Sunday, September 19, 2010


I'm telling myself the stress levels are lower, now that the school situation is sorted. Then I remember I signed a contract with the state of Pennsylvania to provide a minimum of six hundred hours of instruction for my child in the next year, and feel like throwing up. Added to that, the Goober is going through a phase of not listening, which is doing nothing to help the gag reflex when I think about trying to teach her. So, yeah. I know how to teach. I'm good at teaching. What I don't know is how to motivate small children to learn. This'll be interesting. Not necessarily in a good way, either.

In an effort to de-stressify, I've been zombie knitting. In my case, the sock. It looks like this now:

And I'm reasonably sure it'll fit! So long as the yarn relaxes when washed, it'll be fine. Since the swatch did relax, I have hopes for it. Now if only I can replicate it...

Haven't spun a yard since we moved. Before I go back to the Steampunk yarn, I'd like to try getting my hands back to some kind of fitness, so I'm wanting to spin this:

It's a Corridale batt I picked up last Mother's Day. I was thinking I could divide it in half, spin two super-long color repeats, and chain-ply them. Then use the yarn to knit socks. Being me, I'm thinking one sock red-orange-yellow and one sock green-blue-purple. Unfortunately, the view of my living room, from the spinning wheel, looks like this:

Which makes me want to beat my head on a wall. Not terribly motivating.

Not much going on here besides stress and yelling. With luck, I'll motivate and write some history posts I've been meaning to get to. And I still need to do the Vogue Knitting wrap-up, don't I? Hmmmm.


Anonymous said...

My living room is starting to resemble that, with a blanket for pups and various dog toys. Don't forget the piles of books I'm sorting through...argh!!!
cogickle is my verification word this time and I think we ought to keep it and find a use for it!

Barbara said...

You and the Goob need to agree on "teacher clothes" something you'll wear when it's time to listen and learn. When you're not in the official clothes normal rules apply. Maybe even just a hat will do. She's smart, and you need to give yourself a break. Keep breathing.

NeedleTart said...

And remember, the definition of "teaching" can be pretty loose. Make cookies and call it math/science. Teach her to knit or crochet and call it math/art time. Unless the contract specifically calls for "classroom" instruction it's really doable.
PS love the idea of a "teaching hat".
PPS Just did the math. If you divide the 600 hours by the 36 weeks of regular school and divide that by 5 days a week it comes out to 3.3 hours a day (and believe me, older son was really peeved when he found out how much time he wasted in regular school!)
Verification: prensit - how the goob will sit when you are teaching (OH! how about a special chair for her, only to be used during "school" time?)

Amy Lane said...

OH, baby-- I SO bailed on the 'teaching my own kid' thing! Good luck with that! But the sock is gorgeous! I've got a pattern in Sock Club for yarn that changes subtly from one colorway to another, and hte pattern is written with a four skein repeat in mind. (I probably said that wrong!)

anyway, that corriedale is just so purty... can't wait to see what you do with it!

Roxie said...

Do you take her grocery shopping? Lots of teachable opportunities there. Walk in the woods? Science class! 600 hours will mount up fast in 10 minute increments. Does watching Sesame Street count? I do love the idea of a teaching hat, and a learning hat, but she's a sponge,so she's learning all the time, and you're a mom who interacts with the kid, so you are always teaching.

kate said...

I know you're not quite homeschooling per se, but I think my mom's philosophy of homeschooling might help in this case: she always said it was a lifestyle, not some sit-the-kid-down-and-teach-'em thing. She was all about teaching lecture-style, too, which works quite well, especially with the wee kids. It means just about everything counts as 'instruction,' and it's amazing how much you can learn just by doing what looks to other people like nothing.

If you want homeschooling resources in your area, I can probably find you a phone number or two. :)

Anonymous said...

I know it is stressful now, but just think...your sailor could be on deployment. OR worse...getting ready for deployment. Mine always wrecks the entire house packing for his deployments.

Emily said...

I think your living room looks pretty good, actually. The rug looks clean! BIG accomplishment, by my standards. My living room had bits of stuff all over everything when my kids were young, including food.

Do hook up with other home-schoolers, if you can find the non-fundamentalist ones. And it's true that the amount of time spent daily is a fraction of the time they use in school. Aren't there worksheets that the Goob would have to fill out? That side-steps the whole teacher/pupil setup a little.

I am a teacher, with many young students, and I don't think I'd have been able to home-school my own kids. When my daughter was taking Suzuki violin, she made all the same mistakes that my own young students have done over the years, only in her case it appeared to me that she was doing them on purpose to drive me mad. Of course, I knew in my head that that wasn't true, but it was horrifying how thoroughly it appeared that way.

Alwen said...

I should send you a picture of the floor of the kid's room. Except you might die of horror, and I might die of embarrassment, and we can't have that.

When the kid was a sprout, we bought wads of the Calvin and Hobbes books, and we read them and read them and read them to him, and I swear that's what he learned to read out of.

It was a heck of a lot more fun than reading Dick and Jane!

Louiz said...

Your living room looks miles better than mine. There's clear floor.

Have a look at this:

She's homeschooling and posting up what she's doing and what her inspiration is. Might give you some ideas. Otherwise I can email you the home-work (not homework, work to be done at home with parents at our own speed) sheet from Kathryn's school if that would help.