1.30.2008

Cheers and Tears

"Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name. . . " - Theme song from Cheers!


When the Fourteener started Kindergarten many years ago, everyone at the school already knew him. He'd been there volunteering in classrooms and at carnivals and in the car where the principal greeted his older brother and sister every day. Plus, he wore a 3-piece suit and tie with loafers (no socks) and carried a brief case. He was hard to miss.

(I'll save the Blue Angel jumpsuit and black rain boots for another story.)

He's just a really likeable guy. And he enjoys socializing with his friends.
That was one big reason that I was so apprehensive about homeschooling at first. (The other reason was that I figured I would turn him into an axe murderer!)


Once we started using Virtual School, it seemed like everything just fell right into place. I've enjoyed learning WITH him. It's so easy to fit discussions about his work into other parts of the day. And I've loved the way his confidence has grown - which has ultimately affected the quality of his work.

Working with him one-on-one has given me insight into the way that he learns best - with pictures and stories and discussions instead of just statistics - and we've found ways around and over and between the things that were holding him back. He's learned to manage his time and often flies through math in a day - which gives him the extra time he needs for Language Arts and History during the rest of the week. He finds Science to be fun and interesting, so he sometimes saves it for last.

Many of us have had teachers in the past who bragged about the high percentage of failures in their class. And that challenge may be what some kids need. But if the purpose is to educate someone, then why wouldn't we find a way to reach each child? Labeling someone a "failure" accomplishes nothing. (Does someone smell an f-CAT?)

OW! I think my head just left a dent on my desk.


So, anyway, he wants to go to high school next year and I want to hang on to him just a little longer. He's going to have to work really hard to keep up. But I think he can do it.

And what if it's the worst idea ever? Well, then we try something else, or maybe we'll go back to Virtual School. That's the advice I would give a new parent - learn to swim! Just when you think you've got it all neat and tidy, the dam breaks.

So I am making phone calls and doing researching and planning so that he can go hang out where everybody knows his name. What am I gonna do with myself when he's gone?? Hmmm. . . Cheers!

Have fun!

1 comment:

MOMSWEB, Inc. said...

I have only tears for you this morning as I realized my own baby boy is growing up, so no cheers are coming from laVender. You're right....follow your own Motherly Hold On Tightly Heart. I'm not looking forward to making this decision at all.