Siigh. Getting real.
Emperor's handwriting leaves much to be desired. The more I work on his cursive, it seems, the worse it gets. I finally asked Woodjie's preschool teacher how they teach their tinies to write and she recommended Handwriting Without Tears rather strongly. It isn't, of course, what they use for the standard issue children in our district... they use that cray-zee "D'Nealian" stuff that makes you write from the bottom of the paper up, sidewise and backwards. (Look. To make a lowercase b, one must go UP to make the loop at the base.) I taught him to print just as I perfected my handwriting as a teenager, and yes, that means Emperor makes his lower case a's to look just like the typewriter kind, not the o with a stick on the end.
So. I'm looking at the catalogue and thinking about what to do for Emperor. Emperor is in tears and insulted because his handwriting is already perfectly neat (even though much of it is unreadable if you don't know him). He says he refuses to do anything else; he's done with handwriting.
No, wait! He's left-handed now! Except on assignments where speed is required! In which case, things are even worse! But look how neatly he can write with his left hand! And yes, he can. If I want to wait 500 years for a page-long paper, this would be the way to go.
Now I'm all confused and don't know what to do. The strength of homeschooling is that you can cater to your student(s), but that's also the drawback. Stage a mini-revolt, and Dad gets involved. And once that happens, then Mom and Dad fight about who's the best teacher for the kid, who's getting criticized, whose feelings are hurt, whose kids are these anyway and blah blah blahhh.
I guess because our lives are perfect and we don't have anything else to fight about.
Or take this. I saw a nifty little game called Free Rice. How fun! Hey Emperor, come over and play this geography game. He took a look at the country on the screen. Ohhh, I shouldn't have asked.
"How am I supposed to know the answer to THIS?" he asked incredulously. I told him that he can do this... he knows this... just sit down and look carefully.
"Well, doesn't it have an easier level? Can't you give me a hint?" Um, no.
Dad gets involved and can't believe what he's seeing, that Emperor doesn't know the answer. Emperor claims that it's not fair, he didn't get to study for this, and how is HE supposed to know which country this is!??? He has NO IDEA? Where's the hint button? Can't Mom help him?
Siiigh. "It's the United States of America," I told him finally. "Hit 'United States,' and look at the next one. Maybe it gets easier later." (ha)
Um, but it did. Bam! He knew New Zealand. Bam! Iceland. Bam! Austria.
Ummm....??? We spent YEARS learning about our own country before learning about other lands. And who cowers in fear before the Icelandic and New Zealand armies? Sorry to all y'all Icelanders and Kiwis, but really. You know STINKIN' ICELAND and its location, but not the US?
And Madagascar? Madagascar!?? Instantly, this kid clicks the right answer for that one, too.
D is all mad. His teacher should have done a better job with this "countries and their locations" thing. So now, guess what we are doing every week? Yep.
And Elf. He did poorly on a math quiz. Since we found out he'd copied the answers on occasion a few times in the last several weeks, he must take an assessment test. He's flunking fourth grade stuff. Arg. And it's stuff I know he knows... (the value of the 3 in 3,000 is not 1,000... but yes, it's in the thousands PLACE. I still have to mark this and several other answers WRONG. Because they are.)
I'm afraid of what's going to happen if he tests into first grade and Mom and Dad need to work out what to do.