Saturday, September 4, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up: The One Where I Got All Our Books

This was our first "official" week of school although we began two weeks ago when my older son went back to high school. We've hit a groove and I think it was a good week overall. A few highlights:

  • Art: Infographics. What is it? The New York Times offers this great weeklong lesson plan that explains what it is, offers a great video documentary (short), and gives links to cool examples. There is also a lesson activity for the student to complete. This was a hit for SJ as he is so visual. It was a nice exposure to another "artist" career. 
  • A box of books. Yay. The order we placed at the beginning of summer finally arrived. Well, most of it anyway. Now I have homework as I learn how to teach and plan with all the different curriculum. So far, most of it looks good. My biggest challenge will be chemistry and physics as I somehow managed to avoid both all the way through my Bachelor's Degree. Don't ask me how but the thought of chemistry always petrified me. Have to admit, I'm a little excited and slightly nervous about going through the 8th grade version. The triple balance scale served as a beacon for my older son and husband who both thought it hilarious that I had no idea how to use the thing. You should have seen how giddy they were weighing oranges and water bottles. It could be said we are closet nerds.
  • A new friend. Our homeschool group spent Wednesday afternoon at the local water park for a little back-to-school fun. In public school, SJ had hooked up with some lower common denominator friends and hasn't had many opportunities to cultivate new ones. At the water park, he met a fellow 8th grader and, within 30 seconds, the two had ditched the other mom and I. We didn't see them again til the end of the day. They exchanged phone numbers and will hopefully pursue some time together.
  • A new baby. Thank goodness for the flexibility of homeschool. Our sole employee's wife went into labor on Thursday so SJ and I had to make some quick adjustments to help my husband man our store. Job skills, right?
The not-so-great: 
Mama Bear. Is it just me or is anyone else challenged when confronted by another parent about something your child has or hasn't done? Long story sort-of short: Parent calls to tell me about a deal our boys made back in July. His son told my son he would buy an Airsoft gun and gave SJ money as a downpayment. Since then, the other boy decided he did not want the gun and has been asking for his money back. At first, SJ didn't have it. Now he does but, as the dad says, whenever his boy calls, my boy seems to be gone and so they are frustrated at trying to collect. SJ told me that every time he tries to connect to give the money back, the other boy is at play auditions. What I heard from the exchange was "Your son is not living up to his promise and giving my boy's money back."

Was it wrong to bristle? What do you think? I probably shouldn't have pointed this out but...didn't his son renege on a deal? Not that SJ shouldn't return the money, but to question my son's honor? I guess my approach as a parent (to his child) would have been to say, "Tough luck. You made a bad deal and you lost your $8," so it surprised me that we were playing the heavy collector card.

In the end, SJ rode his bike down to their house at 8:30 p.m. in the dark to settle the debt. I felt bad because, though I agreed neither boy should have been making ANY deal, I probably let my annoyance at the accusation show in my tone of voice. It's hard not to be offended for our kids. Sigh.



  1. Parental confrontations are so tricky to navigate. :(

    But at least, YAY for boxes of books!

  2. It sounds like a really great week, except for the refund part. It is hard not to bristle, I do too. The important part is to teach our kids that both sides have valid points and he did the right thing by being the "better man" and making the sacrifice to make it right.

  3. Nothing is more exciting than a box of new books! I'm glad your homeschool group day went well. We always have a hard time getting the teenagers to participate in our group.

    Janet W