Today I pulled Kelly out of hell kindergarten. After seeing the class, I was a bucket of nerves every time she was in class. How lost and ignored was she that day? When will scissors boy lurch at her? Peter went in to see the classroom on Tuesday. He merely saw it as extremely mediocre, though he confirmed scissors boy has Issues, particularly with women. (Public school: where you can meet tomorrow’s serial killers today!) In any case, it was a long long way from Neil’s magnet school kindergarten, where his teacher played the piano for the children and had them memorizing a poem every week.
I still wonder if I can give her anything as good as that, and if I am depriving her of regular friends. Yesterday, I had her out of school, so I had a go at teaching her while working with Neil. Since she can read more now, she spent the first hour simply reading to herself, and then she was happy to color pages, and work on educational games on the computer. In the afternoon, the homeschooling co-op had a big Thanksgiving party, so I took her there. Though it was big and hectic, she enjoyed it; and even though it was chaotic and noisy at times, even with 40 largely boisterous children, it wasn’t as stressful as the class with 20 children. And the Thanksgiving pageant some of the children put on was was as colorful as modern public school history is bland: the homeschoolers’ play noted religious discrimination, marauding Indians, and deaths by hardship. Kelly, however, was most impressed by Samoset, the Indian who helped the pilgrims.
Kelly had her birthday party on Sunday, and she wasn’t as unpopular as I feared she was. She had three last minute acceptances (a fair response to last minute invitations), and she had two party crashers, who were also welcome. Peter started the girls out with making cupcakes. Neil led the girls in making rocket decor for their balloons, which they then launched. Then they decorated the cupcakes, played Pin the Tail on the Donkey, broke open the Shawn the Sheep pinata I’d made, had cake and ice cream, watched Kelly open her presents, and played with them. Peter and I were exhausted afterward, and I actually fell asleep at 9. But it was a good party, IMHO.
On Tuesday, I took Neil and Kelly to another homeschoolers’ park day, where Neil connected with some other nascent engineers, who dug out the sand pit in order to create a new civilization. Kelly ran off as usual, but this time I had my eye on her, and each time as she broached the horizon, I caught up with her and swung her by her ankles. Unfortunately, she liked that, so she ran around even more, so I had to do that too. But it was better than losing her and finding her on the edge of a lake.
I returned to taking her to regular storytimes, which provide her with better version of the best she got out of kindergarten. So now we see the unimitable Andrew at Borders, and the marvelous Miss Mary the Librarian at the Cambrian branch library. And I joined some other homeschoolers in a nature hike this afternoon, where Neil went to great care to make sure she didn’t fall off a cliff or get eaten by a mountain lion.
So things are better and I may soon be able to hand the position of World’s Worst Mom to someone else.