Saturday, November 13, 2010

Weekly Wrap-up: The What Would You Do Edition

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In a nutshell, we're on track with all subjects... except for science.

Surprise.  Surprise.  Surprise.

3 modules completed.  18 modules in all to complete.  1/2 a school year down.

I may stink at science, but my math skills are good enough to crunch those numbers and know that we have a problem on our hands. 

I know Orville will complete modules 4 and 5 by Christmas.  I doubt we will have time for more.  Completing those 2 modules would keep him working at the established pace, devoting the same number of days each week to science.  I doubt during the busy holiday season that we will be able to add in more science time.

So, the way I see it two things must happen.
  1. After Christmas, science gets bumped way up on our priority list- from a 3-times-per-week subject to a five-days-per week priority.
  2. We need to be prepared to continue science classes into the summer.
However, I am open to suggestions.  What would you do???

The other big issue this week has been bullying and name calling.

We have been meeting Tutoring Student at the playground twice each week.  The boys and TS have a great time and get along just great.  However, because he is public schooled, we have to meet after ps hours, and the playground is teeming with a variety of personalities. 

The boys have encountered many children this week who have taken issue with them for a number of reasons...being homeschooled, being short, wearing glasses, being socially different, etc.  In part, it has been an issue of "kids being kids".  In part, the kids just don't get our counter-cultural ways, and the boys are reaching a place in their lives that they must face that uncomfortable decision to fit in without compromising or just not fit in.

They have been called an assortment of names this week.  The playground kids have also tried to get the boys to do things that are against our family rules.  When the boys would not comply, they were once again teased and called an assortment of names.

  1. I see the silver lining in this.  They are obedient even in the midst of provocation.  We have been reading Proverbs this month, and the applications at the playground have been quite obvious, even to my 10 and 11 year olds.
  2. We are raising them to be prepared to "speak with the enemy at the gate".  I don't want you to think that I consider children to be the "enemy"; however, this is the type of practice and training the boys need to grow to be men of integrity, filled with grace and wisdom, ready to give an answer for what they believe and to counter lies with the Truth.
However, who called whom what and "how do I deal with this?" have been almost constant topics of discussion around here.  The boys have bombarded me with hard questions this week.  I have to admit that earlier in the week, mostly because I was tired, didn't want to have to deal with this type of issue, and hoped it would just go away, I gave the "turn the other cheek" and just ignore it answer.  But that did not satisfy them nor did it properly equip them when the name calling continued. 

We have had more talks and made an action plan, but I'm still interested...

What would you do?  Leave a comment or send me an email.  I'm all ears.


I am blessed! said...

As for science: You may not be as behind as you think. Several of the earlier modules are longer than several of the later ones. We are right on schedule- I know because we have two schedules we're making sure to keep up with. Anyway, Monk just finished module 5- so only two ahead of you. He does work on science 5 days a week, but only 20-30 min per day.

Sorry, can't help you with the playground.


Kathleen said...

Hey, Dawn! Can't help you with the science...I'm behind, too, and really think of science as extra with my littler kids. So I'm no help there.

But on the playground--it would depend on the ages of the kids. If the mean kids are older/bigger, I'd just get out of there and find another playground.

If the kids are younger or peers, I'd first try helping the boys come up with something fun to do that the mean kids could join in on. Maybe take a bunch of inexpensive frisbees or kickballs and share. Something to "reset" the dynamic a little and give your boys a way to extend a forgiving hand of friendship but on nice-kid terms.

But honestly, if this didn't work, I'd just leave and find another place to play. Once a pack of kids decides that the oddballs are to be ostracized, it usually takes a strong authority to stop it. I was the recipient of name calling when I was in 4th grade, and it took the principal of the school meeting with the parents to get it to stop. (There was a little gang of boys who followed my best friend and me around the playground calling us "gay" because we'd held hands and run away from them once. Months of recess torture.) So while I learned that I could withstand the name-calling, it was miserable.

I don't know how bad things are, how many kids are doing it, and how easy it is to avoid them and play somewhere else on the same property...

But that's my .02.

Let us know how it goes! Proud of your boys for following home rules when it wasn't easy. Tell them that I'm going to pass this story on to my boys, and it will be an encouragement to them to hold the course even when it is hard. :)


Kellie said...

We're in the same boat with science and my plan is to do both the things you suggested -- try to do science 5 days a week and plan on finishing in the summer. {sigh}

We have not run into any bullying situations yet, so I don't know how I'd handle that -- I'd love to hear your plan since I'm sure it's just a matter of time before it happens to us too. I have had a lot of conversations with my 12 year old about other kids being mean (more pre-teen type stuff that doesn't really seem the same as bullying) and it's been helpful to speculate the possible reasons someone might act that way and then pray for them. When she realized that the person might be acting that way because of insecurities or family issues, it helped her to develop more compassion and patience for that person.