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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

So the guidance counselor was scheduled to speak with Emily yesterday afternoon, “sometime after two”. She didn’t.

Presumably the meeting will happen today or tomorrow. By the end of the week, anyway.

It will be interesting to see if she comes up with anything useful.

Chris asked what it is that Emily doesn’t like about school. As best as we can figure out, it’s mainly the social aspect of middle school that she’s struggling with. She has plenty of kids that she’s friendly with - people to talk to on the bus, for instance, that kind of thing - but she doesn’t have a “best friend” and she’s finding that very hard to deal with. And of course, being so tiny probably isn't helping. She has had to deal with countless insensitive comments but, (thank God) no one has been overtly mean to her about her height.

She had felt that the teachers didn’t care about her, or even know who she was, but I gather that that is starting to change. I suppose that they have been in school long enough now for the teachers to work out who’s who and (hopefully) develop some kind of relationship with their students. So that problem may not actually be that much of an issue.

And then there’s the long school day thing. Middle school takes up as much time as an adult job does, it seems ... Between school and homework, there’s precious little down-time. Take yesterday, for instance. Breakfast at 7.30. Play with Sophs between 8.00 and 8.25. Walk to the bus stop. On the bus at 8.45, home again at 4.45. Once home, Emily ate a snack, had started her homework by 5, and kept going with that till we ate at 6.15. Then we went climbing - she’d been looking forward to that all day - and she was in bed and asleep by 9.30. She didn’t have any time to just ... be.

The fact that her Geography teacher is a fool bugs me, but she just find it amusing. The guy's latest is to claim that mosques have bell-towers, and bells call the faithful to prayer five times a day. Um, no, churches have bell-towers. Mosques have minarets, and the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer. No bells are involved in the process. Moron.

And then Carol asked why I feel that Emily would need more structure than Sophie does.

This is one of the areas where I’m not very sure of myself. Maybe it’s not exactly that she’d need more structure ... our current approach probably does eventually result in a fairly well-rounded education. I think maybe it’s the fact that Emily is ready for far more in-depth, advanced learning than Sophie is, and I think that’ll be harder for me to provide. When I look at the things she’s learning in math and science, they seem pretty advanced to me ... far more so than the things I was doing in 6th grade, that’s for sure. I worry that I’ll just skate over the top of subjects with her, and she’ll end up short-changed. I know I don't want to do school-at-home, but I'm not sure how to avoid that while still providing enough content and depth.

In other news, a very, very, tiny ant has just walked out of my keyboard. It is currently sauntering over my screen. Oh God, here comes another one. And another. I have ants living in my ibook. This can’t be good.

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