Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In Which "I'm So Tired of Being Nice"

Another momma said this to me today, and I just wanted to hug her.  It's exhausting to be nice.  It's especially exhausting the more involved you get.  Today a teacher snapped at me about something PTA-related so badly that when I walked away, a 2nd teacher was relating the story to a 3rd.


And the worst part is, most of the time people get mad and nasty about things that don't matter.  I'm guilty to, I totally am, but really, are you going to care in 3 years that we changed the way we do Bingo cards? (Or honestly, are you going to care in 1 week?)

I guess I need to add Luke 6:27-36 to the list of things I have not yet mastered.  I've gotten a lot better.  19 year old me would tear the heads off some of these people, but even the fact that I let it continue to bother me and talk about it afterwards means I can do better.

 27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
   32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Monday, March 14, 2011

In Which We Consider Schooling

I've been struggling lately with the school that we send Riley to.  Not really his school in particular, but the concept of what public school has become.

The problem here, is that I have never been one to "accept things as they are" and be happy.  I want better for my child.  I don't like Math Investigations and feel like it's wasting his time.  I don't like touchy-feely educationalist movements and the lack of accountability they allow (for teachers, students, and parents alike). And honestly, I volunteer in the school.  I don't like how much of my kid's day is wasted time.  I went to school in the same county we now live in, and I feel like I got a good education, or at least that's what I've always said.  I loved school.  Or, rather, I loved the idea of school.  I loved going somewhere that I was going to learn be better than everyone else.  I actually rather hated "school".  I hated the group work where I was inevitably paired with the "problem" kids so that I could help out by teaching them and getting them to do their work.  I hated people's questions.  I hated listening to people read aloud in 4th and 5th grade who clearly hadn't mastered it.  I really REALLY wanted to learn! I was curious! High School was fantastic, because I could take AP and Humanities classes and do clubs and projects and extra work in subjects that interested me, but before that, really, when I think about it and I'm honest, I really only liked school because my teachers kept telling me how smart I was.

I'm very externally motivated.  It's a problem.

So now when I hear my kid complaining about many of the same issues, I want to fix it.  We've looked at public magnet schools and applied for 1 spot in 2nd Grade that there are 80 some applications for.  (Dear School System: If there are so many parents desperately seeking something else for their children, why, praytell, don't we apply the same concepts to all of our schools?) We've checked private schools, but hubby is uncomfortable with both the price and conservatism.  So, we've moved on to homeschooling.

Homeschooling makes me nervous.  I don't want my kids to be "unsocialized" and I don't know if I can be "on" all day every day for them.  But, at the same time, I feel like me caring so very much would help me get through it.  Plus, our area has numerous cooperatives and support groups in place.  It looks like there isn't a day without a field trip, class, or playgroup. In Middle School, our kids could take 2 classes from the public school in addition to their homeschool curriculum.  They can play sports and attend church, just like the very socialized and educated homeschoolers I've met in my search.

I'm still not sure what we'll end up doing.  I want to believe in public education, I really do.  But looking at the scores internationally, our experience personally, and what I feel children are capable of learning, right now, I just can't.  So, do I stay in and fight tooth and nail to fix it? (Note that parents at our school face signs that say "It's after 8:35 parents may not enter educational hallways" despite the fact that our school board policy is that parents are welcome anytime in classrooms to volunteer or observe) Or do I opt to take another path for our family and give my children the type of educational experience I wish I could have had?

I'll take prayers for discernment, because I really don't know how to make this choice.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

In Which Savannah Demonstrates Understanding of Post-Presidency Life

Savannah: "Here Grammy, have some money"
Grammy: "Savannah, don't give your money away! Do you know what this is?"
S: "Nope"
G: "This is a one dollar bill! Do you know whose picture is on there?"
G: "It's George Washington"
S: "Well then we should give it back to George Washington"
G: "Sweetheart, George Washington used to be President, but he's dead now"
S: "Then we should give to to Barack Obama.  He can give it to George Washington when he's done being president."

Saturday, March 5, 2011

In Which We Make More Cupcakes

This is turning into a cupcake blog lately, but these were very fun so I thought I'd share:

They're wilton flower cupcake liners with yellow whipped cream frosting.  The butterflies are raspberry pretzels, Easter M&Ms, and edible Easter grass antennas, which I got at Wegmans.  They're not my most artistic cakes ever, but they were cute :)