photo of the day
I should have known it was going to be One of Those Days when Clare was already awake at 6 am and complaining that the dog had kept her up all night. She followed me downstairs and sat on the couch while I made my morning coffee. I heated up some milk and made her a cup of hot cocoa. Then we sat together on the couch and I tried to read the NY Times online while she chattered away.
She was tired and soon fell back to sleep. I shouldn’t have let her but I wanted the peace and quiet. Waking her up again to get ready for school was not an easy task. She wanted a mental health day. She doesn’t like Thursdays. Can’t she just stay home, please, Mommy?
I was adamant. After all, she made the choice to go to school instead of staying home and homeschooling like Nick. So if she wants to go to school then she should go to school. Every day and not just when she feels like it. And so you don’t think that I am being a Big Mean Mommy and not letting her stay home from school “just this once,” understand that due to weather, holidays, and an occasional field trip with Nick and me into the city, she has not been to school for a full week since Christmas vacation.
Sticking to my guns, I gave her breakfast, found something for her to wear, packed her lunch, checked to see that she had her homework in her backpack and drove her off to school.
I hadn’t even made it home when I got the phone call to come and pick her up again. There was something she wanted to do and her teacher wasn’t going to let her do it. She threw a fit and her teacher asked if I could take her home and let her cool off and try again tomorrow. It really wasn’t a big deal. (Ok, the being disrespectful to her teacher part was, but we handled that one.)
The long and the short of it was Clare wanted to bring her camera to school. She wants to take pictures every day and then blog about them. Just like her Mommy does. But her teacher is not so hot about the idea of her bringing her camera to school. What if other children in school saw her and they wanted to bring a camera to school, too? (Anarchy could break out and life as we know it would cease to exist? Waldorf children everywhere would be demanding access to the computer so they could start their own blogs?)
I picked her up and we talked about the need to follow the rules if she wanted to keep going to school. About how hard it must be for her teacher to have to deal with so many children who all feel they have things they want to do and if everyone got to do those things, how would they ever get any work done? Yada, yada. All the responsible things a mother should say if her child misbehaves at school.
I let her take a picture or two of the snow men in the playground before we got in the car and headed for home. I wondered what the appropriate “punishment” should be and decided that a day without her favorite web game, Neopets, would be the way to go. We arrived home and I got Nick going on his math and Clare sat down to work on some schoolwork her teacher had sent home with her.
I thought about how different my reaction to this whole event was because of our homeschooling experience. When I turned the car around to go and fetch her from school, I asked myself what the “consequence” of her actions should be. Then I thought about the irony of having to “punish” her for wanting to express herself creatively and rebelling against not being allowed to do so at school.
Yes, yes, I can hear what you all thinking. She needs to learn there is a time and a place for everything and that she could have taken pictures and worked on her blog when she got home from school. You do what you have to do before you do what you want to do. And, believe me, being disrespectful to her teacher is not something I want to reward.
But one of the many rewarding aspects of homeschooling is that if a child wakes up one day and feels like working on a photography project instead of hitting the math books, well, then, you drag out the cameras and that’s just what you do. I assure you, the math gets done eventually.
So, with the understanding that there would be no sitting on the couch with Mommy’s laptop role playing on Neopets for the entire day, Clare worked on her schoolwork. Then we did what she had been jonesing to do in the first place. We grabbed our cameras and took pictures of:
the deer that wandered into the yard looking for food,
cupcakes I made to take pictures of for my blog (and cause we get to eat them afterwards!)
and pictures of our beloved pets because she wants to follow along with the assignments for our homeschool coop photo class. (Clare took this one, the rest of hers are on her new blog.)
The rest of the day went pretty well. She finished her school work and we worked on setting up her blog. She wrote in her blog and then went up to her room and drew pictures of her Neopets for the rest of the afternoon. I enjoyed her company and it was nice to have her home.
She’s going back to school tomorrow but Mommy’s wondering if she could handle homeschooling with two.