Category Archives: School
No, this isn’t another post about MLP the show. This is literally about MY little pony, Sariah.
She starts school on Friday (8/15/2014) at Carmel Elementary School. I just can’t believe that she is going to school! Just look at the difference in the pictures above and below this paragraph, the difference is striking.
So, why the title you say? Well, Carmel’s mascot is the Colt (which is horse related even though it is a male gender specific title). Anyways. My filly is growing up! I can’ t make this post too long or I’ll have to get a new keyboard after this one is water damaged from the tears.
Her teacher is Ms. Winters and seems to be a good teacher from her bio and the one day I’ve seen her deal with students. Also, its nice to see she has a blog, Winters Kinderland, though I do wish it was a WordPress one and it was active. Carmel has a Shutterfly page to display art from the students, Click Here. It’s only two years old I think so it still has that new school smell!
The first day of school was a meeting with the parents and the kids. Its crazy to see how different the kids are with things like coloring and talking and even just the size difference. I know every parent likes to think their child is perfect and the smartest thing around but honestly I think Sariah fit right into the upper middle of the class. I don’t know if this is right or not but I think something could be made of taking those pictures from that day and keeping them until graduation and seeing how the kids ended up. Something could be said to the importance of the traits and habits they learned even before they entered school. There were those kids who scribbled all over the paper and talked while the teacher was talking but too there were the kids who sat and colored within the lines silently the whole time. You can see in the picture below Sariah was more interested in the other kids and the teacher’s talk to the parents than coloring.
Anyways, that’s it I guess. I’m old now. My little pony (Kissy Twinkletoes) is in school. I just hope I can help out in the classroom and make sure Ms. Winters has all the help she needs. The only thing I dread now is the fund raising! I hated it when I was in school, I hated it since then when other kids would ask me to buy stuff, and I’m sure I’ll hate it when Sariah is peddling the cheap crap. Do they just sell the prizes? I’d rather do that.
Sorry for that little rant but this is it. Sariah is in Kindergarten. It is so hard to believe that one day we hit that point from time going so slow and everything everyone is telling you is just because they’re “old” to being that old person talking about time going so fast. IT DOES! OMG, IT SO DOES.
Hope you all had a great Halloween season, we did!
This is the last post of this season starting off with Wednesday’s Trunk or Treat at Springfield High School. The students of SHS decorated their cars and handed out candy and manned some booths with games for all the kids of the community. The Fire Department, Police, SWAT, EMS and other city groups showed up and let the kids see their equipment and handed out candy.
One of the coolest costumes we saw this season has got to be the transformer at Trunk or Treat.
But I think the best part of the whole night was being able to see Kylee and Macey again. Its been so long since we’ve been to library but they are both in school so they wouldn’t be there anyways.
On Thursday, 10/31, we made our way to Little Country School House for their Halloween party. Chelsie, April, and Crystal dressed up as Flora, Fauna, and Merriweather (respectively) but they didn’t get a picture! Can you believe it.
This was so much fun. Seeing kids from those who can’t walk all the way up to the Pre-K dressed up in their costumes was a treat. As part of the fun each class went to every other class to sing songs and show off their costumes. The songs were cute; Five Little Pumpkins, Ghosts and Goblins, I’m a Jack-O-Lantern, etc.
The Pre-K classes made our way to the School-Age room and got ready for the food! While we set up the food Ms. Chelsie got the kids dancing to Just Dance on the Wii to pass the time. The food was pretty good and most of the kids ate up the PB&J sandwiches, the mummies (pigs in a blanket), pizza rolls, and the fruits and veggies too.
Thursday night we made our way to the Clarksville Mall for their trick-or-treating event.
I don’t think I need to say this but it was CROWDED! We showed up about 530, it started at 500 and the candy at some/most of the places was gone already. Sariah was having fun so we stayed and I wanted to see the Halloween magic show. A guy from Halloween Express showed the kids the length of the average small intestine, the magic of dry ice, and confused a few with the open/closed circuit experiment. Below is a picture of his dry ice being dumped into a pan of boiling water.
The very best part about the mall that made up for the crowd was seeing so many different costumes. one of my favorite is pictured below. The girl is Abbey Bominable from Monster High and her mom and dad were both Yetis, so cute.
