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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Checking in

As of today, we have a teenager in the house! So far, so good. She is such a wonderful, bright, cheery, level-headed, sweet girl.

I've been toying with the idea of placing her into high school, based on: her high test scores; the suggestion by her last teacher, in third grade, to skip her a grade; the fact that middle school seems like a waste of time; the firmly established cliques and cock-of-the-walk, rule-the-school eighth grade attitude versus freshman year when everyone basically starts from square one; the fact that the high school is right down the street from where I'll be working, and hopefully from where we will be living one day soon if we ever iron out the contract wrinkles, and nobody seems to know where the middle school is; and at least high school offers swim and debate teams. But she's always been one of the youngest in her classes and jumping her ahead might do more harm than good. Hard to tell.

What do you consider maturity to be?

My mother has mistaken exposure for maturity. She doesn't feel high school would be a good match for Sarabelle because she believes, after comparing the two for the past couple weeks, that she is as not as socialized as her younger cousin. My daughter sadly expressed her observation after returning from her trip that she and her younger cousin have grown apart. She noticed many little things like her cousin's language; lack of interest in and mocking of my girls' interest in natural phenomena, books, and music; and her cousin's rhinestone lip-covered underpants and other logo emblazoned semi-sleazy outfits. The fact that my daughter can notice these changes and see them as signposts to a path other than the one she would prefer her dearest cousin to be on indicates some measure of maturity to me. She is as pop culturally savvy as the next kid, she's just not as base. Innocent, but not naive. She's a junior elitist. Hurray for that.

So for now, we're going to keep homeschooling her. She's fairly self-motivated and can ride with her Dad, getting her math and Latin done enroute and at the office. History may just be watching a Teaching Company lecture on DVD in the evening and making our reading selections bedtime read-alouds instead.

Besides that, I'd hate to feel like I was being kicked out of the club.

Gracie on the other hand, will be attending the charter school with her little sister. They're both very excited. The teachers agreed that Elle was such a fine representative of her family, they would welcome any siblings. Gracie will be one of three fifth graders in the school and the only girl in the class. Of the other two fifth graders, one doesn't even show up until October because he's on the flexi-school program, dividing his time between here and his other island home on Nantucket. The teacher-student ratio is excellent. The caliber of teachers is good too. One teacher is a snowbird from Philips Exeter. Did I mention this is free?

I love Elle's teacher. He's funny and great with the kids. Best of all, by the end of the day, Elle is wiped out. Yes, my never-napper conks out in the car on the ride home, and has slept through until the next morning on three occasions. Amazing.

The kids think Mom's getting a job might very well be a good thing. Last night when they arrived home after their two week absence, they were awestruck to find a clean house, clean laundry, homecooked dinner on the table, and Mom, dressed up with make-up on and cheerful. This after a full day of contract classes and errands. Elle paid me a compliment telling me I looked like, "an office lady."

Here it is the end of August, just over a year since Charley and thirteen years to the day after Andrew, and we are already up to "K" for Katrina. I'm hoping to catch up with Maitresse this weekend if the weather doesn't change our plans.

Hope all is well with you and yours. I'll be keeping up with your blogs, maybe not commenting as much as I'd like, but still following along. I don't know how regular posting will be here until I find my groove.

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