Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What am I DOING?

My mother in law once said that you should always live your life intentionally.

It is some of the best advice I've ever gotten.

I have yet to take the advice, but I think about it a lot.

When Gwen started 1st grade I started to see the wisdom in Joey's constant harping about homeschooling our children someday.

I didn't have a problem with her school, or her teacher.  I loved her teacher and so did she.

The problems I have with public school are:
1. It's too long.  I don't have a problem waking up early if it is needed, but if school starts at 8 a.m., it should get over by 1 at the latest.  Take out 1 of the 3 recesses.  Take out the lunch and 2 recesses and send them home by 12.  Or start at 9 or 10 and go until 3...put the lunch back in.

The problem that I have with how long school is, is that I don't have any time to influence my child's life.  She is only with me for a few hours everyday before it's time for bed. 

And I hate that the school is catered now to families with two working parents.  I am not passing judgement on working parents at all.  But I feel like someone who chooses to stay home with their children is punished or at least put at an extreme disadvantage as far as this goes. 

2. I specifically had a problem toward the end of 1st grade when Gwen started not meeting math goals that she had been exceeding all year long.  I asked if there was a problem and it turned out that the problem was that she had gotten as far as she could in 1st grade math.  She was hitting a wall where she needed to learn 2nd grade math.  I was told they were starting a new class for a few kids who were having the same problem.  But it never happened.

If my child is home with me, I can teach them on the level they are on, no matter what it is. 

3.  It is not a normal social situation for a 7 year old to spend 7+ hours a day with 20-30 other 7 year olds.  At what other time in life will you be surrounded by so many peers that are exactly at your age and maturity level?  This was where I had my #1 problem.  My sweet, kind, loving, considerate Gwenny got such an attitude and started being so mean to her little brother.  There are other factors that contributed, but I am going to place the blame right there for the most part.

So those are the biggest problems I had.

I decided when we moved away for law school that I would try out homeschooling.  We wouldn't know anyone yet, so I wouldn't be ripping her away from friends or a teacher she loved. 

Then I found k12 and in Arizona it is a free program because it is essentially still a public school, just online.  So she gets her work done fast because she has one teacher focusing on just her.  Then we are free to do whatever we want the rest of the day.  She can get her social interaction at church and the park and the grocery store, etc. And she can learn at whatever speed she wants to.  No holding back because of other students and no going ahead with something if she doesn't fully understand it.

(@ The Phoenix Childrens Museum...we got to go while most kids are still at school.)
Sounds perfect, right?


On Sunday after we spoke, a nice gentleman came to tell us that he enjoyed our talks.  He told us that he was just visiting, and we thought that was very nice of a visitor to take the time to come and talk to us.

Then in primary, the song leader told me that I had met her new boss.  She is the new choir director for a performing arts charter school that was opening the next day. 

So yesterday I went to check it out.  My new gentleman friend came right up to us and recognized us.  He took us on a tour and took Gwen into the 2nd grade classroom and introduced her.  When I stopped in the office to pick up some paperwork, Gwen started to cry because she couldn't start right then and there.

So it was decided.  I loved having her home, we were free to do as we pleased and she helped a lot.  But I have been feeling guilty that I am trapping my little social butterfly in a 3 bedroom apartment all day and we have no friends.  Max and I love to sit at home alone.  But not Gwen.

So we drove around all day yesterday shopping for her new uniform wardrobe.

And I felt melancholy all day.

And now Cash is napping and Max is vegging out to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and without Gwen's school, all I have to do is clean up the house.  So it should stay pretty clean now.  Except I feel weird about sending Gwen and I don't know why, but I don't want to clean.  I want to sit on my bed and feel sorry for myself.  I'm sure it will be just like last year (to rehash that one, click here) and I will have a bad day, but when she gets home she will be so excited and I will be relieved that she didn't even think about us once. 

We have play date after school, so that's good.  I will HAVE to shower. And put on lots of jewelry.

Other big news.  We found a BLACK WIDOW in the kitchen last night.  It was living under the edge of the counter THAT WE USE AS OUR TABLE!! Because we don't have a table.  It's not even a real bar, just a regular counter, so that spider was probably tickling Max's little legs and Cash's little baby toes everyday while they ate.  I don't even want to admit that Max has complained a few times about not wanting to sit by the cobwebs.  Worst thing ever.  I don't think Joey slept a wink last night. 


patty said...

I think this will be a really great opportunity for Gwen. I'm excited to see what happens.

Love Is Our Weapon said...

I MISS YOU ALL SO MUCH! gwen is model..so gorgeous..even in school uniforms (: her hair looks long. and cash is growing like a weed. a freakin adorable weed. max is a champion..but we already knew that. i miss you too. i miss you all...i do not appreciate arizona.

Loriannie said...

I think that Gwen (and max and cash) will do very well no matter where they go to school, because they have you for a Mom! Love ya!!!

Jessi said...

I've heard great things about the Charter schools. I've been freaking out about Kellen starting school and he's not even 4 yet! You'll have to let me know how you like it. We've been seriously considering going the charter scoop route.

Jessi said...


Sarah said...

I love you!! You are an amazing writer, I wish I had 1/2 your talent.