Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day of School for the Sardines

Yay! First day of school! We always like to do something fun on the first day of have the pool to ourselves. So this is Jasper's and Jules' official First Day of 1st and 7th Grades (respectively).

Come on Jules, don't you wish you were sitting in the 3rd period of the day...going over classroom rules? Again? In case you didn't catch them in the first two periods?

And here's Camille's first day of 3rd grade. She went over the edge backwards in scuba form.

Joel's first day as a sophomore. Joel is the reason we homeschool. If it weren't for his disastrous pre-k, kinder, and 1st grade years....well...I'd be sitting in a freaking car line right now. Thank you, Joel! One more way in which your unique way of interpreting the world has been a blessing for us! Joel is dyslexic, with auditory and expressive language processing disorders. He's also brilliant, thank you very much....and I can't imagine what a day would be like without him, his humor, and his sunny disposition. Or his hair :). I wonder, if we had left him in school to tough it out....would he have begun to live up to the Bad Boy/Dumb Boy/ Inappropriate Use of Humor Boy/ Uncooperative Boy image the teachers had established for him? You know, until he believed it himself? Lucky for him - I DIDN'T BELIEVE IT. And lucky for all of us.

Here he is about to attack his brother....they wrestle endlessly, even though Joel is twice the size of Jules. The pool echoed with the sounds of Big Man Laughter and Yelling from Joel (his voice is SO LOW....lower than his dad's, even) and the beautifully hoarse laughter of a boy on the edge of metamorphosis. Jules' voice sounds more and more different every day.
Joel and I did some goal-setting today, on his first day of school. He's registered for an American Sign Language Course to fulfill the foreign language requirements - at the suggestion of his speech therapist, who felt that maybe his inability to master his own native tongue might be an indicator in how he would do in say....French or Spanish (although Joel says he can't imagine it would be much different - he says he's used to not knowing what people are saying to him). He wants to cover college bases, even though we're neither one sure college will be in his future. I'm really not sure the college environment is set up for him to succeed...memorizing is hard for him....really hard for him....what he wants to do is write story board scripts for television shows (think along the lines of Beavis and Butt-head, Family Guy, Spongebob and you get the idea). He would be great at that...he is a walking non-stop comedy show. He and his friend, Ian, have a little show thing they do on the computer that is funny in an Inappropriate Use of Humor way....that's on his official kindergarten record, by the way, "inappropriate use of humor" or maybe it is just "inappropriate behavior." Maybe he was the only one who saw the humor. Anyway, there are places in our world for the inappropriate use of humor. If you don't believe me, ask Will Farrell. A rich and successful guy who I'm betting had a distastrous year in 1st grade.
Here Joel is being inappropriately funny.....or maybe just inappropriate, depending on your view of things. I told him he looked like an ugly girl with his long, wet hair. He lifted up his arm to flash a hairy pit and said, "An ugly European girl!" Sheesh. And please, European girls, we don't think you're ugly. And also please, to my American sisters who forgo the razor...we don't think you're ugly either. He just likes to be funny that way. To each his or her own pits....that's what we always say.
This was Ellie's first day of her senior year. She actually did school work. Here she is trying to memorize the US History Study Guide for the SAT II Subject Test. She had also finished her calculus and biology and put in 2 hours at the piano....overachiever. She's applying at two conservatories (Eastman and Oberlin) and then at the music schools of some Texas universities. It will all depend on who offers the most $$$.
Jules will do some 7th grade math and he's asked to take a look at his biology book again. Other than that, we'll go wherever his interests take us. He's also still working on cursive writing - that is so much easier for him than printing. I wonder, if he were in school, would he be this happy? He's a self-confident kid with a group of loyal buddies. That is pretty much the pot of gold at the end of the Asperger's Rainbow.

And oh Camille! Now this kid? I could drop off on the street, point her in the general direction of the nearest school, and off she'd go and be just fine. She's not easily bored, nor is she easily overwhelmed. She's never met another kid she didn't like. She notices what other people are wearing (this is a recessive homeschool gene) - she likes popular music. Nail polish is her best friend. But it just so happens that she has so many homeschooled friends and activities, she's never expressed an interest in school. I wonder what I would do if she did? One of my friends took her little one to school the request of the previously homeschooled little one, herself. Brave little girl and brave mama!

This is Jasper's first day of first grade. The school has no idea that it dodged a bullet.

Happy First Day of School to You and Yours - no matter where it took place!
Signing Off as the Head Administrator of the School of Sardines


  1. You are so sweet! I didn't feel very brave...I'm still looking like the proverbial deer in the headlights. But my little one has sung every day, "I can't wait to go back to school tomorrow to see my friends!" It makes me both happy and sad.

  2. Mama Dude, just so you know, I commented on this Post a couple of days ago. I don't see it now. Did you get it? Did I push the envelope too much? I think I was okay but maybe I went too far. Hard to believe that I could do that, with you.
    Your Friend, m.

  3. Carol, your alternate universe is sooo appealing right now! But somehow, most of us come out all right in the end.