here I go again…

photo by Renee Oakenfull, also viewable at

Yes, I’m bragging again.  If I can’t brag on my children, why have them, right?  Monkey’s teacher, MrsM and I had our conference Tuesday, as you no doubt saw in my absolutely hectic schedule for that day.

Actually, let me go back in history a bit.  In kindergarten, Monkey tracked right along with the majority of her class.  She had a wonderful teacher and was learning at a pace that I was very comfortable with.  By the end of the year she started reading on her own and was finishing chapter books (Magic Tree House, to be specific) before school was over.  I love that she loves reading.  Fast forward through the summer to first grade.
She’s doing very well.  MrsM sends home daily reports in Monkey’s folder and everything is good.  Only once in a while is there a note on behavior, usually relating to talking.  Monkey’s nothing if not social.  Gee, I wonder where she gets that from?  The work she brings home has very few, if any, mistakes.  I’m starting to wonder is she really that bright or is the work really that easy?  Then comes home a particular handwriting/grammer/spelling test.  Under “comments,” which is reserved for the teacher, Monkey had written “this is boring.”  God love the honesty of a child.
So, I start to wonder where exactly is she in the class?  Is she being challenged?  Is she too bored?  What can we do?  Trey is a big supporter of homeschooling for lots of reasons which I won’t get into here.  I haven’t been.  Not because I don’t believe in it, but because I still have faith in public schools, I’m not organized enough and the fact that I’m not a teacher.  I don’t have that gift.  I have friends who homeschool and it works for them.  But I don’t think it’s for me.
Well, that’s what I thought before.  Then I started thinking that if Monkey isn’t being challenged, then maybe I should consider homeschooling.  So the idea starts stirring around for a week before I even mention it to Trey.  Why wait?  Because I didn’t want the big, fat “I was right!” from him (before you get all upset and think he’s “that guy,” understand that we have a running joke between us about who’s right and wrong, and, well, we all know I’m always right).  So we converse about it.  We talk about things like enrichment programs, co-ops, umbrella schools and whatever else.  Then he added that if we do this, to help relieve my household burdens, we could have someone come clean the house.  Woo-hoo!  Sign me up!  Have I mentioned that I loathe cleaning?
But I digress.
All of that had been discussed pre-conference as a “what if?”  So conference time comes and MrsM goes over Monkey’s reports.  She’s above average in several areas.  She’s one of the strongest readers in the class.  Then she asks me if I think Monkey could handle being challenged more?  YES!   MrsM has a plan for challenging the students in her class that are needing it.  Thank you!  The last thing I want is for Monkey to be bored at school.  Sure, she has fun with her friends and doing all the “specials” like music, art and PE, but I want her learning, too, not floating.  I don’t want her to get lost in the shuffle of all the other students.  
I’m not ditching the homeschooling idea just yet.  I’ll hang on to it and wait and see how her years at school progress.  I hope we continue to have teachers like MrsM who are willing to think outside the box to challenge our little Monkey.  Teaching is a gift and I admire those who do it.  There’s just something special about a good teacher and I’m thankful that Monkey has had such good teachers in her short career as a student. 
PS:  Yay!  My 100th post!  Who-da thunk it?  

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