Home Works

We work at being at home; our home works for our family. We are regular; regular seems rare. I try to look at the stars like my mother does each night -- proof we are all under the same sky.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

This Homeschool Mom's First Day of School

Tomorrow, our exchange student Isaac goes to high school. Since he has not registered for classes, we'll go a bit late, as instructed, and I'll stay with him to get him registered.

The courses he has to take, as required by his visa to be an exchange student, are American History (or government) and English. The other courses he also hopes to enroll in are physics, chemistry II, algebra II, and calculus. Oh, yes, and he thinks he'll have a study hall with that.

I've explained this would be considered quite a challenging schedule for an American student with full command of the language the subjects will be taught in, but he's more concerned that he may be bumped by an American student who wants those classes for college prep or graduation requirements! He says, "the symbols, they are always the symbols" for math and chemistry, and he believes that since he was very strong in these subjects in Ecuador, they will help him keep the necessary grades in USA. I concede that English and history would be quite likely to be more difficult to keep up with, language-wise.

I, being one to support folks in doing what they want to do, will be there advocating for him to get the classes that he wants. But two maths? This English major cringes....

Meanwhile, he asks if "my brothers" will be starting school this week at home. How do I explain to him that his being here has been a large part of their recent education? How do I explain that Kevin's final written work on his Eagle Scout project proposal is his current school project? How do I explain that Patrick's research on "how to build my own computer" is also a current school project? How do I explain that posting the verb tener and its conjugation, as well as phrases like como se dice and mas despacio por favor, all over the kitchen, is the way that I produce escuela at our house? Accompanied of course, by dinner table conversation about when to use usted and when to use tu.

How do I explain that Tuesday, when he must board the bus at 5:50 am, his brothers and I will be asleep?

And how do I convince myself, that my new son from Ecuador can really get up, cook his own eggs (which he has now done three times in his life), and wait for the bus at that hour without su madre?

Meanwhile, Patrick tells me he is stumped on an algebra question (he has only asked me about five questions all year) and that he wants more advanced materials for right after he finishes the last page of the last book in the Key To Algebra series, and by the way, have I found anyone who can walk him through how to build a computer, EXACTLY? I wonder if Patrick understands enough Spanish and Isaac understands enough English that my Ecuadoran math whiz can tutor my American math whiz? And does anyone out there want to volunteer to be the computer-building tutor?

Nick's and Patrick's soccer coaches have called about practices that start this week, Kevin is going to the dojo nearly nightly to prepare for a martial arts tournament, and Isaac is letting me know that he intends to play for the high school soccer team, whose informal practices (without coach) will probably start in about a week.

Sometimes it seems the most important thing I do in my house is manage logistics. And this year, I get to manage them on both a public school and a homeschool basis.


Blogger Valerie said...

Boy, you really _don't_ have anything in your bio, do you? [laughing]

10:11 PM  

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