Monday, August 26, 2013

Nth Day of Not School

So today Oakland schools start and all my friends are posting "First Day of School" photos and are nervous about their kindergarteners starting school today.

And I'm totally nervous for my "kindergartner" to not start school.

Part of it is that our charter school hasn't assigned us our teacher yet. Our charter doesn't start until after Labor Day, so they are taking their good ol' time. Problem is, classes that we'd like to use the charter funds for are already open for registration and I can't sign up for them until I know how the money works. Also, we are in violin lesson limbo since the fall schedule (starting in 2 weeks) isn't available yet. I have no idea what life is going to look like.

Margaret has wanted to do "schooly" things, so I made up a card system for her. I put some cards in a folder and she can choose which ones she does each day. I put different ones in every day, so she has different options. There are cards that are in every day: violin practice and me reading to her. There are cards that are in some days but not all: handwriting, for example. When she's done with a card she moves it from the left side of the folder to the right side to signify that she's done. All of it takes less than half an hour (except for me reading to them- that takes longer depending on the books they choose) and then we have the rest of the day to do whatever.

Is this system still going to work a month from now? I don't know. But hey, it's something to ease her into the "school year."

Ooh, one thing I'm looking forward to today is checking out the local 4-H group, which has an open house later. 4-H is usually for 8+, but some groups take 5+, with the 5 year olds as "Cloverbuds." This group accepts 5+, but before we jump in it, I want to see what options they have for the younger crowd. We'll find out if I want to start living through my children this year or if I'm going to wait a few years. I really wish I had gotten a chance to do 4-H. My kids will do all the things I wish I had done! (That's a bit facetious, but kind of true.)

Anyway, I'm nervous that she's missing out on the American experience of school and that's important somehow. But no choice is forever, we can always do school if it doesn't work out. And the homeschool options here are amazing: from lego engineering to AP Chemistry classes. It'll work out. Kids are resilient and I can't mess this up too badly.

If things work out and we have the money for the classes we want for her, this semester she'll be doing violin, lego engineering, a writing class, 4-H, and another music class. She really likes music. And now I'm worried we'll over schedule her. Goodness, it's just kindergarten. And of course we'll have the usual park days for the unschool group.

Here's a picture from yesterday while waiting for a bus. She made her necklace.

Happy nth day of no school, but sort of school. Happy life?


  1. I just dropped off my oldest in transitional kindergarten at an Oakland school. I'm wavering on school but we are trying this year out because she is going to one of the Spanish immersion schools. More and more though, we think we will ultimately home school, so I'm so glad to have found your blog and realize that we are in the same city! :)

    1. Hello fellow Oaklander! There are a couple of homeschool groups in the area. Home Grown kids has park on Mondays, SFBUN on Tuesdays and I think AOHL has park day on Thursdays.

    2. Thank you for the tips, I will look them up. I dunno, my kid is going through the quintessential American experience right now and it is not knocking my socks off. You're so right about kids being resilient. It is my general parenting philosophy. Keep them alive and teach them to be kind, the rest seems to work itself out. (Maybe I'll be sad in twenty years, but that's what I'm going with for now!)

  2. I hope they get your funding sorted soon! You're right, you won't mess her up, you're doing a grand job :) I'm extremely jealous of all the cool home ed stuff you have around you. I remember the same time for us being really hard on me, Eve and me noticing all her friends going off to school, and mine back to work and not being able to see them during the day. It doesn't seem to be an issue with the next one... for us at least!

  3. ME TOOOOOOO! I am totally going to live vicariously through my daughter when she joins 4H! (I hope :) ) I always wanted to do 4H so I really hope she will want to! I'm so glad I'm not the only one!!!!

  4. I'm in the same boat so I'm sending you some cyber-love. There are two 5-year-olds in our apartment complex (besides Soren) and they started Kindergarten on Monday. All of a sudden, I realize that I'm doing it! I'm homeschooling and I haven't even started anything! Yikes!


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