I had to work on Friday, Sariah and Crystal got to go to Ben and Bella’s house to trick or treat around their neighborhood. Sariah was Bride Rapunzel, Ben was Darth Maul, and Bella was Ambassador Amidala. From the reports they had a great time and even better time with the sleep over that night.
Alright last but not least. I must wish my sister a big Happy 27th Birthday. She spent it dressed as a Princess Buzz Lightyear? apparently, good on ya!
I am going to end this post with a list of some of the costumes we saw this year, there were of course multiples of so many of these but I tried to get the gist of them:
Gypsie, Astronaut, Female captain America, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Snow White, Crocodile, Dragon, Bat man and Batgirl and robin, Hula girl, Sub zero, Scooby Doo, NASCAR driver, Doctor, Tiger, Clawdine, Frankie, and Abbey from monsters high, A couple of Witches, Orange m&m, red power rangers, Pink ranger, Wolverine, Cruella deville, Wonder Woman, Peterpan, Superman, Ironman, mermaids, Firefighter Spider, Ghost, Spider-Man, Cleopatra, Sully and mike wazowski, Cheerleader, Raggedy Ann, Cat in the hat, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Leia, Darth Vader, Doc McStuffins, Dog, sheep, Dinosaur, Sock monkey Pirate, Cardinals baseball player, GI joe, Woody, Flora fauna and merriweather, Minecraft Steve, Plankton, Fixit Felix, Katniss everdeen, lalaloopsie, Red angry bird, Green screen man, Rainbowdash, Cindyloo who, Flapper, Ice girl from monster high, Tinkerbell, Flex, Sally from nightmare before Christmas, Minions upon minions, Piglet eyeore Winnie the Pooh, Uncle Si, Sponge bob, Jake never land pirate, Red riding hood, Geo and Milli in a wagon decorated as oomi car, and princess buzz lightyear…. there were so many more but I was taking notes on my phone so I’m sure I missed a few.
Another field trip with Little Country School House, this time to an actual field!
Just kidding but only slightly. This time, Ms. Chelsea, Ms. Elizabeth, and myself took the Shining Stars to Honeysuckle Hill Farm. I had a great time helping out and I’m pretty sure the kids had fun even if they froze their little fingers off. It was a pretty chilly day but when the sun came out it was quite nice.
The farm is a great place to take the kids around this time of the year. We were able to make our way through a corn maze following along with the story of Spookley the Square Pumpkin (or Squarely as one of the kids kept calling him). Spookley tells the tale of a pumpkin that didn’t fit in with the other pumpkins because he was square and they were round. Through a series of events his differences became a strength and help to save the other pumpkins leading to the farmer planting more of the seeds that produced Spookley. The story ends with the farm containing pumpkins in a myriad of shapes and colors. This story is a great one for the younger kids to teach a lesson about bullying and fitting in. In the picture below Ms. Chelsea reads one of the story blocks to the kids.
After the Spookley Corn Maze we made our way to the animal pens and were able to see chickens, goats, rabbits, cows, and pigs. In the picture below I captured the parents lining the kids up to take pictures of them. I like pictures like this, those that look behind the scenes. The pictures we take of these kids will be wonderful but I wanted to show what the kids see. Sometimes we don’t think about it but we as parents can be overwhelming especially in groups like this. We had probably 10 parents who, understandably, wanted to get a picture of their kid, but this can be a bit to much sometimes for the kids.
After the animal pens we made our way to the Learning Barn. A nice lady talked to the kids to teach them a little bit about pumpkins; where they come from, how the farmers grow them, and how the bees help with the pollination. After talking about the pumpkins she made her way to talking about the bees. Explaining that amazingly one bee only produces about 1/20th of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime and 1 pound of honey is produced from over 2 million flowers’ nectar! From the learning barn we made our way to the long awaited lunch time.
After lunch we finally got to get on the hay ride and journey over to the pumpkin patch!
I have no memory of ever going to a pumpkin patch so I was in the same frame of mind as some of the kids. I must admit that the sight when we turned the corner and exited the wooded trail to the patch was a bit underwhelming but it was fun to see the kids light up and to see all the little pumpkins scattered on the ground. Everyone made their way around the field to find their very own pumpkin. I will admit one more thing. Even though the group was only supposed to make their way out of the farm with one pumpkin each, I was handed a few pumpkins by kids who come to find out also handed a pumpkin to some of the other parents. So, I got home with 4 pumpkins but I don’t think Honeysuckle Hill will mind because I have no doubt that we’ll be going back again in the coming years.
