Butterfly to The C.F.O.: "How old is Mama?"
The C.F.O. to Butterfly: "Twenty-six."
How right you are, sir!
Just when you think it's safe to open your email, wham-mo! You get tagged again! Just joking! I am only too happy to be tagged. As the youngest child, I never could win that stinking game. Being tagged now is not so bad.
Renae @ Life Nurturing Education got me with a good one. The idea is to list five things I want but don't need. I also must list five things I am lacking or need of a spiritual nature. That list could be a lot longer, you know.
Things I want but don't need...
Now to state the obvious...things I need of a spiritual nature.
Okee-dokee. Those are my lists. Tag, you're it! Leave me yours in the comments. I can't wait to read 'em!
Today my children got to experience a public school. We were setting up for Friday night's stage performance (which will be held at the local public high school's theater) when we had to evacuate the building. Thanks to a fire set in a trash can, we had the pleasure of standing out in the wind and rain for half an hour.
Tiger enjoyed the fire truck. Butterfly was not happy about the condition of her hair. Salamander listed various ways an incendiary device could be used to start a fire. That's the last Boy Scout camp out he's going on.
I spent my half hour of fun wondering if setting fires goes under the heading of science or socialization.
I can't quite live up to Grandma's Word of the Week today. I'm afraid I am sadly lacking it. The C.F.O. has Man Flu (think Man Cold times ten), and I am dragging tail. (She pauses to spray copious quantities of Lysol on her gas mask.)
What's the word? It's PANACHE, of course. Someday soon I'll have a little.
When we decided to leave the lovely state of Louisiana and move to the frozen tundra, one of my greatest concerns was the homeschooling thing. After viewing the homeschooling laws of Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi, we decided that Mississippi was the best choice. The best choice was, for us, the state in which the residents had given up the least of their rights. It was the state in which the least amount of contact which educational bureaucrats was necessary.
It is my opinion that contact with educational bureaucrats is a bad thing. It is also my opinion that contact with educational bureaucrats will not in any way improve the education my children receive. Can't believe I just said that? Listen to this. The first year we homeschooled, we choose the take-a-standardized-test-at-the-end-of-the-year option. I arranged for my second grader, Salamander, to take the test at the local school board. We arrived dutifully ten minutes early, which was a good thing as the woman who greeted us told me that she had been given a First Grade Test. She looked at me blankly until I suggested that she go and find a Second Grade Test to give my son, as he had just completed the second grade. After ten minutes of discussion with the woman in charge, it was decided that Salamander would indeed be allowed to take a Second Grade Test. What a relief.
The Lady-Who-Was-Giving-the-Test took Salamander across the hall to a testing room, and I settled down with Nora Roberts to wait. Pretty soon I noticed that even with the light weight long sleeve shirt I had thought to bring it was getting a little cold. In fact, it was down right frigid. I glanced into the office next to me. The secretary was wearing a sweater. Louisiana in late May is not known for it's early morning frosts. I figure that a good 25% of the monthly budget went to cool that building. Poor Salamander. I knew he must be frozen.
I had just settled down again when the work crew arrived, the one that was constructing a new doorway to the room that was next to the room where Tiger was being tested. The work crew loved their power tools. They had a tool that made a "ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ" sound, and a tool that made a "BAM BAM BAM," and a tool that made a sound similar to "whack-ponk, whack-ponk." With all of those really cool sounds going on, the work crew had to talk real loud to hear each other. It was only natural.
Sadly, the work crew had to go on a break. All that work, you understand, can be rather tiring. It must have been everyone at the school board's break time because the guy in the office on one end of the hall kept shouting at the guy in the office in the other end of the hall. Also, if you're interested, I could tell you about the love life of the secretary in the office next to me because she was telling her assistant all about it. In fact, she must have wanted everyone to know her troubles because she talked loud enough for the space station crew to pick up her signal. (And on a side note, I must tell you that girl could have taught Nora Roberts a thing or two!) All of this commotion was going on while my Salamander was taking his standardized test. I would have complained to the woman in charge, but I understand that she had left to attend a very important meeting and couldn't be disturbed.
The next year we signed up to homeschool under option two, Private In-Home School. No trips to that sacred edifice of education were required. That was a real shame because I was looking forward to hearing what the secretary in the room next to me was up to.
Fast forward six years, and here we are now in Mississippi, land of the free and home of the homeschoolers who don't have to deal with educational bureaucrats. However, if certain elements have their way, I'll soon be back at the school board freezing, blushing and asking men who are badly in need of belts to hush-up. I don't dare hope that Mississippi school board secretaries are less vocal about their personal issues than that one in Louisiana.
Since the legislature of Mississippi is so all-fired concerned about the progress of homeschooled students, I guess that means that they've sorted out the problems of their own school system. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center site,
"Unfortunately, Mississippi's public school system funnels many students directly into the juvenile justice system. The state's schools frequently employ disparate discipline practices and fail to provide appropriate services to disabled students."
That's quite the recommendation, that is. Take a look at Mississippi's state profile at the National Center for Educational Statistics. So, exactly what is it that concerns the state legislature about homeschoolers? Are they afraid that we might not be educating our children, either? Are they afraid that this alleged lack of education might result in homeschooled students ending up in jail or on the public dole?
What's that old saying about people in glass houses? Or is it the pot and the kettle?
*Update and a P.S.*
Here's the update: I spoke with my Senator's secretary this morning who assured me that the chances of this bill getting out of committee are slim to none. Fingers crossed. I was muttering "Kill the Bill" under my breath this morning until Tiger looked at me and said, "Why do you want to kill Bill?"
Here's the P.S.: The Christmas tree is still up, and thanks to Butterfly, the lights are on. Pitiful. It's just pitiful.
It's not what your thinking! The Tiger's Pine Wood Derby was today. He won three out of his four heats! Hooray! However, it wasn't quite enough to move on to the next level of competition. His mother is
jubilant very upset about this, but I am sure she will recover. His car (Tighty Whitey) was painted to resemble a pair of underwear. The inspiration was the wonderful, the fabulous... Captain Underpants.
Here is a short clip of Tighty Whitey in action. (I never in a million years would have guessed that one day those words would ever cross my lips. Being the mother of a son can be a humbling experience.)
Congratulations, Tiger, on a job well done!
P.S. I spent the entire day singing the wrong words to this song. Did I get the tune into your head, too? Yikes. Sorry about that.
Q: How do you know when homeschooling regulations are too severe?
A: When you have to flee to Iran for educational freedom!
Ha, ha, ha, ha, uh...um...hmmm...
Wait,...that's not funny.
Who's writing this stuff?