Super Mom

School

Dyslexia

Finally.

After trying to find out what Zander sees when he reads I finally understand. Last night he explained it to me in such a logical way. This is not the first time I asked: just the first time I understood.

I want to explain how he sees it. Just maybe it could help someone else.

Basically he sees the spaces between words first. Then he sees letters between the spaces that are scrambled in a way.

Somewhat like this:

This si how he seses teh dswor hatt he rades.

He has to unscramble words before reading them.  I am glad that I now understand why he battles but it saddens me to such an extend.
I can never fix that. I am just glad he doesn’t have to cope with it at school anymore, where the biggest bullies were the teachers.

I love you, Zander! More than all the scrambled words you can make.


Just a short story

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To anyone else, this is a photo of a child writing a story.

To me it is so, so much more.  It’s my dyslexic son, that uses spaces between his words. That’s writing in paragraphs. My son who put thought into the story.  He took the time to think of a good introduction and ending.

He wasn’t worried about the spelling or how quickly he had to finish.  There is no rush when you are a home schooled and spelling is helped by the cellphone.

By removing those two factors, he could focus on what is truly important when writing a short story.

I don’t know if we are getting it 100% right all the time.  I don’t.

I look at that though and it seems like we are getting something right!

 


Apparently I baby my kids

What a week.

My little son, who has the smallest heart, was broken this week.

Broken bones can be healed.  A broken heart not so easily.

I stood outside the school grounds and saw him fall apart.  I watched him stand up and just break.

I wasn’t even planning on being there but something just said to me that I should stay.

After playing thirteen games for the A team, after being in the starting 15, after playing full games the last 5 games, he wasn’t chosen to be in the team.

There was absolutely no reason for him to even think he wouldn’t be chosen.  The little boy who was chosen in his place was ALWAYS the reserve player.

He stood there, in front of the “chosen ones”  and my son broke.  Burst out crying. The other 3 boys expected it and handled it much better.

He has the smallest heart but that whole heart is rugby.  He loves rugby with every fiber in that little body.

I can say many bad things but will decline to do so.  As it is I was called into the principal’s office.

I was told that it is time for him to face disappointments. For me to allow him to grow up.

Firstly he is 10.

But most importantly there is a massive difference between being disappointed and being treated unfairly.  One can handle disappointment (like if they chose the team 13 matches ago and he wasn’t chosen then) and being treated unfairly, like now.

It’s like promising your employee that you will definitely give them a raise but by the time the raise is due, you call them in and fire them.

We were told that he would be in the team.  It was discussed in front of him that he would be the wing.

There is nothing they can do to fix it now.  The damage is done.

Maybe sorry?  Maybe I wish we did it differently?

Damage done though.

Love how we are now being treated at school.  Such a pleasure to not be greeted.  Not by the parents though.  They all feel for Zander, with some not agreeing with the decision at all.

I really have a hard time accepting the way it was handled.  It’s sad that the situation is where it is at now, since he has to try out for the team again next year.  With the same coach(es).  I do hope that they won’t hold this whole situation against him.  The boy who has been hurt by the way adults treated the situation.

He played B team rugby yesterday though.  He came off the field with the biggest smile on his face.  He played flank.  The position I have felt he should play all along.  The brothers, my dad, we all thought he would be a much better flank than a wing.  Well he proved it yesterday.  He made tackle after tackle.  Moved from tackle to tackle all in one play.

I was so proud of him.  His little heart is not healed but he has proved that his spirit can’t be broken.

Zander, we love you.  We are proud of you regardless.

If I baby my kids, I’m sorry.  I do know that I have awesome kids though.  Caring children. Children who respect others.

I’m proud of my children.  All of them.

Just don’t try to break one.  I will stand there like an idiot in the principal’s office and cry like a baby.  Unable to speak.  I will stand up for them though.  I will baby them if I have to. I will not let adults hurt them.


Blown away

When your dyslexic child gets 90 % for Afrikaans, you are blown away.  Seriously blown away.

I know it might sound as if it’s impossible for a dyslexic child to get 90% for a language subject but he did it!  It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have dyslexia.  It means that he studied and studied and did his spelling and knew everything off by heart.

He has an amazing Afrikaans teacher and between the two of them, he got 90%!

I don’t have any illusions. I know it won’t always be like this.  If you look at the photo below, you will understand why I’m so excited.

This is how he will start out with his first paper I give him to complete.  He knows all the answers but the spelling is almost to the point where I can’t read it.

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He will then have to work on spelling since he has to learn it off by heart.  There won’t always be so few to learn.  That’s when it will get really tough.

I am so very proud of him.

So very proud.


Decisions, tennis and little boys

Okay, I know he is not so little anymore.  However, I’m 41 and he is just 10, so he seems very little to me.

Little to be making decisions about not trying out for his school’s tennis team because it would interfere with his studying.  Studying that doesn’t come as easily as it does for other kids.  Unfortunately tennis is always on a Monday and they write tests on a Tuesday.  He just can’t.

I’m proud of him for realizing that he has to give up some things in order to do well at school.  It’s just tough seeing him make that decision.  He has taken tennis lessons since he was 5.  It’s a long time not to then try out for school team.

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Of course rugby is a totally different sport all together.   Not much that will stop him from playing there.  They are busy with try outs and I really hope that he makes the A team again.

It really is one of the big things that keeps him positive.

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School

2016

Imagine that

Two kids in High School.  Two kids in Primary School.  Difference between high school and primary school can be so big.

Big year for all my kids.

Zander is going to grade 4.  First year of exams (although they did write some exams in Grade 3)  More subjects.  More teachers.  A big year for him.  Especially to see how he will cope and how much the teachers are willing and able to help.

Kyla is going to a “new” school.  She was in La Hoff when she went to Grade 1 but that’s years ago.

Jason is going to Grade 8.  High School.  Orientation.  Two weeks of wearing weird clothes (work for us parents) and being treated like the youngest in the school.  Thankfully it doesn’t last long in their school.

Quintus is going to Grade 10.  Finally less exams but also more work.  I think that I’ll be more strict now.  Expect more maybe.

I’m anxious about tomorrow.  The holiday has been a long one.  I don’t know how I will get everyone up and ready in time.

We will cope.  We always do.

Here’s to 2016 and an awesome school year for all my kids.

You are loved.


School

At Jason’s grade 7 prizegiving the school played a song that spoke to me so deeply.  A song by a little girl who wasn’t invited to a school prizegiving.  A letter she wrote to her granny, asking if she will ever be good enough to be invited.

I am thankful beyond words that our school is different.  That every child really does count.  It still brought tears to my eyes.

If it were a different school, one of my kids wouldn’t be invited.  Not if it depended on academics.  Even at his own prizegiving I looked at his little face, so proud of the achievements he received for sport (mostly for his rugby team’s achievements) but no mention of academics.

Then I got the school reports and you know what?  I’m so proud.  Proud of every single one of my kids.

Right from the one that decided not to study at all and still … uhm… did WAY above expectation, to the one who worked hard at maths and accounting the last term and increased with a percentage of 20 % and 40 % respectively.  Also the one who has to worked harder than most and it showed.  He improved in every single subject. Our girl child is also did well and got an award for academics.

Proud.  Yes, beyond proud.

Was a good year.  I learned probably more than all of them combined.

Life lessons, that is what I learned.


I thought my head was going to pop off … like in cartoons

I don’t think I have ever been so irritated and close to a full blown melt-down as this morning.  Not even back when I was 5 and my brothers kept on poking me when we were in the car.

Sitting back and looking back at it, it probably was a bit comical and totally over the top but hey, at that moment you were safer when not near me.

Today the kids had to display their science task they had to do during the holidays.  Yes, it’s always been like that but holidays are for resting, especially when your kids are still in primary school.

Also, it is (according to the letter) supposed to be a family project but done by the child. Talk about a square circle.

Anyway, back to this morning.

As luck would have it, Jason had to be at school before 7.  Before Zander and I were ready to leave and therefor Tommie dropped him off.  I assumed incorrectly, that they had taken the project with them.

As I happily yay we are early for a change get into the car, I notice the massive board in the back of my car, clearly meant to be dropped off at school.  Well, hello, I have a bad back.  No way I would be carrying that.

Due to bad communication (not going to blame husband anyone) Jason and I had no idea where to get each other.  There I was, happily getting more and more pissed off and driving around the school, looking for my child and getting more aggrivated that he is NOT at any gate, so how on earth am I supposed to find him!!!  Phone him but he doesn’t answer (probably because it was locked up in his teacher’s room as it should be)

Finally I phone said husband (who is not to blame) to help me get to board set up in the school hall.  Uhm, hallo second problem.

THERE IS NO PLACE LEFT TO PUT THE DARN THING! It has always been a problem, so I know that you must get there early but really?  It’s not rocket science (pun intended)  If you have x amount of kids and z are doing a task with a friend, then you need a amount of tables.  Easy.  If there is not enough place, do it over two days.

