Friday, August 21, 2009

"Real" School and the Essentials of Development

So, the first day of "real" school has come and gone. And all was good.

Eastin's teacher's name is Mr. Dickman. How unfortunate. But he really is a very nice man. Every kid and adult we know from Sunnyside Elementary has said, "Oh, you will LOVE Mr. Dickman!" That's a good sign. Her first day seemed to go very well. She made friends . . . she liked the chicken patty sandwich at lunch . . . she has a locker (without a lock). . . she enjoyed riding the bus . . . she had three recesses . . . she had to struggle to decide who to play with at recess among all the kids who wanted to play with her! Really -- a good day!

Leslie's half-day of school seemed to go well, too. Her first quarter music class is her favorite. They're learning to play the guitar (which she's very excited about) and the piano (which she already knows, so that's at least an easy A). And apparently, they're going to divide into groups and make some kind of CD together? Anyway, she thinks it sounds like a lot of fun.

She's in a neighborhood carpool with three other girls. As it turns out, there's a friendly 8th grade girl in the carpool who is in her science class and homeroom AND whose locker is right next to hers. Jonte even opened Leslie's locker for her. That turned out to be her only real "crisis" of the day. Not until Leslie had her locker combination in her hand and was standing in front of her locker did it occur to her that she had no idea what to do with these numbers.

Only I saw the irony in that. When we met the Golden family in Springfield, the first homeschool family I knew, I was thoroughly intrigued by the whole idea of teaching my kids myself at home. However, I remember saying to Cindy, "But ..... my kids would never have a locker..... " I knew even as I said it what a ridiculous statement that was. As if my children would be societal outcasts -- unable to function or contribute to humanity -- because they never used a locker. (Kind of reminds me of the comments people make about how homeschooled kids will never be able to function in "the real world" because they've never been in school -- as if school has any resemblance to the real world!)

Right at that moment, I was finding myself an interesting psychological study: the fact that I apparently considered such a truly meaningless experience as using a locker to be so essential to a person's development made me stop and consider what really was essential to a person's development . . . and whether or not school was the best place to get that. It was actually a pivotal moment for our family.

Anywho, I do hope Leslie was able to get her locker open today.

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