Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween

As we begin planning for Halloween, every year I wonder if this will be the end of the Hoy kids dressing in theme.  I am happy to report that the tradition continued this year.  Happy Halloween! 

Halloween 2016- Batman, Robin, and the Joker

Halloween themes of our past--

2015- Harry Potter

2014- Harry Potter

2013- Jake and the Neverland Pirates

2012- Star Wars

2011- Star Wars

2010- Super Heroes

2009- Sesame Street (1st year to theme)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Compliment Sandwich

Oh how I love the feedback sandwich- compliment, 2-3 most important areas for improvement, followed by compliment.  This week I felt beat down as a parent because of imbalanced sandwiches.  Some were missing the bread all together.  Others had way too much meat. We all have areas of improvement and to hear an unprioritized laundry list is just too much.  Beat down.

My first reaction was wanting to crawl in a hole (adulting is hard!), then anger (come on!), then action (let's try to fix it all), and now (hopefully) calmer rational planning.  Of this laundry list of my kids' faults (ranging from Jackson's poorly written book summaries to Matthew's unwillingness to walk quietly in a line because he wants to say hi to everyone), we have to prioritize what is most important and what we need to do to improve. 

I guess a positive about this experience is that it is making me more sensitive to giving feedback in my classroom, to students and parents.  Only hearing the negative and/or too much negative beats us down.  I am recommitted to the compliment sandwich!

Saturday, October 29, 2016


I have to say that there were a few weeks that I contemplated blogging, but I just couldn't because I didn't want to be that reflective about what was going on around us.  Matthew's behavior was the worst it has ever been.  Usually he lets all the nastiness out at home, but this last stretch, we were getting negative reports from school and the Y as well. He was disagreeable about everything and he would hit/kick/bite when he didn't get his way. 

The saying that your household is only as happy as your most unhappy kid was true in our home-- the energy around the Hoy House was UGLY.  And the worst part for Darren and I, we had no idea why.  Just like many things with Matthew, it was a mystery.  We tried everything we could think of-- more sleep, more food, the common sense parenting tricks-- and nothing seemed to make a difference.  

Then, as mysteriously as it began, Matthew's mood turned.  He became his happy-go-lucky self.  Pleasant, fun to be around, and though not always agreeable, he could be persuaded. Those at school saw the same switch.  But just when we sighed in relief, he had a horrific weekend 2 weekends ago.  Then, the last two weeks at school, he was in an upswing, then mixed-- really good and really not.  We shake our heads because we have no idea why it was bad or why it is good.  No rhyme or reason, and we seemingly have no control or influence.  That is hard to accept!

Until we find the magic variable(s), we have to just be thankful for the good and try to mitigate the bad.  I am hoping for a long stretch in the upswing!