School is in Session

1 Comment

Today I’m playing taxi driver for the first time in my stint as “mother of many young children.”  Last week was our initial week of trying out a homeschool cooperative (co-op as it’s referred to in homeschooling circles,) and this week we are back for real. On Thursday a week ago I did not drop anyone off, but instead, thanks to the Sample family’s babysitting of Greer, Claire, and Liesl, I was able to sit in on each of their prospective classes to see how Patience and Gabriel would respond to their teachers (and vice versa.)  After just one class period in which she made a corncob doll a la “Little House on the Prairie,” Patience was sold on school and was drawing a picture during the next class which said “I LOVE SCOOL!”  (and yes, she misspelled “school.”) That class is all about the Little House books, which they will be reading about eight of during the year, and every week will have a craft or cooking lesson (today they’re making molasses candy)!  Gabriel enjoyed his first class as well in which they build with KNex and explore different engineering principles like balance, loads, fulcrums, gears and pulleys.

After that they both tried out a science class for 3-5th graders, but the format, atmosphere, and material were all a little over Gabriel’s head. Patience liked it well enough, though, and she really seemed keen on the note-taking and experiments. We ran over to a possible piano teacher’s house during a free class period (classes started two weeks earlier so lots of the options were full already, and we couldn’t find a class for each period) and had a satisfactory practice lesson with Gabriel for a few minutes. It looks like this teacher will work out just fine, which will be great so that we don’t have to run out some other day or night each week for lessons 🙂

When we returned for the last period, Patience and Gabriel both entered their Zoology class with excitement. Patience had found a completely intact butterfly in the parking lot, so she brought it to show the class since they are studying flying things this year. To my surprise, Gabriel really enjoyed the class, which included doing a beautiful and very thorough job coloring his bird diagram, complete with labels. He’s not the type to draw and color on his own – he usually just picks up a book, Legos, or Lego instruction books and reads in a comfortable spot. He and the teacher seemed to really mesh, which is an important thing for Gabriel if he is going to enjoy something or pay attention as much as he should. Of course, Patience liked Zoology, having newly discovered her love for school and always having enjoyed animals and insects.

We went right home after classes to order our Zoology workbooks and textbooks and started looking online for the Little House books. Well, after a stop at Chick-fil-a that is. It was a stellar day for us all 🙂 Liesl and Claire hung out in the gym watching the Sample children take ballet during last period while they waited for me to finish observing the others’ classes. We also climbed around out on the playground for a bit and met the Pre-K art teacher. These two things led to enrolling Liesl and Claire in art for this week and Liesl in ballet. So this morning at ten, two Armstrong kids bounded from the van, brand new backpacks bouncing along, as I pulled off to find shade – in the parking lot 🙂

I promise it’s not because I’m overprotective that I’m staying; it’s just logistics. From ten until eleven is when I get to put on makeup and nurse Daniel. Then at 11, I walked Liesl and Claire to art  (Patience already knew where science was) and brought Gabriel back to the van. The three left (the boys plus Greer) ran an errand with me to pick up a popcorn maker from someone on Craigslist, and then we were back to get the girls. Now we are all stashed in the shade and in the air conditioning of the van, noshing on peanut butter filled pretzels, grapes, and cheesesticks (and of course, the iced coffee from DUNKIN donuts – where we may or may not have stopped on our way to school for kolaches and donuts). Normally there will be two runs in there to the piano teacher as well, but this week we are feeling it out a bit more and didn’t want to throw piano into the mix too soon. Time to get Liesl dressed for ballet and get all the troops back in for the next class…

Getting ready to walk in to change for ballet, Patience and Gabriel about to head to Zoology

Liesl, loving her new clothes



After school we dropped into Chick-fil-a again, this time for little ice cream cones, sweet tea, and lemonade.  This led me to ponder the many places in the Southeast where one can find freshly brewed sweet tea…(I always mix mine half sweet/half unsweet) and did you know that tea has moved up in America from being the sixth most popular beverage to the fifth?  Worldwide, it is second only to water.  I don’t understand why you can’t find lovely, freshly brewed iced tea all over the world when tea is more popular everywhere else than it is in the States.  I won’t question their logic anymore; rather, I will just be thankful that down here in South Carolina, I can find freshly brewed iced tea (including sweet tea) at: Jack in the Box, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Arby’s, Chick-fil-a, McDonalds, sit-down restaurants like Chiles, Outback Steakhouse, Applebees, and lots of gas station/truck stop type places.  I know in California, In-N-Out Burger also had it, as has just about every fast-food place we’ve been to that I have forgotten to mention.


What’s your favorite fast-food place? Why?

Do you drink much iced tea? Sweet Tea?

What’s one of your favorite memories from schooldays?


One thought on “School is in Session

  1. Liesl is pretty much the cutest ballerina ever! That co-op looks like a good fit for you guys. We did an art/gym/music co-op every other Friday when I was in high school, and I had no choice in whether or not I would participate (you know my mom!), but I enjoyed it. Oh, and I do like sweet tea (if it’s mixed half sweet/half unsweet), but it always makes me think of the truckstop where I worked in NY–the ONLY place to get true sweet tea in probably all of upstate 🙂

What's Your Take?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s