Sariah is five today. I really can’t believe it but its here. The time has gone by so fast and thankfully I have very few regrets. I am going to use this post to blog my thoughts and memories from the past week which has been eventful. Starting off with a field trip with Sariah’s Pre-K class, a dinner with family for her birthday, going to the doctor, and her birthday.
On this birthday, as many do, my thoughts turn to the future. This blog is as much for me now as for the future. I want to urge everyone, but most especially my family and friends, to start a blog or journal for yourself. The release of getting so much out of your head but knowing that it isn’t gone forever is awesome. You don’t have to post it on Facebook, you don’t have to make it public at all, and it doesn’t have to have a reason more than to have a release for the thoughts in your head; it can just be your very own pensieve.
It is called a Pensieve. I sometimes find, and I am sure you know the feeling,
that I simply have too many thoughts and memories crammed into my mind.“
I have just one more suggestion for my friends and family. I am writing Sariah letters that I will give to her when she gets older with advice and memories from her childhood and our growing as a family. I had the idea to write her letters but I think I will also send her birthday cards. I will mail them to her and then keep them in a lock box so they are kept safe and secure until it is time for her to open them. I am going to write DO NOT OPEN UNTIL ______ (either an age, date, or grade) on the back of the envelopes and I am confident that it will be a great experience in the future for her and for us when we open these time capsules of knowledge. If you would like to mail anything to her please do but warn me so I can hide it away if you want me too. Thanks to Grammy and Grampy I have a fire/water proof safe that will be perfect for this. I do wish I had started this from when she was born but I think any effort we put into this will be appreciated someday.
I got the chance to go on a field trip with Sariah and her Shining Stars class from Little Country School House to the Customs House Museum here in Clarksville, TN. We had a great time! Myself and another parent rode the LCHS bus with the two teachers and the students and a few other parents met the group at the museum.
The Customs House is not a regular museum, it has stuff for everyone. The main floor is dedicated to a couple art galleries and a gallery for the memorabilia and recognition of several sports stars from our area. Connected to the museum is the old post office that is currently being renovated to bring it back to its glory days. Downstairs is the big part for the kids, though. On the lower level of the museum they have a a train exhibit, Bubble Cave, McGregor’s Market, some physics demonstrations, and toys for all ages.
We began our trip in the train exhibit. The kids loved it. The scale trains are set up with multiple interactive parts for visitors to play with and going around and around the exhibit pushing the buttons all day would have suited several of the kids just fine. Sariah and Liya had a great time showing each other the buttons and what they did in the exhibit. After leaving the train room we went upstairs to the art exhibits to read a book and look through the art.
Miss Chelsea read the book Duck In The Truck and then we were to look through the galleries for pictures with parts of the story. This was less successful than I think they wanted it to be; the kids liked the story but weren’t into the ‘scavenger hunt.’ The art galleries were okay, though my tastes don’t like interpretive or ‘fuzzy’ artwork they did have several realistic paintings and great photographs. Of course the children were not very impressed by the art and weren’t entertained until we got into the sports room. Included in the sports room are Pat Summit, Jeff Purvis, and of course Wilma Rudolph. The most exciting part of the trip was when we made it to the kids area.
The Bubble Cave was lots of fun. It had several rings in differing sizes and shapes to see the bubbles that could be made from each. They even had one large enough and made for someone to stand inside and bring the bubble up and around you. Sariah had a great time in here even after most of the kids were done with it. Next, we visited McGregor’s Market. This store is made for this age group of kids. It has real food containers (minus the real food) with shopping carts, shelves, and a play kitchen. The physics toys were ramps and buckets made for the kids to roll golf balls down differing ramps and see the angles, speeds, and flight distances they achieve. My personal favorite part because the kids are playing and not actually aware they are learning, but I could tell they were. They would not get a ball to go into a hole or make it over a hill and the other kids would say ‘you have to go higher’ or ‘you need to go back more.’ It was awesome. After playing we had lunch time and I was amazed at just how quiet it got in the lunch room after all the noise from playing. My favorite moment from the entire trip has got to be from the picture below. Ella (middle) fell asleep on the ride back to school and leaned over onto Sariah, Sariah leaned over onto me to let her friends be comfortable, and precious little Liya just leaned over to rest onto Ella. I’m glad I got the picture.
