Saturday, November 16, 2013

Treasure Island Dress Rehearsal

The costumes were fun for a blind pirate and a black puppy.   As usual, K had her own strong opinions about what she should wear and as usual, she did well.  G was no less picky and I was pretty proud of fashioning floppy puppy ears for her out of leftover felt and a headband.  A crafty project!  And I did it!  I find crafts in general and sewing in particular to be mind-numbingly dull, but I'm pleased when I somehow overcome my great antipathy and create something that meets their needs. 

The play itself is something we are looking forward to having over with.  K complains, "there is no plot, no character development, no real story."  Ah, the influence of too much literary analysis, but she is right.  And G doesn't complain, but she has a hard job - she's in every scene, has the capacity to memorize everything K ever has done, but in her first play ever has been given not a word to say.  She's been an amazingly good sport about it, but I know she's not happy with that element of it. At her age, K was successfully playing Puck with nearly all of Shakespeare's original lines and G wants that kind of challenge too.  Next time!

And then there is the teacher.  She has the patience of a saint, which is her important redeeming quality, but she has made the fatal mistake of removing work from the kids when they appear to misbehave instead of giving them more, perpetuating the boredom that they clearly feel.  K's favorite class has become one that she dreads and now that the younger kids whom I supervise throughout the day are also part of this class, I can say with first hand exposure that I wholeheartedly concur.

Often a criticism of homeschooling is that kids aren't exposed to the negative elements of the "real world;" apparently represented in this argument by years and years of dull and dreary days in school, preparing you for the dreary "real" world of work.  My perspective on what work should be within our one precious life is not something that decades of dreariness have relevance within; that said, I think we all have to learn how and when to just go with the flow to support a group, pay your dues, show respect, or get something done.  Within our homeschooling approach, I am happy with the combination of some disciplined activities for our kids (i.e. classes with behavioral expectations) within a lot of individual freedom, learning through both.  The past 11 weeks in this class have been absolute agony, watching a teacher completely unable to corral the interests of these talented kids and watching the kids, particularly some of the kids who are older than either of ours, act out in outrageously disrespectful and grossly immature ways.  I feel exhausted at the end of each session and can't wait to move on to another project.

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