Friday, January 29, 2016

Baseball, Starting School, and One Lazy Mom

The Overlord has been talking to me about wanting to play baseball. I know next to nothing about sports. Thankfully, my husband knows what's up. After talking to him about it, I realized I better start looking into getting her hooked up ASAP, because I guess it's a spring and summer thing? Who knew!?

I did some digging around and found the local Little League group. I emailed the guy in charge to ask how I could go about signing my daughter up. Apparently there's a North and South league in my area, and I had no idea which one she belonged to. It's arranged according to the which school she'd be attending, I guess. I had to find out which one that is, and while doing so found a notice on the district's webpage telling me about a New Kindergarten Information meeting.

"Well," I said to myself. "That's coincidentally convenient."

I spent the first five years of my daughter's life researching schooling up the wazoo. As you all know, I've been undecided on the matter of sending her to school or homeschooling her myself. I told myself that ultimately the decision was up to her. If she wanted to stay home, I'd school her. If she wanted to go to school, I'd send her. But a lot of factors regarding the public school system in America these days gave me reservations about sending her.

So I said to myself, "Couldn't hurt to go to this meeting to learn more." And we did. Boy am I glad we did!

First of all, I had no idea that registration could begin so early. I thought it was one of those things parents rushed to do at the end of the summer. "Holy crap my kid is five/six now! I better enroll her in school!"

To my surprise, by the end of the night at this meeting I was signing my name to a paper to schedule an appointment in which to register her for school. We did that today. A friend of mine asked me why I decided to enroll her in public school instead of homeschooling. As I told her, there are a lot of factors.

Number one: The school district impresses me. Some time last year or the year before I read in the local paper about how they are taking education to the next level and have divided the high school into four basic focus groups of learning. Kids graduating with a diploma in this district also have the opportunity to graduate with an associate's degree in something on the side. That means they're entering college at 18 as Juniors. That's pretty impressive!

The presentation showed me that in kindergarten they use tablets and computers in their daily learning, along with everything else I remember from the pre-computer age. They aren't trying to keep technology from the children, and I approve. Electronics are our future and they should be regularly exposed to them. My kids already know how to work my NOOK, the TV, the DVD player, the Wii U and more. Our library has touch screen computers they can operate on their own chock full of learning games.

An amusing and shamelessly honest factor I like to throw out is my aversion toward teaching art. I've bought finger paints and play dough and all kinds of things, but I honestly don't like my children having them because of the mess. I also don't have an artistic bone in my body and think that the Overlord will benefit from having some outside instruction on that matter.

Now... I know. There are all kinds of programs available that I can sign my kids up for if I choose to homeschool. The other factor that I'm not ashamed to admit is that I'm lazy. The thought of scouring the Internet in search of places to go to where my children can learn something about something makes me tired. I'm an introvert and don't like leaving the house. I avoid doing things at all costs.

This is probably why I keep subconsciously putting off getting my driver's license again. I let it expire a long time ago. Oops. Now I have to go through the temps process all over again. The fact that I cannot legally drive and do not even have a car of my own in which to do so puts a damper on ideas such as daily road trips for learning. Sorry, kid. I just don't want to do it.

My daughter likes people. She's very outgoing and friendly. She asks me every single day, "Where are we going today? Where are we going tomorrow?" She wants to get out and do things. Somehow I gave birth to an extrovert, and she's exhausting. I'm frankly looking forward to the five-day-a-week break from her presence. I'm not sure her sister will survive, but that's another matter.

Another thing that ultimately eased my worries and solidified my decision to send the Overlord to school was when I independently researched the dress code. I am super pleased to discover and report that the dress code is completely nondiscriminatory where regarding gender. It is all-inclusive. No "girls have to" this "because distracting to boys." I'll have to look up the high school dress code when the time comes, but so far it seems that I do not have to destroy the school for sexualizing my little girl and prioritizing the rights of boys to learn over her.

It's all very reasonable and the faculty seem like intelligent, good people. The only worry I have left is religious exposure. I have it in mind to ask about the Pledge of Allegiance at the open house before the start of the school year. If I find out standing and reciting is mandatory, there will be hell to pay. I did wince slightly when the principal of the school she'll be attending mentioned Christmas parties, but in the same breath she said Halloween parties, so I think I'll be okay with that. So long as nobody in a position of authority is shoving Jesus down my child's throat, it's all good.

And oh yeah. About baseball. We'll be registering her for that tomorrow.

All these activities are going to be the death of me.

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