Sometimes it feels like everything is a fight. Everything! It's exhuasting.
My mother emailed me an article from ABC news about viruses that are coming pre-installed on high-tech gadgets. Gadgets like iPods, digital photo frames, hard drives, and GPS units to name some. I am horrified. Now we can't trust things we buy in the store? I worry enough about viruses online and in spam, but how do we safeguard against stuff we're deliberately putting on our computers? It's just so frustrating.
So far the fault, according to the article, seems to lie with the items made in Chinese factories (big surprise) and seems accidental, like maybe an employee in the factory plugging in an infected music player to the company testing computer and not organized sabotage, but we don't really know, do we?
Another problem I'm facing involves my children's education. Our public elementary school in Austin was great. We loved that school and were sad to leave it when we moved from Austin. Now we live in north Texas, and the boys are in a good school, but it's lacking a few things we had counted on. The PTA at our old school completely funded a Spanish program and teacher for the entire school and a computer lab, program and teacher for the whole school. Our new school does not. Why don't we have foreign language in our elementary schools? According to most research I've ever seen, learning language is easiest and best as a child. Why aren't we taking advantage of this? I went to private schools most of my life and took foreign languages for granted. So, I've decided to take on teaching my children Spanish and/or Latin at home, after school. We'll see how that goes. I'm impressed with my new friend, Kat's, home schooling curriculum and she's inspired me (unknowingly) to contribute to my children's education in what way I can.
The other problem I have is with testing. Our elementary school here has way too much testing. It's out of control. My 5th grader comes home every day having taken many, many tests at school. He loved school in Austin, learning was fun most of the time. They took tests there, but not the huge amount like the new school. Is this school too focused on testing and scores? My 5th grader keeps in touch with his 5th grade friends at his old school and their teacher has a guitar and teaches them things to music. Makes learning fun. I know not all learning can be fun, but the amount of testing and score focus certainly leaches what fun there is. I'm not the only parent upset by this, I know.
On TAKS testing day, my son's class didn't get any outside time. Come on people!! A 20 minute break outside only helps, not hurts, kids. Exercise their brains and their bodies. Give them a little energy outlit, let them enjoy nature. I've never seen a school keep the kids inside so much. In Austin they had outside time twice a day, once in the morning to work out, run some laps, and again after lunch, for recess. I'm a huge believer in kids having outside time.
That's my rant for today, at least for now. The rain and thunderstorms are heavy here today, and I'm considered building an arc. My boys are quickly starting to grow restless and bring up the dreaded "B" word (bored!). We just discovered a new fun Japanese game show...the Unbeatable Banzuke. It's just as good as the Ninja Warrior that I blogged about Sunday. Good for a rainy day.
Stay warm and dry everyone!