Saturday, August 13, 2005

#64 - The School Year Approacheth!

Well, a number of circumstances have conspired against us this summer, and I am nowhere near ready to give Mrs. Woody her schoolroom that we had hoped to have ready for this session. Ilnesses and family obligations have shnorked up all available time, so that we find ourselves facing yet another term gathered around the dining room table.

This is not a problem.

Headmistress and Teacher Mrs. Woody is deep into her preparations for the coming year. I have mentioned elsewhere that she has so much material available to her that our out-of-pocket expenses are once again minimal. A couple of new curriculum aids and a few more books. All set!

She has had the printer working overtime. In fact, we're becoming disgruntled with our generally reliable HP 960c (yeah, it's old, but it's been terrific!) because it isn't handling cardstock very well, and cardstock is one of Mrs. Woody's chief project materials. Also, our scanner has grown obsolete with an increase in school and family history scanning. So now we're eyeballing a new scanner and - if it doesn't repent soon - a new printer. I'd get one of those all-in-ones, but I really need high-speed scanning that also handles slides and transparencies. Suggestions welcomed.

Little Sis in Simi Valley is jazzed about the coming school year, but for different reasons. She knows my opinion of homeschooling, and who can or should homeschool. Little Sis is probably not one of them. Certainly not yet. She has three of the most energetic small boys I've ever witnessed, and I used to have three energetic small boys in my house in a past life. I had once upon a time harbored fantasies of teaching all three of them, but realistically I had no chance. The two smaller boys were both foster children, and the older of the two had severe behavioral problems. It required nearly all of my time and energy just keeping him from harming himself and the others.

In Little Sis's case, her three boys require so much attention that having just the oldest one begin Kindergarten this year is really something of a relief for her. Hence her exuberant "WHEEEEEE!" at the prospect. The one starting school this year is not the one requiring the most attention, by any means. That honor belongs to her middle child. He is a dear, sweet boy who also happens to be an explorer. His predominant thought must be, "What if...?" It's never malicious. It's just the result of a natural curiosity that needs to be harnessed and somehow turned over to the military for possible tactics against the enemy.

"Sir! We've found a terrorist cell in the next town! Intel says they've just whitewashed the entire town so it will blind us when we enter!"

"Hmm. Lieutenant! Send in the Joshinator!"

I believe I've said this just about everywhere but in one of my actual blogs. Certainly I've said this to both of my married sisters on one occasion or another. Homeschooling is not for everyone. Not everyone has the disposition to homeschool, or circumstances dictate another course. I do, however, feel strongly that whether a family homeschools or not, parents need to be actively involved in their kids' lives - school included. Neither of my sisters or their hubbies are the kind to simply abdicate their responsibilities to a school, no matter how good that school may be. I have no fear for their children's spiritual base, and that's really far more important than the actual quality of their education anyway.

(Note to my nieces and nephews: I am not absolving you from trying hard at school! Any attempt to construe my remarks that way will be met with swift and powerful vengeance! I will get a credential and become your teacher for the express purpose of embarrassing you for the rest of your school careers!)

We look forward to this school year. I hope you do, too.

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