Wednesday Sariah had a surprise when we arrived at Cracker Barrel in Rivergate. Grammy and Grampy, Austin and Kyra (AKA Snow, AKA Hope), Granna, Diana, and Nanny all showed up for a dinner for Sariah. We had a blast, I know that most of the people reading this were actually there, but she had a great time and loved getting to see everyone. I was excited to have everyone in one place again. The meal was great and the service was even better. A big thank you to Michael and Ben for servicing our table of 10 with more speed and good attitude than I was expecting. Not saying anything against Cracker Barrel, any large group can be daunting and easily turn a mood sour like the guy who refused to sit in the same section as us because of ‘the noisy kids’. Two things to this guy; One, we were leaving when you saw us, and two, there was only ONE kid and she wasn’t noisy!
We made it home with more gifts than she needed but isn’t that always the story with a five year old’s birthday party. A Sophia the First castle, a Princess Scooter, a Doc McRiah jacket and hat, a marble physics toy, a gift card for Build-A-Bear, puzzles, and probably other things I can’t think of.
The Sophia castle was fun to play with and to put together; there are so many little parts! Sariah was so excited that she was able to put the puzzles together mostly by herself, and that the Sophia ones are heart-shaped. The doctor’s coat and hat will be fun when she realizes what they are; she hasn’t really thought about it being for Doc McStuffins and dress up. I think for now her favorite is going to be the scooter. She zooms around on it thinking she’s going ‘real fast’ even if she’s inside on the carpet with the cat walking faster than she is riding. Diana warned me that I might need to take a wrench to it and tighten it up but I don’t think so, its running great. I was excited to put the marble thing together because I remember having one like it when I was a kid. I remember having so much fun trying to get the different ramps to work together to basically make the most noise while the marble is working its way down. Sariah and I had fun attempting to put it together according to the directions but they were flawed so we went our own way even though she made sure to let me know it didn’t look like the one on the box. So with all of the new toys coming in I hope that in the next week or two I can get in her room and get some toys together that I can donate to goodwill.
The Big Day
Today is the day. I’m at work and Sariah’s at home sick with mama. Had to make a run to Premier on Friday instead of going to school and turns out she had burst an eardrum. She hadn’t mentioned her ear hurting only some stuffy nose and a little cough. Even the last few days she hasn’t seemed to feel too bad, riding her scooter around, but nights are bad with being unable to lay down with out coughing. But this isn’t a post about being sick.
Crystal and I got Sariah a Nabi. Its a great little thing for someone her age in the era we are living in. It is a technology based world and this is perfect for the kids who already know how to use phones and computers before we knew how to count. It is basically a kid’s iPad. It has the ability to download games, books, and most of the apps available to the ipad, it was a great find.
That’s about it. Its been a great week and I am so filled with awe every time I think about how far Sariah has come since being born at Maury Regional, sent to Vanderbilt NICU, and everything to this point. I love her more than anything I have ever thought possible and I expect a bright and wonderful future for her and our family because of her. I hope you will all join me in the time capsule letters. Thank you all for your help and advice in raising such a wonder little girl and please stick around because I’m sure we’ll need more of both in the future.
Thank you for reading; my subject today is controversial to say the least, but as a parent raising my daughter who will soon enter the public school system I feel I must voice my opinion. A debate rages in our community (both locally and nationally) that our children are only being presented one side of an argument and that we owe it to ourselves, our children, and to the future generations to allow equal time in the classroom for alternative theories to be taught, but do we really?
I, of course, am speaking of Intelligent Design. The proponents of ID are trying their hardest to present the argument as science based, but at its very core it is founded to teach the Bible and the God of Abraham to our children. They would have us believe that Intelligent Design, or Biblical Creationism, deserves the right to be heard by the students of our schools just as much as Darwin’s THEORY of evolution. This is a blatant and vulgar misuse of the word theory and they know and exploit it. If we were to follow their logic there are a few more ‘theories’ that need to be added to the list that would deserve equal time and attention if we were to allow Intelligent Design.
Our science classrooms lack any information on other scenarios for the creation of our world; the time we have given to Darwin should be divided between Young Earth Creationism, Old Earth Creationism, Last Thursday Creationism, the creation legends of ancient Egypt, ancient Rome, the Vikings, the Mayans, the creation from Muslim literature, the creation story from Hindu, and all of the hundreds of other MYTHS of creation.
