Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Meeting with the Principal

Himself and I went to meet with the principal today. I think the guy thinks I am a moron. "What do you know about homeschooling?"

"Absolutely nothing" is my succinct reply. Well it's TRUE! I explained that this is not something I WANT to do, it's something I feel I have to do for my son. I explained about the ADHD and what my goals are for this year (which is basically to teach him socially acceptable coping skills and then kick him out the next year back into regular school.) This guy is obviously keen on homeschooling.

Which is not surprising as that is what this school is about. They hold no regular classes. All children meet once a week for a full day (however he carefully explained that if the little guy can't handle a whole day, he can go 1/2 day either morning or afternoon), they also meet once a month for field trips. Apparently there is sports, music, drama and other "extra-curricular" activities that I can enroll Theo into as well.

I have to report in about every thirty days with what I'm teaching, how he's getting on and if he's not progressing well, I get called in and get the "how can we help" chat.

He continued on with "some parents ask us for the curriculum for teaching their children. Like there is a "One shoe fits all" program." Apparently there isn't. As the teaching parent I have to choose what books he will use and a "program" that fits him. Um, excuse me. I don't know how to choose a study course or books. Just tell me which books to use! I get that parents new to this don't even have a beginning idea and what just to be told what to use and what to do. This is a bit overwhelming.

Was then shown over to the "library" where they keep course materials. I found a puzzle that is the map of the U.S. Nabbed that. A spelling bee game. Nabbed that. Took a brief look at the math and almost left right there. Grabbed their copy of "Homeschooling for dummies and a book on course curriculum for the 4th grade and how to teach cursive. Oh and a "Brer fox and Brer Rabbit" book for reading and an art book. Called it quits.

Notice any social studies books? Science? Health? Nope... didn't get any of those. I took what I could manage for one day.

Friday I have to go back. I have to have a sit down with his teacher who will go through all the ins and outs of homeschooling and the program they use online. And if I have any questions, I can ask them then.

Do I have any QUESTIONS? ARE YOU NUTS??? Of course I have questions... Like am I nuts for doing this? Where do I find the books the kid needs? How do I go about ordering them? How do I get him signed up for other programs? ETC!

Tomorrow I have to go un-enroll him from his current school. Then I have to call Miss Wisconsin to set up his IEP.

One thing I did get from another parent who was in the library. McGruff books and Apparently I go find what I want on line, print out a wish list and take it to the school so they can order what I want, if they don't already have them.

I get the feeling that this is a fairly new program. Lots of books for kindergarten through second. Not much of anything after that.

I'm still worried that I'm going to screw this up. There is so much I still don't know. And have you noticed any actual teaching going on? Me either. He doesn't start to go INTO his one day a week until the 19th. And right now I'm not planning on starting until Monday. I might do some art with him, play with the puzzle and the spelling bee. But right now, until I talk to his teacher, there doesn't seem to be much point!

Oh, I did find out that Himself thinks I'm nuts. He's just going with the flow because he knows that once I make up my mind to do something, I'm going to do it come hell or come high water. He did say (to the principal) that he was glad that as a backup, real school was there. I don't think he has much confidence in me. Well, that makes two of us. Throw in my parents, that makes 4 of us.

One last piece of joysome news, the principal says it takes about 2 months to transition from kid to student role and to accept the "mommy" to teacher roll. He said this with a rather interesting expression on his face that I translated to "Mabuting kapalarem" Which is probably horrendously spelled Tagalog for "Best of luck!"

Gee thanks!


  1. You're a braver Mom than I, Gunga Din ;)

  2. All right Miss Negativity. Just stop and look at this as if it were something you want to do. Because if you don't want to you will get nowhere. Fast. And have terrible repercussions. So plan to enjoy yourself and teach Theo to enjoy learning. Change your mind. How it is working, seeing and reacting. Assuming you love your son and he loves you, you want that to grow, not decline, and one of the worst things you can do is to do something for him grudgingly. I know. I experienced that. From my mother. On the other hand, I didn't know that my grandfather didn't want to take us in until I was 28 or so. Because once he made the decision he put his whole heart into it. And it was not even he who told me, it was my grandmother. So if you cannot, then feed him the pills and send him off to cope as best he can. Otherwise there will be regrets all around.

  3. Oh I'm not brave. Not brave at all. I'm scared stiff I'm going to blow this. But if I can get the kid to handle his adhd, learn to focus in school AND to actually keep up with his peers... I'll consider it a job well done and kick him out the door, onto the bus, back into school and get on with getting old and crotchety like I wanted to do THIS year!

  4. Hey Pen. I don't have to do this. I know that. I have enough folk saying "just give him the pill, he'll be fine. Kids survive every day" And I DO plan on enjoying some of the aspects of teaching the busy little monster. The FUN stuff of course...Already have an "autumn leaf" project ready to go and come next month, I'm going to have him do a paper mache halloween mask. Some of it won't be fun at all, some will be okay and some... well, we will see. I know that no one is making me do this, so I must WANT to... right? :-)

  5. OK then write it like you do, because it will help you over the fear. And will make him more comfortable. Believe it or not math can be fun... you can make virtually anything fun. Even dissection... get a fresh killed chicken and pluck it, or remove the skin with the feathers for some other project and make it into dinner after the science lesson. Ok maybe i need to go to bed.

  6. Okay, that's why I'm thinking math computer course. No wAY is math EVER fun... but I had thought that during fractions, I might take him into the kitchen for baking time... have you ever Plucked a chicken? It's a hellashis job. Getting rid of pin feathers is a pain. Yep, been there done that... well mom did the chickens, I did a pheasant once... not fun. Not doing dissection with him. Not squeamish, but he's only 9. They don't do that in the 4th grade. And yep, I think you need to go to bed too... in the line of dissection, 17 year old is excited, she get's to dissect a cat in her veterinarian class. Squeamish does not run in this family. ;-)

  7. You are continuing to doubt your own ability and intelligence. You can do math (it's not calculus) and sounds like you can find science and other subjects on line. Come on research can do this!

  8. Thanks Hussy! ROFLMAO! Good one! Yeah, I can do this... emulating the little train who could!