Samuel Jerome and Richnightder

Samuel Jerome and Richnightder
Our boys in Haiti

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

the absurd and mundane thoughts of a homeschooling mom

Madison woke up this morning with a sore throat and nasty head congestion. She is lying in bed studying for her history test which covers the Industrial revolution all the way up to the civil war. I had no idea how little she had learned in public school. She had never had history before, even though she was in the 5th grade when I began to homeschool her last January. I find this a sad statement on behalf of our school system. She never had to study for tests and had no idea of how to study. We have had to work on note-taking skills, and actually remembering the material that has been studied. Previously, she only had to read it and not necessarily remember the content. Having written all this, I must note that she had always been and "A" student and I thought she was doing quite well academically. I now have a vested stake in my child's future and in ensuring that she has all the knowledge and tools to succeed in college and life in general.

Homeschooling is tough. Until I started doing it, I was always the first mom to drop the kids off at school, barely slowing the car down so they could hop out and run into school. I loved having the days to myself. It was mental and physical freedom and I loved being able to decide what I would do on any given day between 8:15 and 3:00. What I hated about them being in school is too numerous to list. On average, 4 times a week Thomas would appear after school, frowing and angry, jump in the car and burst into tears. I later learned from other moms, that Thomas wasn't the only boy to exhibit this frustration. Seems his last teacher didn't like boys very much and always had an extensive list of infractions that the boys' had done thru out the school day. One of the ones that the teacher complained about to me at least 25 times during the first half of the school year, was that Thomas took his shoes off while he was working at his desk. She told me it was a violation of the fire code. My retort to her was always the same, that if the 2 room school house burst into flames, I would expect him to leave the building without shoes regardless of regulations. She always like to send notes home to the parents of the 4 boys in her class, expressing her disdain in the fact that the boys made farting sounds during class. Guess the boys were on to her. As soon as they knew she hated it and it bugged her, they "HAD" to make those gross sounds. This young woman had no business being a teacher to young children; she was in the wrong profession.

I like to see my kids learn things and know that I am responsible for imparting the knowledge. Some days are just plain rotten and I want to run into a closet with a large bottle of Tequila. But then there are days when, out of the blue, Thomas mentions the Prime Meridian and how it divides the world into the Eastern and Western halves. YES! We covered that in world geography before Christmas and it is till inside his brain. Those are the moments that make me forget about the moments when we all have had just a little too much togetherness.

Today is homeschool gym class. Madi and Thomas have chosen tennis for this month's activity and my only concern with this activity is that Thomas doesn't let any bad words fly from his mouth. I don't think a lot of the other moms would appreciate Thomas' extensive vocabulary. So i spend the drive into town preparing him for appropriate language use.

Moving onto adoption news.......We are still waiting for this months update on Richnightder and Jerome. It is always bittersweet to receive these updates as sometimes it shares things you wish you had been there to see for yourself. I like to hear that the boys are both growing, healthy and doing well in school, but as my stack of these updates continue to pile up, I realize how much time has passed us by that they are not home with us.

We were matched with them in May of 2007 and here it is nearing the end of 2008 and still are only half way thru the adoption process. It is cruel how slowly the process moves for these kids and their families waiting for them. We have actually contemplated putting in for the openings that have come up for Marc's office in Santo Domingo, DR as it would be on the same Island as our boys. Then we come back to reality and realize that it may seem odd to the new boys to have the adoption final, and to find out that they are only moving across the border. I told Marc I thought if we were going to put in for a transfer, I kind of like Geneva, or Rome. But then what do we do with our myriad of animals??

Enough of my absurd and mundane thoughts. Oh, one more. I just saw Jamie Lee Curtis on the Today show and she was discussing how sad it is that our children today don't have an extensive vocabulary. They seem to use small, everyday words to express thoughts and we are losing the ability to teach "language" to our kids. Just a thought to close with for today. I will now go check on the ailing Madi and see that Thomas is reviewing his science lesson. Off to the trenches....

No comments: