Friday, September 11, 2009

Big E's birthday

Yes, it is September 11th but, for our family, that also means that it is the Big E's birthday. He's here with his family, soon to have another member, and his little brother, Noach. The Big E is a mensch. I am proud of him and proud to be his mother. PRM

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Homeschooling's like lifeschooling

and that's a good thing, so said Yakov this morning when he called for the second time. He said he was the only one in his group who knows how to cook and can figure out how to compare prices in the grocery store. Maybe the math-resistant Yakov is finally realizing that all that math was not for nothing.

Schooling here at home has been quite different this week. Shoshie has worked a lot so Noach and I have been working alone. Since I am not teaching any science labs this fall, he has been craving some social activities.

Wednesday we went to park day with our old group and fortunately there were a number of older kids there. We met a new homeschooling mom who is offering a language arts class that he may join. I am calling it language arts because it is not just reading and discussing books, not really a writing class, but a combination of both and more. As I said, the mom is new to homeschooling and is very intense, so I hope this works out. She really wants to meet 3 days a week but I think has realized that twice a week is about all anyone can commit to.

Noach also signed up for a physical science class at a local private school. We went to an orientation Wednesday afternoon and I was really encouraged about this class. It is a pre-chemistry class so they will be doing fun stuff. I wish I could go.

Thus we are adjusting to our smaller school size. In reality it may not be that much different from last year but the lack of Yakov makes it feel that way. Shoshie walked in at lunch yesterday and commented on how quiet the house was without our "tummler". I guess he is stirring stuff up in the Negev. PRM

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Another reminder of the importance of play

from the NY Times, Let the Children Play (Some More). Articles like this always herald the end of summer. But I can't help thinking The National Institute for Play seems an oxymoron. PRM

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Summer recap

I am trying to get my ducks back in a row for the start of the school year. It's a little harder with one less duck. This felt like a long summer, but certainly not in an unpleasant way.

Yakov spent 5 weeks as a counselor at YJ and had to take Tamiflu for 10 days as prophylaxis against the swine flu.

Shoshie spent 4 weeks in Israel. She had a great time despite injury and sickness.

Noach worked on his Bar Mitzvah prep with determination that paid off in an outstanding performance. He will reprise his Haftorah skills by chanting part of Jonah at the Yom Kippur service in September.

Shoshie had a panicked spell, because in the last week before registration, the state legislature pulled much of the support from the dual enrollment program at the community college. This program was well-used by her brother who will go to UNC-CH with over 30 hours of college credit, thus saving us at least one year's tuition. But the short term benefit of dual enrollment is how it demonstrates to prospective colleges that the student can handle college work. Each cc in the state was able to decide how to deal with this and, the evening before registration, our cc decided to allow no courses for dual enrollment except science, math and some tech classes. She was eventually able to get a math course and a geology course and that is not a bad outcome. She could not continue Spanish which was disappointing but we have gone back to OSU for Spanish online.

I have been unable to post much because, well, I'm just depressed about things going on. The absolute inanity of the healthcare debate takes my breath away. Death panels, my god. And if Texas wants to secede, then to quote Peewee Herman, "I say, let 'em go".

And Sunday before daylight, Yakov left for 9 months in Israel. He called Monday morning to tell me he is in a "crackhouse"* with 7 other guys in some impoverished town in the Negev desert. "It's great!"

So I will try to start posting more. PRM

* My rodent-phobic mind sees this as a rat infested cinderblock building with stained mattresses on rickety bunk beds, but I could be wrong.