Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Valentines and Grammar

We had a reprieve from the bitter cold, and the kids took the opportunity to play outside and build a snowman.
 Jane said she was hot and took off her coat.  How hot was it? 43 degrees!  The heat wave won't last long, they say colder temperatures are in the forecast.

January 2014 Jane gets braces. 
 We have begun the two year process. She chose the color of her bands by the outfit she would wear to Wednesday school the next day. That's my girl, very fashion conscious.  She also would not allow me to take a picture of her after they were on, so this is the only shot I got from the orthodontist.

Right now she only has top clear braces with colored bands. They don't always show up in pictures.  This photo is from our American Heritage Girls, Daddy/Daughter dance. 

I should have held the valentine so as not to show off my dirty counter-top. I will hopefully make someone else feel less guilty about a less than spot-less house, by keeping it in the photo.

When Jane handed me this Valentine I of course had that warm fuzzy mom moment, but when I actually read it the first thing I noticed was the correct usage of "You're."   As my 
children's primary educator I can see success and failure with everything they write or say. I have learned not to necessarily blame poor grammar on teachers.  Jane can diagram, use in a sentence and even explain when and how to use several words/phrases with no grammatical error. I know this because I grade her papers and tests.
  That does not keep that child from using the word funner at least once a month.
Every time she says something wrong, my husband chimes in " Who is your English teacher?"  I have to defend the fact she knows how to say things properly, it is just poor speech habits and laziness that prevent her from doing so.  Which I have to admit I am guilty of doing from time to time. 

We had our second annual Valentines party for our homeschool group.  This year we hosted it at our clubhouse, so the kids could run around and we could bring in our own treats. 
I somehow managed not to take a picture, probably because I was too busy talking. 
 I am thankful for a community of mothers who understand the ups and downs of home-educating. 

 I know parents who don't homeschool and still feel their child's performance reflects upon them.  When you are the teacher of your child that feeling is magnified.  There is really no one else to "blame" for something going awry.  I am not one for pointing fingers or placing blame, usually a bad idea. 
 Yet, I have come to find that if there is any it is often justifiably directed at the student;  
The student who is refusing to write sentences because it is too hard, the student who says they can't read because their sibling is being too loud.  These are the obstacles my kids have to face, their own motivation, concentration and confidence in choosing to learn and get knowledge. 

  It is common in homeschool circles to have a name for your "school." Some people do this because officially they are required to report their children's academic progress to a governing authority, others just do it for fun. 
The kids were not interested in helping me pick out a name.  I attempted to find a meaningful and spiritual reference as some of my friends, I wanted something short and sweet and I couldn't make any scripture reference fit.   I decided upon
The Socially Awkward Academy. A tongue in cheek expression making light of one of the top arguments people make against home-schooling, what about socialization? I have said before this is the least of our problems as home-schoolers here at the Sweeney household. 

My Socially Awkward children and their cute cousin Benjamin.