Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Things I want to remember...

That my boy is MY boy right now. He loves his daddy and is starting to want to do things with just dad, but I'm still the one he wants with him. Although this morning when he was sick at 4 in the morning it was his dad that he called out for, that may have been because the toilet was backing up. I'm not sure if he was just puking he would have called for either of us.

So the second thing is this: I love watching him figure out how to be his own person and stand on his own. In the middle of the night when he was sick he tried (and I wish he hadn't because I would have pulled out the trash can instead of having the clean the carpets but I digress). Last night at scouts we saw it also. 2 years ago, heck even 1 year, he would come up and need us to be with him, last night he played with his friends and raced his boat and only needed us to hold it after his race.

Third thing I want to remember is the way he uses language. I worry so much about his reading ability I lose sight of his verbal skills. He has an amazing vocabulary and really, really is starting to understand how to use it to effect. Last night after scouts I said I was wanting something sweet for a snack. I asked if anyone else wanted something and The Boy said "I think you should tell us what you want and I believe I will concur with you."

All this said today he is laying on the couch under his Nemo blanket he has had since preschool speaking in mono syllables and trying hard not to throw up again.

I'm gonna miss that blanket when he takes it to college with him. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

How Homeschool Friendly is your town?

I have become used to the fact that The Boy and I will wander around Brighton and have not a single person bat an eye at us. He is obviously school age and when people ask him if he is enjoying school and his response of I'm homeschooled, is greeted with them again asking if he is enjoying school. Not a batted eye, no looking to me to see if I've suddenly grown a 2nd head, just acceptance and moving on to other conversations we were already having.

This last week we were confronted with 2 different, but both surprised points of view. Neither of these were here in our town. The first was Friday when we were packing my sister up at the hospital so she could go home (Oh, Hey, my sister came home from the hospital again, hopefully for the last time in a very long time) A volunteer came by the room to give everyone a free cup of coffee if they wanted one. (You know I ALWAYS accept free coffee) She sees The Boy in the room and says to him "Why aren't you in school!" He said, "I'm homeschooled" as he always does. She then looked at me as though I had grown not just 1 extra head but maybe 2, or maybe I had grown horns or was a meth addict too lazy to take my child to school, but strong enough to take him to the hospital where I might be able to steal some drugs from my poor defenseless sister. (I might be exaggerating a bit, just a bit, I don't think she felt I had horns) 

The second was at a friend's birthday party, I was talking to another parent and he asked where The Boy goes to school. When I replied we homeschool his response was "Wow, you must be really patient" Ummm, no I'm really not. I am so far from patient it isn't even funny. I will say I am learning to be patient but I did not have it coming in to this.  I wonder about parents who say things like that. Do they say it to explain to themselves why they could never homeschool? I have to admit I don't feel like a real homeschooler. I love my boy I love teaching him but damn I wish I could have some down time. For some reason I have my own misconceptions about this. I think that all other homeschool parents love being with their children all the time, and never have a moment of wishing for something else. In my rational mind I know that isn't true and I know that I can't be the only homeschool mom who is at times driven crazy by the all encompassingness of it all. 

All that to say, I'm lucky with the town we live in. I don't always appreciate it, I often wish I lived somewhere nearer to my family, closer to the city, just somewhere else. This town, though, is very understanding of homeschooling, it takes leaving the comfort of it to understand better the balm that acceptance is. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Two weeks of school

I started school in a good place, a bit intimidated by the things I was going to teach this year, but ready for it. I had planned 2 weeks out, and the first 2 weeks went by really smoothly. Then we had my sister's surgery and all the appts to get ready for that so the 3rd week of school was actually not much in the way of school. The following week (the week we just finished) went something like this:

I didn't have my lesson plans done so while I definitely know what I'm doing with our reading system and math always just seems to fall out I didn't have things planned for History or Science and so those things fell to the way side, as they always seem to. Sigh. I need to find time this weekend to prep for Barton, and plan 2 weeks out with science and history again. It goes so much more smoothly when I do.

The Boy is still HATING the Barton system but I have begun to use bribes and they are working. If he will do the hour of tutoring without arguing and complaining then he will get a small reward. I don't even remember what it was last week but it worked and we got through a lesson without my having to stop the timer or screaming at him. The funny/not so funny thing was when we were talking about this he pantomimed our normal exchange exactly. From his complaining about not wanting to do something to my fists clenched explanation of why he Heh.

All that said  he read something out loud to me, voluntarily, with no tears over words he couldn't read, just asked me to fill them in. It was wonderful and made up for the horrible feeling I felt in the grocery store where I saw a book on George Washington that was obviously for his age level and the reading level was 3.2 and while he SHOULD be able to read that he is no where near able to read at that level. He will get there it will be fine. Someday I'll look back on this and laugh at my worries. Right? Right? Please tell me I'm right.

In news of my sister she is feeling better in some ways but is on her way back to the hospital because she is leaking spinal fluid. Please keep her in your thoughts as they work on getting her better.

Thank you.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The advantage of Homeschool

This week, oh my, this week. We have done nothing that is part of our curriculum. Learning has happened but it has been an education of brain anatomy, surgery procedures, hospital procedures,improvised games, and empathy.

One week ago my sister was given Thursday Sept 1st as an appt for brain surgery. Monday we took her to an appt with her General Practitioner and The Boy learned about the anatomy of the stomach and what a stomach with an ulcer looked like, not because his Auntie has anything like this but because  they had models of this in the room.

Tuesday he learned what the Arachnoid Mater looks like at the neurosurgeon's office. He learned where the brain stem is, what some of the side effects of surgery were. Why it was better to have the surgery than not. What the expected benefits of the surgery would be. Why you want a surgeon who doesn't choose surgery as the first option. He also learned the first bit of the hospital, where the cafeteria is, where the bathrooms are, that it is easy to forget your dog when you have so much else on your mind. (Oh wait that was my lesson not his)

On Wednesday he learned that sometimes you have to let plans go when others can't keep up. That a headache can't always be made to go away with Mama's hug (although she will try)

On Thursday he learned that you can wait for long hours for information when you love someone and they are in surgery. He learned that it helps to have family around you while you wait and to have family greet you when you get out of surgery.

On Friday he is learning that it is better to have to wait to see a nurse in ICU because you are doing so well rather than have the nurses hovering. He is learning that ICU is not a place with a lot of joy but there is hope and again having family and friends around helps to ease the pain.

If he had been in a public school he would not have seen this, I would not have been able to just be here for my sister, my brother in law, and my parents. It has been crazy and worrying and busy, but it has also been wonderful to have family together and seeing that my sister is less than 24 hours out of surgery and already her symptoms that have ruled her life for the last 16 years are gone. Modern medicine is an amazing and wonderful thing.