School’s Out!

No more pencils
No more books
No more teacher’s dirty looks

Out for summer
Out till fall
We might not go back at all

– Alice Cooper

I’ve got this song running through my head, so I thought I’d share the pain.

When I thought we were heading to Kansas for next school year, I looked into their homeschooling laws. Apparently, all that is needed is for a homeschool to register as a private, non-accredited school. Maybe I’d have to state who attended my school, but I don’t think so. That’s a pretty homeschool-friendly state, especially compared to Virginia, which isn’t horrible, I suppose, but I feel oppressed here with having to test my kids every single year, including kindergarten. If you’d care to hear why I think that’s wrong, let me know and I’ll fill you in on all the injustices of that law.

But since the plan is to go to Kansas in another year (2007 – 2008 school year), I figure I may as well be prepared with a name of my private school. So, I’ve come up with St. Michael the Archangel Rational Training Institute for Education. St. Michael is our family’s patron saint (and my personal patron too), and so naming our school after him is most appropriate. And the acronym possibilities are irresistible.

Yesterday, here at SMARTIE, we concluded our school year with our second annual poetry recital. Katie and Billy fought over who would be first. Katie won and recited “Time to Rise” by Robert Louis Stevenson. Then Billy did “The Little Turtle” by Vachel Lyndsay. Jenny got up next to do “Twinkle Twinkle” but was immediately overcome with stage fright, showing that her entertainment genes come from her father’s side of the family and not mine. After she cleared the stage by rolling away, Bill sat and recited “Requiem” by Robert Louis Stevenson. He had to peek, but I couldn’t be too harsh on him since he spent all of 5 minutes memorizing the lines, plus I had to peek on my piece, “The Duel” by Eugene Field. I worked on this with Fritz months ago and read it over once before the beginning. I probably could have done it without peeking, but was feeling mentally lazy (plus Bill peeked, so why shouldn’t I?). At least I was amusing, and the kids enjoyed my description of what really happened to the cat and pup. Fritz, my reluctant performer, went last and recited “The Song of Mr. Toad” by Kenneth Graham. He did just fine. Just to include Pete, I sat with him on my lap and we sang “Twinkle Twinkle” while he clapped and laughed. Pete found the production very entertaining.

We videotaped the whole thing, and when it was over we had to watch it, naturally. But then we were officially done with school and went out for ice cream to celebrate. Hooray!

I told the kids: 2 weeks off and then summer school. What?!? Yes, I know how mushy the mind gets if it isn’t exercised for 3 months (and it won’t be if I don’t make them). So, we’ll be doing light coursework to keep up minimum brain cell production. My big challenge: once a week taking a field trip – somewhere for something. Tons of possibilities in the area and I want to make use of them.

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