Wednesday, October 24, 2012

School daze

Atticus is my "homegrown homeschool" kid who is experiencing the public school system for the first time in his life, at the age of 10/grade 4.

Each day, he comes home and spends a long time (like basically every chance he gets to talk about it)  telling me about his classes, recesses, kids at school.

I love it.  And I'm thankful he is loving his first year in a public school.    Among this first month's moments:

*  My little guy is sweet-natured and easy-going, but sensitive.  The first few days of school he would still be awake at 9:30 pm, crying and worried that he missed something his teacher said.

It's okay, we explained.  Your teacher doesn't expect you to hear everything.  You're human.  Just like in homeschool, you're going to miss some of the stuff your teacher says.  Sometimes it might be a big deal, but usually it won't be.  Just relax and try not to sweat it if you don't catch everything.  No one can.

Within a week, he realized that this is indeed true, and his anxiety is gone.

*He thinks Gym/Phy Ed is just about the coolest thing ever.  I inadvertently scheduled our flu shots during his Gym class, and he was so crestfallen that I rescheduled them.'

* He is horrified by school hot lunch.  Horrified.  As is Paloma.  My Haitian Sensations, not so much.  You put food in front of them and they will eat it gladly and with gusto.  Music to this Mama's heart.  But my homegrown ones?  A little more discerning with their food selections.

Last week, the Mister was in Dallas all week for work, and by Friday morning I was wiped out and slept in a bit.  In a frantic rush to get everyone up and out the door, I mentioned that maybe I would have the kids take hot lunch for the day.

Waking up for school can be hard to do some mornings.

My two froze.  "NOOOOOO!!!" they wailed.  "Mom, really, I'll eat a peanut butter sandwich-- please!"  Atticus does NOT like peanut butter, so I knew this was serious.  So I slapped together some quesadillas, threw in the last of the apples and grapes, and sent them on their merry, cold lunch-toting way.

* Our school is just over 50% Hispanic, and Atticus' particular class is about 75% Hispanic.  Atticus both looks Hispanic and has a Hispanic surname (although it comes by way of Spain and not Latin America.)  The first week of school, none of the kids believed Atticus when he told them he doesn't speak Spanish.  And no one really knew of a place called Guam so his explanation did not gel with the class.

"They think I'm playing a game and pretending I can't speak it," he said.  "Those kids need a SERIOUS geography lesson.  This is the problem with American education.  Geography does not begin or end with America."

I can't tell you just how much I love discovering that my kids listened to me in homeschool :)

* This week they had WKCE/State testing.  They were given a prep test so the kids could understand what was going on and prepare themselves for a day of testing.

Atticus, on his walk home:  "Mom, do you know that they have tests where you have to choose A, B, C or D?"

"I do."

"And did you know that you don't circle the letters?  I thought you had to circle them.  But did you know that instead you have to fill them in real tiny like with a pencil?"

That made me smile, and still smile when I think of it.  How these experiences are so new to him.  "I had to do that when I was young and in public school."

"It's kind of crazy.  And very inefficient.  And you know if you can explain something or write about it, that's really the best way to show what you know."

Ah yes, my boy, I do know that.    And I'm proud that you know that, too.


ania said...

I love it.

Remember this on the days you want to castigate yourself because you're feeling woefully ineffective. Remember this!

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

So cute! "very inefficient" LOL!
True that!

Corey said...

When Jess did a year in public school (third grade) I realized I had totally neglected to teach her the Pledge of Allegiance.

Last Mom said...

My daughter has had people (both adults and children) think she was lying when she says she doesn't speak Spanish, too. Such cute observations. Our public school lunch is also horrible.