Don’t let me loose it all because of a science fair project!

So, no place to put it, no child to show where it is and a teacher who is telling the kids to get back to class, since school started.  I might have loudly said that there is no way my child is going anywhere, once I find him, since I’m not standing with the board in my hand all day long.

Said child eventually pitched up.  Shame, poor kid was all stressed out himself.  Finally got the thing setup, in the middle of nowhere.  At least not on the stoep or a braai as previously option I thought of. Also might have said that loudly.

However

All is well that ends well.

They got better marks than last year and spent way less time on it.

Clearly less is more, ne’.


Should they or not

That is the current question many parents have been thinking about. The department of education is considering giving condoms to all children older than 10.
TEN!!!

Now look,  I understand where they are coming from.  I get why they want to do this but I am not impressed with the idea.

I have actually not read the detail but from what I can gather,  they want to give condoms to all the kids.

Why not just make it available?  Why give them something that will spark their interest to use it.  It’s like giving a child drugs to explain what it does.

Stupid idea.   It is my responsibility  to talk to my kids about sex. My boys know all about condoms. (Except Zander who is still too young)  They don’t  need to get one to “play” with.

When I get a sachet of coffee for free,  I drink coffee.  What do they think the kids will do with condoms?


Top ten

He has worked for this since the beginning of Grade 4.  It has been his dream.  His goal.

Jason is in a very strong age group.  Both academically as well as in sport.  It has often happened that the last 13 kids in the top 20 (20 children with the highest academic average) will have the same average percentage.

Jason has received gold for his academic achievements three years in a row.  Never top 10 though.

Until this term.  He finally got it!!

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I’m so proud of you Jay.  You did it!


End of the first term

So ends the first school term.  Another extremely short holiday (all holidays are too short!)

Things that stood out this term:

  • Zander has a great rugby coach.  I’m so happy for my little boy that he is in the A team.  That is is playing full back like he wanted to.  Rugby is his air.  I’m glad he gets to breath it.
  • Zander is in the school choir.  Zander = choir.  Never thought I would say those words in one sentence.
  • Zander has an awesome teacher.  She is amazing.  Patient.  Caring.  She takes the time to understand him.  I’m so thankful that he is in the same class that his brothers were in Grade 3 as well.
  • Jason did extremely well academically.  He is a very clever guy but probably did the best ever this term.  Will have to wait for the report to see but his test results were great.  I’m very proud of how motivated he is.
  • Jason loves his tennis.  I am sure he can’t wait for the next term so that school tennis matches can begin.  They are playing league games and hopefully they will do well.
  • I’m thankful that being a school prefect never went to his head.  He is just another guy at school wearing a white shirt.  However, I must say that he has taken his duties seriously.  Every prefect has a specific class where they help out until the teacher comes. He is at that class even if we are almost late and it is only for a couple of minutes.  The sweet thing is that he is Zander’s class prefect.
  • Quintus made the junior A team in hockey.  He is doing SO well.  After watching him play rugby for all those years, I thought it would feel almost wrong to watch the hockey but wow.  He has the same passion when he plays hockey.  Also no fear. A good thing when you are playing back, but still.  Scary to watch him defend like that.
  • He is loving the NW youth choir.  The friendships are for life.  There is that “inner circle”  feeling that you only ever get from choirs.  He is also pretty good at that, since he was asked to sing a solo part in a song.  He declined though.  I think being one of the young guys in the choir had a influence on his decision.

We will be enjoying this short holiday, since the second term is always hectic with sport and exams.


2015

Tomorrow is the real start to 2015 for me.

The day the kids go back to school

Tomorrow will be especially crazy since our Zander turns 9 and Jason has to be at the school by 6:45. He is also sleeping at my mom’s house , so they will be here bright and early tomorrow morning.

Hectic first day of school.

I hope that this will be another great year for the boys


Another year

When tax season ends, it feels like the end of the year.  Of course it is not near the end yet but it feels like it.  Probably because the school year normally ends the next week as well and we leave for Stilbaai soon after.

This year there will be no Stilbaai in December.  Tommie is working and that is why we went in September.

It doesn’t feel right though.  Feels like we should be going somewhere but we are not…weird…

Zander came home with homework for this last week of school.  If the department of education wasn’t involved with the exam papers this year, they would not even be at school.  So his mom decided that there would be no homework for him this week.

Quintus is on holiday already and poor Jason just started writing exams.  He is handling better than I would have as a child lol  Thankfully it is Departmental exams.  Not that difficult at all.

So best I get back to work, even though I would much rather be driving 12 hours to Stilbaai..


