Site Meter

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Bobby's in Colorado at the moment, at a conference.

He really deserves this break. His trip to So. Cal was rather hellish; trapped with troops of rabidly sexist, homophobic Republicans who assumed he agreed with them and, cringe-makingly, inflicted their views on at least one Democrat-supporting waitress. Bobby felt rather persecuted : forced to listen to right-wing ramblings on the one hand, and, on the other, probably having his food spat in by disgruntled wait-staff.

Stephen's also happy at the moment. High school seems, surprisingly, to be agreeing with him. We went shopping this afternoon (kid needed a new hoodie, he seems to have grown again) and even that was a painless experience. We only needed to visit one store in order to find a hoodie that met all his criteria (mustn't feel hairy, mustn't feel woolly, mustn't feel weird, mustn't feel tight, mustn't smell wrong, must have correct brand-name) and all of my criteria (mustn't cost too much).

Middle school, unfortunately, is still not agreeing with Emily. Things had improved somewhat, but the wheels fell off again after the fall break, and she went from "I suppose this is tolerable" to "I hate this". She sees the guidance counselor tomorrow afternoon, and we are hoping that the counselor will have some wonderful, creative suggestions to help Emily adjust. If the counselor can't help, then I think we'll be taking her out of school and going the homeschool route. I don't want her to feel that the school week is a dreary grey eternity that has to be got through before the wonderful golden weekend - she deserves better than that. I want her to have the same feeling that she had last year : where she woke up every single day feeling excited and happy and knowing that the day would be full of good things.

That said, however, I still feel very daunted by the idea of homeschooling her. I suspect that if she'd never been in school, I wouldn't be feeling this way. I think we probably would have grown and developed together in a more natural, organic kind of way, so that homeschooling a middle schooler would feel just as natural to me as homeschooling a second-grader currently does.

Because homeschooling Sophie certainly does feel easy and natural. Most of Sophie's learning is driven by things we encounter in our day-to-day lives. This morning, for instance, riding back from the library, we encountered a dead snake on the bike track. So when we got home, we looked up various Central Floridian snakes, and discovered that it was most likely (shudder) an Eastern Cottonmouth. Then she wanted to type up the information she'd found out : she's big on writing reports, I guess because she sees her siblings preparing reports for school. During the course of the day, she also read some of her current book, baked gingerbread people (because she just finished reading The Doll People), did some math, and did a science experiment, bounced on the trampoline and played with her doll's house.

But I feel that Emily would need more depth and structure, and I'm not sure how to provide that, short of buying some kind of packaged curriculum. I know I don't want to go the school-at-home route, but I'm afraid that my current approach wouldn't be rigorous enough for an older child.

It's still possible that the guidance counselor will be able to help, though ...

No comments: