Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Back to School

Blood Bought came out yesterday! BUT…that wasn’t the biggest part of my day.

Yesterday, I followed through on my threat to go to school with my son. It wasn’t so bad and darn it! He actually seemed to enjoy it. Lord save me! He wasn’t supposed to like it. It was supposed to shock him back on track.

I didn’t go to his first hour because he’s doing fine there. I started out in his second class, science. You may recall that we got a lot of snow last Friday. The school is taking advantage of it. My kids attend an Environmental school. One perk to that, besides small classes, is that the kids don’t necessarily have a completely traditional curriculum. This month, they are teaching winter survival skills. The order of the day: Snowshoeing.

I need to go on a tangent here. What is wrong with middle schoolers?! A bunch of them were trying to convince their teacher that a sweatshirt was just fine for outside work and they wouldn’t be cold at all. It was freaking freezing out there and snowing again. A sweatshirt? Really? One boy said he just couldn’t wear a hat because it would mess up his hair. My son sensibly wore his winter coat with no argument. He’s a smart kid which is why I’ve been losing my mind.

Next up, math. Yesterday’s agenda: Prime numbers, slopes and y-intersections. I would like to go on record as saying, I’m good at math, but when I was in school I thought slopes and intersections were stupid. That hasn’t changed.

At the end of that class, there was something cool. Announcements. Announcements? you say. What’s so cool about that? Yeah, we had announcements when I was in school, but not like this. My kids’ school does video announcements. Yesterday’s featured: an quick interview for their Toys For Tots campaign, a snippet of the little kids practicing for their Christmas concert along with a reminder of the date, an interview with the lunch ladies about what was available for the meal, a segment from the gym about the canceled basketball game, and something about the weather.

Then on to history. I love history though I’m not so fond of the American revolutionary period. My son hates history. Period. He thinks it’s the most boring waste of time ever invented. This would be where the battle of wills ensued. He out and out refused to do his work or even take notes. Mom won. He did the work—under extreme duress. To make things even more fun, the period is split by lunch so he gets what seems like a double helping of the class. He hates the subject but I’m not sure why he despises the class so much. They watched a dramatization of the proceedings at the constitutional congress and they had tons of class participation. It’s probably the amount of notes involved.

Then my fav.—English class which they call Genre Studies. Okee dokey, whatever name you want to call it. They’re studying science fiction right now and doing reports. It’s actually really cool and again very hands on. These are not the book reports I had to do! These are arts and craft kind. Truthfully, I think my son would prefer the old-fashioned kind. Art is not his bag. This is the kid who at one point (though he DID pass in the end) managed to have a 15% for his grade in art—ART!!!—because he didn’t want to draw in the style of whatever artist they were studying. He wanted to do it his way. Stubborn? My child? Never. LOL.

The teacher has glommed in fantasy with sci-fi so quite a few people are reading Harry Potter or Twilight or The Spiderwick Chronicles. I had been warned so I brought the young adult book I’m reading—Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. It’s really good by the way and my other son who’s in high school keeps trying to steal it from me.

I had to laugh because one kid told the teacher he absolutely hated the book he’d read, yet when she asked him where he was at with it, he told her he was reading the next one in the series now. Um, that would be by choice. He was only required to do the first book.

I love the English—um, Genre Studies—teacher. Her greatest ambition is to get the kids to love reading. She believes that they just have to find what they like and it will click with them. She also believes that kids who read do better in school. As a writer, I like the way she thinks. But from experience, I also have to agree with her. My older son hated reading until he found something that clicked. Now he devours books. He gets straight A’s. I hated reading until my mom introduced me to Nancy Drew. I devoured those then Trixie Beldon then Little House then anything I could get my hands on. I got good grades. Not straight A’s. I used to blow off my homework occasionally in favour of reading, but I still did well.

Hopefully something “clicks” with the other kiddo soon. I’ll be going back to school again. Today we’re off because the weather is about to turn awesomely nasty in the early afternoon. I’m guessing there will be a snow day tomorrow, too. Friday…we’ll see.


Jambrea said...

I love the way that school sounds! I would love to have one like that here. What we have is close...but not exactly like your school. It's very cool that you got to go to classes with him!

I have to find what you like to read. My son is still young for reading, but he LOVES to be read to. :) He also like to make up his own stories with pictures and now words. He loves to sound things out and spell them.

I hope something clicks for your son too! :)

Bronwyn Green said...

I love that he's reading the second one in the series even though he hated the first one - he cracks me up!!!

His English...ahem...Genre Studies teacher sounds absolutely phenomenal!!! She's the kind the of teacher the world needs more of.

Also, huge props to you - not a lot of parents would take the time to do what you're doing. You Rock!!!!

chocoaddict said...

I enjoyed reading about your day. It is a little strange that your son wasn't bothered by your presence, but maybe it's an act - or maybe he just likes having you around. Anyway, I hope things improve soon!

Jennifer Armintrout said...

Genre studies? I would have loved to have that class in school!

As for the history, tell him he's got it easy... when his kids are in school, there will be a lot more history than there is now!

Leslie Burkhammer said...

I had to do the same thing with my oldest, except she was in high school. That's when it really got embarassing for her. And she did pull herself out of the hole and graduated with good grades. Although, I really hated going back to high school again!!

Devon Rhodes said...

That is a day you will never forget. And very cool option for a school!

Ah yes, I read all the Little House, and Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden mysteries. Had a HUGE crush on Jim Frayne, lol! Dogeared the pages where there was the slightest little bit of romantic interest. I would've taken him home too. Honey was a lucky girl. Mom, can I keep him?

Regina Carlysle said...

This school sounds amazing!

Stephanie Michels, author said...

Glad you learned to love reading or you'd never be where you are today as an author. LOL!

Hopefully, you won't have to "repeat" 8th grade by going the rest of the year.

Molly Daniels said...

Good for you!