deleted a tirade. Better quit before it really gets nasty!

      1. Yes, and it makes me very sad that I’ve compromised my son to a system that might not prepare him any better than I could, and without all the hassles. Please, educators, don’t be offended. Just remember, Dotter is 27, has a Master’s of Music and never went to school until she set foot in college. Oh, and did I mention Magna Cume Laude or however all those smart Latin people spell it. Help, Dotter, please!!!

  7. Check with the school library, they usually keep extra texts book in there and most school libraries are also public but it’s never really advertised. The idea of looking at Amazons a good one too or MrCoach suggested getting the name and publisher and calling the publisher to buy a second.
    His board looks really good and what a neat subject. He will do fine, it will just take some adjustment.

  8. How did the Science Fair turn out? Will Termite be moving on to the District competition?
    I won 2nd place in the Science Fair Jr. Division competition when I was in the 2nd grade. (I did have a partner, but frankly she didn’t contribute much) I still have the medal. I think our project stood out because of our topic (Travel). We were about the only one’s that didn’t have a “Baking Soda/Vinegar Volcano”. LOL! Today’s projects are much more sophisticated. The days of World Book Encyclopedias and Stencils are long gone!

    1. Yes, things have changed. There are no moving parts allowed. No experiments allowed. All must be done using a Science Project Log Book, purpose, hypothesis, materials list, procedure, data, results, etc. etc. and all to the “T”, or you get disqualified. You can’t even write on the board. Everything must be pre-printed and glued on. But anyways, he got an Honorable Mention, and thanks for asking!!!

  9. I have heard more than one parent tell me that honors classes are just an excuse for more homework. And, being a teacher who has taught a few home schooled children – I find that they have a hard time with deadlines. It’s understandable. At home you can take all day. At school, the day ends at a certain time. I have found traveling full time and being able to wander at will and do what you want……it’s much more enjoyable than having a deadline on what you want to see and do. I think that learning is the same way.

  10. There might be copyright issues, but teachers suffering late book arrivals, or shortages, can photocopy (or scan into a PDF file) the assigned reading.

    Old computers are practically free, and a community recycling group should be able reformat and load Operating Systems . . . Microsoft or Redhat would be in direct competition to allow new licenses on refurbished machines. OpenOffice is a free suite of programs almost identical to WORD.

    Speaking of education, local municipalities should be challenged to repeal Property Taxes and scale back government mandated education. With big screen TV’s so affordable and Internet becoming ubiquitous (satellite access reaches rural areas), grades 1 through 8 being diverted to Homeschooling should become the next cottage industry.

    The Property Tax is Unconstitutional . . . Property is an Individual Right and is undermined by governmental ‘rents’ we are forced to pay . . . a large source of funding for public schools. It is a ‘blank check’ and we don’t have control how it is spent. If you can’t afford raised assessments, you lose your property or are forced to sell.

    If we were billed for our children’s schooling, I think PTA meetings would be much better attended . . . no more esoteric classes and weird liberal certification requirements.

    1. You make some very good points, and I’m wondering how someone so well versed in these things ended up down the bayou on this blog! Thanks for the idea for the next cottage industry that will make me millions, right? LOL!