Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Neurotic Book Sniffing, Dictionary Reader

You may be wondering if I still homeschool or if I have sold the children to the gypsies and admitted myself to the nearest home for the bewildered- unfortunately, I have to admit: no and no. I am still at home and the children are still here to torture me. Which they are very good at.

At this time, I am trying to recover my family from Jacie's recent surgery- not an easy ordeal. You can read about it in her blog:

As for school, the boys are working independently through their studies. With the surgery under our belt, I can now focus on getting them back on track and working on their third paper (which is due in 2 weeks.) I am certain that they have forgotten about the paper and assumed that I have forgotten as well. Nope. I giggle at the thought of telling them on Monday that the due date still stands. Is that mean to giggle about something of that nature...? Probably but I give myself a little leave to be evil since they are teenagers now and routinely torment me. The problem for the kids (boys especially because they are older) is that I am a book sniffer. I love books. I am the type of person who loves to skim a dictionary for pleasure. One of my favorite times recently was when I had to go to the bookstore and replace my worn out dictionary. I figured that it was time since it had been split in two pieces for over 10 years and was missing the middle three pages. Anyway, I had such a great time getting a new one that I bought several.

So my children are being taught by a neurotic book sniffing, dictionary reader who loves fact. I almost pity them. Did I tell you that I also suffer (slightly...) from perfectionism as well? AND I assume that my desire for the pristine is universal to all of my children~

So the middle prisoner, oh I mean child, in my school is my dyslexic, laid back underachiever- well, not in this house. I hold him to the same standards that I hold the others to and amazingly, he is able to man up to the requirements and meet them. I had to laugh though at his attempts last month. On the exact date that his paper was due, he stayed up half the night finishing it. Then when he was done, he brought me his paper without the sources cited page. I handed it back to him and said, "Uhhmm... I think that you are missing something."

He hemmed and hawed around until he figured out the missing component and then went downstairs to get it. He came back up and handed me a wadded up piece of paper that he had obviously retrieved from the garbage can. To which I wordlessly handed back to him. He said, "What is wrong?"

I replied, "I do not accept your paper as you have turned it in."

Then he got mad. I said, "This is not optional. You must fix this paper within 15 minutes or you will receive the pre-determined punishment (losing video games until the end of the school year.)"

He walked away and returned with a newly printed, fresh copy of the trash can paper and life resumed. Can you say, "Wow?"

If it gives you any idea of the sheer differences between the two boys, Loren turned his in a day early, thoroughly collated.

Jacie and I do her school together. I am not certain which way she leans- whether she is a Loren or a Jared. I do think that her concentration is not up to par but the poor kid has had many distractions in the last few years... It is hard to know where to take her educationally. I was planning to go to the homeschool convention in May. We do all of our shopping for school books that day for next year but now Jacie and I will be in Grand Rapids for rehab through that time. I do not know at this point what I will do to get what I need.

I love the materials that the kids picked last year. They are really into figuring out what they want and need. I, of course, offer guidance but I want them to explore areas that are fresh and enjoyable. How many kids can say that when they studied WWII, they read about the artillery (in detail), the weaponry (in detail) and personal journals. What an amazing way to learn.

Loren continues to teach himself piano. He researched self-teaching piano curriculum and settled on Master Piano. He really enjoys the teacher. I think Jared will start Master Drums in the fall. Hopefully it is as effective. Both boys are learning Japanese. They hope to use it when they go with their aunt and uncle to her [home] country in the future. Jacie continues in Chinese though she has not done it since her surgery. I have a hard time carrying her up and down the stairs as she cannot walk since her surgery.

I am blessed to be part of the lives of my children daily and continue to watch in amazement at the grace and happiness they possess. This is truly a gift.

~Camo Pants