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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Eighth grade is off to a fine start.

Obviously, we didn't start on Tuesday.  Ooops.

We did start talking about the classes, looking at various websites and discussing what we thought was reasonable expectations for each class/course.  I think that counts. 

The new setup is rocking my world.  I have been writing like mad.  I started a second Etsy store to sell my recipes with full photographic tutorials, we'll see what happens there.  I had the recipes anyway and I was making the bread and jam and marshmallows for myself so taking the detailed pictures was easy.  I hope it works, it's what I'd love to do. 

Of course, in the middle of working on writing, setting up a writing workroom and setting conducive to the fostering of the brilliance in me...I started selling rugs from the Tracy's Altered Reality store.  Are you kidding me?  I don't want to sew right now, I want to write!  For Pete's sake!  A gal wrote me asking for a coral rug, I flat out said "no".  Really?  and I wonder why on earth I'm not selling this things like hotcakes.  Another gal asked for a large rug, I also replied with a firm, "no".  The coral gal wrote back and said I could pick the color and the other ordered a smaller, white, rug.  I find it ridiculous that I am trying to not sell something.  Only in my head, only on my watch. 

I think it's going to be a royal pain to un-de-sew this room for the week it'll take me to make the rugs.  I hope I have enough tshirts because if I have to go out for them, I'll be in a right snit.  The Banker packed them up by color for me in enormous boxes (brilliant move Banker!!!) so finding the white whole and cut t's will be easy.  

Luckily, I have a new method of making the rugs so they'll go faster than the last ones.  I had also wanted to post a tutorial on making the rugs so this is actually a blessing in disguise because I don't think I would have dragged it all out to take the tutorial pictures.  I get so many people asking me how to make the rugs and what the trick of them is that I hope the tshag tutorial will sell.  C'mon a girl just wants to make a living. 

So, back to homes school matters.  This week will be less fluid because I will be sewing in the same room he's schooling in.  It'll work but it may be a bit distracting so he may have to go into the kitchen or living room for some of his work.  We will go with the flow and see how it pans out. 

The plan is to start on the 20th.  Banker will have 3 classes per day.  The online video lesson will require copious amounts of notes taken.  He has a composition book for each class and will hand them in to me at the end of each day.  The beauty of the system is that I have a full week to review any one class.  Way to give yourself a break there, mom.  I'm all about me this year.  I don't need daily homework.  The academic schedule is broken down like this for 8th grade: 

  1. Monday:  Latin (online video lessons).  Science (online video lessons).  Physics (online video lessons)
  2. Tuesday:  Literature (book).  Grammar (book).  Reading (list to be determined).
  3. Wednesday:  Algebra (CD learning program).  Java (Stanford online video lesson).  Photography (book and internet and me!).
  4. Thursday:  World Study (book and internet).  History (book).  Geography/Geo-cache (outside)
  5. Friday:  Volunteer (CoOp).  Art (CoOp).  Spanish (CoOp)

I have field trips to planetariums and star parties planned as part of his science this semester which is all space, astronomy and cosmology.  I am going to try to have an overnight trip to a very cool Planetarium in west Texas,  we'll see how the budget works.  The Banker is working on details with a couple of professors at UT for more astronomy opportunities over there so that would be way way way cool. 

The banker joined a Minecraft meetup club so teenage boys can get meet up with their laptops and do together what they do when they're alone (HAHAHA)  I think we will be able to meet at the Microsoft offices for the free WiFi, that would be fantastic.  We are going to a computer animation tutorial there on Tuesday so I will be asking loads of availability questions.

There are evening functions, renaissance recreation events for archery and swordsmanship(!), and pick up soccer at Zilker Park we'll be throwing in the schedule whenever we can.  He's joined a youth group for some diversion and more introduction into some religious study/exposure that we can discuss.  I hope he'll meet some nice kids, he's in the 13-17 group.  He's met some of the kids before as a guest so he's not too concerned about the whole 'new kid on the block' thing.  I'm pleased he's also going to meet some kids more geographically convenient.  I think this is going to be a great year. 

Speaking of geographically inconvenient friends, I'm going to rant a minute.   This is my blog, I can say what I want and it's about time I said this.  The Banker had a great (I thought) group of (lifetime?) friends he played soccer with from the time he was 5 until he was about 10 then the team disbanded when everyone went to middle school.  To my shock and horror, the kids turned into a**hole gang of thugs and completely ostracized him.  The first middle school dance, where Banker paid for a girl to go, resulted in the Thug soccer kid picking the Banker up and walking him across the room to toss him into a group of girls (he still thought girls were icky!) telling him he wasn't welcome with the "team" that he could hang with the girls...and it started there.  The Banker was more mature and never thought girls were icky (how ridiculous).  He was shattered.  I remember I was volunteering at the dance and when I saw Banker's face after the incident.  Well, it took all of me not to punch the kid in the mouth.  I wonder if part of it may have also been the fact he lived so far from the school so wasn't able to participate in some of the casual gatherings.  I like to think it was just those particular kids are just idiots.  Banker joined the band and clubs and was highly involved in extracurricular activities but didn't go to people's houses after school, we were on a tighter schedule.  I never minded waiting on a school event but had to draw the line and just going to watch TV 40 minutes away from the house.

I'll admit, I cried many hours about seeing how hurt he was that the kids he'd played with weekly for years and years turned on him because one Napoleon kid needed to be a ruler and they all needed a victim to feel better about themselves.  Hardly big men on campus at 11 years old.  What better victim than a friend.  

I was very proud of myself and didn't call any of the parents (or go punch out the children) involved in the bullying.  Banker wasn't "allowed" to eat lunch with them or sit facing them.  It was horrible and stressful.  I thought about calling these people I'd known for years then realized there wouldn't be any repercussions anyway so why.  The Banker found other (better) friends quickly and easily (he's a pretty easy going guy) and has maintained those friendships even since leaving public school.  The Thug, the wimpy Follower, the uber-creepy "Eddie Haskell" and the weasel Sneak can go have ordinary, boring public school lives.  The Banker is off on the adventure of a lifetime.  He sings during science and hums during Algebra, there's an academic joy in this child that just has come alive when he learns.  

The bullying by the "friends" wasn't any part of the reason I made the final decision to home school.  I'd never give those kinds of people that sort of credit or power in our lives.  The decision is all about offering The Banker the best possible opportunities for the best possible, coolest, most fun life.  Anyone can be ordinary, I've opened a door to spectacular for him.  I don't know why I felt the need to share that story today, I have never talked about it and feel better having gotten it off my chest.  I saw one of the kids the other day on a drive and grinned to myself that we're well rid.

In any event, we are ready for Monday to learn, explore, (sew!), giggle...and generally enter this next phase of the adventure with great excitement and anticipation of something great.

Banker is excited and ready, I'm excited and ready.  On your mark, get set..........GO!


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