Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Public School for a Day Day

Today, my kids headed off to public school. Well, sort of. I've been hearing a lot of complaints lately from the peanut gallery of how "exhausting" and "hard" our daily lessons can be, and since many of the kids' friends are in public school, they love to compare notes. Except they really can't compare notes because none of them has ever been in their counterparts' shoes. So today, I had the grand idea to let my kids experience public school - we followed our local school's hours, and recess and lunch times, and dress code as much as we could. They even ate packed lunches. It made for quite the experiment.

We were all up at 7:30, got dressed, ate breakfast, and packed our bags.

Some of us took longer to dine than others, and threatened to make us late for school.

The kids boarded the "bus" and took a ten-minute trip to school, where they sat at their desks to begin their school day.

They even had to wear shoes and socks. You don't know what a hardship this was for my son. When a homeschooled kid grows up in Florida, shoes with laces are an abstract idea.

We tackled an hour of math - Alexei completed his long lesson of long division in the nick of time, and avoided having homework. Ibis got through two second grade math lessons.

We got through their next state on the map, lucky number thirteen : Rhode Island.

Ibis then plowed through six reading workbook pages (an entire week's worth), her big textbook story, and an art assignment tying in to her story. She even volunteered to do a Show and Tell and had time to read a story from the book closet...err, I mean "library." This from the kid I typically have to sit on to finish a half a page of spelling. Apparently Mrs. Mattson is more persuasive than plain old mommy.

Alexei finished up his reading and somewhere in there we took a fifteen minute recess out on the swingset. Too many kids + not enough hands = no photos of recess.

By the time lunch rolled around at 12:00, I was fresh out of ideas for things for Ibis to complete. The kids ate their bagged lunches in the "cafeteria" and had to remain seated at the table for twenty-five minutes while I brainstormed extra work.

Meals finished, we returned and I assigned writing prompts for both kids. After completing them, they got to read their works out loud to the class. Ibis went on to complete the next day's science lesson, and read another book, and finally spent forty-five minutes playing educational computer games. I dismissed her a half-hour early for free time since I had nothing else prepared for her to do.

Alexei had an extra hour and a half on his hands as well, so he completed his drawing for the fair, we finished a project from his 4-H rabbit book, and he spent a half hour practicing his times tables on

At 2:15 (because Wednesday is early release day in Florida - kids get out of school an hour early, it's Florida's crazy way of allotting for hurricanes) they boarded the "bus" and headed home to snacks, flip-flops, and freedom.

The school janitor was then free to perform his duties.

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