Last week, I wrote about my irate child who was very unhappy about being back at the local public school. As I basically said, I can’t say that I blame him. But, I have been uncomfortable with the idea of him returning to homeschooling because I still think he could have a good school experience. So, here’s the update: After thinking about it for a … Continue reading Today I’m thinking about school – Update
It’s the start of a new school year and 2 of my children are happy to be going to school, 1 is irate at having to go to school and 1 is happy to be starting online-schooling just as soon as his computer arrives. My irate child went to school last year, was miserable and comforted himself with the idea that he would not, would … Continue reading Today I am thinking about school
My 9 year old spent last week at a nearby nature center for summer camp. It ran from 8-4 with an overnight camp-out Thursday night. It was really the first time he’s spent that much time in that short a period away from his family. He had an absolute blast, got along very well with the other kids and only had one serious discipline problem … Continue reading Summer Camp and Peer Socialization
My kids and I took a little trip today to a local cave. It’s a sight seeing sort of place with some cool geology and stalactites and stalagmites and such. We’ve been there before, but not for a couple of years, so it was new enough for my boys for them to enjoy it again. I was, however, kind of disturbed to learn that they let the bats that overwinter in the cave stay in the attached gift shop as well. At least I think they said they let the little guano machines hibernate there – I was a little distracted corralling my girls.
What was interesting about this trip for me, however, was to watch the reaction me and my kids got from the various people on the tour with us. You see, half of the group was attending through a local Young Mensa field trip group. The other half were just random folks who had the bad luck to take the tour at the same time as us. My kids were the youngest ones there and, as usual, they made a spectacle of themselves. My girls (almost 2 and 3) did get obnoxious towards the end, but that was just a part of the problem. You see, my boys are just very outspoken – quick to answer any question, even the rhetorical ones. And they ask enough questions to get a reference librarian to tell them to give it a rest. Plus they say odd things like, “I find these stairs more disconcerting than I remember them being last time.” (The 9 year old.) or “I can’t wait to get off of these stairs so I can put my feet back on terra firma.” (The 13 year old.) The (almost) 2 year old pretended to be a cat-dog (a puppy that meows) most of the time and dramatically warned us, “no touching” if we got too close to walls or “look out – monsters!” when we were warned about a creepy part coming up. The 3 year old suggested that there might be a tiger behind a gate leading to a dark area she couldn’t see and pointed to every calcium carbonate formation in the place.
What I noticed and what I finally have something of an answer for, was that half of the group did not seem to enjoy our presence. One older woman in particular repeatedly glared at me and my kids. Her husband kept shaking his head at us as if to say, “what has this world come to?” These are the responses I have become quite familiar with: the disapproving looks, the stares which seem to say “why don’t you make them shut-up!”, the averted eyes which indicate that we’re embarrassingly weird. I get them everywhere I go it seems.
However, I noticed a quite different reaction from the folks with the Young Mensa group. I caught of lot of knowing smiles and some rather reassuring nods from the parents whose kids had already made it through the younger, more rambunctious years. They too probably knew what it is like to have kids who talk too much, ask too many questions, are too smart for their own good and unnerve the more normal people around them.
I live in a part of the country which is largely populated by much more somber, serious and conformist people that I am used to. There’s a joke which captures the flavor of a lot of the people here which goes: “Did you hear about the Norwegian farmer who really loved his wife? Yeah, he felt so passionately about her that he almost told her.” We, on the other hand, are from Chicago. We were socialized by intense, argumentative Poles, lively, talkative Irish and rowdy, playing-the-dozens African Americans. Even if my kids weren’t the sort who go around using words like “undulate” and “non-sequituer” in a sentence, we still wouldn’t fit in real well here. Continue reading “Gifted in Public”
A couple of years ago, I stopped trying to get my older son to do word problems. He just didn’t get them. Plus, they often required really convoluted thinking to figure out. I decided that once he knew algebra and knew how to create equations, we’d give them another try. Now he’s in algebra and we’re starting to re-introduce them. Knowing how to create an … Continue reading 10 year old boys are right: word problems are evil!
Joanne Jacobs points us to a story in The Village Voice about the growing number of African American homeschoolers. If you can get past the first paragraph which is as bad a display of provincial ignorance as one is likely to ever encounter, it’s an interesting, in depth story. Given the abysmal job the public school system is doing of educating African American boys in … Continue reading African American Homeschoolers
My 3 year old daughter has been advocating for everyone in the house to play something she is calling “kissing tag”. I guess she wants us to chase each other around and try to kiss each other. I have no idea where she is getting this from, but obviously, as the person charged with ensuring that we have a safe learning environment I should implement … Continue reading Someone should notify the authorities!
I don’t know what’s going on lately, but I’ve had the hardest time getting motivated to do school work with the kids. Instead of them complaining, I’m the one going, “But I don’t want to do algebra! Do we really have to do biology? Can’t I wait to do the times tables with you?” Sigh. Of course, for some reason, this time of year tends … Continue reading Homeschooling Blahs
This week’s Carnival of Homeschooling is up over at A Pondering Heart. Thanks to Jocelyn for putting it together. If you have a chance, check out Barbara Frank’s post on interviews with women who tried to have it all and are older and wiser now. Continue reading The Carnival of Homeschooling Is Up!