April 18, 2013

You Is Kind

I snagged the above quote off of Care's blog. It's one of my favorite quotes of all time, though half the time I completey mess it up. Because I'm that special.

Before leaving the house yesterday for Ollie's pre-kindergarten evaluation, I gave myself a lecture:

Don't act crazy. Or neurotic.
Be cool. Just chill.
No matter what, you know Ollie is smart--and has literally come miles, since his last official evaluation 3 years ago at age 3.
And above all, I love Ollie EXACTLY AS IS and would not change a single thing.

I fixed his flannel shirt and skinnies and put some more gel in his hair.
"Perhaps we can distract them with a cute outfit?"

We got to the classroom and Ollie loudly asked "Where is the trash can??!!"

Already I'm thrown off. Finn and Calvin were such timid church mice on their first brush with kindergarten.

They sit Ollie down next to a very compliant little girl and instruct him to cut all the lines with a scissor.

I breath a lil sigh of relief. We are scissor pros.
Been at it since age 3 with OT. Ollie breezed through that part.

Next. "Oliver, we need you to draw a picture of yourself".

Just minutes before I had answered a questionnaire and circled YES, my child can draw a proper self-portrait.

Ollie looked at them and said "No. I can't do that. It's too hard." Gah! Stubborn little thing.

They encouraged him to try and he firmly insisted that "No, this task is indeed too hard."
I'm holding my breath. C'mon Ollie! You can do this!

Finally. After much convincing, they talk him into starting a picture.

Ollie grabs the pencil with this left hand and starts drawing... and says "Oops! I messed up!" and starts over again. He attempts drawing #2 and seconds later says "Oops!"

The teachers look over at me quizzically and I raise my eyebrows and give a sheepish smile. "Oliver you don't need to start over", they kindly encourage. "Just keep going."

Drawing #3 and "Oops!"
Drawing #4 and "Oops!"

By now I'm sweating it out and start to laugh.

"Oliver, try to keep going", they instruct, "You are running out of room on your paper!"

So get this. Ollie turns his paper over and starts his 5th drawing.

By now, I can't stop laughing...or I'll start crying...and the teachers don't know what to do.

"Oops!", says Ollie. Again.

I want to interrupt, "he really does know how to draw a selfie!", but refrain.

Drawing #6. And we finally have a winner.

Phewey. That was quite the ordeal.

Ollie then asks "Can I play now?"

"No, no Oliver", as they whisk him off to part 2 of the evaluation.

I hear his pipsqueak voice chattering nonstop to the teacher, and he keeps asking "Is it time to play yet?" I mean, this is a reasonable question. I played all day in kindergarten. But alas. Times have changed.

Ollie seems to do well on part 2 of this evaluation.

Finally they finish and we are FREE.

I get in the car and look at the time.

We'd been there a total of 20 minutes, peeps.

Just 20 measly minutes!

Mercy me.

How on earth do they expect  Ollie to survive ALL DAY kindergarten, 5 days a week?

I don't know.

I had a gut feeling going into this evaluation that all day kindergarten with almost 30 other kids was not gonna be best for my little Ollie mouse. Especially for a boy that is already on sensory overload with spd(sensory processing disorder).

And I need to go with my gut. It's not official, but I have a feeling that Ollie's little educational trek might look a leetle different than Finny and Calvin's. Still praying and looking into our options...but am 90% decided.

I know there have been a lot of "schooling" posts going around lately and I have nothing really new to add to the discussion. Just HALLELUJAH that we all live in a free country and still get to decide what route to take, be it public, private or homeschool.

As for me, I have gone to public, private and homeschool. Not to sound all politically correct here, but I really think they have all made me more resilient. All types of schooling have their highs and lows.

For example, public elementary school and jr high was great for me in that I worked really hard for my teachers...low points...I was naughty and even threw pb&j sandwiches on the ceiling of the "girl's bathroom" and awkwardly learned how to cuss(Seriously. Kill me. Now.)

I was home schooled for 3rd and 4th grade and got to spend wonderful quality time with my mom, who poured into me and my sisters...but I was a pill for my mom at times. My friends and I who were home schooled together fondly joke "once a homeschooler always a homeschooler", because of all our homey quirky ways. Gotta love it.

Public high school...there has to be something good to say of those 4 years. Hm... I went to a ghetto high school and even had my hair lit on fire with a lighter by some bored gansta wannabe in PE. Thankfully my tall friend swat the fire quickly before any damage ensued. I guess you can say I learned to throw some gangsta signs and toughened up a bit. I had a few good teachers, but mostly I was forced to teach myself. It's a good thing to be able to adapt and learn even in cruddy circumstances.

Private christian university was great with amazing godly teachers who grounded my science education in God's word. But hello. The pastor's son I dated was a joke--he got detained at the border of Mexico for possession of pot and on our 1st date, passed out in a cold sweat. I thought he'd fallen mysteriously ill...turns out he was drunk as a skunk.  But as a bonus, I met John the following semester!

And for graduate school at a CalState University: stellar education where I spent some of my happiest days on earth being a TA under very talented professors...helping teach college kids. But the arrogance and egos of some of the other profs still makes me want to run for the hills.

