Friday, October 12, 2007

Is it over yet? Can I open my eyes?

This has just been one of those weeks. An unbelievable week where everything went so fast I'm surprised I don't have whiplash. I think I just kind of closed my eyes, held on, and waited for the ride to be over with like that roller coaster the kids made me ride at Six Flags this summer.
Tuesday Louisa gave her big speech at school for her campaign. She did very well. I wish I could have seen her. I can just imagine her walking up with such confidence, giving the 4th grade audience no reason *not* to vote for her. Competition wasn't that tough, though. There were three candidates in all for the treasurer position and she felt she was a shoe in the whole time. I'm glad *she* had such confidence; I was nervous as heck!
Wednesday was voting day. Her biggest issue was, should she vote for her best friend for president, or for the kid who made the funniest speech and who everyone else was voting for. In true Louisa fashion, she voted for her BFF. Although I did make a point to tell her that she should always vote for the one she believes is the best candidate. Even President Bush's BFF doesn't *have* to vote for him. (if he has one!)
After school on Wednesday, Louisa walked in the door complaining about this and that. Not one word about the election. Finally I had to ask. "So? The election? How'd it go?" She looks down and says, "Oh ya, that.................... I WON!!!!!"
So now Louisa is the school treasurer for student council. She gets a desk at the front of the meetings that will say "Louisa Treasurer". Funny, but that's what she's most excited about! And the popular kid with the funny speech won president.
While Louisa is soaring in school, Drew is having quite the opposite time. His school life is crumbling causing a lot of stress on all of us. Tuesday we got a note from the teacher that said he will no longer get bathroom privileges. In those words. To us that meant she wouldn't let him use the bathroom all day. Husband wrote a note asking her to clarify and wondering just how she expected a 6 year old to hold it for 7 1/2 hours every day. I'm not sure how the phrase "losing bathroom privileges" could be taken wrong, but apparently it was. Wednesday we got one of the rudest notes that I've ever seen from a teacher. It was signed off on by the principal, so apparently he approves of his teachers talking to their parents that way.
Honestly, we've been thinking about homeschooling Drew for quite awhile now. We had some homeschool websites bookmarked "just in case", and this note was just the last straw in a series of issues. There is actually much worse that has happened at the school concerning Drew, but I just don't really want to go into it. It's all a little infuriating.
Drew is smart. Crazy smart. Because of that he gets bored easily. He writes wrong answers on tests on purpose. Every week he has words wrong on his spelling test, yet when you ask him orally he knows how to spell the word. He can add and subtract in his head no problem, but when you put a test in front of him, half of them are wrong. He acts up in class, misbehaves in the bathroom, and doesn't always follow directions. The teacher tells me this like it's news. Like I haven't dealt with Drew for the past 6 years and I have no idea how he is. Ya, I know! I really really know how he can be. But just because he can misbehave sometimes, doesn't mean he should constantly be singled out in class as the sole troublemaker. He didn't stand a chance in that classroom with that teacher. He never got to start each day with a clean slate. She set him up for failure from the second he walked in every morning. I can't have some teacher take my kindhearted, intelligent little boy and squash him down every day. It's not right and I refuse to put up with it.
Thursday we sent a note to school saying that it would be his last day. Louisiana state law says all we have to do is send a note to the principal letting them know we are withdrawing him and a short reason why. That was it! Now we have to file paperwork with both the parish school district and the state BOE. Louisiana is a pretty easy state when it comes to homeschooling.
Thursday morning my husband got a call from the principal who wanted to ask us to keep Drew in school. The principal mentioned how Drew needs more discipline.... and more discipline...... and more discipline..... and that was it. For 10 minutes my husband tried to find a compromise with a principal who kept repeating the word "discipline" over and over. My husband said, "Can you guys give him more work to do, because he's bored in class and he gets antsy?" Principal says, "Your son just needs more discipline!" My husband says, "When my daughter, who is gifted, was little her teachers always gave her extra work and that worked well for her. We just think Drew needs more work to keep him occupied." Principal says, "You need to keep your son in a classroom so he can get more discipline!" Notice the broken record here?
One thing I'd love to know is, who is most responsible for a child's discipline? The school, or the parents? Why does this principal think that his school is the only way Drew will get discipline? Also, and the thing that bothers me the most, why is the word "discipline" the first and only thing that comes out of this principal's mouth?! What happened to "Education"? Why isn't THAT the first and only word that comes from his mouth? Why do I want my child in a school where education comes second, or last?
So, now I add "homeschool mom" to my hat pile. I know we'll do good. Drew has such a good attitude about staying home. He realizes that he wasn't learning much in school, and that at home we get to learn so much more. Besides math, reading, and spelling, he gets to pick every week or every month a topic HE'D like to learn more about. Like dinosaurs, or storms and weather, or space and universe.... it's endless.
I know a lot of people who are pro-school may be asking me, "Wait, what about socialization? He won't get that now that he's home!" Let me give you a glimpse as to just how much socializing these kids get to do in this school. Morning breakfast, no talking. Morning classroom activities, no talking. Lunch time, no talking. 30 minute recess, talking. Afternoon classroom activities, no talking. Gym class, no talking. Music class, no talking. Bathroom break, no talking. Are you getting the picture? Let's see how many times I said "no talking" compared to how many times I said "talking". Amazing isn't it? Is he really missing out on socializing? He's in Cub Scouts, he plays sports, and we attend just about every family activity they have on post. I think he'll be just fine.
Add to my emotional day yesterday the moment that Hunter bashed a baby in the head with a toy at a playgroup meetup. The whole thing went in slow motion for me. I was talking about pulling Drew from school, and in the corner of my eye I saw Hunter pick up a rather big and heavy toy. Very slowly I saw him raise it above the baby, and then bring it down on her head. It didn't register at first. Then I jump up, yell "holy crap!" and grab Hunter. The mom grabs the baby and assures me it's fine. I pack up our stuff as fast as possible and take off, holding back tears that I just know are going to come pouring out the second I reach the truck. I emailed the mom and the baby is just fine. It probably sounded much worse than it is. All I know is that I thank God very often that babies are so resilient.
Today is Friday, and it should be rather uneventful. We have to pack to go on a trip home to Wisconsin. I have to go pick up the $100 worth of Pampered Chef I ordered from a friend today, give her our fish to babysit, and take our house key to another friend so she can come feed the cats.
Oh, and then there's the wrench that Husband threw in this morning. He will probably be leaving for Iraq early after all. It's only 10 days earlier than everyone else, but he'll still miss out on Thanksgiving with us.
I think I'll just sit here and wait for the "all clear" so I can open my eyes again!


Anonymous said...

Peggie, I hope your trip is going better than your week.

I can't believe Andrew may have to leave early. I thought they weren't going to need him to go early? I'm really upset about this for you. Wish I could call up one of those head honchos and give them a piece of my mind.

jen said...

Oh my God honey, I'm so sorry! Just keep hanging in there, you're one of the strongest and most resilient women I know!!

Amber said...

I can't believe that he might have to leave early after all! :( I hope that the trip is going ok, and you are relaxing!

Kim said...

Finally had time to catch up with you. I just wanted to cry reading all of that. The things we do as moms. I support your choice to pull your son out 100% - sometimes socialization isn't what it *should* be - there are so many mean kids these days. Wish I could hug you but here is a virtual one! (((hug)))