Monday, August 28, 2006

Sorta kinda the first day of "school"

Today, I watched the children walk past my house on the way to the neighborhood "government" school which is about 100 yards from my house. All my friends who have children in school (private or government), started today.

I have an objection to the "school" year starting in August. It just seems wrong to me. I have such fond memories of summer vacation and school starting in the "fall." August is NOT the fall. It is still summer when children should be out running and playing.

On the other hand, I'm glad that school has started. We will have the library to ourself again and other interesting places will have short lines during school hours.

Having said all that, I told my kids we were sorta kinda starting school today. Basically, we did what we normally do during the summer. We started the day off with morning chores and family scripture study. The kids then practiced the piano. After that, the girls wrote in their journals. Of course, they read much of the day like they always do.

We are a bit out of kilter because we have guests. I'm quite enjoying 7 kids in the house. I went grocery shopping with an 18 month old, which is something I haven't done in about 4 and 1/2 years. He was so cute in the shopping cart.

Anyway, back to the point. To start our school year off with a "wimper," I had the girls take a test on I'm planning on the girls taking the same test again at the end of the "school" year. That way I can compare the change. I'm not really a "testing" fan, but I like using it as a reference point.

In addition, testing well is a skill that makes getting into college and getting scholarships easier. Also, testing well has a tendency to "shut up" homeschooling critics. I'm secure enough (really, really, I am) not to need such artifical reinforcement, but it doesn't hurt to have an ace up your sleeve, just in case.

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Anonymous said...

We kinda-sorta started today, too. Hard to say you're homeschooling when today's "school day" was a nature walk whilst singing songs, going to the park to play with friends, and then doing some drawing, but there ya go!

BTW, my verification word, jxqzvspo, is the longest I've ever had to type. I think it's pronounced "juxquiz - VIS - po" and means something about a pop quiz failure making your poor...

Janine Cate said...

I've had trouble with the verification words. It usually takes me 2 or three tries to post a comment.

charity said...

I would have the same feelings about starting when it is still summer, but here in Vermont, it is rainy and cold already and school doesn't even start until Wednesday!

Our first day consisted of doing math placement tests on the computer (which my kids loved) and a visit to a local public access station where I was taping a program. They worked on stories they are writing/illustrating while there.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a big fan of tests, but there ARE good ones out there. As far as testing Thomas goes, my biggest issue is MY reaction to the results. I will be crushed if he doesn't test well, and will gloat if he does! LOL

I recently administered the California Achievement Test to two first graders. (Why in the WORLD are there even such things as tests for first graders!) And you should have seen the poor boys! One had such a severe case of test anxiety, that the test came nowhere near his true ability. And the other reached a point of frustration about halfway through that he just shut down. Why were these poor boys being put through such torture? Their loving (?)father is "getting back" at his ex-wife this way.

Janine Cate said...

That's too bad.