Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Out of the Vortex

As far as I can tell, I coming out of the baby vortex... that's the black hole that all my energy, heart and brains goes into early on in each pregnancy and then continues to go until approximately when the baby starts taking one nap a day (thirteen months old).

I am back!

I guess.

Really, Hen is not doing the one nap bit yet... but I seem to be getting ideas again, so I am calling it good.


If I seem conflicted, it's because I am. I cannot quite figure it out. I clean forgot how to subtract two digit sums in a column last Saturday, yet I got a screamin' good idea for a book. Seriously. I had an actual vision of a painting two weeks ago, a thing that has not happened for me since I got pregnant with my first baby, yet I am as distracted as ever and cannot seem to finish a sentence using the correct words when I am speaking. The house is only the slightest bit more clean and organized, but I am super-amped about teaching a Color Theory For Kids class this summer. Having fun researching and putting together the lesson plans. Tonight I am headed off to the fourth and final class of the "play piano fast" class that came free with the purchase of a digital piano last year (the girl's are taking piano lesson). I will be playing "How Great Thou Art" in the class recital, top and bottom hands... I am crazy pleased with myself.

Plus I appear to have the extra energy to start freaking out about whether I should homeschool this fall, or just supplement the public schools with some extra stuff at home. Which, yeah, you might think hey! No
brainer, chicky! Supplement City, why make life hard on yourself? But every time I volunteer over at Lilac or Birdie's class's I am struck by how much of what is going on is simple herd management. How useful is that? I guess I wouldn't mind the timesuck and the "hurry up and wait" crap, except that it's my understanding that this school really falls apart for advanced kids in the third grade.

As much as I don't want to be "that mom." I fear it less than being the mom who just wasn't paying attention while everything fell to crap for her kid, and this year has been very disheartening for me as far as Birdie goes. Don't get me wrong, things are mostly Ok, and when I talk to moms of special needs kids I feel like a real schmuck for getting in a twist, but her teacher just doesn't get her, has no clue where this little girl is coming from.

Sure, at Parent-Teacher night the conversation seemed to go well at first, with all the things a mama would hope to hear.... top reader in the class, one of the top spellers, great in math, pays attention, participates in class, etc. it was the odd pauses before she continues with a puzzled look on her face that Birdie also really enjoys to write, but how she doesn't write things at all like any of the other kids. How her writing sounds so different, but it is actually pretty good. How she seems to be doing well socially. Like this surprises her. Like she couldn't understand how Birdie could manage to have friends.

Y'all, I got this distinct impression that she thinks my kid is a freak. That she could not understand how this freaky kid has friends. That the things she writes is weird. I guess I am saying that this teacher doesn't much like my kiddo.


I guess I should just suck it up, except that this option of homeschooling is there and it is surprisingly within my grasp. The kids would have more time to learn fun stuff because they would have one on one time with a teacher who loves them, and less time would go down the dumper from sheer numbers management.

Dadguy is right. I need to just let this go for now. What if Birdie and Lilac get amazing teachers next year? Supplementing would be optimal in that case.

I just feel like I have been too passive this year as far as Birdie's teacher goes. I kept telling myself that it's going to get better. But maybe it really will get better. Plus there are way worse things that a teacher who does not think the sun rises and sets over my kid. Right? I personally have spent a goodly amount of time with people that don't know what the heck to make of me, and I am undamaged by it. Bleah.

Hey, did I tell you that the girls have given my scissors a name? No joke. Whenever they need large, sharp scissors instead of their blunted safety scissors they ask to use "Straighty Katie." No clue where that comes from, but it slays me every time.


Heather said...

Gosh. I'm about to enter the Vortex.

Considered homeschooling myself at times. Not so much times when I have 4 under 5 at home.

followingtheroad said...

I've considered homeschooling a couple of times. And then I remember the time I tried to teach Bright to tie her shoes. And that time I tried to teach her to ride her bike. Funny how each time we both ended up in tears. So- no homeschooling for me.

