Tuesday, August 29, 2006

School is In, and Not a Moment Too Soon

Yesterday was the first day of our fall semester. This will be my first year teaching two little sillies. The Goose is now in 3rd grade, and The Boy is doing K4. The Flea is majoring in Mischievous Studies, and is producing a dissertation on "The Deconstruction of the Blankie: One Fingerful at a Time." She is a diligent researcher.

I don't feel quite ready for our school year -- still some ancillary things I haven't gotten around to ordering, and our science curriculum arrived just yesterday. But man, these kids have grown stir-crazy, being out of their regular routine! The time has come!

I always looked forward to the beginning of the school year when I was a kid. New books, new supplies, new school clothes. In my mind's eye I can still hold my Mickey Mouse Club metal lunchbox, redolent of peanut butter. But around here Day One arrived with little anticipation. We'd worn ourselves out with swimming lessons instead of shopping sprees. Our Friday lunchboxes probably won't be on sale anymore by the time I make it to Target.

But one of the coolest things about homeschooling is taking off after school to spend the afternoon and evening at Six Flags with my dad and brother. I NEVER got to do that when I was a kid.

We've had a light schedule the past two days, but you'd never know it by looking at my third-grader's face. Every math assignment is greeted with grimaces of despair and disgust. (And these Singapore Math books are the same ones she loudly and eagerly awaited only two months ago.)

Writing words inside a 1" high box is a task beyond her ability, since she's incapable -- INCAPABLE, I tell you -- of writing letters smaller than 2" high. It's pathetically comical. Finally I have enough days of homeschooling under my belt that I can respond to this annual ritual with bemusement instead of worry. This phase will run its course, and not a moment too soon.


Patty in WA said...

We, too, started out of sheer boredom a couple of weeks ago. Now it is sort of a week "off" because my parents are in town, but I think we will be up to full speed by mid-September. Usually, that's about when we start folding stuff in...so bully for boredom!

Silly Old Mom said...

We're taking off for a short vacation the weekend after Labor Day (hence the "early" start). It's sheer providence that my schedule coincided with the Flock's internal boredom alarms.

The beginning of the school year is like boredom detox. The result is usually pleasant, but the process sure ain't pretty!

Patty in WA said...

DeTox is a very good word. I am "weaning" rather than going "cold turkey". Much of that is simply that I wasn't READY to start, but I'd have to be pretty lame to not be able to tell my kid to go read a book! And we've done some of the Brimwood History which is a MARVEL! I'm so happy with that program.

Silly Old Mom said...

I had The Goose do some multiplication drill this summer, in prep for SM 2B. So of course, addition and subtraction WITHIN 10 are tripping her up, LOL.

And I went to great lengths to type up a summer reading list. The list went out the window when she got the Hardy Boys collection for her birthday. At least we're getting our money's worth.

So tell me more about Brimwood. I've never heard of it. How is it organized?

Patty in WA said...

Brimwood offers a few products but their main one is a logic-stage overview of 5000 years of history--in 14-16 weeks. You can see it at BrimwoodPress.com. Basically, it's a re-set to give the kiddo going into the logic stage a "clothesline" of history on which he can hang new knowledge. It's uses a fictional book based on the development of the calendar, a book written by the curriculum developer (Marcia Brim) and some accompanying materials that are beautifully done and not just busywork. After we do this, we will start our 4-year rotation again (which will take 6 years--sigh).

I have to get my booklist together...but I don't have to have the whole darn thing done to get started. And I ahve been surprised at the books my son wants to read from my "working list"--including Oliver Twist. (I think we will read that one aloud. Probably him reading to me.)

Anyway...glad we are both off to a good start...Hardy Boys or otherwise.