Goldilocks?

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Look…I don’t mind the names in all the Education Department school books.  Vusi, Tshepo, Ntabiseng.  I don’t mind. 

I do mind however when all of a sudden Goldilocks is a black girl?  This is not a racist issue.  This is just plain weird?  She is dark with blond hair?

Seriously?

This is taking it too far.  Nee wragtig.

Write a new story then if you want to.  A Rasta girl or whatever but to make Goldilocks black is just plain stupid.


Protected: So proud (2)

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So proud (1)

Jason

I did my best to prepare you for the worst.  I didn’t want you to get hurt.  Yet, I knew that I can’t protect you from all the hurt in the world and sometimes you have to face disappointment.  In my heart I hoped that you would be chosen.  I didn’t want you to get your hopes up, so I explained the system and why I thought you wouldn’t.  On the other hand, I didn’t want you to feel like you weren’t good enough.  That there is any reason why you should not be chosen.

Gosh parenting is not easy.

I decided to send you to school anyway….even if there was a chance that your name would not be called out.  Even though we were leaving for Stilbaai way too late.

When I saw you with that brown envelope and that smile that you were trying to hide on your face, I knew. I knew you were chosen as a leader for your school in 2015.

The one thing that you so badly wanted.  You wanted your photo on the wall of the school hall.  Just like your mom and uncle. 

I’m so happy for you.  I’m happy for you because it was important to you.  I’m happy for you because you deserve it.

I am confident that you will be a good leader.  That you will lead by example.

Remember that in the words of your headmaster:  “Just like flowers, some kids just bloom earlier than others” Never think you are better because we are all equal. 

Remember that you are special though.  Just as everyone else is.  Treat everyone with the respect they deserve.

You make me proud to be your Mamoeshka mom.

Funny how Juffrou Liz was the teacher who told me that I was going to be a prefect and also now with you the first teacher to congratulate me on you being chosen.

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When it is us

I’m involved at our school’s Bible study class on a Wednesday.  Actually not Bible study.  More like praise and worship.

I am often the one they talk to.  I don’t share what they tell me.  It’s private and very personal.  I would never do that.

What I can tell you though, is that we are the reason for most of their pain.  Us.  The parents. 

Sometimes we don’t mean to.  Unfortunately sometimes we do.  Sometimes we hurt without even knowing how much pain we have caused.

Sit back at night and think about your day.  Think if what you said had a negative impact on your child.  I’m not talking about when they don’t like discipline.  When they were told to help at home.

I’m talking about hurting them, most often with things we say.

You will never be good enough.  You will never get a job.  You are just like your dad (when you continually tell them how bad the father is) 

Just think.  If you were human and said hurtful things, just say sorry. 

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When they are away

Jason has left on his Grade 6 tour.  How quickly they grow up.

I so clearly remember mine.  I loved it.  I loved that Michael wrote me a letter, only to read when I really really missed home. I remember what we did.  Where we went.

This is pretty amazing since I don’t remember much detail about my childhood.

Now it’s Jason’s turn.  Quintus loved his Grade 6 tour and I hope that Jason will bring back only great memories too.  He got a new camera to take with, so I’m hoping he will bring memories captured on the camera. with as well.

We do miss the guy.  The middle guy. Home is not the same without the only middle guy we have.


Wessie

On Thursday night Wesvalia had their Sole (Grade 8) Concert. This is when the grade 8 kids are finally seen as a true Wessie and not just a Sool. They are then allowed to wear their school blazers.

Quintus had three roles to play.

First he was in the opening seen

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Then he was a lunch box thieve

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His last scene was a dance scene. Funny costume and moves.

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It was really well done and super funny, with the teachers and headmaster acting as well.

Once the headmaster spoke to the kids, they were allowed to put on their blazers and the headgirl and -boy rang the bell to welcome them as official pupils. That specific bells is there for matrices to ring on their last day of school. A final goodbye.

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I hope that he will mostly have good and happy memories by the time he rings that bell.

He seems to be loving High school. I can’t believe how much he has grown in the past 3 weeks.


Survived … So far

We survived week one. Look, next week is not a walk in the park either with The Grade 8s having to play dress-up at school all week, braai at La Hoff, La Hoff athletics, High School sokkie and working.

Quintus has settled in well at High School. First say was a bit rough but since then he has been loving it. They had their grade 8 camp this weekend and had a lot of fun.

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Jason was extremely stressed going back to school but once he got there he was a happy guy. He has some good friends in his class. Apparently a rather naughty class. Hope it doesn’t rub off on him lol Won’t be good for him

Zander has yet to meet his teacher. She was off sick last week. Hopefully she’ll be back on Monday.

