Tag Archives: school

Attitude is a little thing.

1 Feb

If you’re new around here, you might not now that I am a homeschooling mum. Hey! I heard you say “aargh, one of those!”. Don’t judge so fast…

That's us. Happy happy happy homeschooling family.

That’s us. Happy happy happy homeschooling family.

 

… now you can judge.

This is my second year (which, by the way, means that I survived my first year. Hourray for me… and my kids) and in this year of survival, I’ve noticed some changes in attitude.

#1. People assume that I’m weird. Once, after mentioning that we homeschooled, a woman, and by woman I mean stranger, physically grabbed my arm and took my pulse to check that I was actually sane – or maybe just alive. Maybe she was a doctor or something but hello?! If she only knew the decisions I made in my life, she would see that homeschooling is not as weird as… I don’t know, having 3 kids in 3 years… planned?

#2. My son thinks I’m irrelevant. My 8 year old boy seems to think that he has a choice in the matter of whether he should or shouldn’t do his school work. Although it shouldn’t surprise me as he seems to have the ability to question everything that comes out of my mouth.  The word “questioning” doesn’t do justice to his relentless arguing. From whether he should eat, get dressed, brush his teeth, tidy his room, be polite, go play outside, stay inside, play with his brother, not play with his brother, leave his mum alone. Say something, anything, he’ll argue against it. Is there a job he can do where arguing would make him rich?

It's basically me. Without the bow. Although sometimes I wish I had one.

It’s basically me. Without the bow. Although sometimes I wish I had one.

#3. Non-homeschoolers think I’m brave. You darn right I am. Of course, they don’t see me shouting like a fishmonger’s wive and looking like la folle de Chaillot. I let them believe that I’m brave and I act normal in public. I’m cool like that.

#4. My friends think I am ruthless. I miss no opportunities to remind my children of how looooong the days are at school, how limiting it is to wear closed shoes in winter AND in summer and how boring it is to stand in line to go to the library. No mercy. Anything in my power to make sure they are very well aware of the sacrifice I’m willing to make for them.

#5. My neighbour thinks I’m a cold-blooded cutthroat neighbour. This is my chance  to pay my neighbours back for their high-pitch disturbances. Don’t get me wrong, we have pretty decent neighbours – from a distance at least. They  never complain (except the one across who’s grouchy smurf), they’re friendly, they keep their front lawn neat (so he likes to mow the lawn in his speedo, who am I to judge the portuguese? I dip my banana in my coffee). But between the early morning yelping dogs and the woman with the Nanny-Named-Fran voice, I don’t know which is worse! It helps me to know that they also have to put up with my boys overexcited shouts from 7 to 7ish.

So homeschooling has been helpful, not just from an academic perspective. I will share some more positive outcome of homeschooling in a future post. For now, I need to grab my bow and arrow and go back to the classroom.

 

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Snowstorm. Almost

18 Jan

It snowed. In Fréjus – Provence – South of France – Europe. I’m geographising (there should be such a word!) for the people out there labelling the world into 2 categories: America and non-America.

It’s a big deal, snow in Fréjus. It does not snow there. E-VER. In the 20 odd years that I lived there, I saw snow twice.

The first time, I was in Grade 1 and my teacher gave the hyper excited 6 year old pupils a generous 5 minute run in the courtyard. Anything unusual is deemed dangerous in France (no wearing of shoes being one of them, can you imagine running through the snow WITHOUT gloves??). My partner-in-crime and I tried to sneak an extra minute (wild things that we were) and got into trouble. But it was totally worth it. Those were the best 6 minutes of my Grade 1 year.

The second time is a bit more blurry in my memory. You know, been there, done that, kind of attitude. I vaguely remember a sorry-looking snowman, wet clothes through and through and loads of picture of the family dog.

Now I’m so bummed that I missed the third snowfall of the century. Being in Cape Town, what’s that all about??

You can tell when a town is not ready for the wild tempest of the decade when it makes the national headlines with a very professional (NOT) video of a Fréjusien. In a very shaky footage, we hear her I’m-in-shock voice describing this – I quote – ‘crazy thing’ that was happening. She measured the height of the snowfall against her own – and again I quote –  ‘hand that is not too big but not too small’: approximately 10cms.

No joke!! 10cms??? 10cms!!!! Wait, World!!! 10cms of SNOW. Enough to make a snowman mud bath!!

There was panic!! Schools were closed:

People were  scared:

Warnings were issued “Drive With Extreme Caution After The Important Snowfalls”:

It was a tough Friday for every citizen in Frejus. For everyone else, it was:

**Before you ask –  I can sense your worry – my family made it out ok. Thanks for asking.

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