Friday, July 06, 2012

Summer 2012!

I find myself in the throes of prepping my son for public school.  He may begin as early as 8th grade.  He may decide 9th grade is better.  He may dismiss the whole idea of school altogether.  Regardless, we are still prepping.  Mentally and emotionally, I'm sure he'll be fine.  He has no problem making friends, getting along with people, taking instruction, or being compliant.  He even knows how to stand in line and raise his hand (lol).  But academically, I realize without a doubt, I need to bring things up another few notches.  This is mainly to transition smoothly into a public school workload and to ensure that what he knows and what he will be learning over the next couple of years will stick.

It's very hard to feel like I'm fully letting go of unschooling.  I can combat that thought with - well W is choosing to go to school, so as his parent/facilitator I do what I can to help him reach his goal and pursue that interest - Just like I've been facilitating his interests all along.  As academic as we have been, it's all been through W's request.  We continue with what he likes and discard what's not interesting.  I guess we'll still be doing that in a way, but it will be wrapped around a parent-led workload.  He wants to try school.  This comes with his understanding that I am the one who knows how to not only get him there, but ensure he will be fine once he's in.  He will thank me later.

In 4 days we are driving to the Bronx and W will be evaluated for his learning disability.  Finally knowing specifically what is going on will be such a relief.  Then I can readjust accordingly if I have to.  Tuesday can't come soon enough.

J has spent the last 2 weeks way out in Long Island with one of her best friends.  She's been at the beach and pool every day, tie-dying shirts, going to fairs and parades, and hanging out with a ton of other kids.  She came back last Sunday for her theater jazz/tap workshop but went right back out that night.  It's better than camp, lol.  She'll be at the workshop again this Sunday and then home.  She would probably go right back out to the island if it weren't for her Tue-Thu dance classes starting next week.  I love that she'll be doing Pilates.  It's supposed to be great for dancers.  B went out and bought leg bands and an exercise mat yesterday for her.  She has 2 books to read for school (The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien and Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood by Oliver Sacks) both of which I picked up yesterday.  She is also taking an SAT prep class over the summer with her friends and I bought the book for that as well.  She is all ready for her junior year at LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts!

Speaking of camp, W decided against day camp this summer.  They lowered the age range and he doesn't like being one of the oldest kids in the group.  So, we'll be out doing something (almost) every day instead.  Summer in NYC is chock-full of events and activities.  I just wish the thermometer would drop below 90 one of these days.  And since W won't be at camp, we have started to ease into the new curriculum.  3 days a week.  We already started the Saxon 76.  The basic addition review is fantastic and the practice problems in the test book are just what he needs.  He learns best by repetition and what I guess would be considered busywork - but I recently realized that repetition is why I never forgot any math facts.  I am also teaching him how to write proper story summaries.  I read The Emperor's New Clothes to him the other day and asked him to narrate back.  He pretty much told me back the whole story, almost verbatim.  (Ok, so I'm positive this kid has no retention and comprehension issues).  So the exercise was to retell the story back in only 4 sentences.  As I held up one finger at a time, he came up with the 4 sentences in perfect order and form.  Now the trick is to get him to do that with pen in hand.  He gets so tripped up on sentences and spelling and punctuation, that he completely loses what was in his head.  I think if I tape-record his summaries and have him write it down while it's being played back, he will learn to write better, faster, and with less frustration.  Well, that's the plan, anyway.  We'll see if it works.


Mama Teaching 3 said...

I think it says alot about YOU, his mother, that he is so comfy with the thought of going off to school. He must be an amazing young man.

NYCitymomx3 said...

Thank you. He'll probably be a lot more nervous when the time comes, but he's looking forward to it. I'm the nervous one, lol.