All the books that boys have received so far have been covered.
Here’s to hoping for another good week!!


I know

I know everyone said that this would happen. That within a blink of the eye, they would grow up. That I should savor every moment.

And I did. I still do. Every second of every day.

Yet, within what seemed like months, my grade R and then Grade 1 little boy turned into the young man he is now.

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Today he finished his primary school years.

8 years gone by just like that.

“Quintus, in these 8 years you have done nothing but make me proud.
From that little boy who made sure everyone had tuck money, to the one giving away his market day purchase to a younger boy when it was sold out.
From the little boy who ran onto the rugby field in Grade R to tackle a boy his friends missed, to the 1st team rugby player who stood back for no-one.
From the little boy who sang in the school choir, to the one now a member of the North West Children’s choir.

You have grown into such a special, awesome boy.

I hope your high school years will be brilliant. These are the years you will really remember as an adult. You make amazing memories in High School. I hope that all your memories will be good.

I love you.
I am proud of you always.

Love
Mom”

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I never expected that

2013 has not been a good year for Quintus in some ways but it has also been a great year in many ways.

His academics exceeded my expectations.
He was included in the school’s first rugby team.
I got his North West colours for the choir.
He was awarded the Culture Boy of the Year award.

Yes, the culture boy of the year.

One of only 6 prestige awards given every year.

Wow.

Let’s back track to last Wednesday night. The school had a very special award ceremony for the Grade 7s and their parents. Tables, snacks, cold drinks. Very smart.

The kids got called up according per class in alphabetical order to receive their certificates. I love his teacher. I couldn’t wait to see him on that stage receiving that certificate for the last time. However they skipped him! Jip…right from D to G but no de Bruyn. At first I didn’t realize it. Tommie did though and pointed out that poor Quintus was standing at the door unsure of what was happening. Tommie was so upset that he even left the hall!

I assumed that his certificate was just put with the wrong class but no… No certificate for him. I even joked that he was sticking around another year!

They then said that they were finished with the awards but would continue with the prestige awards. At that stage I still thought they forgot about my Quintus !

They called up the Sport Girl of the year, Sport Boy, Culture Girl and Culture Boy of the Year, Quintus de Bruyn!

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I could not control the tears. I was so very happy for him, so so happy. I just couldn’t believe it. My son.

I looked at him standing between the other kids who all received prestige awards and he was the only one without a white shirt. The only one, not a prefect. That had hurt him so much. I could not then and still cannot now, understand why he wasn’t chosen. I think as he stood there, one of the top students of the school, they must have realized their mistake.

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Standing there though, he must have felt appreciated and finally a part of that special group of kids…all his friends.

His photo might not be on the wall with all the prefects however his name will forever be on the honour roll, for all to read in the hall.

I am so mightily proud of you Quintus.

You are more amazing than you even know. There are big things waiting for you out there.
I will walk with you every step of the way but more importantly, so will God. Your God that you have chosen to follow.

I love you.
Mom

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Thank you

It is so easy to complain but complaining to the wrong people. If you have a problem, then take it up with the people involved and if you are in a great school like my kids, things will happen. Or at least you will get a reason as to why things happened the way it did.

Thank you to our school who took my email to heart . Who discussed it with the involved parties and for doing the right thing.

Thank you for giving the first rugby team their jerseys. It has made me immensely proud of our school. Our children will carry the tradition of La Hoff into High School next year.

They worked hard for these jerseys. They have played 5 years of rugby with that reward in mind.

Thank you.

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Yesterday

Yesterday was bad.  A working relationship that I just knew would end up like this the first day I met the client, ended with the client shouting at me over the phone.  Not the first time the client has done that but I had had enough and told the client to please find another accountant.

I have never done this before but I could take the verbal abuse no more.

I felt horrible.  I felt horrible thinking someone could say such things to me.  That someone thought I wasn’t good enough.  I felt horrible thinking that maybe I let them down.

Then I thought of our morning at school, where we prayed with kids during Bible class.  Some of those kids have to go through what I went through on a daily basis.  Either from parents or other school kids.  While I think bullying is not that bad in our school, it is still there.  It is a reality.

I’m a grown woman, with means to cope with that.  Those children are not.  They don’t know how to cope with it just yet.  I’m so thankful that we have Wednesday Bible classes, where we can help them.  Teach them how to cope with such verbal abuse.  Where we can stop bullying before it gets out of hand. 

Words hurt.