There are duty days- I have 14 this year, volunteer jobs, and a Saturday work day. My volunteer job is to organize the teacher appreciation luncheon. I prefer the word host over organize. School doesn't come cheap either- gone are the days of Reid Mother's Day Out where we paid $80 a month. Don't ask. Just don't ask how much it costs- it's still the cheapest around and we all think it is a perfect fit for this family.
Her school is a hybrid academy, which means the kids go to school three days a week in the morning. In the upper grades, they are expected to be home schooled the other two days. A nice blend, making it the best of both worlds. The kids get school friends, school activities, and the parents get the opportunity to have a hand in their education.
Home schooling is not my idea of a good time. Not gonna lie. I have complete and total adoration for those that do and I have several friends that tackle their children's education with such grace that, well, I just admire them for the strength and courage that they possess... that I lack. They never say it is easy, rather they say it is very rewarding.
Rewarding-- code word for HARD
Yesterday was a great day- LMC packed her lunch (three potato chips, four applesauces, six fruit bites- AKA Dora bites, two drinks, and only one meager pack of goldfish. If the apocalypse came, she would be A-OK), let me fix her pig tails with hardly a battle, and picked out her dress. We strapped into the stroller and walked [in the hot, muggy morning air] to school. On the way, we ran into her best bud, An-Ew and Mama Bits as it was also his first day of school.
His very first day. LMC took his hand and said, "Come on, An-Ew! It's a school day!" And off they flew down the sidewalk, barely touching the brick path with their excited little pitter patterings. They stopped at the crosswalk and waited for the moms to catch up as the muggy-mugginess wrapped us in a sweater of sweat and heat. It hardly fazed the two students.
It was a great day. She told us all about it on the way home in her very first carpool. Mama Bits and I are giving carpool a go- she drives Tuesdays and Fridays, while I have Thursdays. In the backseat they sat, trading stories of who did what- mostly make believe stories- but stories, just the same. Mama Bits and I traded notes about the classes and both decided that this is a great place with great friends waiting to be made.
Today, we started School #2.
So, homeschooling ain't for me. That being said, teaching LMC all kinds of things is something I find entertaining. At Target the other day, we found a BrainQuest book for Pre-K that has all kinds of cool exercises from ABCs, numbers, Phonics, to problem solving, and science. It is a little advanced, but nothing we can't handle.
The hardest time we had was figuring out how to hold the damn pencil. I tried 15 different ways of teaching it to her- all an EPIC fail. If you have any insight those of you that are familiar with this that don't involve that blasted triangle, I'd appreciate your feedback.
We colored "A" and "a" as well as drew a bunch of zeros. She solved the maze and she wanted to hold her pencil "like Tinkerbell does." My thought is that we will "play with her book" on the days she is not in school as long as she is enjoying it. It is a fun thing for us to do together that she is really excited about. She even has her own pencil with her name Sharpied on it.
For almost two hours, she sat enthralled at her book, her pencil, my smiley face drawings when she did something right and questioned my "Xs" when she missed something. At the kitchen table, with the house a mess at our backs- I set it all aside. No music, no phone, no email- nothing but mommy and daughter time. We wrapped up the first lesson with her saying, "Let's do more, please!"
Tomorrow, I promised. Tomorrow we will go again, starting with the letter "B" and go from there.
Until it is no longer fun. That's the deal.