Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Homeschooling and More on "Showbiz Moms..."

I'm back. Today was the most boring time I have had as a homeschooling parent. This morning we began end of grade testing using the California achievement Test (CaT5), level 14 (fourth grade). The entire test is composed of 10 subsets: which basically break down to vocabulary, reading comprehension, spelling, language usage, language mechanics, general mathematics, mathematics applications, study skills, science, and social science. We did the first 4 parts today--all the English stuff. Basically, all I had to do was read off the directions, set the timer, and let her go to it. Chrissie finished each test before the time limit and even though I made her go back and check over her work (she hates to look back at anything once she has finished it so this was a real irritation to her--Lord help her when she has to do two or three revisions on research papers).

I think she did well on the tests. I looked at them, not question by question, but enough to see she was on the right track with everything. I have to admit it is so tempting to want to give her hints, etc. Especially on the spelling part. She's not a good speller and I have not been able to find a way to impart it to her--rules don't work, extra reading so she'll learn by sight has not worked well, list after list is memorized and forgotten by her. Next year, she will be writing more and I am going to make her fix all her misspelled words. I think that will help. She will get tired of looking the same words up all the time and finally learn to spell them right. I also want to begin teaching her latin since English and so many other languages are based on it, I believe it will help her out with spelling and reading.

She's a good student though. Very bright. She loves science, she's a real natural at learning it. She's good at all the other subjects too, but she would much rather be playing or watching t.v. or messing around on the computer than doing anything academic. She's a party girl, already, and a social butterfly. Chrissie is too friendly. It scares me. She loves to talk to anybody and everybody so I'm always worried somebody will try to snatch her. The news stories on Danielle Van Dam and Polly Klass scare me the most. Those girls were taken from their own bedrooms! Now, I am the most over protective mom you are ever going to find but how can you protect your kid from something like that? It gives me chills. Enough of this subject, it's too frightening.

Yesterday, I said I would have more to say on the reality show "Showbiz Moms..." It has been a wild show. It's over now though. I saw the aftermath thing and as I expected, the family members by and large are disbelieving about how they were portrayed. They try to prove in the last show that they do have real lives outside of pursuing stardom and, in my opinion, they all fail miserably. We know too much about them already to buy it and they do let it things slip even as they protest that the business is a small part of their lives: like when the Klingensmith (sorry for the screwed up spelling--change your last name Shane since you are destined to be a teen idol. We want those eleven year old girls to be able to spell your name!) Mom saying while she is going on vacation with her husband she expects all the big calls to come in. You know that cell phone is going to be hot on that ear the whole time. Hope she won't be out of range.

Of all the families, I found the Nutter clan the least interesting. The father is a NUTTER through and through. He cannot be a shortsighted as he pretends. I love him saying now that his family does not have to pursue acting (though he will keep his own dreams for himself). Dude, you are too old to have it for yourself and you know after everything we have seen that nobody is going to believe you are going to let up on those kids. Until they move away from you (as the oldest two most likely will in the near future--that is if you haven't gotten them so screwed up over the years that they will not be able to get a decent job and function as a complete adult) you are going to hound them and try to use them to further your own dreams of being "in the business".

The little pageant beauty and her family are the easiest to beat up on. It does such that the mom is receiving physical threats via email. Just shows some folks are even more screwed up than she is. Emily is a very pretty child, but she does not seem any more talented than any other kindergarten-er around. Her personality does not stand out. The whole pageant circuit stuff seems very contrived. What do they basis the judging on? I don't get it. It is a good thing I never put my little girl in pageants (though she does do dance recitals and competitions) because I know I would have some of the same stupid attitudes as this nutty mom-- though not quite as bad. I would definitely be pissed off if the judges did not recognize her as the most beautiful, talented, congenial little girl they ever saw. LOL, maybe I would be as bad as her. No threatening emails please!!!

I do worry about Emily's grandmother. She puts sooooo much money into those pageants. Hopefully, her nest egg can take it. And her daughter is such an ungrateful bitch. Did anyone see the scene where she is unloading the car and she tells her mother just to get out of the way that she is screwing up everything. Geez.

The older Jordan is fun to watch too. At first, I did not think she had anything special and I am still not sure how much talent she has, but I think she may have something. Her voice is good as one of the agents or auditioners or whatever pointed out. And her looks are fine. I think it sucks that some of the people she saw seemed to think she needed to be pretty in the stereotypical wholesome next door way as say Hilary Duff (not that I don't like Hilary, hell she's great for little girls to emulate--especially since she has a body and is not some twig preteen and teens are going to starve themselves to look like). Jordan is not unattractive, she does not have a unique look that grows on you (or at least it did on me). She does have an attitude problem but I suspect after seeing the aftermath that she is pulling that together but quick. The girl has some brains. I won't be surprised if she makes it as an actress though I can't say the same for Shane or any of those Nutters. And who knows what Emily may do. She's just too young to know what she wants and Mom won't always be able to manipulate her as much as she does now. Emily already bucks her on several issues but eventually relents to her mother's power and size. I think that will change when Emily gets to, say, Jordan's age.

As for the other Jordan, the little African American girl, if there is a shoe in for success in showbiz from this show, it's obviously her. She has personality. She has talent. She is adorable. And, contrary to what I know a lot of people will think, I believe her ethnicity will aid her. The "Showbiz" show itself should help her for in all the episodes except the final one (that is the one right before the aftermath) she and her mom are presented as a stable talented duo who have so much love and respect for each other and their lives that they can almost do no wrong. Notice I said "almost".

That last episode started showing some cracks with this wonderful family. Namely, it showed how over scheduled Jordan and her Mom are--at least on this one day but probably many more just like it. Jordan is exhausted after a day at work with her mom only to have to come home to finish homework. Her mother says something like: "Yes, Jordan is tired, but she knows she could have got this work done while I was at work and she had a whole hour..." blah, blah, blah. Okay, so Jordan had that hour. But how many hours that day did she have to herself: to play, to relax, to interact with other kids?? How much time did Jordan's mom have to interact alone with Jordan in an environment less stressful than her office and the set in which Lil Romeo was performing. Her mother says its tough being a single mom. She's right, I know from personal experience, so that has to be taken into consideration. Still, I hope they have less days like that in the future--its too much pressure on both of them.

Well, another day, another blog. Hope someone's out there listening. If so drop me a line. I would love to hear from you.


At 10:36 AM, Blogger Dani said...

You are a homeschooling "single mom"? Wow that is great!

How do you fit that into your schedule with having to work full time?

I think you could offer great hope to other single moms who want a better education for their kids, but don't think they can do it.

Blessing to you ~

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