First Day of School 2011

We're back in the school-time swing of things.

I have this plan for next year to make my kids work all summer and not do anything fun so they’ll be excited to get away from home and back into their classrooms. I think I was much more eager for this back to school stuff than all they were. All three were pretty unenthusiastic.

I’m not sure why my. They like seeing their friends and usually like their teachers, but none of them really like school. It makes me feel a little bad because everyone else’s kids seem to think it’s exciting to head back to the classroom. Mine mainly seem annoyed that it takes up so much of their time when they have all sorts of other things they want to be doing. I guess at least they all have other things they want to be doing. I’d probably be more worried if the problem was no interest in anything rather than interest in more things than just school.

For now they all usually do well in school regardless, but we need to work on things a bit or that's not going to continue.

Zoran Miles the first grader! He's in Ms. Dean's class. Yay! We love Ms. Dean! (Both Azia & Israel had her, too.)

Zoran is probably the best of the three at being a student, but by Friday (of this first three-day week) he was relieved it was finally the weekend and then he asked me throughout he weekend how long we had left till we had to go back because he was afraid it was ending too soon.

Azia-Rain is a 4th Grader! She's in Mr. Krantz's class & so far seems to really be loving it.

Azia does seems to like most of school except the actual schoolwork. We just finally found her daily reading calendar from last year (completely blank) last month. She does read, but the steps involved in reading and then finding and signing the calendar and returning to it to her bag and then getting it out of her bag and to the teacher seem to be beyond her. We haven’t had a successful year with those reading calendars yet. Though sometimes when she can’t find it she will read for 20 minutes and then spend another hour and a half designing and coloring and creating another calendar for me to initial on the appropriate date indicating she read for those 20 minutes. In addition to the calendar I found three math books in the back of her closet when I cleaned her room in June. I never actually saw her working on math at home, so I’m thinking she just hid a book in there each time she brought it home & was supposed to be using it. She loved some of the big projects from last year: her moon journal, Amelia Earhart research and her report on Florida. She just needs to work on doing all the work, not just the work that interests her.

Israel is in 8th grade this year. Last year in middle school!

Israel’s mind is just full of so information like the entire script to Smokey and the Bandit or every detail to every model of TransAm ever manufactured that he can’t remember to turn in assignments he actually finished weeks prior.  And also he hates math. He loved it before he started school. He was kind of amazing the adding and subtracting he could do in his head when he was preschool age. That’s the last time I remember it being fun for him. Most of his issues are organizational, but the total lack of interest in math isn’t fun either.  If he could just read about Billy the Kid and watch the history channel learning wouldn't be too bad.

Lex was sort of annoyed he didn't get to go to school. He believes he is ready to go.

We're still figuring out what sort of school Lex will get to go to this year. We're going to see what the Headstart schedule is first and then see if he'll go there or to preschool. I've been telling him he will have to wear clothing beyond underwear (preferably not pajamas) if he wants to go to school, but I don't think he believes me.

Israel off to middle school.

I didn't even walk inside with these guys. Our tiny little school a few blocks from our house where they know most the kids and the teachers . . . really not too intimidating. They weren't even going inside right away. They were just going to see if they could find some friends and hang out on the playground. They just told me to drop me off my the door; they were sure they could find their classrooms.

I realizing much of this school apathy is mostly my fault. I caught myself feeling bad when I found my boys' report report cards this summer & realized they had nearly perfect attendance (every day except the morning we went to the Bitterroot dig). Instead of being proud they made it there every day I felt bad they didn’t get to do more outside school. 

I didn’t do well follow up with them on their homework like I should because I too have other things I’d rather do than schoolwork on the days I’ve been doing schoolwork all day by the time they get home.  A couple years ago after Israel would spend hours every night trying to do math homework over concepts he didn’t understand I got so sick of doing math every night I started to dread it as much as he did.  Then I started reading books like The Homework Myth by Alfie Kohn rather than doing more homework because really the seven hours they’ve already spent at school seemed more plenty to devote to school.

At the beginning of the year last year I tried to make sure Azia was getting her work done every night and then I’d realize she was doing things like hiding her “how to draw cats” book under her textbook and drawing cats instead of identifying verbs. Or she’d just literally hide from me. I really didn’t feel like fighting about it.

But this year I will be better! Better with regular schedules and organized systems keeping them on track. I don’t really work that way, so it’s hard for me to remember (or figure out) how to teach kids to do it. But that’s my goal for this year and in a few months we'll have updates about how excited they are about school. That's the plan.

Or maybe we’ll just leave in the morning. We could still make it to most of Burning Man where we could start our homeschooling experience with some art study.

1 comment:

  1. My students are always excited about the first day or three and then several of them are ready for summer again.

    Even though I'm a pretty amazing teacher...