Monday, September 21, 2009

School Days, School Days

Having the girls going to public school is weird, although oddly enough, having the Dancer attend is weirder than the Equestrienne. The Equestrienne went to a parochial school for kindergarten through second grade, so there seems to be a certain familiarity with the concept. The Dancer attended only a year of preschool and a year of Pre-K at the same parochial school, something I'm glad we did. It was only half a day, and not all five weekdays, so it was mostly just a time to have fun and have books read to her and eat snacks and be around other little ones. She, of course, thought she was all that, with her shiny backpack, but that was part of the fun. Anyway, I've been so used to homeschooling the Dancer that this is feeling a little strange.

There are some good things about her attending public school. She will be receiving group violin lessons; the only cost to us will be renting the instrument, and what we pay can all go towards an eventual purchase if she decides to continue music. She is also making friends, and riding the bus has helped her meet kids that live in our neighborhood.

Despite the local tax support, there are fundraisers. That's one of the downsides. Turning in boxtops is not very hard, but magazine sales are another story. Who knows what else will take place later this school year? The cost of publicly educating children continues to astound me.

Mr. BTEG and I are also still rather involved in the Dancer's education. There are some subjects she needs help in, although she hates to admit it, and in the end it is our responsibility to see she learns what she needs. One thing I am seeing with the Dancer is that, although she can read quite well and with comprehension, she is not picking up much from reading in regards to grammar or spelling. I am going to supplement her education here at home to keep her at or get her up to grade level. I don't like the social studies the Dancer gets instead of history, but I will concede that she is learning useful things about maps and climates and so forth. I would have rolled it into history studies, but I'm not teaching now. It's been a little hard for me to deal with! The Equestrienne is assigned projects on the computer, which her father helps her with, and he also helps with math.

Knowing so many other homeschoolers now makes me feel awkward and out of place. I have no doubt that outside schooling is best for the Equestrienne, and I can see advantages for the Dancer, but I still have stirrings of guilt. Perhaps with good reason, I think there is still defensiveness on the part of homeschoolers, but it disturbs me slightly to see all the "Homeschooling Is So Great!" posts. It comes down to what is best for our family at this point in time, and it will help me to remember that.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

This Post Brought to You By the Letter

Arrrrrr! Yes, once again it is Talk Like a Pirate Day! And how convenient that it takes place on the same day as Beer, Brats & Bride, an event started by a group of crazy Lutheran homeschooling moms where groups of friends get together to drink beer, eat brats and watch The Princess Bride at precisely 4 PM. The Dread Pirate Roberts takes no prisoners, matey!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Settling In

At last I am back! The move itself was very tiring and hectic, but I am enjoying settling into our new home and getting things organized and put away. It's funny, we would not have picked this floor plan out ourselves if we had the opportunity, but we are finding it suits our lives very well. The Dancer is thrilled because her bedroom has a door opening on to their bathroom as well as another door out to the hall. The master bed and bath are a little separate from the rest of the house, and the Equestrienne's bedroom is a little off to itself as well. I'm a little scared by how much I love this house. It seems too good to be true. Very fatalistic of me.

The girls are both in public school this year and are enjoying it. Both girls have friends, although the Equestrienne is and always has been more of a social butterfly. The Equestrienne is doing well in all her classes and recently tested at a post high school level in reading. The Dancer is also doing well although her struggles with math continue. I still enjoy helping the Dancer with her homework; the Equestrienne mostly works alone. I am pleased that both girls have made the transition to public school and are doing so well, especially since the Dancer never had formal schooling before this year.