Monday, April 23, 2012

I Wish There Was a Little Warning

These are the days that test my soul.

These are the days that age me a week in an hour. They make me feel old.

These are the days where I question what it is I am doing each day, and the effectiveness of my efforts. It is April 23rd, and we are 122 lessons into the math year. There are only eight lessons and two tests remaining before my daughter’s first grade math year is completed. Today, my daughter still cannot remember that any number minus zero is that number. Friday, she could. Today, she cannot mentally add or subtract by one. Friday, she could. Today, she is guessing at everything.

It doesn’t help that she’s easily distracted. I just gave her a number line because she needed to add “0+9” and that completely baffled her. I told her to put her finger on “zero” and count nine numbers to the right. She got lost somewhere around three. Frequently, she forgets to stop counting at the number she’s adding. In the course of the past few minutes, 0+9 has equaled 14, 16, 11, and 12.

I started to write “29-10” on a small, hand-held, dry erase board, and before I finished writing she asked if we could write on the other side of the board. Why? Because the idea passed across her mind, and anything that passes across her mind must also pass between her lips.

It’s a rule.

That makes attending church a real gamble.

She also decided that she had to color in the circle portion of the numbers 6, 8, and 9. Since her coloring skills aren’t that well developed, she’s obliterated every number she has attempted to color.

We’re doing a lot of rewriting.

Just shoot me now.

In the course of this prolonged math assignment, I gave her a bag of interlocking counting blocks. The girl started correctly counting blocks, snapping them together, and completing math equations.

Who knew?

I wish my children came with a sign that gave me a hint of what’s in store for the day. I’d like a warning that my middle child is going to drag his feet about starting even the simplest of assignments, and that my day will be filled with embarrassingly flimsy excuses, such as, “Oh, I didn’t know if you wanted me to open my plan book.” That’s why it took an hour to start a cursive writing assignment. I’d like advanced warning that the key to completing the day’s math lesson will be allowing my daughter to count mini marshmallows, even if that means I have to run to the store to buy them. A hormonal-meter on my teenage son would be helpful, too. It would be nice to see a little red needle pointing to “Irrational and Grouchy” when he climbs out of bed so I won’t bother to insult him with unwelcomed pleasantries such as “hello” or “good morning.”

'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.

I’ve been homeschooling long enough to know that there are days like this.

I just wish they came with a little warning.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Linda Can Still Pull My Strings

She does this to me because my friend knows that there are some stories I absolutely cannot let pass by without comment once I’ve finished banging my head against the kitchen table.

Linda sent me a link to a Fox News Insider article about a classroom teacher who made her fourth grade students become pen pals with a then accused (and now convicted) rapist who is serving a fifty year sentence for molesting a girl under the age of fourteen.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Fourth grade students are 10-11 years old. Their innocence concerning the depth of human depravity has been shattered by one of the adults they should be able to trust: their teacher.

This didn’t happen in a public school. It happened in Houston, Texas’ Trinity Lutheran School, a Missouri Synod Church school. It happened without the knowledge of or consent of the parents of these students or the school principal.

It just shows that private schools are not always the best resort when one is dissatisfied with their local public school system.

These children wrote letters that included their “full names, [a] description of their appearance, and their favorite things to do.” If there is one thing that child molesters are good at, it is grooming a potential victim by gaining access to them. The odds are that the creep in question will never again walk the streets of Houston as a free man, but nonetheless it is stunning that access to children by a child molester was facilitated by a teacher in a Christian school!

When man falls from Grace, he really falls from Grace.

It will take a lot of alcohol to erase the image of what this cretin might have done with those letters while alone in his cell. Luckily, the letters were discovered and removed from his possession. Parents have been notified. The teacher has been fired, and the principal placed on a paid leave of absence.

So, hug your children a little tighter when you put them to bed tonight, and take comfort in the knowledge that your choice to homeschool your children is the best defense against the stupid, thoughtless, and dangerous people who slip through the system and gain employment in our nation’s schools.

I’m off to find some Excedrin.

I have a headache.