June 3, 2008

Stop the School Year, I Want to Get Off.

It's not that I wish we were homeschooling, don't get me wrong about that. This time of year in homeschooling was always a bit lousy. The kids looked at me like I had pencils growing out of my ears when I expected them to do work. I would be looking at all the things we hadn't finished, all my unused materials for well-intended projects that never happened...wondering if we had done "enough"...answering the dreaded question from those highly structured and organized homeschool moms, "So, have you completed your curriculum for the year yet? We'll be done at exactly 1:37pm on Thursday afternoon."
No, this time of year was not necessarily carefree during our homeschooling days.

But in public school, we have other more meaningless crapola. Let's see. Yesterday I had a meeting with the 5th grade teacher about the 5th grade parent/child picnic/party. Six moms showed up to help her plan this thing and she kept saying, "We want you to enjoy being with your child at the party, so we'll do all the work that day. Okay. That said, who can bring the 5 water coolers full of ice water? Who can go shopping for all the snacks and paper products? Who can bake cookies and brownies? Who can think up the races and obstacle courses? Who can hang all the clues on trees around the park before we get there for the scavenger hunt? Who can see if the dollar store has more of these balls that will be buried in the volleyball court? Oh yeah, who can bury the balls in the volleyball court?" So, I'm baking cookies, organizing the relay races and delivering the water coolers. Oh, and I'll be there seconds after Kindergarten graduation ends, after I take Sean to whomever will be watching him while I go romp in a field with 33 11 year olds, because "WE" wants us to have alone time with our 5th grader. I wonder if "WE" has babysitting options planned.

Tomorrow there's a barbecue at school for the band. I'm lending our grill and turning burgers. Then, after we clean up, driving to Delaware so I can witness Luke play the Star Spangled Banner with the band to open the Blue Rocks game. Who are the Blue Rocks? Your guess is as good as mine. Why are we grilling? Why? Why? What does it have to do with elementary band, Blue Rocks or school or reality? Whoever thought of dragging 5 grills to the school to have parents cook for a giant band cookout needs to have the ginormous drum section of the school band play under their bedroom window the morning after schools close. Bright And Early.

There's the school field day. I don't even want to think about what "fun" I'll be involved in there. Shaving cream fights? Wet sponge toss? All I know is 1) I'm expected to be there with bells on and 2) the schools didn't put my parents through this torture when I was little. We probably got a miniature cup of red liquid and two cookies at our desk, and a quick kick in the behind as we exited the school for our big summer sendoff. And that was fine because we had energy left to walk back home uphill.

Sean's Kindergarten picnic needs to be planned by me and the other roommom. The teacher wants us to order pizza, but the other roommom wants to grill hot dogs and hamburgers. AND she wants to have a blow up water slide. AND she wants to serve do-it-yourself ice cream sundaes. (We are NOT grilling or water-playing - period.) Remember, she's the one who calls me Amy Grant, so we've discussed her mental patterns before. (Actually she's very sweet but, and I think she'd agree - crazy as a loon.)

So, as if all that wasn't enough to make me long for school's end when I'll actually have to put on a bathing suit ~shudder~ and take the kids to the pool we joined for the summer....they also have, before June 19th:

2 birthday parties
2 eye appointments
2 Little League playoff games (unless they win one, but I already warned Stan about that)
1 orthodontist appointment
2 more soccer tryouts
1 Father's Day gathering
5 therapy appointments for Seth's anxiety (wonder why he has that)
1 Kindergarten graduation....and whoever thought of "Kindergarten Graduation!?"

First Day of Summer ~ June 20th


Mom said...

When we decide to have kids we really never think about all of this.
Why did you home school and why did you quit?

rosemary said...

See, at times like this I feel I am blessed to be 63......my kids had K grads but just the ceremony and then liquid jello to drink and stale cookies.....it was fine... and while you are at it Amy, fit in cleaning, cooking, wash, dog duty (or doodie) and husband tending!

Jennie said...

Mom, there were many factors involved in both, but...I read about homeschooling when I was pregnant with my first and absolutely fell in love with the idea. I was teaching at the time in a public school. Then I kept reading about it and researching it and when Kindergarten age came, I decided to give it a whirl since Kindergarten attendance isn't mandatory anyway. It just worked for my first so well because he was extremely active and extremely a free spirit.

To make a long 10 year story short, he'd always planned to go to high school and when he left (in 8th) my second son sort of lost steam and interest in being home (alone with his pesky little brother - I didn't say that - though he didn't actually want to go to school either at that time) and I was losing steam and we had some stressors in the family, etc, etc. So I put them all in this year, K, 5th and 10th. All three like it very much and it looks like it's public school next year too.

When most people ask why we quit, I give the short answer: I'm having a midlife crisis.

Debs Blog said...

Wow Jennie I never knew that you practiced homeschooling once. It sounds like public schooling is way more work.

Paul Nichols said...

In Texas it's Juneteenth. You can read all about it on Wikipedia.