Saturday, September 13, 2008

Choosing Part-Time Homeschooling

I thought I would share a note and poem from my sister. Her oldest son, almost five, just had his first week of school. He hasn't been too happy. They send monitors to take the children and walk them into the schoolyard. Parents are expected to leave them at the gate-no long goodbyes. There seems to be a lot of emphasis on getting them to sit still and his day was very long because he was also in the afterschool program while my sister was at work. I've been talking with her about creative ways to inject some part-time homeschooling into their day until they can afford to go all the way. Here is the email she sent me (slightly edited-I changed some names):

Well, in case you didn't know, Jax and I will be spending more time together in the afternoon. We stopped his after-school care today.

Apparently Wes had an even worse reaction to Jax's after school teacher J than I did. LOL She wouldn't let him sign Jax out even though Jax yelled "Daddy!" when Wes walked in the door and ran over to give him a big hug. Also I had listed Wes as an official pick up person.

Teacher J leaped up from her chair and shouted at him, "Who are you? I don't know you."

He said, "I am Jax's Dad."

"Well I need to see some ID." She didn't introduce herself.
He pulled out his license, "Here it is," and held it out for her to see.

She wouldn't look at his ID and then told him, "You have to go to the office to see Ms. G (the head of the program) before you can take Jax.

Well Wes responded, "I don't have to do anything except take Jax home and this is why he won't be coming back here anymore. We're leaving."

She answered, "You can't do that without signing the book."

He asked, "So where is it?" And when he found it he couldn't find a pen and asked her for one.

She got all excited again and repeated, "You have to see Ms. G!" and she wouldn't give him a pen to sign her book.

"No, I don't. Come on Jax, let's go." As he walked calmly out the door, he heard her on the radio and the alarm went up through the campus.

That's my Wes. He called me from the street relaying what had just happened, saying the campus was buzzing, and he expected a Barney Fife to come looking for him any minute. I heard people shouting at him, "Are you Jackson's Dad?" and him answering, "YES!"

"Wait there. I am only five minutes away." I was on my way back from an afternoon meeting and I exited the 134 freeway and headed toward the school. I talked with Wes and made sure Jax was okay. Then I met with Ms. G and told her our whole experience and officially withdrew Jax from the program. "So I heard J had an issue with my husband picking up our son today..."

And life goes on with Jax getting his first lesson on how to break rules and question authority.

So no more afternoon condescension for me or Jax or Wes. This is the beginning of a shorter school day for Jax and a happier afternoon for both of us. I had already gotten the go ahead from work to change my hours to start earlier and work from home to make up time in the evenings and weekends. All I was waiting for was remote access. So Monday Jax will have his first field trip to my office. LOL

All is good and we are all very happy. Not quite how we had planned the beginning of our after-homeschooling experience, but life has a habit of throwing you in a direction sometimes, luckily it was one we had already been pointed in.
Incredible. I think it would be easier to break out of prison, but my sister mentioned that while they were making all this fuss, one of Jax's classmates left and met his parents at their car without getting signed out! Here is her poem.

A Crumb in the Sand
By Lisa
September 8, 2008 12:03pm

I want to show you the world little boy

Would you walk with me

Hold my hand in yours

Watch the red ants as they go in and out of the sand

Don’t cry little boy I am here with you always

Give the ants the granola that stuck to your shirt

Watch them, watch them

They will find it

Let’s wait until they do

Who cares if we are late

If they lock the gates

Let’s wait with the ants a while

And in that while we lost ourselves in the drama

Little red ants walked in and out

Then one turned to our little gift

And soon the others followed his lead

Happiness is finding a crumb in the sand

My little boy it is time to go through the gate

Mommy I want you to be with me all day

Me too, me too

I watched you walk away crying

Race to your line before I get back to the red ant fence

I will beat you there little boy

My game did not work

The red ants were forgotten for the moment

And my smile was filled with tears inside

I kissed your hand through the fence

And placed it on your cheek

I am here with you always

I want to walk with you

I want you to show me the world little boy


bean said...

what a terrible experience! best wishes to your sister and her little boy.

Jessica said...

That is terrible! I would hate having that happen and even worse having to give up homeschooling when life throws you another way. I hope they find a good balance for this new side of their life.

Vicki said...

Your sister's poem brought tears to my eyes...and we ever escape them? The memories? Parents who are wise enough to homeschool from the start are so incredibly lucky for being so smart.

Inner Elder said...

Thank you for posting Lisa's story and poem. Her poem brought tears for me too. I think her decision will benefit both her and Jax.

Love, Mom

Christine said...

That was an incredible story and a beautiful poem! Like others here, it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing, and tell your sister that she has all of us on her side giving thoughts and prayers to her being able to homeschool soon!

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