Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Education, and Loss

One of the reasons I don't home school is that I don't have the passion or specific education of Anna's teacher. She has a master's degree in education, and planned on getting a doctorate, but reconsidered when she realized she never wanted to leave the classroom. I recognize that I cannot motivate Anna at this age the way that she can, plus she has all these great ideas for new projects for Anna. Anna is a little bored with writing "U...U...U...u...u...u" over and over (although finding 3 magazine pictures of items that start with 'U' was a little challenging for all of us, much hard than all the other letters!).

Anna's teacher seems as excited about watching her learn to read as me. I am thrilled that she has come up with so many ideas for channelling Anna's hunger for knowledge, even though she has a classroom with some students struggling with their letters, most in the middle, and about 5 or so at Anna's speed. My passion is veterinary medicine, specifically veterinary dentistry. I can help implement Anna's teacher's plan, and I can be passionate about that, even if I am not very innovative educationally. I am sure if circumstances dictated it, I could educate my children, but right now I know I do a better job supporting Anna's public school teacher at this very good elementary school.

I am amazed at how much school has changed, anyway. It is much more "Montessori" or self-taught than I ever experienced. In Anna's public school classroom, students are working independently on different projects at their own level at the same time. When I went to school, we all sat facing the teacher doing the same work no matter what our level was. The only individuality was in the SRA reading cards we selected, or in what we taught ourselves by choosing books in the library. Thank goodness I was a motivated reader, and that my mom took me to the library hundreds of times. I couldn't get enough books!


While everyone was at school or work today, I continued cleaning. Sorrowfully, I cleaned and put away Vino's cage, finally. (he still rests cryogenically in the freezer.) I also put away Claudio's litter box. I had put off this last vestige way too long, and it was still very sad. I am so glad no one told me one year ago that within 12 months, I would lose all 3 of our pets. (The chickens are not pets; they are livestock, although we would never eat them. Just for the record, we lost one of them in the last year, too.) I am glad we have Francesca, but she does not nearly replace Montana, Claudio, or Vino. However, she is very devoted to me, and does teach me a lot about love and about giving animals a second chance. She really doesn't ask much, just some exercise and some attention EVERY DAY. Someday, she will be a great dog.

OK, now if you need a pick-me-up, go look at my new neice!


mr man said...

I'm amazed, as well, how different kindergarten is from when we went. Junebug is actually reading. I recall learning the alphabet by rote. That's about it for the big k. The alphabet. The first memory I have of reading was in 1st grade. Of course, it was a different time: bugs ruled the earth and the great alien plague hadn't quite taken ahold of Eileen Brennan's elbow, so what else could we do. We did our homework and didn't dare talk about what we really did on summer vacation.

Jess said...

I am so happy that the meeting with Anna's teacher went well! I am glad they are challenging her! She is such a smart little girl!

I didn't know Claudio was officially gone. That is so sad! I really didn't put two and two together. Wow. I am really upset now. :( I loved Claudio! I loved all your awesome pets!!! :(

Your new niece looks beautiful! I am soooo happy for all of you, especially Anna and Colin who will get a new cousin!!! :)

I will see you all Saturday! I cannot wait! :)

Bon soir!

Leigh-Ann said...

So sorry to come in late on the bad news about Vino :( My belated condolences.

Lisa said...

I'm so glad you still have Francesca. Of course she can't replace any of your other dear friends but she is very sweet, and getting better behaved all the time.

Sorry you had to do those final chores. I know how sad that is.

And homeschooling? No. Way. Could I ever do that.

Emily said...

I remember when I lost Benjamin, the last task I put off was vaccuuming. I realized once I vaccuumed, none of his hairs would be there again. Funny, isn't it? While they're alive, pet hair is a bother to clean up, but once they're gone, you cling to every last vestige of them.

I miss all your pets, too.

Leah said...

They say bad things happen in threes...So now all you have to look forward is happy days ahead.

There is no way I could home school my kids (if I had kids)...I would be afraid that they would be to smart by the thrid grade...ha ha. I think being involved in Anna's education is better than anything you could do. Most parents now days do not get involved. Your Grrreat!!!!