Friday, June 4, 2010

Last Day of School

     What can I say? I lay in bed this morning trying to let that fact soak in to my brain. I thought back to the beginning of the year and all the optimism, joy, and relief I had because so many elements of homeschooling all my kids seemed easier than half the kids being at public school while the other half was at home. How did the year go? Well, Tim wanted to put the middle ones, Chloe and Leanne, back in school this next year. He wanted their school work to be more academic. I resisted at first. I thought their school work was sufficient, even quality work. He wants them doing more school work. All righty then.
     The next issue was whether to prepare Camille over the summer to apply for Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) in the fall. This would involve costly art lessons to prepare her portfolio for submission. If she was accepted, she would attend high school in fall 2011 at this school a half hour from home on a college campus with a lengthy school day of 8 am to 4 pm. Both Tim and I felt that she needs to continue art lessons in some capacity, but how should we best accomplish that? After much discussion, prayer, and a meeting with our pastor, we decided to put her in the 8th grade at Sierra Madre Upper Campus. At this excellent school in our neighborhood they have a phenomenal fine and performing arts program. She would get high quality art instruction close to home for free! I would also avoid homeschooling two kids while having two in public school.
     Elena would stay home because her high school courses are straightforward and she practically schools herself. I've felt for years that Camille needed more structure and outside motivation. We'll take it day by day with her. She's excited about going to school. Tim and I have shelved the likelihood of her going to LACHSA mostly because of the long drive from home and the lengthy day. The driving back and forth would be very costly  and taxing on me and the whole family, especially since Tim couldn't take her in the morning because he now takes the Metro to work everyday to save money. Also, so much time away from home would make it hard for her to be part of our family life and we value that highly. These years are short and fleeting. We want Camille home as much as possible, while nourishing and guiding the artist within her. Apparently, the fine arts program at Pasadena High School, beginning in the 10th grade, is phenomenal. We're not sure she'll go to PHS, but that's something we'll have to evaluate in a year from now.
     Daisy will be going to pre-school in Temple City two days a week as well. She would benefit from getting some outside social time as well as preparation for kindergarten. So I'll just have Elena and Julia home with me quite exclusively. An acquaintance asked me what I would do with all my free time. Ha, ha, I thought. I have to keep up dishes, laundry, and clean up while most of my kids are in school. They'll need help with homework in the afternoons. Besides, I still have a very active toddler and a highschooler to home school. Spare time? I don't think I'll have nearly as much as she thinks I will. We'll see.
     But maybe I'll be able to take a breath every now and then without feeling so overwhelmed at all that I have to do and the latest argument I have to referee -again, for the third time in ten minutes. For now, I'm going to prepare my school girls for their next year, do an inordinate amount of clutter-busting and organizing EVERY ROOM IN MY HOUSE (a lot got neglected this year), and have an exhilarating and fun summer. I'm looking forward to harvesting my vegetables this summer and seeing how my garden will grow. I'll keep you posted.

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