11 comments on “It’s that time again

  1. Sweetheart, I don’t think you are capable of handling Lili and Miles in home schooling again. Not yet.
    Not that you aren’t capable (you are), but because of the financial needs, your new job schedule, and the “drama” that abounds, it might be better to gut it out another year.
    I know you don’t want to hear that, but my intuition tells me that you simply don’t have the capacity of time/resources to make it a good experience for them. Not with everything else you have on your plate right now. In the end, they would be the ones who loose, and that’s not fair to anyone.
    You would be spreading yourself way too thin. Not good for you. And if *you* are constantly trying to do too many things at once, nothing gets done well.
    You can only do so much to help out and I think that you have reached the limit of your present capabilities. Maybe later, perhaps in another year, but not now.
    I love you all, and want what’s best for *all* of you. That includes Lili and Miles.
    School attitude notwithstanding, their very presence in the school is a testament to your dedication to your children, to the community you live in, and a lesson of tolerance and acceptance for everyone involved.
    Kicking a few asses might be the answer. At least for now.

    Love
    Poppa

  2. I sympathize with you. I think you need to do whatever is best for both you children and yourself. You are a smart lady and I know you will carefully weigh both the pros and cons of the situation. Luckily you have a few months to make the decision. I hope you’ll be able to make the decision you want. But don’t forget to consider yourself and your needs too (your children need you to be okay, too). Good Luck Dawn!

  3.        I’ve got a couple of pennies here, so I’m going to throw them in the jelly jar.

           I’m in complete agreement with your father. How do you reasonably expect to hold down a full-time job, watch Joseph and home school Lili and Miles? You’d drive yourself completely nuts and I know you wouldn’t feel that you have the time or the energy to do the job that you want to do and get everything handled the way that you want it. It’s going to be hard enough for you to do it without having an additional babysitter around, unless you’re getting another one that I don’t know about.

           The problems that Miles is having will pass. Kids are mean – I thought you knew that. It’s the result of something that your kids had and most of them did not – good parenting. Their parents didn’t teach them to be nice and understanding. That’s not something that their parents are going to worry about – they’re busy going to work, so it’s not on their list of things “to do”. Miles, on the other hand, has to learn that it’s okay to ask the teacher if he can go take care of himself – maybe arrange for some kind of non-verbal signal to let him go use the bathroom and take care of himself. Maybe have an extra set of pants and underwear there for him to change into at the school. I know it doesn’t solve the problem, but it might help. Then he won’t stink all day long.

           Now I know that unlike many of the other students’ mothers and fathers, you’re a proactive and involved parent. It might be worth your while to call the school to talk to this teacher about her choice in books. I’m well aware of the fact that you’ve said that this gal isn’t the most accessible teacher for discussion. After you’ve made your token attempt, which I’m sure you have, then you call to talk to the principal [Standard Operating Procedure – it’s been bypassed in my school district so many times!] about the teacher’s choice of reading material and how it might not be appropriate for that particular age group. [What book is she reading, by the way?] I’d be willing to bet you money that the principal wasn’t aware that particular material was being covered in class – at least in that graphic of a tone. One of the nice things about having a little bit of flexibility in your classroom is that you don’t have to have every little thing you teach approved by a committee first, but that also means that things like this get slipped in from time to time and watchful parents make sure that such things are removed from the curriculum very quickly.

           I don’t know if it’s worth your time, but I would encourage you to give public schooling another year. Sometimes, you just have a bad year – it happens. If you choose to allow Lili and Miles to attend this public school for another year, I would definitely recommend going to introduce yourself to your childrens’ teachers right at the beginning of the year and request regular reports and phone contact. If teachers do not comply, you’ve got a powerful leveraging tool with the principal. You might become that parent that teacher’s hate to see walking into the building, but as long as you treat them fairly, they’ll be okay with it. “We nip ze prrroblemz in ze bud!

  4. I hear what you’re all saying – I really do – but there are a few things to really understand that weigh heavily in this decision:

    1 – There are about 25 kids in each grade – not each “class”, not each “period”, each GRADE. And they’ve most of them have known each other since before they started school, so there’s already the insular, cliqueish bullshit we all know and hate.

    2 – Because the school is so small, the teachers are given plenty of room to teach what they want. Going to principal gets the rolled eyes and “leave me alone” attitude. I know – I’ve done it. Unless EVERY parent complains about a book or lesson or something, nothing is paid attention to.

    3 – I spoke to both of their teachers before the year started. I worked out with Miles’ teacher about the accidents thing. He has a non-verbal signal, but either he’s not using it because the other students razz him for it, or the teacher is not paying attention (she’s already demonstrated significant memory problems on occasion). I explained to Lili’s teacher the kinds of sensitivities she needed to demonstrate in order to maintain Lili’s respect. They were (apparently) patently ignored.

    4 – My job at this point is only in the afternoons into the evenings, but my off-days are during the week, not the weekend.