It sucks that Birdie's teacher doesn't like her. But when you think about it, a teacher can't like every kid. I certainly don't like every kid I meet.(Although I am sure I would like Birdie.)As long as that dislike/confusion doesn't spill over into how she treats her, I wouldn't worry about it. Next year she may get an incredible teacher that loves her to distraction.

Heather said...

My friend has a great blog with free homeschooling information.

Nobody™ said...

Most of the homeschooled kids I've met are freaks. Kids need the social interaction that they get in school.

But I know where you're coming from. Our school sucks, and they decided last night to close the one my daughter goes to after this year to save a few bucks :(

bon said...

Chicken and Egg... are they homeschooled because they are freaks and do better out of the PS environment, or does homeschooling make them freaks? Anyway, apparently mah kid IS a freak.

Actually, in UT especially the HS option is so mainstream that you would be very surprised at the level of social interaction the HS kids are getting. Plus the program I am looking out is actually called the K-12 program... is actually public school funded from tax $$, you get a teacher overseeing what's going on online and field trips etc. But the school system saves so much $$ per kid that they are able to provide each participating household with a dedicated computer for the online stuff.

This ain't yer gramma's homeschool.

Mama D said...

Woo. I want to say some really great things here. But I feel like I'm still in the Vortex and am therefore incapable of saying anything worthwhile... but um... I'll try.

I think you would be an excellent homeschooler. I would not want to do it. I know that I do not have the patience and I would be overwhelmed by the undertaking.

I take pride in the fact that my kids are freaks. I have no problem with that whatsoever. And I know that you won't mind if Birdie is either. It's bound to happen right? What with such awesomely cool, intelligent and unique parents. I find it sad that most kids don't possess those qualities. That they simply blend in and are 'normal'. I don't think any of the greatest artists, writers, doctors, scientists, hairstylists (you get my drift) would have ever been described as normal when they were growing up. It's unfortunate but not surprising about her teacher. I think there are far more people in the world who don't understand brilliance than do. Perhaps you can set up an additional meeting with this teacher and actually delve into things a bit further. If Birdie seems happy and you are happy with what she is learning/accomplishing then I think that is all good. Over the course of our children's lives they will have plenty of crappy teachers. I know I did. The only thing I wish is that my parents had been more aware and could have perhaps improved the situation.

Yay about the creative juices coming back for you! I'm waiting for mine. Or what little I have are being used up at work. :)

Dina said...

I homeschooled for years. My oldest son, dropped out. (How do you drop out of homeschool?) My other three are in private, Christian school now and one is desperately trying to talk me into homeschooling him again. (He so enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere at home, including math lessons in PJs).

It's quite a road to travel, with many twists and turns, tears and rewards. So many people misunderstand the concept of homeschooling and therefore assume your child is a freak. You constantly hear the socialization argument, and honestly, these days with so many programs designed for homeschoolers, this is not a problem.

My son played basketball in one of the largest basketball tournaments in the U.S. --- the homeschool tournament held in Oklahoma every year.

In addition, there are supplemental homeschool classes in every subject available --- academica and non-academic --- and several schools in our district allow homeschooled students to participate in certain classes. Most of the time, it's a win-win situation.

Homeschooling is not for everyone and though there are times I miss it, for me right now during this season in my life, I would rather keep them in private school.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

I love my kids too much to homeschool them.

there, I said it.

I used to entertain the idea myself, because what better way to show them a version of the world at their level and not hold them back (mine too are freaks -- bright little freaks, who are sucking up knowledge like little sponges), but then I think that's just my version of the world, and who's to say it's the best one. I'd be handicapping them not to let them learn the world on the world's terms - and that includes letting Twin A find her way with the teacher who isn't crazy about her. I trust them to figure it out - I don't need to protect them. I need to support them. it's the best way I can help them build their confidence.

Oh, and also, I'd go insane if I had to teach them in a conventional setting. GAAA!!

spouse is so not-crazy about Twin A's teacher this year that he has vowed to pre-interview next year's teacher, though our school is so tiny we're kinda stuck with whoever they get...

elizasmom said...
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elizasmom said...
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