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Storygirl

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Storygirl last won the day on April 11

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  1. I think that discussing alternate paths to graduation and employment training is valuable. But it should be done without painting the students and parents in a negative light. There should be respectful conversation that includes parents of the kids in question and values their input, instead of blaming them. Parents, like all people, are varied, and will make different choices, and some will be equipped to be more involved with the greater community, while others need to focus on what is happening with their own family and won't have time for more than that. Some parents should be doing more, and some students should care more, sure -- but let's be careful about making statements that categorize people who have these kind of challenges as uncaring. That's unfair. Like many others, I have both college-bound kids and one who is not, and I care equally about their current needs and their future. If anything, I actually think and prepare more for the future of that one son. And we can't be satisfied with "solutions" that expect all of these kids to fit on one vocational-school-is-the-answer box --- which gives me a sense of caution about the idea that we should create an automatic separate track for them --- because their abilities and needs are as varied as the abilities and needs of all people, including college bound students. We should not give a wide open field of opportunity to the college bound but relegate non-academic or special needs kids to "you don't belong in this classroom, so go somewhere else." I think that people in this thread genuinely would like to see more opportunities for kids like mine, but some of the language used here suggests they deserve less, and that is unfortunate. Words matter, and we should choose them carefully.
  2. I would be feeling stressed, too. I don't know if these ideas might help, but I will throw them out. Can you give your husband a list of some of the shopping and have him do it while you are gone (not always possible, I know)? Can you decide to be there for half of the party? Either arrive halfway through, or leave early? That way you can see people but have a slightly shorter day? Can you do a chunk of shopping tonight after school? I know these things wouldn't solve the main issue of your Saturday being full, but they might take a little pressure off. If you could think of enough little ways to make it a little better, I would go. If you really can't go, is there someone there that you could FaceTime during part of the party, so that you could call in and touch base with some people? I am exhausted at this time of year and find that many things that I want to be enjoyable are stressful instead. If you were to go, do you think you would be glad afterward that you did it?
  3. I do wish there were more and varied options for students for whom typical academics are hard. Our vocational school markets itself deliberately toward higher achieving students with programs in engineering, digital design, and app development, as well as things like automotive and culinary training. The programs are competitive to get into, and GPA and admissions essays and sometimes portfolio work are considered. There are wait lists. So vocational school has changed. The lower performing students are no longer their target population, although they do have a few programs specifically for them. My son happens to fall in a gray zone, where none of what they offer is a good fit for him, and we are mainly looking for help from other avenues. I think that the idea that lower performing students belong in vocational school or otherwise should not be in the regular classes is problematic and risks sounding like they are second class citizens. Should there be more options? Yes, definitely. They deserve more options. This is unfair. It makes me angry. You have no idea how much time DH and I spend working on helping DS and working on figuring out an employment path for him. And not just me, but millions of parents with kids with special needs. It's insulting.
  4. I have a son with learning disabilities that make high school level work extremely challenging for him. Things have been really hard this first semester of 9th grade, and we know that the classes will only increase in difficulty. However, the nature of his disabilities means that the trades and the (many and varied) choices at our vocational school would be a poor fit for him. Although I agree that vocational training should be more accessible to more students, it is not the best choice for every one who struggles with academics. I would not want a system that automatically shifted my son into a vocational program that would be a poor fit for him, just to get him out of the classroom. Figuring out an employment path for him is going to be challenging. Also, to expect middle schoolers to wisely choose a career path is expecting a lot. None of my kids are ready to pick a career at that age, and I was not, either, and most people are not. I know that other countries do have a vocational track and an academic track for students (my SIL trained as a seamstress in another country instead of attending academic high school), but I think there are students that would still be in limbo without a good fit, if we moved in that direction. I have to admit, Calming Tea, that I had a negative reaction to your post about school being a big babysitting jail for students like my son, and that they should just go home and waste their time there instead. 🙁
  5. I would pick beige. I think it goes better with the walls, and unless you can verify that the gray couch will match the gray you already have, I think it's possible the gray won't look right with what is already in there. Grays can vary so much that they can be hard to coordinate well. I think things would be much improved if you added a rug, as well.
  6. DD17 has applied to one school and has been accepted. She is happy with the idea of going there and thinks she will not apply anywhere else. This is fine with us, because we think it's a good fit and is reasonable financially. She received some automatic aid based on test scores and GPA, which is both very helpful and also a surprise, because she is not a great test taker. She applied to this school, because of family connections. Her aunts and uncle are alums; two cousins are current students; and her aunt works there. She loved the people that she met when she visited, including her cousin's welcoming friends and the head of her intended academic department (exercise science). It's a smallish private Christian college (she attends a small Christian high school) about two hours from our house and about twenty minutes from her grandparents and other relatives. I'm glad she's happy and that we can focus on her last semester of high school, with the college decision finalized. She did apply for a scholarship through her work (Chick-fil-A), which we are waiting to hear about.