    5 – Joseph is getting to the point where he’s a little more independent and doesn’t need constant supervision, although I’m considering starting him on pre-school exercises this year.

    6 – I do not feel confident anymore in the school’s ability to keep up with my children’s intelligence and needs. Even with enrollment in the gifted program, Lili’s telling me that she’s bored to tears and they won’t let her start on learning something new. They’re both signed up to see the school therapist, who is not completely booked and unavailable because they made it HER job to take over the standardized testing and preparation thereof. And, as Joe points out, it’s always the second guy that gets the penalty – NOTHING has been done or said to the students that started picking on Lili and Miles in the first place, but now they’re being ostracized by the students and labeled as “trouble-makers” by the teachers for lashing out from emotional frustration.

    Yes, I know it’s a lot to take on again. I know this. That’s why it’s a conundrum. At this point, though, I’m so goddamned pissed off at the whole system that it’s really not a matter of IF we should do it but HOW we should do it. And that’s not to say either side is cast in stone, but especially after this year and getting reaquainted with the whole “social structure” thing, I think the “socialization” argument for public school is not only complete and utter bullshit but part of the programming process to make good little automatrons. I can’t stand by that.

    It’s still a hard decision to make… the kids really want to homeschool now, despite not seeing their “friends” (read: other kids) as often, but they also don’t like being made to feel this way. I don’t blame them for that at all.

    •        I don’t know if it’s worth your while to try to send them to a different school – maybe even try to transfer them into Cheyenne proper. Pretty much everything I had suggested for you seems to have been thought of and applied already, so I’m not going to get any further into that, since you’ve probably either done it already or thought of it. Besides, it involves letting the school know just how much of a bitch you can be.

             That having been said, it sounds like home-schooling is really the way you want to go, so I’m not going to deter you from it. Rather than creating your own curriculum [and I know you and I have talked about this before], I’d certainly recommend picking one up that you know for sure is aligned with state learning standards. You can always suppliment the material with your own to flesh out your childrens’ education. It’s a lot easier than trying to track down everything and make sure you didn’t miss any loopholes for the educational system to tell you that you didn’t get the job done and your kids can’t have a high-school diploma or GED equivalent.

             Mostly, I don’t want to see you overextend yourself and I’d like to help out if I can, but it’s a difficult thing to do from a thousand miles away.

  5. I too don’t like to see them being removed from public schooling, basically because they won’t have the necessary interaction to face their peers, but come to think of it, I had an easier time because the schools I attended had really large classess.

    I remember many days I’d be home frustrated to tears with school, socially and academically. (My problem was mainly the language barrier)

    I’d imagine right now is going to be some of the toughest time for them, you can only do the best you can, and hope that they will learn from the experience, instead of learning to fear it… something like that.

    much love.

  6. 1) Better the 1911 Encyclopaedia Brittanica than the 1611 King James Bible.
    2) The social interaction facilitation capability of public school has been highly overrated. That red herring is kind of like intelligent design — an excuse people use to avoid the truth. If anything public school is breeding ground for social dysfunction.

  7. Jaundiced Logic Part 2

    Once again, I feel it is necessary to say something.
    There is something that occurred to me this morning that you might want to consider.
    You and your family have put down roots in this town. Both literally and figuratively.
    Putting Lili and Miles in home schooling is one thing – insulating them from the world is something else entirely.
    And this is what I perceive you are doing.
    You and I both had suck-ass childhoods, and the social situations we faced were horrendous, but partly because you and I are different than most.
    Lili and Miles, on the gripping hand, are closer to “normal” than we were.

    Here is what came to me this morning.

    Lili and Miles will be growning up in that community. One day, they will reach the age where they will be needing/wanting to get jobs.
    If they don’t have the minimal contacts (and I’m not even talking about social bondings – just contacts) that they will need in their future lives, they won’t have the resources necessary to make a go of it in the local area.
    They will be forced to “seek their fortunes” elsewhere. Even Cheyenne could be too far, if their social and emotional supply lines are stretched too thin.
    If they don’t have the local contacts to find jobs in the local area, their self images will suffer. Their “networking” skills will be stunted, and ultimately, they will be forced to either stay at home, or be tossed to the wolves in another city that they aren’t prepared to deal with.

    One last thing.
    Having them stay in the local school system, with you supporting their efforts against the school administration and forcing said administration (and by extension the local town) to accept Lili and Miles as they are, rather than as someone else wants them to be, is part and parcel of what you are supposed to do.
    Remember our discussions about being Indigo’s?
    Ramming the local peoples attitudes down their own throats, and forcing them to change their attitudes, is what you/we’re supposed to be doing, isn’t it?
    Lili and Miles will suffer.
    That is a given that you can’t get around.
    But trying to insulate them from reality will only hurt them more in the long run.
    And it’s the long picture I’m looking at, not just the short term.

    These things I believe.
    These things I tell you.
    Do with them as you will.

    Love
    Poppa

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