Thursday, September 21, 2006
A New School Year
Today is the 17th day of school for Max and Alex. They are enrolled in classes at a school nearby, where they have a million new opportunities, including the experience of hating to get up early 5 days a week, coming home with homework… it’s not all bad. Alex has discovered he likes basketball even better than soccer and that football is more fun to play than watch. Max likes Tae Kwan Do, and his new friend, Luke. Max and Luke have the same robot lunch box. Alex chose the robot lunch box too; he leaves the house lugging three different bags to accommodate his books, folders, lunch and PE clothes. And when Maria and I go to pick up the brothers she brings her own bag, so she can have a snack with Max while we wait for Alex’s later dismissal.
Alex starts school earlier than Max. Max and I visit the playground together and talk about how things are going. After the first week of school he was tremendously relieved to learn about Saturday and Sundays. After 3 years of home schooling he hadn’t realized that the weekend meant ‘no school!’ Woo-Hoo! He is adjusting to a lot of changes, including new clothes and new rules and long hours away from everything dear and familiar to him. And so far he is doing amazing. I hear praise from his teachers and even other teachers that have met him during the week. He doesn’t like school, but it’s in the classic way that children don’t like school, so I listen to his concerns and then we resolve to make the best of it until Summer.
When we drop Alex off at his class he gets ready to help raise the flag and lead the Pledge of Allegiance. When you get to be Alex’s age there is a lot to do in school. There are a lot of papers to organize, a lot of notes to write and a lot of people to meet, many teachers and many students. I think he was overwhelmed, but I’m seeing him get a handle on it all. He’s finding his way, pacing himself, managing his time and discovering his strengths. He gets very worried about all the things he doesn’t know and I tell him not to worry. The point of school is learning, not knowing. Besides, Alex does know quite a bit, and his strong foundation and compassionate spirit make him an awesome boy, at home and in the classroom.
Another awesome boy I know of is William. We are here at home keeping up our Tree House Academy. Geoff and I are getting everything in order for William to enjoy new challenges too, like online courses through a university with a high school independent study program. In the meantime we are reading “Salt: A World History.“ Did you know there are 14,000 different uses for salt? William and I walk 4 or 5 times per week, and of course he is continuing to pursue his passion, which is computer graphics. He follows tutorials and is constantly reading about programming, software, graphics, art, and movie and game making (a rapidly merging industry.)
How about Maria? Oh my. She is growing fast, and strong and independent. She calls bunnies ‘bumbys’ and she loves bumbys. She loves tomatoes from the vine and she loves bathing, and climbing, and going down the slides at the park. Maria loves anything she can do outside, like kicking and throwing balls, and pushing Max’s old car, and feeding Joe, our real life bumby. She also likes to sit with books and magazines and read them to herself page by page. She likes singing “Istanbul” with Max, and dancing with Alex. She knows William will always giver her a hug up or help her paint on the computer.
One last thing, we are moving. I don’t know if I can say we found the perfect home; we’ve tried long and hard enough to find a perfect place. I finally couldn’t take the stress and I made Geoff settle on a house near here. I told Aunt Carol it’s a basic Garage Mahal kind of house, and I’m not sure yet what kind of place it will be, but it should be big enough and we can soon settle in and quit thinking about moving for a time. I feel relieved, but there’s a lot to be done yet…