Monday, September 3, 2012

A new school year

So we started school last week. Hannah is starting middle school and Tristan is starting 4th grade. But lets back up...

At the end of the school year last year, Hannah decided to go to public school. She wanted more friends and she wanted a different teacher than me. So we went to the orientation for our disticts middle school and she seemed to like it. But then...she didn't want to take PE and she didn't want to go to school in portables (our local school is building but it isn't ready), and she thinks it might be too loud, and she doesn't want to be gone all day. So...she is home still (though she really wants to try it but she is scared and doesn't want to be stuck there if she doesn't like it---we told her she had to stay one full marking period) forward to now.
We have begun schooling at home. But to meet Hannah's want of more friends and to give her other teachers, we have joined two co ops (actually three, but two of the three meet on the same day so for now we will do one and in the spring the other to decide which we like more). One has very academic classes where the children will get things like History, Language Arts, Mythology, and Public Speaking. The other has fun classes like martial arts, scrapbooking, PE, and Drama. This should expose her, and my son, to different friends and teachers.

And to give Hannah a feeling of control, I have begun to give her a schedule with her weekly work written on it and let her decide what to do each day, with the idea that she must start to manage her time. Hopefully this will help her feel more in control of her education.

Other things that are changing are the eliminating of Scouts for the children. Hannah stopped just because it wasn't fun anymore. Tristan stopped in protest to the BSA's stand on homosexuals in their organization. He found out recently that they don't allow openly gay boys and men to participate and to him, this is ridiculous. He doesn't want to be a part of a group that discriminates against anyone. I am proud of him for taking a stand for what he believes. We are currently looking for Lego robotics for him. Hannah is happy not to have any other groups to join.

And piano...we are maybe allowing the children to stop piano. They have been asking for a while and it is harder and harder to get them to practice. My last effort is to take them to the music store and let them pick out music they WANT to learn and ask the teacher to teach it to them as opposed the the pieces she wants for them. If that doesn't spark them, then I think we are done.

So we begin a new year...with hope and promise, and joy