Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall Is In The Air (aka the ramblings of a homeschool mom)

This was Monday night's sunset over the Olympic Mtn Range. I love this time of year, normally, but i guess since we had such a busy start to the Summer, i'm feeling like we didn't spend enough time outside in the garden. That is never a good thing.
This week, we are feverishly working to catch up on homeschool projects from the new books we just received. I love the history book--it has some really creative ways to get kids interested (makes me wish i would have waited to start history with Ri.) We are going back to complete a role playing exercise, and while i won't say too much about it now (relatives involved may be following this blog), i will have a post about it around the beginning of next week.
The homeschool options is really becoming a great fit for our family. We can wake up at our own pace, and still have school started and finished mainly at 9-12. We read still throughout the day and sometimes work on our projects. But the morning struggles and the outside influence and the peer pressure on kids these days we are not missing. Especially once Ri got a few months into school last year, she would have terrible rages at night--rants as it were, i suppose. I don't know if it was because she didn't get enough individual attention through the day, if she was bored, if it was the inconstitancy of her teachers' rules, if she felt too much pressure or uncomfortable because the teachers always greeted her with a smothering hug and some "you're always a good girl" comment, or just the influences of other children (you know the little things like the girls idolised Hannah Montana and Ri was practically the only girl in her class that didn't watch Hannah or wear Hannah or wanna be Hannah. She was the only one without a DS. She didn't have sleepovers--except with her grandparents. And she didn't watch all of the High School Musicals or Transformers or....Etc.) But this year, we haven't had these power struggles THANKFULLY!
And i know we aren't the only one's with this problem, because yesterday at Irish Dance, i talked with a few of the parents, who oddly enough are mostly homeschoolers too, and they said they've experienced the same thing--calmer kids = lots more enjoyable family time + tons of giggles. I can't imagine how Ri must have felt in a classroom of kids that were raised so differently than her. In a class of kids who's parents loved school because it's a sort of daycare rather than a place children are supposed to be gleaning knowledge. I know i felt crabby at most of the world last year after the first playdate of the year. Seeing how other stay at home mom's skirted their duties and just purchased prepared meals for dinner all the time or hired maids and that left their "me time" intact for new clothes, nail appointments, and new hairstyles, etc. Kids are parked in front of the tv and parents have no idea what they watch. It's hard being the odd (wo)man out. It's preposterous that when you sign up to bring a treat for a school activity that other seemly adult parents poke fun at you because they are sure you'll be prepared to bring something homemade while they are going to have to stop by the store and get something because they always forget until 7am the morning they are supposed to bring the treat. It's shameful and infuriating when people, who can afford a sweet ride, skirt responsibilities such as paying tuition or remembering to help their child bring their homework or special sharing item. And it's very embarrassing when you kindly decline an invite to McDonald's for a playdate and the next day you show up to an interigation squad about why you weren't there and when you share that your family doesn't eat McDonald's (we have fast food burgers once or twice a year, if we're foolish or lazy enough) and you're answering all these lifestyle questions and people, who don't even know you, take pot shots about your lifestyle because they read a quick story about those kinds of people who eat organically, recycle, knit, hug trees, and scrub otters. Because everyone chooses the lifestyle they are going to live by checking a box and subscribing to all the ideas, rule, and regs contained within. Right? :o)
I feel so completely empowered this year--Ri has really become a completely different type of student. She doesn't whine when it's time to go to a lesson or start schoolwork. Bedtimes are more regular, even with her dad working so late. When she says she's tired in the middle of the subject, i explain that she still needs to finish no matter how tired and give real life experiences like what Daddy or Mommy do when we might still be tired. It's refreshing to see how quickly she is realising the world is bigger than her. Now to teach her to find her place in it. Oy!

That's enough rambling for this morning...sorry to talk your ear off.
We're off to start another fun filled day of school. Hope you all are enjoying your first full day of Fall!

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Thanks for taking the time to read my silly lil musings. Hope you have a wonderful day!