Sunday, October 30, 2011

The soul sucking vortex that is school

I caved. Sometimes the way you did things as a kid is just the way you have to do it as an adult. I have resisted buying Sing Spell Read and Write to get Jamie to like reading, but I finally went ahead and bought it. (there's a treasure chest and a race track. And I loved it as a child!) He likes curling up and looking at books, but if you ask him to sound out a word, it's like a cute stroller you were pushing turning into a semi truck you have to drag across sand. I hope (God please) that the songs and games in Sing Spell Read and Write will do the trick.

Being a second generation homeschooler has some distinct disadvantages. Or maybe my problem is that childhood is still too fresh in my mind. I cannot make my children do Saxon Math when it was just yesterday I was poking myself with a safety pin and swearing on my mother's, uncle's grave I would never put my children though that kind of insidious torture.

Speaking of torture. I wish I could go back to my 15 year old self and tell her... Being a parent is waaaay worse than being a kid. I'll even go so far as to say infancy and toddler-hood with all it's sleepless nights and temper tantrums, are still far easier than mothering school aged children. If parenting is like a graph...the more dependent your child is, the lower the stakes are, the more independent they are the higher the stakes are. So a three month old requires almost constant, around the clock care, but they can't sell drugs or get anyone pregnant. My six year old can make himself breakfast, feed the dog, and brush his own teeth, but he can also be bullied on the playground or flat out refuse to read and write.

Charlie on the other hand does the bullying on the playground. He's a tiny little chap, and though he's spent a good three years on this planet now, he's only about the size of a sturdy 18 month old. You'd think with his snuggling ways and his small huggable-ness, he'd have a hard time keeping up. Instead, I have to tell kids to take a ticket and line up to list their grievances against Charlie. The best one recently came from a seven year old. "That kid (points to Charlie) looked at me with a mean face." I apologized profusely and gave my child a stern talking to, but if he can already terrorize his older peers with a mere glance, then I can't wait to see what he could do on the basketball court or hockey rink. Last time I checked you couldn't get fouled for just looking mean. Charlie also thinks he knows how to read, but no one can convince him that How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head isn't about flying motorcycles... or that he's reading it upside down.

If I can stop completely freaking out about whether Jamie should be reading better...whether Charlie should be better at counting now or not. Or wondering, when are they supposed to be able to tie their own shoes again? What if they don't wear shoes with ties? What if Charlie never ever stops pitching a fit over using a fork?

...then I'm really enjoying this stage. Ha. No really.