  7. Lasagna. I make it ahead and freeze it, which makes it easy to have a special meal without much work, since we will be very busy with church and other things. I often put it in the crock pot and let it heat through while we are at our evening church service, so that we have a hot meal waiting when we get home (half of a 9x13 inch pan of lasagna fits in my slow cooker, and half is all that we will eat at one meal). I suggested something different to my kids, because I had not made the lasagna yet, but sticking to the tradition is important to them.
  8. I don't have room for whole turkeys in my freezer. It's a smallish stand-up version, not a chest freezer. And I don't have room in my fridge to be defrosting turkeys all of the time. Plus, they are fresh turkeys with quick expiration dates, and I would not want to have them out of the freezer for more days, uncooked, when eventually it's time to thaw them. The reason they are on such a deep sale is that they are at the end of their safety dates; the store is going to have to throw them out. When I debone them, I can fit twice as much in my freezer. I'm planning to use the meat in any recipe that calls for cooked chicken. I often have cooked, diced chicken in my freezer, and this will serve the same purpose, but be much cheaper.
  9. Can you give the piano to your oldest to have in her house?
  10. I have been acting like a crazy person and cooking one turkey after another all week, because my grocery has had fresh turkeys on sale for 10 cents a pound. We've been carving them up and putting the meat in the freezer for later use. I've found that a 20 pound turkey is consistently producing about 14 cups of turkey meat. Maybe that little fact can help someone think about serving sizes for their particular family members. I, personally, can visualize how much turkey is in a cup of turkey more easily than thinking in ounces (most of the online portion suggestions are in ounces).
  11. I think it can be awkward to place a couch in front of doors in some rooms. But other times it can work. It depends, as well, on how often the doors are utilized. If people are constantly coming in and out of them, it's different than if they function more as windows, with other doors being the main ones used. In this picture, it looks to me like the tile area in front of the door provides a good amount of space for walking behind the couch, but it depends on how wide the doors swing.
  12. I agree. If you have the two bigger pieces of furniture facing each other, instead of having the couch blocking the width of the room and facing the fireplace (as it is now), it opens up straight paths through the room from door to door. The ottoman is nice to have in the middle of the room, but it could easily be moved to the side as people need to make a path (unlike a coffee table, which is harder to move). And an ottoman can double as additional seating.
  13. I don't know about the tv on the poppy wall. I think it would be awkward hanging above the couch and that there would need to be a sofa or consul table sitting under it. That seems to be the only long wall to place a couch against, so I think it could create other furniture placement issues. In my family room, we have two couches facing each other, with a coffee table in between. One of the couches is against a wall (under a window), and the other is freestanding, with room to walk behind it. Perpendicular to the couches is a television and cabinet on one side of the room, and the fireplace on the other. So if the room were rectangle, the couches form the two long sides, and the tv and the fireplace form the two short sides. I think you may be able to do something similar, with two couches facing each other. One sitting against the poppy wall and the other with its back to the French doors (leaving a space behind it to access the doors). Then move the piano and put the tv in that corner, with a cabinet underneath, which you can use for miscellaneous storage. I can't tell how long that poppy wall is. I'm assuming it is long enough for a couch to sit there.
  14. I got frustrated with wrapping paper organization, so I finally bought a few containers. I have one that holds rolls of wrapping paper in an upright position, and I can just stash that box in a corner of my basement and bring it out when needed. I also bought a bag for my Christmas themed paper, so that I can keep it all together, stashed on a shelf, but out of the way for most of the year. I found both of those wrapping paper holders on Amazon. Then I bought some plastic boxes with lids to hold my ribbons, bows, and tags, and a few other boxes to hold gift bags. Those boxes stack neatly in an Ikea storage cupboard that we bought for our basement, but you could leave them on any shelf and stash them away in the basement. I used to have random piles and bags of tissue paper, and bags, and this works so much better. If you part with enough books to make a little room on your shelves, you could intersperse some pretty (or neutral) boxes on some of the shelves to store things in. Can you get a nice basket for your electric pan? It could be stashed in the same place but not be visible? I have a large house (but no pantry) and still have trouble with organizing my storage items. I have found that it's worth it to me to buy plastic containers with lids, so that I can sort things in to categories and label and stack them. I used to resist buying those, but now I am a fan.
  15. My girls like colored pens and markers. Some larger sets can cost $25, so it's not something that we just pick up unless it's for a gift. This year I'm planning to get each of my girls a nice piece of jewelry -- not costume jewelry, but something with a gem stone. You can find good deals at Kohls at this time of year, if you watch their sales and coupons. My mom gave my sister and me some nice jewelry pieces, such as a birthstone ring, over the years, and I still have them, decades later. She also gave each of us a starter pearl necklace. It started with one pearl, but then you could add more on. My sister kept hers at about three pearls, I think, but I would have my mom take it to the jewelry store and add an inch on for my later birthdays and Christmases.
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