Thursday, September 11, 2008

A different story...

I wrote about how well socialized my kids were, but I am a different story. When I was very young I was very much like Curly Q. Everyone was my friend, and I loved to spend time with people. Then I went to public school, and for various reasons I was not accepted fully by my peers. Maybe it was my ugly glasses, maybe it was my intelligence, maybe I was just too eager to be accepted. Whatever the reason I was a social outcast on and off throughout elementary school. By high school I had lost the glasses and gained some self confidence. I found my place in the hell that passes for society in high school. Within my circle (and maybe even outside my circle) I was fairly popular. In fact I LOVED high school. College was also fairly easy for me socially. I had a medium sized circle of friends and making new friends was not difficult for me.

So what happened? I have a very small circle of friends whom I love to spend time with, but outside of them and my family I often avoid social interaction. It just seems like so much work to begin a friendship which more often than not winds up to be not worth it. I'm not nervous about new people I am just too lazy to get to know them. There are only so many hours in the day, and I sometimes feel that I am spread too thin as it is. Still I know that I should invest more time in solidifying friendships with people especially in the homeschool community. The problem with that is that since people have such diverse reasons for homeschooling it's difficult to find what I am looking for. Maybe I am just way too picky...

Monday, September 8, 2008


One of the chief complaints people have about homeschooling is that the kids won't be properly socialized. I will admit that when I started homeschooling I worried about this too. Curly Q. is such a social person that I was sure she would need lots of interaction. Bear doesn't seem to need other people as much and that made me worry too. In the past year and a half I have learned to believe what I kept telling myself.

First, different people need different amounts of socializing, and that is ok. Just because Bear prefers to play alone sometimes doesn't mean that she is destined to become a sociopath described by her neighbors as a quiet young woman who kept to herself. Curly Q. isn't destined to become a playboy bunny because she craves constant attention.

Second, when it comes to socializing quality trumps quantity any day. At school kids have plenty of opportunities to socialize, but most of the time they have no good role models to turn to for these interactions. There ends up being a blind leading the blind situation.

Last, a school social group is terribly artificial. First they stick everyone who's birthday is within a 12 month period together. Then in some case they further group the kids by ability. This might be a good idea for teaching and learning, but not for socializing.

We are becoming more active in our local homeschool group, and these points seem so obvious when spending time with them. The kids move from one conversation to another (with all ages of other kids and grownups) with total ease. Some of the kids spend lots of time socializing; some kids are more frugal with their words. None of them appear to be ill at ease although it is a very new group. There may come a time when we decide homeschooling isn't the best choice for us, but I am sure it won't because of socialization.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Midnight Rendevous

I am tired again this morning. My husband will tell you it's my own fault (which it may well be, but don't tell him). You see my kids like to sneak into my bed in the middle of the night. I let them stay for a little while, then I walk them back down the hall to their own beds. Some nights we do this dance half a dozen times. My dear husband says that I should crack the whip, and they would stop. Once again, I know he's right, but the problem is that I like having them with me. I like that they need me in the night. I like that they are quiet and still and warm. In truth if we had a bigger bed I might not even do the walk down the hall over and over again. The day is coming when they won't want to snuggle up with me. The day is coming when I won't be able to provide the support they need. Some day I will have to fight the urge to climb into bed with them because I need the the reassurance only they will be able to provide. Until then I will enjoy the peace of snuggling a sleeping child in the midnight hour--even if it means a groggy morning.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My little critical thinker

The other day when Sarah Palin was announced as McCain's running mate I was watching it unfold on the news. Curly Q. was watching too, and she started asking questions about the election. "I thought the person with the most votes became president and the second most became vice president." That got us to talking about how the political parties present a team for us to elect. I also mentioned that this was a big election year because there has never been a minority in the White house as either president or vice president, and since both parties have a minority on their team it we are guaranteed that a minority will be one after this election. She immediately got a strange look on her face. She says, "That's why he did it! He wanted her to be on his team because people will vote for them just to get a woman in the White House!"

My six year old daughter can see through the republican tricks... Do you think we can expect the same from the general voting population?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Day 2

As it turns out Wednesdays will be long days this year. We start out the day at the dance studio and end the day at the dance studio with a long stretch of caring for Gramps in the middle. I think next week I will make sure not to schedule anything on Tuesday or Thursday after Bear's preschool.

As for dance it went well for both girls. Bear is in a small class with girls from last year. It was fun to see how much the girls have changed. They all seemed so much more serious. Last year they were all goofing around during class. This year they all focused for the whole hour class. It also helps that it is a smaller class.

Curly Q. takes classes 2 days per week. Wed. is her long day with 2 1/4 hours, and by the end of class it showed. All the girls were dragging by the end. Not that they weren't trying. Their glazed faces would alternate with looks of fierce determination. As if by sheer will they could fight off the exhaustion. Still Curly Q. said she had a lot of fun. I, on the other hand, was stuck in the lobby with biggest stage Mom of all. It was torture.

So what did we learn today class...
1. I was right to assume that Wed. will not be a school day
2. We need to pare down our fun lunches out with Mom because we are just to dang busy with "real" activities
3. I should only drink water while at the dance studio because carbonated beverages hurt when you gulp them to suppress laughter at the preposterousness (good word huh?) of aforementioned stage Mom

Not exactly the lessons I expected to learn when I got out of bed this morning.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I'm Back

We took a much needed break this summer. It included lots of swimming, playing outside, and of course since I have more than one child lots of bickering. I remember doing the same thing to my Mom every August. I kind of thought since we homeschool the August blahs would be lessened, but I suppose kids will be kids.

Today is the big day for everything. Bear has decided to go to a local preschool, so she starts today. I think it will be good for her to spend time in that type of social situation. She seems to be sufficiently anxious and excited. I am feeling back to school jitters for her too, but I am sure she will do fine.
Curly Q.and I will be starting our new homeschool stuff today also. I plan to do math, spelling and grammar today. We may be able to fit in some history too. Here's our curriculum list:
Shurley Grammar
Centre for innovation in Mathematics Teaching
year 2
Spelling Time
Story of the World book 2
R.E.A.L. Science: Earth and Space from Pandia press

Bear will continue to use Headsprout and will join us for some history and science activities. I am not sure how much time they are expected to focus during preschool so I am going to wait to see how much I can expect from her at home.

The girls will also continue their extra curriculars. Curly Q.will be dancing two times each week for 2 hours a day. Bear really wanted to take gymnastics so we enrolled her in that, thinking she would not take dance. Then one of her classmates from last year called and asked if she wanted to take a class with her. Beart wanted to, and I thought it was a nice idea for her to keep some friends from last year. Plus since we have sold our sold for Curly Q. to dance, Bear can dance almost for free. So as it turns out she has school or some other organized activity. We will see how it goes.

So that's the basic info on us. I plan to blog every day during the time I have set aside for Curly Q. to journal, so the radio silence should be done. Wish me luck!!