Tuesday, August 26, 2014

School Ramblings

Another school year has begun. Yesterday has officially begun the 2014-2015 school year. Leave it to me to flake on the first day. It seems that a new year brings new things, such as the need to supply your 2nd grader with a filled pencil box. Since getting back from our beach vacation this past Saturday, I am still dealing with a cold (which I got while on vacation) and have beach brain. I completely forgot to check the school papers that came with the teacher assignments. One paper was a letter from the second grade teacher asking that we send the little one in with a filled pencil box and a book, as well as the little form that needed to be filled in with the child's name, teacher's name, bus number and color. Joel ran to the store last night to buy the few things that we did need such as pencils, Expo markers and a pencil box so Trevor does have it for today. He was upset with me for not having a filled pencil box for him which I completely understand. Hopefully the year will just get better from here!!

I do have good news to report! Jeremy is a happy 4th grader and finally NOT in the same classroom as his bully this year. WooHooo! Daddy was all set to make the call and to take no "ifs, ands, or buts" about it. No need. Jeremy likes his teacher which unfortunately for him will be out on maternity leave from October 10 through sometime in January. Another year with no consistent teacher.... We will see how it goes.

Trevor is a somewhat happy 2nd grader. He would prefer to stay home and would really like to, if not for three things: 1) recess 2) lunch and 3) his friends. He likes certain subjects as of last school year, but isn't sure about any of the subjects as of this year. It is early yet, so we will see how this goes.

I still really despise the bus stop. They have combined the two stops this year to streamline the routes even more, so we now have the few kids that were the "runners" - as in running across the road without caring about cars. I am preparing myself for driving the boys to school if need be, because it isn't my job to try to keep all the kids in line. There are now 11 children at the stop instead of the 5 that we had last year. It will be interesting, to say the least!

We have already had our first day of homework yesterday. Yes, the first day of school brought a teeny bit of homework. 15/20 minutes of reading for Jeremy. Luckily he took to it right off and just began reading out loud when he was told to. There is a huge difference in his reading and comprehension ability since he's started at Sylvan. I can see and hear the difference! No longer is he reading word-by-word, but sentences and laughing at the funny parts, comprehending what he is reading! He is able to narrate back what he's read in his own words!

***** Thank you Jesus for the teachers at Sylvan, and for Jeremy being the hard-worker that he truly is! Please do not let his love of learning be squashed! *****

My big concern so far will hopefully not happen, but with each passing year, I see Jeremy's love of learning, that yearning to really dig into the different subjects begin a slow descent. I love to see the excitement in his eyes when he is truly learning and hate to think of losing that. He has an interest in learning history so that and Bible teachings need to be our focus outside of school because neither will be offered at the public schools.

I don't exactly know when they took out the history subject to incorporate just a smidgen of it into social studies but schools, generally speaking, do not even have History listed on the curriculum or subject listings! Having a huge interest in history myself, I find this to be very hard to take. Jeremy is really starting to feel like he is missing out on a lot of areas of history because of our talks and visits to Philadelphia and Gettysburg. He knew that Abraham Lincoln was president during the Civil War, aka War of the Rebellion, but did not even know anything about the Gettysburg Address or really anything more than Abe being the president who was shot in the head and killed and is also on the penny. (I have since opened his eyes to quite a bit about old Abe, which Jeremy found fascinating!)

On our trip to Philadelphia, Jeremy learned that before George Washington was our first president he was the General of the Army of the Potomac and actually led the troops against the British troops, aka the Red Coats. He knew that George was the first president but did not know that before that he was the General, anything about Valley Forge or the Crossing of the Delaware. He did not know really anything, even though the school "teaches" them about the different presidents around President's Day. He did hear of the Revolutionary War but only the complete bare minimum. (Again, I have since opened his eyes to yet another president and time period that he finds to be fascinating.)

I realize that to some (or maybe even a lot of) people may find me to be overprotective and too involved in what's going on but I will do whatever I can to get the best for my boys. If being overprotective keeps them safe from harm and from experiencing things that they are too young for or just not ready to handle, then yes. I am overprotective. I am very involved in what the boys are learning because I do have high standards. While a lot of things are out of my hands, and I seriously need to work on my trust that God does know best and wants the best for us all, there are things that I can handle and take care of. By golly, I WILL do whatever it takes to get the "best" that I can for my boys. There is a lot of things in the current curriculum that I don't like or completely disagree with - hence my want/need to home school - and I feel that parents need to stay on top of things.
Different families have different beliefs and morals and the schools are completely separate from all of this. Schools need to be monitored and parents need to be involved in their children's education and school life. Children spend most of the day away from the influence of their parents and instead have the influence of the 20+ peers and the teachers at school. How can you not be involved and concerned about those influences? Especially if you are a religious family and your children are in a public school? Even private schools can have the same or similar situations and home life backgrounds. The world is a broken place and our children are being forced to learn just how broken it actually is, in different ways than we may want them to learn, or even before we want them to.

Day 2 began with Trevor having a little trouble finding a seat on the bus. Why is it always my child?! The bus is full again, but according to another 4th grader, it is full of smaller kids.

God's blessings to you and your family.