Saturday, August 23, 2008

YEEHAW, a day off!

Our first week as full time house parents was, first of all, looong. The girls started arriving last Sunday and we picked up the ninth resident last night on the way to a concert. The tenth and final girl comes Sunday. Ten beds, ten girls, full house. We had four volleyball athletes to drive to practice every morning (6:30 AM skills test wednesday- we were up at 5:30). We had kids home all day so our six days on were 16 hour days. Whew. Of course a lot of times the girls are out and about and doing what they like, they are ninth graders, but it isn't like relaxing at home. There is a lot to do and to plan for, phones to answer, paperwork to complete, groceries to buy and meals to prepareetc, and so on. We are in charge of organising the house routines(wake up time, homework and cleaning time, and so on) and instilling and enforcing the rules(curfews, bedtimes, computer use, chores, and so on). We all know how much adolescents love rules! But they have been doing pretty well. School starts Monday and with that comes an hour and a half of reading and homework five nights a week. AAGGGHHH! "I don't haaaave any homework". Oh well, an hour and a half of reading time - a fate worse than death! We have a few girls who really enjoy reading so it may be easier than I am thinking. But this is where the real impact is to be. Can the girls maintain the academic standard they had when they were in grade school now that they are going to the high school in town? It isn't unusual for even good students to drop a full grade point when they do the switch. Our job is to do everything possible to help them succeed. It can't be done without a calm disciplined study environment at home, and that is a big chunk of our job. Another chunk is to help the students learn life skills, cooking, cleaning functioning responsibly within reasonable perameters. Sort of what every parent wants to help their kid develop. If we succeed in helping the girls in our care to get decent grades and mature as caring young adults it will be worth the hard work. If you are interested in learning more about the school we work for and the students we serve you can check out
It is a really cool website with lots of color and pictures, Lakota vocabulary and cultural information.

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