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Odds and Ends

Public School Update

Patrick's English teacher sent the following letter to me last week (names changed, otherwise copy/paste):

Mrs. C,

This is to notify you that Patrick will be reading the book In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. As stated in the letter I sent home a month ago (please see attached), the substitute reading is of the same genre, Magical Realism, and has the same setting of Latin America. Please understand that Patrick will be working independently on this unit. I will prepare a booklet of materials for his study that correlates to the class’s activities. Any homework assignments and quizzes for Patrick will be of the same point value as the class. The objectives of the unit are the same, and the final in-class writing will be of the same nature and difficulty.

Mrs. English Teacher's Name

So... Patrick will receive a different assignment, but without input from others on what is really expected on the tests (you know that's often given in discussions; you can tell by what the teacher focuses upon, etc.), he will truly be on his own. And yeah... there WAS a note home about a month ago that the reading was explicit... but I hadn't expected "explicit and without literary value, and furthermore not even originally written in the English language."

I was chatting with another mom at the orchestra concert recently and she told me her family was moving across town but that her daughter would really, realllly miss having Patrick in her class. They're in the same English class and she a Christian, but the silent type. She has a hard time speaking up. Patrick says the things others wish they could, but... don't. And apparently he's pretty good at the verbal battles. I'm pretty sure that this woman with the super MBA and who is at least three times his age bests him quite often, but he's fighting. :)

I told her about the recent assignment and my objection to it. She thought that it would be along the lines of Of Mice and Men and I assured her that I read Catcher in the Rye, Of Mice and Men, and that sort of thing that was "controversial" during my high school years... and this book doesn't even come close to having that sort of vague literary redemption. She expressed an interest in reading this mysterious book. We both reasoned that it may be that her daughter was too embarrassed to talk about what was in there. Whatever this family decides, I wish them the best...

Woodjie Update

Woodjie is constantly climbing things. Homeschool can be pretty tough to teach with his hopping all over everywhere. Oh... and he takes off his clothes. A few times I've literally gone into the kitchen to start making lunch or something and I'll turn around to see a NAKED MAN in front of me. Well, a short little giggling naked man who runs away when I try to scoop him up and put him downstairs. Doggone it, he's cute but I have a feeling this will NOT go over well with people in the community when he's ten.

Emperor and Elf

We have their summer planned! They'll be taking Saturday swimming classes again at the local community center. We will work very, very hard so that we can get everything I think ought be done in time for a school vacation before July.

We're looking at short overviews on several religions in social studies. Emperor thought that he would "test Hinduism scientifically" by watching a dead spider in the corner to see if it came back to life. I told him the only way to know if Hinduism really "works" would be for people to remember their past lives as amoebas and fish and so forth. Elf thought that the better idea would be to pray over the spider in Jesus' Name and see what happens. I'm thinking it was just the spider's time to go, buddy...

We're also learning a bit about how to take notes on index cards/ outline for a research report. I had the "brilliant" idea of having the boys take notes during a sermon. Here's what I found on Elf's card:

Pastor does an itoresting words to say. I am suprised he has all this to say.

Um, don't outdo yourself there! Overwork leads to stress. Can you believe my super-bright child did this?? Yes, and he would have been going into fifth grade were he in public school. Mommy is sooo proud of him; he is just a shining beacon for homeschooling.

When I told him all this the other day, he cringed a bit, giggled and said, "Yeah..." My point was made.


  1. My 10th grader had to read In the Time of the Butterflies.

    I hate that book. Besides the fact that it has no basis in reality (Women do not, nor have ever, overthrow dictators with their political actions. The feminist undertones were sickenng).

    Factor in the innuendo and masturbatory clinics masquerading as a young girl coming into her own (literally) and the whole novel is a crap- excuse my language.

    I have come to understgand that it is required reading for the 10th/11th grade set. But I do suggest you read it Mrs. C, so that you can talk to your kid about the parts you feel you need to.

  2. OH NOOO!!!

    I trusted that lady, Terry! STUPID of me. This woman absolutely takes the cake for her anti-Christian attitude. I specifically asked in my previous letter for NOTHING that would be less than wholesome and ennobling.

    Is masturbation wholesome and ennobling? SICK! Sick, sick, sick. I am literally feeling sick as I read your comments. Not sure what to do as he is now a MONTH behind on the assignment.

    I will have to ask Patrick, really. *sigh*

    But... thank you. It's upsetting, but thank you. I had done a very brief internet search it and found nothing too awful. I hate to think I must pre-read every English assignment, but there it is.

  3. Sad that you have to monitor everything that he reads at school... but obviously necessary.
    I love reading updates on all your kids.

  4. Patrick is a great kid. that's awesome that he can be a light in this dark world, i.e. public school.

    naked toddlers! i think every one of them goes through this stage. rusty loves to take his diapers off so i have to ensure he has some form of pants/shorts on over them at all times as he's not good at taking THOSE off.

    regarding the spider - just let him know that if his prayer was answered that you would have killed it again anyway. ;) i love all their stories!


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