By putting Tater in school recently, our family dynamics have started to change. My youngest boy, Wise One and my youngest daughter are the only ones left at home for homeschool. I have noticed over the last few weeks they have begun to play together for the first time. I always got the feeling that Wise One has never been thrilled to have the baby boss of a sister, though he's never said so. In case you are fooled by her cute little looks, she's a strong presence- with whom Wise doesn't much like to tangle.
Their relationship has taken a lovely turn. They've begun choosing books and movies together. Both of them vehemently requested I stop by the library yesterday, so that they might reserve the field guide for the Spiderwick books. I've caught them playing Earthopoly (the earth friendly version of Monopoly) and Killer Bunnies (crazy card game) for hours this week. I love them developing their ties outside the older brothers. Older brothers generally rule and these two need to find their own way together.
And how is Tater doing in school? At first it was bliss for all. Then last week, we had a meeting with his teachers who all sang his praises- until they one by one began to realize he's not really turning in work. They decided to implement the old "mom signs off on assignment" plan to which I've responded by becoming the homework slave. Until last night, we'd work till 10:30 or 11:00 on homework, so I could check it off as finished. I decided yesterday that I certainly didn't want to homeschool at night as I'd come to realize I was doing- and that I'd put him in school for a very different purpose. I told Tater I'd give him an hour of tutoring if I had it to give, and that he was on his own from there with homework. I explained he couldn't study past 8:30 in order to get night routines back on track, so he'd better start cracking the books during school. He finished his homework right at 8:30 last night with just a few helps from me in the math he does not comprehend.
One of his teachers wrote an email in response to my plea for help out of the pit of homework hell. She wrote that Tater was socializing instead of working or asking questions. Can you imagine me sending him to school to hang out with buddies just so I'd have to teach him at night? Nope. If you are the praying kind, I could use help and inspiration with this son.
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