You may laugh at this if you wish, you may think I am only here to be humorous but I must tell you that we are on a slippery slope. If we allow one religion into our science classrooms we must allow them all and it will not stop there, we must then allow equal time to any idea that someone comes up with. Our science classrooms and our dear teachers are here to teach SCIENCE, not mythology, leave that to the Social Studies and History.
The science classroom is for ideas that can be investigated; for ideas that are empirical and measurable; for ideas that can, if necessary, be proven wrong. Religion allows for no investigation, measure, reason, or fallibility. Science is generally intended to be as objective as possible in order to reduce biased interpretations of results, looking at the many different denominations and religions that our world supports, obviously, the same cannot be said of religion. Biased interpretation is arguably the fundamental building block of Intelligent Design and many other of the “controversies” I mentioned.
Many people would, quite correctly, have the argument debated on the grounds of religion in our classrooms bringing up the first amendment to the Constitution and the Establishment Clause. In Everson v. Board of Education Justice Hugo Black wrote:
The “establishment of religion” clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion to another … in the words of Jefferson, the [First Amendment] clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between church and State‘ … That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.”
Obviously, the Establishment Clause of the Constitution will not allow for the invasion of religion into our public schools, but the argument of allowing ID and their mythological beliefs about the origin of our world and ourselves need not be debated only on the grounds of the Constitution but on the validity and merit of their “science.”
The so-called evidences they use to reinforce their ideas have been found to be based on sloppy and or out-dated science and are held to be infallible truths. The popular online community Talk Origins has compiled a list of creationist claims and a response to each; to be found here. The community at Answers in Genesis has actually compiled a list of arguments that should be avoided because of the overwhelming evidence against those arguments; this can be found here. I would not dare to ask you to take the word of Talk Origins or myself for each claim as true, in fact quite the opposite, I urge you to investigate the claims of ID and the creationists for yourself.
Thank you for your time. I hope this finds you well and logic and reason dictate your response.
So, Sariah did not get in to Kindergarten as an early admission.
With these results comes a great deal of confrontation between my wife and I. She feels that Sariah is more than ready with the knowledge of colors, shapes, letters, and numbers. I agree on this point but my main contention is her maturity level. I can not understand why my wife does not see this the same way as I do, she claims that just last year (if the birthday deadline had not been adjusted) Sariah would be going in to Kindergarten with no fights. Yes, maybe last year but the deadline has been changed and for good reason.
The admission deadline was no doubt moved so that children would be able to mature just a bit more before compulsory attendance takes over their lives. My wife, being a teacher, should agree with this point whole-heartedly. She has had many kids in her classes that are just not ready to be in the grade they were in, but thanks to “No-Child-Left-Behind” no one can fail a grade and must just keep going, getting farther behind, and bringing down the class. I firmly hold that this is the reason that they moved the deadline and I think that a little more maturity and home learning will not hurt anyone.
So today is Sariah’s assessment for kindergarten. I have so many thoughts going through my head about what is going to happen. The letter from CMCSS was totally lacking in information, turns out this assessment could take up to two hours! This seems excessive to me. We aren’t the only ones here either. I think they have a couple of kids here at one time so that they can feed off of one another and relax quicker. No parents allowed and Sariah almost threw a fit about that but she went with the other kids, so proud.
I will edit when I learn more….
So, Sariah came out with the two other kids….no one cried! yay! I thought we might have been the crier but she didn’t, so proud. Anyways, in the car on the way back to work I ask her about what they talked about, turns out they didn’t talk about anything, they just played with blocks. So I ask her specifically about parts I knew to be in the assessment; colors, shapes, numbers, letters, writing, name recognition, etc…..
nope none of them, she said they didn’t talk about any of these things. My only thought, these ladies are good. The teachers that were assessing them did so with them not even knowing that they were answering questions. Or at least I hope thats what they did. We don’t get results for 5-10 days in the form of a letter.
I am split, I know she knows letters and numbers but she just isn’t socialized very much. She is an only child who has grown up with adult family around, not too many friends to play with everyday. Thank goodness for our library group or she’d have even less. Thank you Heather, Angela, and Dannie for letting this dad into your group with Sariah. I’ll definitely update when we get our letter informing us of the school board’s decision.