Thursday, May 31

Homeschooling, the right choice this year

You may have noticed that I have not been blogging as much the last few months.  I have just not had the time because I have been homeschooling Princess A.  Her school year started out alright.  I did not feel welcome in her classroom when I volunteered, but Princess A said class was fine.  I would talked to her about it once in a while and discovered she was doing nothing but reading.  I don't mean reading school books, I mean reading novels.  Princess A is an advanced child and her teacher was chosen by the school because the teacher was normally a 4th grade teacher but was teaching third grade this school year.  The thought was she could give Princess A extra challenges in class if she needed them.  Well she needed them but was not given anything extra to do.  As soon as she finished her regular school stuff she was allowed to read.  She finished so quickly most of her day was spent reading.  She loved it!  I was finally able to meet with her teacher near the end of October.  It was a quick meeting where her teacher told be that, besides one thing with paragraphs, Princess A knew everything she needed to learn by the end of the school year and wasn't that great.  I was happy she knew so much but was more concerned with what she would be learning the rest of the school year.  Her teacher would not answer me and asked me to help Princess A at home with the paragraph thing.  It took me five minutes to explain to Princess A to always write in paragraphs at school and the 'paragraph thing' was mastered. (Her teacher never told her to write in paragraphs so she hadn't.)  I tried to push her teacher to give her more and that teacher informed me "I have a set curriculum and can not deviate from it." I was not happy with that answer and after trying to work with the school district (the teacher was wrong she is suppose to deviate for kids) I decided to home school Princess A in Reading/Language arts and Math, the two subjects she is most advanced it, and have her remain in the classroom for the rest of her subjects.  This took place around Thanksgiving.  It was horrible!
Her teacher became very hostile and began to take it out on Princess A in class.  After a very uncomfortable two weeks during which Princess A was expected to magically receive instructions while she was not present, I pulled her out of that teacher's classroom.  Princess A was sad to leave her friends but so happy she did not have that teacher.  We decided that Princess A would still attend music (twice a week) and library (once a week) with her class as there are other teachers teaching during those times.  The teacher did not handle it well, she berated me in the cafeteria and later after Princess A was no longer in her class, yelled down the hall after me. I will not repeat all that she said but it was unprofessional.  The teacher also refused to acknowledge my daughter when she would say 'Hello."  So right before Christmas I started homeschooling Princess A full time.  My younger daughter is still in regular school and three times during the week Princess A has 30 minutes of instruction at her old school so we do have time constraints.
  It has been wonderful and very different.  I now have at least one child with me all of the time.  I now have a kid to drag around to doctor appointments, grocery stores and errands.  The best part is to see how much Princess A is learning.  When she was in regular school she had been complaining that math was still review in November and couldn't wait to start multiplication.  She also started knitting.  We are homeschooling through a program with the state so all of the materials are provided and she has at least 2 online classes per week.  It has been a wonderful time but Princess A wants to go back to a regular school, she misses her friends.  We were able to get her into a gifted program in our school district for next school year.  She will have to attend a new school and is a little nervous.  She is very excited too.  I am excited for her but also a little sad, it has been wonderful having her all day, everyday for the last few months.  Well at least I will have the summer to spend with both of them before mommy is on her own again. Less than three weeks until school is out!

Tuesday, May 1

Pacific Northwest Ballet Nutcracker Tickets On Sale

We attend the PNB's Nutcracker every year.  We have attended opening weekend for the last 6 years.  Can you tell we love the PNB's Nutcracker?! Usually tickets go on sale in July, which is when we always buy them.  The sooner you purchase the tickets the better seats you get for each price.  I received an email this morning stating they went on sale this morning, and no service charge through the end of May!
  We purchased our tickets this afternoon.  This year they are having fewer dates so if you plan on attending the Nutcracker Ballet in Seattle I would look into tickets now!