Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A New Year...

Well, I have to officially start our new school year some time. It might as well be yesterday. I meant to start in June, but I was too busy doing things with my kids to actually keep records. That's sort of the irony of the situation. In order to take the time to jump throught the state mandated hoops, I have to not be working with my kids and facilitating their learning. I can either read another book to Abby OR I can take the time to document the 15 books I just finished reading to her. Ahh - record keeping - because I just don't have enough to do in one day...

Anyway, as for our first day of school, it went something like this:

Abby had stayed the night at a friend's house the night before, and pretty much spent the whole day there. Apparently, while she was there, she talked on the phone with another girl who couldn't believe Abby is just four. Later that night she made up stories and watched movies. She discovered The Pink Panther cartoons on Netflix and learned that some times you can tell a complete story without words.

Toby set off on his European adventure. He was a great bundle of anxiety for most of the morning, complete with lack of appetite, nausea, crying, complaining, etc. However, once he learned he was going to be sitting next to his buddy, he suddenly perked up, and almost went throught the security gate without saying goodbye. He learned about air travel, airport security, jet lag and how time zones really work, and how to pack for an over seas trip.

Trevor endured the airport for a little longer than he could tolerate, but later agreed it was worth it in order to get to go to Discovery Place. He thoroughly enjoyed the exibit on marine archeology. However, he was less than tolerant of people who stood in front of him when he was trying to watch the documentary on the recovery of the SS Republic. Afterwards, he told me that it would be cool to work for Odyssey Marine. Now as I'm sitting here, I'm wondering if he made the connection between this company and one of his favorite works of literature. I'll have to put that one on my list of topics to discuss with Trevor. He'll think it is pretty cool when I tell him about it. Anyway, I digress....

Elsewhere in Discovery place, Trevor explored all kinds of simple machines and explored the circus exibit. After waiting in line for over half an hour, he finally was able to get a harness for the tight rope. However, when he climbed the stairs the woman at the top marched him right back down. She claimed he wasn't old enough to walk the tight rope. The minimum age is seven. Trevor will be nine next month. She claimed he couldn't possibly be over seven because he didn't know what grade his is in. I think she felt a little silly after I explained that he isn't in any grade. After I explained to Trevor that she wanted to ask him some questions to be sure he is able to communicate well enough to maintian his safety on the tight rope, he relaxed a little bit. Up until this point, he was a bit confused about why he was not yet walking across that wire in the sky. The woman then went on to ask him what his favorite school subject is - yet another question he could not answer. After a bit more stumbling, she finally came across an appropriate question: "What do you like to do all day?" Trevor responded by explaining his favorite video game. When it finally became clear to him that this lady would never be able to grasp the intricacies of Heroes V, he finally ended with "It's complicated."

In the end, Trevor did get to walk the tight rope, and he enjoyed it immensely. Through the experience, and even now in retrospect, I am still trying to wrap my head around the irony of the situation. My son can recount the plot line of Homer's Odyssey. He can classify levers by type. He understands the role of pistons in an internal combustion engine. He knows what a cartouche is. Yet, some random stranger made a judgement of his maturity and communication skills based on a few banal questions about school. There is now one more person out there who is convinced homeschooling is a bad idea because she didn't know how to ask the right questions.

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