is supposed to be a day of rest, but that never seems to happen in this household.

Ashley and I crawled out of bed early, well just before 9 am actually. Anytime before 9 on a weekend is early in my book. Quick breakfast then into the garden. Yes you read correctly – we gardened. Admittedly it was not the whip round half a dozen garden beds, pulling out weeds as we went, mulching liberally and collapsing into a pile. Instead it was contimplating the Climbing Wedding Day Rose (which is loving it’s new home at Woodhenge) and trying to work out the best way to tie it up without being impaled on its thorns. Then we pulled out all the “corn” that had selfseeded in Woodhenge. I thought it was corn, it certainly looked like it, but not a cob in sight, just huge seed type heads that I had nightmares of spreading all over the garden. On to plant some trees – three Jacarandahs, one Bottle Tree and two “Tyntynder Bushes”. I think I have well and truly recovered from my fear of planting big trees, if today’s effort was anything to go by. Some red cannas were also moved. The had the termerity to start growing in the pile of compost that one of my oak trees is growing in. How dare they! I want my Oaks, not more blasted cannas. So now they are residing in the garden bed along the drive. By that stage it was nearly 11.30 am and the weather is HOT with not a rain cloud in sight unfortunately that it was time to finish.

I have had lots of ideas of what I want to do on my class block, but the homework issue – Elise’s homework that is, keeps getting in the road. The block is starting to speak to me in dribs and drabs, but I think it might actually work. This weeks lesson was more “comfortable” for me. Creating embellishments with sprays of flowers, lace etc. I’m starting to get into the swing of it all – I hope.

Ohh before I forget Elise says to say thank you all for your wonderful best wishes for her birthday. She was so pleased that others had thought of her on her special day. Apart from about half an hour of homework in the morning, she took the day off and I think relaxed for the first time in weeks. It must have been the year of no one knowing what to buy her, because nearly everyone gave her money – so much in fact she now has nearly $100. I know where to go for a loan…lol. There are a few things that she particularly wants to buy, a mobile phone being top of the list, but she is waiting and thinking about things before spending it. Maybe all my lectures about how savings come before spending are starting to sink in…vbg.

She had a wonderful day, with emails and phone calls from family just for her. The only dissappointing spot was the parents in law who turned up late for their duty visit, said Happy Birthday to her, then proceeded to ignore her and lavish all their attention on Nicola and James. Elise was so upset that she ended up going to her father for a hug and kept asking him “what is wrong with me, why don’t they like me?”, crying the whole time. Let me just say, I’m really glad by that stage the grandparents had left cause they wouldn’t have liked what I would have told them. I’m trying not to be angry, but it’s bloody hard at times. They just don’t realise what an effect their attitude has on Elise, either that or they don’t care. But enough on that subject.

Yesterday was an expensive day and not just because it was Elise’s Birthday. The expensive part came when we had to go and buy her a new laptop computer to do her homework on. Yes you guessed it, the majority of work is now done on the computer – the teachers all expect any work to be handed in ie assignments, essays etc, typed. Their excuse is that they can’t read hand writing. I’m so angry about this, it seems to be the lazy way out, but there is nothing I can do and she has to use all the tools available just to keep up with the work load. So $1000 (and a mild heart attack later) Elise has a new laptop that is linked in with our main computer. She can now access the internet, has email and can print on the good printer anything she needs to. Yes there are restrictions on her internet use, as there are with her email. If she abuses the priviledge of the world wide web, then she loses it. Acutally I don’t think there will be any problems, but have put in place the rules just in case. We seem to collect computers like some people collect televisions. The old computer that the kids use, just wasn’t keeping up with Elise’s needs, so it is relegated to the rumpus room again so they can play games on it, while the new lap top lives in Elise’s room.

As for the homework – well after teaching her to take notes and write a speech, Elise wrote her essay and we went over it this afternoon together. It was really quite good. Only some things needed to be changed or added to. It was difficult to know where to stop. I know what I would expect to see in an essay on Nikola Tesla (electrical engineer) but what does the teacher expect? It was also difficult to let her put it in her words, no mine, so it sounds like Elise has done all the work. Well actually she has, it is just she has had some guidence. Goodness knows how some kids get on if their parents can’t or won’t help them with their homework. Anyway the end result is she thanked me (yes thanked me – yipee…lol) and says that it made more sense doing it my way, than the muddled way they were taught in primary school. As you can imagine I’m feeling pretty good right about now. (doing the happy dance…lol)

I guess the best part about all this homework and upset with the family (which occurs the rare times they see her) is that Elise and I are communicating. At last I have the daughter that I knew was there, but couldn’t see for the moods and grumpiness. We are talking and laughing together and I even get to hug her occassionally. A tiny part of me even hopes she might be beginning to appreciate her poor old mum…lol. Whatever it is I’m not complaining, just recjoicing that it is happening.

I hope your weekend is as good as ours.


5 thoughts on “Sunday

  1. I’m glad that you basically had a good weekend despite expenses and some family disappointments. How can people be so cruel.

    Re the teachers’ comments that they can’t read handwriting – it’s a poor excuse, yet it is understandable and it’s only going to get worse. For a start, I don’t think children are being taught to form letters correctly in the first place, and the way some people hold a pen, I am only surprised that they can write at all. However, now that so much work is being done on computers, handwriting is only going to deteriorate. I used to be an invigilator for university exams. I would watch students almost in agony after trying to write a three hours exam paper, and after looking at some of the writing, I pitied those who had to try and decipher it.

  2. You’re right Alice, they aren’t taught how to form the letters anymore. Elise has gone from presenting work in an “arty” form, to just getting it down on paper as fast as possible. I can see a time when she too will be in agony trying to write for exams. Her hands just won’t be able to cope. As for holding the pen – you should see the way Nicola holds hers. By the time we noticed (yep not really with it at times) it was too late, the habit was there. What made it worse was her teacher let her get away with it. We were told – it is better not to interrupt the way they write by adjusting their grip – they only go backwards with their work. Hmmmm have to wonder about that.

  3. Yep, they can all type and send text messages faster than you can blink, but have you seen the way they “write” electronically? This is how they are going to learn to spell, and it horrifies me. I’m always on Gabbie’s case about it. Her spelling is atrocious because of that.

    I now of a private school here in QLD that insists that all kids have a laptop to take to school! It’s ridiculous really, I think they should be focusing on teaching these kids the basics. We all managed at school without computers didn’t we?

  4. Flossy Elise isn’t allowed to take her computer to school – school rules, but there are computers all over the school for her to use. Elise’s spelling is also horrible and I’m on her back about it too.

  5. You are a wonderful Mother. Caring and interested in every part of your daughter’s life. She sounds like a sweet girl.

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