Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pumpkin Patch and HS Frustrations

Yesterday Iris and I were chaperones on Eloise's class's field trip to a pumpkin patch at a farm. There were 25 kids, six (or seven?) parents and one teacher and I have to say, it felt pretty chaotic! We travelled around the farm in a group and many of us parents spent a lot of time saying "walking feet!" or "don't stick your fingers in there!" or "don't hurt your friend's body!" Whew! We went through a hay maze, met some chickens and pigs, checked out the produce picked for the CSA, took a hay ride and then picked out our pumpkins from the field. Plus a 45 minute bus ride each way. I think the kids overall really enjoyed it, though, so that is what counts, right? I was glad we got to go because Iris had a chance to ride on a school bus and visit the farm, too.

Monday is our regular volunteer day at school so we got a double dose of kindergartners this week. Monday is Chinese class for the kids and it is kind of neat that Iris gets to sit in on that, too. She is learning right along with everyone else! Iris is starting to do more things on her own in the K classroom and I like to see her being comfortable with that. Like she will help a child or small group of children do a project while I am helping someone else. Iris also loves sitting and listening to the teacher during reading time. I think she is getting some great experience just being in the school, which is great because that is where we plan to transition her to (except, of course, not in to the K classroom! ha.)

Unfortunately Monday morning was a rough morning on the homeschooling front. Iris is so defiant that she will write numbers incorrectly on purpose or not follow the instructions in her workbook. For our lesson on Monday she had to guess at the length of something before she measured it and went through and wrote any number she felt like without thinking about it. It drives me crazy because I know she understands it-- if anything, it might be bit too easy. I don't really know how to get her to care about the work she is doing.

The straw that broke the homeschooling mama's back that morning was Iris throwing a pencil at me, so we stopped immediately after that. I have had her work on some computer math stuff (through Dreambox) since then but haven't done any formal work with her. It kind of makes me wonder if I should do more "unschooling" with her, in order to eliminate the fights, but there are so many worries I have about that: we plan to put Iris back in school next year. I worry that by unschooling she will miss working on the specific topics that the kids in PS are working on this year. I worry that the further we stray from structure the harder it will be for her to adhere to one next year.

Anyways, we meet with a psychiatrist again next week to talk this all through to figure out what will be the best for Iris. I am hoping to get Iris signed up for more classes now that she isn't in her two days/week home school program. I think it will help round out a lot of areas and I will be less stressed about everything. This is our first week of no home school group so we're still in re-configuring mode.

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