Susie King Taylor Community School

I’m on the governing board of Susie King Taylor Community School, and it’s been amazing to watch the progress the school’s made even since I joined in December. It’s a different model for Savannah, and one that I hope works well enough that it pulls the rest of the school system forward.

If you’re a business in Savannah and want to get involved with the school, teachers are always looking for people to come speak to their class, get involved with a lesson, or let a gaggle of young learners come check out businesses and see how things work. If you’ve got money to spare, we gladly accept donations. If you want to help, but don’t know how, you can reach out and get involved.

Dealing With Your Kid’s Email: A Nerd’s Approach

My kids both have Google Ed accounts for their school work, which comes with an email address. Some of the parents in the school’s Facebook group were asking how to set up the school email account on their phones, which feels like overkill to me. I don’t log in to my kid’s email – I just have all of their incoming email forwarded to me (which I then filter to get it out of the way so I can read it later).

And here’s how to set that up if you’d like to do the same thing!

  • Go to Gmail and log in as your kid.
  • Click the Gear icon on the top right side of the page and click Settings
  • Click on the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab.
  • Now click the Add a forwarding address button.
  • Put in your email address that you want emails forwarded to and click Proceed.
  • It’ll send a confirmation code to your email. Grab that and put it in the verify field.
  • Now click the radio button next to Forward a copy of incoming email to…, select your email from the dropdown and then choose keep Gmail’s copy in the inbox from the second dropdown.

And there you go. Now you’ll get all your kid’s emails in your inbox. Lucky you!

Now, for bonus points, filtering. I have a ton of filters to keep my inbox nice and clean, and my kids’ emails have their own filters. Here’s how to set one up:

  • After you set up email forwarding, you’ll start getting emails to your kid in your inbox. You need one of those to start with. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as your kid is one of the recipients.
  • In the search box at the top of GMail, search for to:yourkid@whatever.com (replacing “yourkid@whatever.com” with their actual email address).
  • Once the results come up, click the More button and choose Create Filter.
  • The To field should be filled out with your kid’s email address, so go ahead and click “Create filter with this search”.
  • This is where things get fun. Here are the settings I use for my kid’s email:
    • Label it with the kid’s name.
    • Skip the Inbox
    • Mark it as read.
  • With those settings, they never hit the inbox, but, I have to remember to check it periodically, so it’s probably a good idea to leave them in the Inbox to start and not mark them as read – just apply the label.

That should help you keep up with your kid’s school emails without going crazy! Good luck!

Stupid Things #312 and #8401

  • Max’s school requires a doctor’s note after the 5th absence. How lame is that? Not if he’s sick for more than five days in a row, but for the whole school year. Grrr. It’s because they want to know whether a kid should be passed or failed, but that decision should be made independent of absences, right? RIGHT! It should be about whether the kid has learned the material. Especially if the parents have excused the absences! I guess I’ll be sending Max to school even when he is feverish but feeling ok so that everybody else can get sick too.
  • To register the kids for school, I need to show proof of residency. Does my government-issued license count? No. I need a phone bill, where all I have to do is call the company and say “bill me here” and that is considered proof of residency. How lame is that? I guess the school thinks money is a more powerful truth indicator than government oversight.

Epic Post of Life!

Brian says things incorrectly, like, “S starts with scooter, ” and “B starts with balloon.” He also says, “I need to wear socks for my feet to not get cold.” I don’t know how to fix this. I’ve read that you shouldn’t correct kids sentences, but instead should repeat the sentence back to them correctly. He also refuses to use “I” at home, instead saying, “Me want juice,” and “Me want to go, too.” He does use “I” at school, so I know he is teachable. Maybe I just need to be more firm (about everything, I am sure). Of course he also says, “Why you dood that?” (The past tense of do, of course.)\
I am happy to report that Brian will now wipe his own butt. WOOT. This was facilitated by the kiddie flushable wipes left behind at Babba’s house by Kevin’s brother’s family over Thanksgiving break. Babba stuck them in the back of our van and told us to take them home. Score for us! (Hello, TMI. Hope he doesn’t want to be president someday.)\
Max was invited to join the Philosophy and Art club/class/thingie at school. He is the only 3rd grader to be asked, as it is only open to 4th and 5th graders. Whee. I am really excited for him.\
Kevin said that he wanted to eat less meat, so I gave him a dinner of a baked sweet potato, broccoli, and hard boiled eggs. That is the last time he’ll say anything like that, I bet. 🙂 Tonight is meatless spaghetti sauce with pasta. That he won’t mind.\
I have been feeling much better since starting the new medicine, which was also about the time Brian started school (no coincidence, I am sure). And it shows: the house is clean, the laundry is done and put away, and I have been cooking.\
Speaking of cooking: Cookie rec time! My grocery store oatmeal, cranberry, walnut break-and-bake cookie dough. It is soooo good. Run to your store, tomorrow, and check it out! We like to make homemade Christmassy cookies, focusing our energy on the cool stuff, and then fill in the platter with cookies from premade dough, since they are available in more typical-cookie flavors.\
Today is A Day Without Gays, which I forgot about until I signed on this morning. Supporters are asked to not go to work, not go shopping, and not use the tv or internet. I couldn’t keep my husband home from work, even though I wanted to, but I did manage to send him off with a brown bag lunch. I sent my kids to school even though I could’ve kept them home. It made the decision between going Xmas shopping and doing laundry really easy and I stayed away from the net for half of the day until I caved. Have you seen any difference today?\
It’s kind of sad that I couldn’t stay offline for an entire day, right? I even took a two-hour nap solely to facilitate this! I have a book that I was planning on curling up with, in between loads of laundry, but really? I need to be online. It’s a drug. An obsession. A vital part of my daily life, ok? OK!\
Good thing I caved though because when I checked my email I found out that our landlord has declared bankruptcy and the bank is now trying to sell the house. I am not sure this puts us in a more precarious position than before, since we were always in a precarious position, but it feels more imminent and there are now new people with which to coordinate things.\
Poking around Craigslist, I found this house for only \$50 more a month:\
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Kevin is in love with the kitchen:\
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It has 3200 sq feet, 4 bedrooms, formal living room, family room, sun room, and bonus room (and of course all the other necessities, heh). The inside is full of upgrades like wood floors, cherry wood cabinets, and built-in book shelves. It has a fenced, corner lot. AND IT IS IN THE RIGHT SCHOOL ZONE!! The problem is that after living in a house like that for a year, it would be really depressing to buy and move into the type of house we could really afford. But WOW. What a house.\
I have inside information, ha!, that Paula Deen is moving to our island. Maybe I will see her at Kroger? We have a local restuarant that serves better food than her “Lady and Sons,” according to Kevin. Maybe I will see her there? Wouldn’t that be a hoot?\
The weather here has been really weird lately. It is warm outside, but cold inside. Someone explain that to me, when we aren’t using the air conditioner. I’ve been thinking about taking the kids to the beach. It’s been over a month since we’ve been!\
This is my last edit, I promise. It started with one little error and then ballooned into a monster, I know. Sorry. But not really. Hee.

