Thursday, October 09, 2008

Flower Parts

Claire has this teacher that has labeled her as "behind" because I homeschooled her last year. I know she has a hard time with phonics and learning how to read. Kinda why I looked into a school. I was clear with that. She is having a hard time consistently understanding how sounds go together. One day she gets it, one day she cannot remember what "a" or "e" or some blend sounds like.

I felt a "professional" can help me teach her skills to "get" it consistently. Instead, I get that she is a "failure". That is Claire's term. I am constantly trying to come up with things to show her she is not a failure and that she is a smart girl, a beautiful girl and that all of the things about Claire are unique and special.

She is not stupid and I cannot say I did anything of a disservice to her. When I tried all I could with my resources, I enrolled her in school. Now that this has happened, I've found more resources and am getting results at home with her. The teacher prefers to send her home with assessments that have a failing mark and tell me that she is not capable of learning because I homeschooled her... Can it be that Claire does not hear the teacher, or understand her or get a certain accent? Can it be something about a student distracting her? I don't know, I am trying to keep a business and household together here, not there...

Claire is excellent in math and science though.

This is a scan of a drawing she did of the parts of a flower. The key is she did of the parts of a flower. Yah, she has two of them spelled wrong, but it comes out of a college text book that she and I found when she asked me what the stamen and other flower parts were called. Now,tell me she is dumb or behind? I don't get why she is able to do the work here and will not for the teacher there? The whole point of first, second and third grade is to seek improvement and completion of the basics of learning, not develop test anxiety.

I am dissapointed with this whole "school" process and I have no idea what to do. The thing is that if we leave, we are letting this teacher win too. She gets to keep the students that will succeed in her program. Woohoo. I am learning that 100% pass of tests has less to do with encouraging a full learning experience and more to do with pushing kids out of a program that does not fit into a mold. The irony is that she can and is still trying to blame it on me...

My instinct is to pull her out and homeschool again. Dave, to enroll her in the podunk local elementary school that caused a lot of the problems in the first place.

Monday, October 06, 2008

leaves are changing

...and blowing...

I had a wonderful time at Argyle Cheese Farmer in Argyle, NY this weekend. Made cheese with Val Bines as expert cheese technologist and "the girls". The words for the week were "flocculation" (a perennial cheese workshop favorite) and "quiescence".

We made a bid on a farm in Hebron. Apparently they feel that the markets are not dropping like the rest of the world. Confidence is nice. I wish it would spread through the rest of the world right now. Maybe our farm will sell then... A wet farm with nothing fancy for soils and a derelict barn (we were hoping to call home?)... They countered with double our offer. Our offer was not bad either. Funny, they actually want us to buy the whole deal, but it brings the farm back over $300,000. This farm acquisition project in this county is odd. In one farm they want a balloon payment in 5 years on a $350,000 farm. In one they up the price by $50,000 in the two weeks from our calling for an appointment to our coming to the showing, without a call. This was with a burn and bulldoze house project.. I hear it takes a year to find a perfect place in this county, but this is absurd.

I dislike the schools out here in central New York with a passion. They are condescending to parents and they offer nothing creative or encouraging to the children. The whole thing used to be about making it fun to learn, not giving a first grader test anxiety or expecting parents to do the brunt of the teaching. Why not homeschool again? I am so disappointed in a paid tuition school too. We pay taxes to a regional school for nothing and then a tuition for a system that is not any better, but in other ways.

It is an easy thing to get discouraged. There are a few of us out here who have worked hard to get people "into" the concept of buying local food. With the economy turning the way it did, and so fast... all of this work was for nothing. This cheap at all costs, almost determined to be poor mentality is too much to bear. I am so sad to see us leave,but Ineed to be around a group of people that appreciate good food made locally...

We also need to be near my mom and David's family. It often takes moving far away to appreciate where you come from, right?