Monday, June 05, 2006

Work was great on Saturday - I'm really enjoying this job a lot. B had a nice day with the kids, picked me up at 6, and we all went out to my mom's to stay over. B, my sister, and I went out to sing at a karaoke bar that night and stayed out til like 2:30am. I will finally admit that I am just too old to stay out that late now. I was dead tired all day Sunday. I watched some Blockbuster movies most of the day and went to the mall with everyone late in the afternoon. After dinner we drove home. It was pouring rain again. Even after 2 cups of coffee at 8pm, I fell asleep pretty early.

I was thinking about how I want to go about homeschooling the kids next year. I definitely want to be more organized and not so aimless. I want to have an idea list made up at the beginning of the week - including ideas for new art/craft projects, a neighborhood calendar of events for the week, which books I'd like to strew their path with that week, any good documentaries on tv, and the regular days for library visits, homeschool group events, and dance rehearsals. J does better with a loose plan. She may not want to follow the plan, but having one is comforting for her. I shouldn't really call it a "plan" as it's more of a guideline. She does like to know what to expect. And at 5 y/o, W thrives with a routine. I think I'll practice over the summer. Getting myself organized is the hard part. When you're not creative (like me), coming up with ideas spontaneously is extremely difficult. Having a premade list of things is what I need to have every week.

Now I just want him to really want to homeschool. His preK makes it hard by bringing the kids into the Kindergarten classroom to see them playing so they will see how wonderful it is and will want to go next year. A long time ago I would have thought that was a great idea. Now I'm seeing that the preK doesn't get to see the parts of Kindergarten that he might not like - tablework, homework, constant evaluations and testing, less freedom, a 6 1/2-hour-day, one outdoor recess a week, and teachers contolling when the kids eat and go to the bathroom. All the fun parts of Kindergarten that he thinks he'll miss will be more than covered by homeschooling. And he certainly doesn't need to spend 33 hours a week cooped up with 30 other kids within 9 months of his age in order to have friends.

I would never tell him school is bad because hey, you never know what can happen, but I do want to show him how wonderful homeschooling is. W is so curious, motivated, enthusiastic, and eager to learn - but on his terms. He is pretty quiet about his abilities and does not like to "perform" for anyone. He likes his questions answered directly and to the point, as an extra sentence or two in an explantion causes him to tune out. His 2 years of preschool were fun because there was no pressure or stress. No one needs that in their childhood. He's so excited about homeschooling next year. I think he's curious about school Kindy, but I can see he really comes alive when learning out in the real world.

Now, to somehow convince K. (lol)


Mammal_Mama said...

My six-year-old used to think she was missing a lot, but now she understands the school kids don't get to play on those shiny playgrounds all that often. Also, the teachers wouldn't let her use the equipment in her own unique way; she was doing the monkey bars at three-and-a-half, so now she prefers slithering across the top, etc.

Once (when she was four) we played on a school playground when the kids in the after-school program came out. The teacher told us the section my daughter enjoyed playing in was off-limits until the children were in third grade. We moved to the "boring" section so the younger kids wouldn't feel bad seeing a four-year-old getting to play in an area that was off-limits to them at ages five, six, and seven.

NYCitymomx3 said...

I was told that W's class would use the playground every Tues and Thurs. I think since the beginning of the year they went out maybe twice. I know it hasn't rained or been too cold that often. I'm also not happy at the way the teachers speak to the kids - I hear them yelling often and being real impatient (I go inside the building to pick up W), and I've even heard one teacher cursing at the kids - a child asked her a question and she said, "Do I need this shit now?". Dismissal is chaotic, lunch recess is in the auditorium with a movie (no schoolyard), and I see very young children walking the hallways unsupervised. Kids are dismissed outside in the dead of winter with their coats unzipped/no hats/gloves. I hear the disgusting mouths on some of the kids and have seen bullying in action.

This is the school we are "zoned" for. I have no other choice - unless I want to spend thousands on a private/parochial school. My kids have been in a total of 5 different schools (Catholic, public, gifted, progressive). They are pretty much all run the same way. Maybe it's just my neighborhood, but sorry, it's just not good enough.

Mammal_Mama said...

Yes, school employees really don't treat families like valued customers -- but sometimes they get mad when we take our business elsewhere (especially when we take it home).