Raspberries the world

My parents live in southern Miss. I was telling a friend that I am not worried about them though. I went on to say that around their town, you can see roofs with blue tarps from where they still haven’t been fixed since Katrina. And then I was like, “And why am I not scared again?” Kevin was like, “Yea, why aren’t you scared? They are pretty much right in Gustav’s path.” Gee, thanks a lot, Kev.\
Hanna is heading straight for us. Is this what the whole Fall is going to be like?\
Our landlord is going through bankruptcy and is desperately trying to short sell the house we are currently renting so the bank won’t foreclose. This means that we will probably be moving again. Booo. Remind me next time we rent to check the credit of the homeowner, ok? The worst part (as of right now, when I am not packing/unpacking again) is the uncertainty and the unclear time line. How long does a foreclosure take, if it comes to that? How does his bankruptcy affect ownership of the house? If he’s asking less than the market price, what is the liklihood of it selling quickly, to someone who actually wants to live here? (If it sold to someone who wanted to rent it out, we’d stay.)\
So, Palin, huh? Yea, no thanks.\
In happier news, Max was placed in the advanced class of his grade. We didn’t have to wait for testing because I had the standardized test results from last Spring. YAY! He is really excited about school. There are all sorts of clubs he can join too. Savannah has 5 magnet elementary schools, so I was worried that the neighborhood elementary schools would suffer. So far, so good though. I’ll be keeping my fingers and toes crossed that the school actually will be as awesome as it seems. When I told a friend of mine that this school seems better than the one we left in No Va, she was shocked. Cuz yea, No Va schools have a great rep and Ga schools not so much. But we’ll see!

AOL’s preschool

I was totally going to post a couple of weeks ago, then the dreaded broken arm happened. But anyway…\
Top 10 reasons why I love AOL’s preschool:

  • Security: You have to pass through 3 levels of security to get to where the children are.
  • Art: they have some sort of art or craft project every day!
  • Running around: The kids have gym/playground time 4 times a day.
  • Specialists: gym, Spanish, and music are taught by specialists.
  • The facilities: water park, playground, karaoke machine, play stage, reading centers, toys, etc.
  • The web camera: Kevin, the grandparents, and I can peek in on Brian via webcameras located throughout the center and play areas.
  • Food. They feed the kids every 3 hours or so and make sure the food in nutritious and varied. (No juice, no cookies. Brian has been trying and liking new things.)
  • They’re open from 6:30 to 6:30, which means they are ready for him to be dropped off and picked up whenever we get there. No rushing to be on time, worrying about traffic, fretting in line at the store, getting there early only to have to wait around.
  • Convenience: Kevin usually drops him off on the way to work, yay.
  • There are three teachers in B’s class of less than 15 kids.\
    The center is expensive, so the kids may not be going to college after all, but at least their mother WILL BE SANE!! Or, at least, less insane. Fair trade-off, yes?\
    ETA- A bonus reason! (There were actually 4 other reasons on my list that I had to cut to stay at ten, but this one is too good to not mention.) B’s teacher emails me everyday to specifically say what the kids did and how the day went. So instead of asking, “How was your day?” and Brian responding, “Good”, I can ask, “How did you like playing ants on a log in the gym and singing ‘Rainbows’ in music?”