Monday, February 9, 2009

God In The Details...

Ok first...calling all Hot & Healthy Moms...it's Monday, time to check in. Sorry I'm late posting this but we had a printer emergency this morning and I had to get Nick's homework to him at school that he could not get off the printer... (I'll post my results in the comments again...)

So, now a story about God in the details... You may remember at the end of 2008, we made the decision to move Nick to a private school. God worked a miracle for that to happen (you can read about that here, if you missed it) and it has been a great experience so far.

But it has been a difficult transition in some ways... his new school is much more difficult than public school was. He was in pre-algebra in his old school and the only math class he could go into was Algebra...quite a leap. It hasn't been easy, but today, he got into the car...he was so excited...he made a 93 on his latest test!!

But the biggest transition of all has been literature. At his old school, the reading requirements were this lame system called Accelerated Reader (AR). The kids had to read books on the AR sytem and then take comprehension tests on the books, they actually counted as major test grades.

Now Nick has never been one to choose classics, but his reading tastes were far better than the books on the AR system... He enjoys Christian fiction that I find at a local bookstore and he likes to read biographies. So he was penalized because he didn't want to read the books on their system and no alternative was acceptable, like hey...how about an old fashioned book report where the kids actually learn to write?!

So off my soap box... At his new school, they're actually required to read quality literature. He walked into his new school and right off, he was handed a copy of Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens. Well reading that is far different than reading your typical fiction, so it was an adjustment.

So when I learned (from seeing some of his grades) that he was really struggling, I tried to figure out how to help him... I downloaded an audio version of the book to his IPOD, so he could read and listen at the same time, but Scott and I also decided to read the book with him so we could discuss it with him.

We were under a tight time schedule as the first test was coming up over the first 19 chapters...YIKES!! So I said a little prayer and asked God to give us insight as we read as to how the teacher might think and what kinds of things she might consider important on an essay test.

We spent alot of time going over her review questions with him and talking about the right way to answer essay questions (this was pretty new to him also)... And then, he came home the day of the test and he said, "Mom, a lot of the questions were just like what you talked about! " He made a 94 on that test!!

Considering that I was never challenged at this level in school with literature either, I knew that God had definitely granted me some insight into how a literature teacher might approach a test like this.

But today was the icing on the cake... Over the weekend he was given 3 chapters to read and we were pretty certain he would have a pop quiz today. As we sat and discussed the book, there was this little detail that prompted me to say, "This would be a really picky detail to put on a quiz...but just in case...what was the crisis created by the cook?" The answer... she mislaid the beef...and sure enough...that question was on the quiz!! He made a 100...that question was the difference between an A and B!!

I guess it might sound like it, but I am not in any way criticizing the questions on the quiz... I love how this is teaching Nick to focus on what he reads...how it's improving his comprehension and I LOVE the conversations that we're having about this book...far beyond just the details.

But more than anything, I love how Nick is seeing what happens when you rely on God for EVERYTHING!! Now you might be thinking... "Does she really believe that God cares about details like that?" ABSOLUTELY!! If He numbers the hairs on our heads, why wouldn't He care about a child who is fighting to do his best and parents who are doing all that they can do to help him?

You know, I'm learning a lot from this too... God wants us dependent on Him for EVERYTHING... every single detail... If Nick (if I) only learn that lesson, then it's all worthwhile. I love how God can use anything...even a book like Great Expectations...to teach us, to humble us and to show Himself to us in such simple, wonderful ways!!

6 comments:

Sharla said...

Here's my check-in...

I didn't have a bad week, but I maintained again (frustration!!)...

When I started this, I lost 7 pounds pretty quickly, but now I've been stuck for 2 weeks... I'm committing this week to get serious about exercising!

Hope to hear from everyone else!!

Sharla

Jen said...

So glad Nick is seeing the result of his prayer and hard work!

I was just sure I gained weight while we were out of town last week, but I guess all the walking we did evened things out. I'm down another pound, for a total loss of 4. Slower than I'd like, but maybe it'll stay off this way!

Anonymous said...

Way to go Nick---I am so proud of you!!! I am impressed with how well you are doing. Keep up the good work.

Mom, Dad, you surely are doing a good job helping Nick adjust to the newness of this school and studying in a different way. You are to be commended.
Love you all,
Noba

trina said...

I'm so happy he is loving his new school.
Hmmmmm...do you realize you are homeschooling? You are just doing it in the afternoon. See...I already knew you would be WONDERFUL at it. Wink!!

April Isaacs said...

Hi Sharla!!

I stayed the same. I'll take that after a stressful week and sitting in a hospital room for 4 days.

Great job with Nick! You are such a great mom! Nick's self-confidence probably rises every time he feels success like he has on these quizzes and tests.

It sounds like it was absolutely the right thing to switch his school!

Hugs!
April

Patientlywaiting said...

Sharla,

I have the same complaint with AR. My Nick loves to read and reads constantly but things we (or he) would like to read are not on AR. He also has a teacher that must approve every book he reads if he is going to read it at school time. I'm sure that is needed for some kids but we approve each of his books at home before he even picks them out. There are so many good Christian fiction books out there that I know he would love but he can't read it if it's not on AR. This will be a non issue next year if I homeschool!

Checking in with the weight loss or should I say lack of weight loss. I still haven't lost any weight yet but I'm not giving up. Hopefully, I'll have something positive to report next week.

Hugs,
Robin