So there you have it. The good, the bad and the ugly, of my eclectic education. But I survived. Even made me stronger, I like to think. An imperfect education to cope in an imperfect world. I hope my boys will have a good sense of humor with regards to their education, even if their crazy parents screw them up at times.

What is one of your favorite yet imperfect school memories?


  1. Boarding school was far from perfect, but what an experience! :) A few bad memories but a lot of amazing ones. Most people think I'm not too messed up from it.

  2. Nearly getting my pants pulled down at my small private school in lovely ol' Lancaster, Ca. There were many victims. Stupid outdoor (unsupervised) lockers...

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  4. I've had a wide variety of school experiences as well. I was homeschooled through elementary school, which basically meant becoming best friends with my mom. She let me school myself in a lot of ways, so many of my memories consist of having bizarre adventures in the backyard while waiting for my next door neighbors to come home from real school.

    Then I went to a private Christian school through Jr. High and high school, where I learned so many things about faith and friendship. I became a Christian at age fourteen. I found the best group of girls in high school, and my family ultimately ended up adopting one of them. My school was very small and like family, so senior year consisted of coming to school for a few hours each day, getting the final credits I needed, and teaming up with my principal and a friend to prank other members of my class. That was pretty great.

    Now I'm attending a huge secular university at Texas A&M, one of the biggest in the nation. It's been an eye-opener for my innocent brain, but I've definitely made some good friends in this place. And learned what it means to actually sit down and study. And I also learned that most people actually do party here. Every day. But I've found community in this place that I never knew before.

  5. I went to a homeschool co-op 3rd-5th grade, was homeschooled before and after that, and then went to a classical Christian academy 10th-12th grade. The biggest shock going from homeschooling to a "real" school was the amount of time it took. My youngest sister was in 5th grade when we started attending the Academy, and when one of the teachers {and thankfully my mom's good friend} asked her what she thought of school, my sister responded with "It's a colossal waste of time!" Mom had to tell us NOT to say that anymore! :)

  6. Like you mentioned I think we are so blessed to have the freedom of options in the first place! I just read the Ollie story to my husband and we had a good chuckle. What an awesome personality that kid has!
    As far as my two cents of schooling my husband and I were both home schooled growing up. My husband had great experience with schooling and no lack of social. I however could have used more studies. So you have the bad and the good. If I home school my children and I don't feel that they are being challenged enough by my teaching I will be sending their buns right to school:) But we will cross that road when we come to it.
    You are a wonderful mother and I am SURE God is going to show you exactly what Ollie needs. Keep us updated though!
    *high fives on the quote*

  7. I was public school the entire time, from first grade through college! We plan on homeschooling our kids though.

  8. Love that Ollie boy! I didn't know you were homeschooled for a bit?! I had a mixture of public and private...both positive and negative factors to each of them. Thank the Lord for freedom of choice!

  9. I'm my mom's first born. I went to public kindergarten and then on to first grade. When I wasn't reading as quickly as the other classmates my mom was called into a meeting with the principal. They told her I had a reading disability and would never pass a 3rd grade reading level. She was devastated! I was put on hooked on phonics, held back for a second year of first grade and went to summer school. Then....IT CLICKED! I could read no problem. I took AP classes and graduated high school with Honors. Turns out...most people don't know what they're talking about and all kids learn at their OWN pace! Good luck with it all, whatever you decide, Ollie will do great!

  10. Top of the charts, the guy who sat in front of me in PE roll call turning around and telling me "you look just like the elf in lord of the the rings." Because every freshman girl wants to be told she looks like Orlando Bloom.

    I have an interesting position working in the schools, but I agree, to each his own. WHat works for one doesnt always work for the other. Online classes were amazing for my independent and motivated sister. I got my planner signed every day by all my teachers my senior year of high school. Exciting times.

  11. I love that story of Ollie. My daughter is sooo shy towards most people and her shyness doesn't come off as cute but more as a pouty, rude child. I find myself often making excuses for her and trying to smooth over her actions and boost people's opinions of her because I know that she is as sweet as can be...most of the time ;) and I want people to think that of her as well. I think Facebook adds to this pressure because I often share hilarious stories of things she says and does and people, especially at church, feel like they know her and so they want her to be this sweet, cute little thing with a boisterous personality that they see on FB when in reality she needs like AN HOUR or more to warm up before she doesn't seem like a pouty princess. Your Ollie story is a great encouragement to what I've been burdened with lately, "Let her be herself." It's okay to tell people she's shy but other than that I know that I don't need to make people like her and I certainly don't want her acting in ways to get people to like her. Thanks for sharing!

    1. i SO get what you are saying. as mom's we want everyone to know how sweet and special are kids really are! and the cool thing is, the people who count and matter most will take the time to invest and get to know!

  12. I was public schooled from beginning to end. I remember wishing that one of my friend's parents from church would adopt me and homeschool me when I got into high school. I remember when my parents were splitting up and things were really hard at home my debate coach took me under her wing. I feel like without her I might not have graduated high school. She was so amazingly awesome at reaching me and loving me. Kids like me that don't/didn't have the option for homeschool or private school are so incredibly blessed by public school teachers possibly in more ways than they realize. That said, there was so much about public school, even as young as kindergarten, that I wish I had not been exposed to and that is kind if one if the driving factors behind my decision to homeschool our kids.