Thursday, April 26, 2012

Homeschooling, school assignment, and a sharp, hot stick in the eye

We're here!  We've officially moved into our sweet little rental house in North Carolina. Isaac has taken to homeschooling himself quite efficiently.  He calls me over when he needs help with directions or a concept, but is pretty self motivated.  He's flying through all the work books we have and asking to do art.  I think I will sign him up for a class or two this summer with the community center.  The kid misses his friends.  Big time.  Right now we are each gorging on the web after not having the internet for a week.  He's playing games on and I'm taking a break from researching schools in the area.

As it turns out, just because you live close to a school does not mean you are guaranteed to get into that school.  You must pick 5 schools and rank them according to your liking on a website, and then a stranger does some magical formula involving demographics and you are assigned to a school.  Bummer.  The school I really hope to get Isaac into is the one closest to our house as it is highly rated.  My conclusion is that I don't care, because what I know is this:  My kid is smart.  He will excel  wherever he is as long as I keep supporting him at home.  And if I end up hating the school he is assigned to, I can always switch him.  Hell, I can always pull him out and keep homeschooling him if I want to.  This is the way I have to approach all this school stuff. Otherwise a sharp, hot stick in the eye starts to sound really appealing and I'm not entirely sure that my new health insurance has kicked in yet.

And that, my friends, is your update.  I'll let you know when I find the Trader Joe's and the love I am sure to feel when I do.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ice cream and moving boxes

Stressed?  I'm not stressed.  By the way, have I told you how good Homemade brand Cherry Cordial ice cream is?  I'm not typing with my mouth full either.  And my typos have nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with sticky keys.  Just so you know.

Today we are patching and painting the walls after taking down our pictures last night.  People are filing in and out to pick up craigslist items.  Isaac is handling his excess toys being sold with all the indifference and grace, if not of an adult, then of a child trying to master all levels of Cut The Rope on the ipad.  Whatever works.  That is my motto.  Life has an ebb and flow and I'm learning to just go with it.  Fighting change does little to ease the way.  Quite the opposite.  And I'm noticing that life is too short to not be curious about what is waiting around the bend.

I have heard back from one of the administrators at the elementary school I hope to get Isaac into for the fall.  They were cordial and willing to work with me on squeezing him in.  I plan to come with documents in hand to ensure a smooth enrollment.  I could sit here and cry over the fact that my only child is going to kindergarten in the fall, but today I'm choosing a more zen-like approach: It is what it is and every next step seems more fun than the last.  We are not the first people to sell a house and move with a four year old and we won't be the last.  Does anyone want a house in Okemos, Michigan?  Let me know.  I'll even throw in a half eaten carton of ice cream.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Keeping perspective

In about two weeks we are moving from Michigan to North Carolina.  Life right now revolves around packing, purging, patching, and painting.  Our house is on the market.  In Michigan.  Need I say more?  We had our first showing today and the feedback was not encouraging.  As I sit here I'm fighting the urge to round off my salty-sweet pattern of stress eating. And because I'm out of ice cream, today's pattern is slightly less pathetic: chips, strawberries, chips, strawberries.  Someone will eventually like the house.  Hopefully sooner than later.

In the meantime, I'm doing what I usually do- swinging between angry and grateful.  I'm angry that we're losing money on the house; I'm grateful for Andrew's new job opportunity.  I'm angry that we have to go back to renting a smaller space with enough carpet to give my vacuum cleaner a heart attack; grateful that we get to simplify a bit and focus on things that aren't things.  I'm upset that we always seem to move away right when we finally have a great group of friends; I'm grateful for a fresh start.  You know how I am.  Neurotic.  Most of all this move is a reminder of how well Isaac is doing.  A year ago I would not have considered uprooting him from his special ed class and routines.  This year I'm confident he'll be fine.  In fact, I will be homeschooling him until he starts kindergarten in the fall.  Wish us luck.

Here are our educational and social goals by the time school rolls around:

1) Practicing conversation- asking and answering questions appropriately.

2) Solidifying sight and complex words so that reading level 1 books becomes more fluid.

3) Firming up pre-math and simple addition and subtraction skills.

4)  Make some friends!

I am hoping to find or start a play group for kids Isaac's age in our new town.  Of course, it will never be the same as our Okemos Play Group here, but it will be necessary.  Not only is Isaac a quirky kid with some room to grow socially, he's an only child.  Play group keeps his quirks and my biological clock in check. I'm choosing to believe that this move will stretch him more than it will shake him.  I'm sure Isaac will surprise me with his stellar adaptive skills, as usual.  Right now the idea of living so close to a beach and mountains overshadows any sadness he might have about moving away from everything familiar.  Let's hope North Carolina lives up to our expectations as much as Michigan has grown on us.  My guess is it will.