olmue: (me sketch)
[personal profile] olmue
I know we've only been here since August, but when you have five kids in the school system, you get a pretty good cross section of how the district works. If you've got only one year to be in Alabama, I'd say make it your 5th grade year. They study the colonial period and the Revolution that year, and it's been really fun for my 5th grader. They do a great job of running it through the curriculum, so a lot of their reading in reading class has been related, and they even learned the Virginia Reel in PE. (That was fun. Just before Christmas, they all dressed up in period clothing, made hats and wigs at school, and invited the parents to watch them dance. And then pulled the parents in for a round. The level to which the kids enjoyed this was astonishing. And they were good!) This semester, their grand event is a field trip to a living history location some hours away. If they do not remember anything about the 1700s in America after this year, the problem is not with the school!

Meanwhile, the 2nd grader is busy celebrating Read Across America week. In case you're wondering, yes, he DID dress up as a book character today. Jack, from the Magic Treehouse books. Which means he's in jeans and a green shirt and carrying a backpack. Never mind that he looks like that every other day, too. :)

My senior has something like six AP classes this year and in one of them, they lined everyone up and had them take the privilege test. Step forward for every privilege and step back for every one you don't have. He's white and male, so he's got that, but in most of the economic ones, he ended up stepping back. (Note: race and class are horribly entertwined. However, class issues exist quite outside of the race frame as well.) He also got to step back for all of the times when he had to change his accent to fit in, or when he was not a native speaker of the dominant language, etc. The one thing that was really unusual in his class--even the teacher was surprised--was that every single kid stepped forward on the "do you live with both parents" question.

My 8th grader made it through track tryouts and is now doing "throwing things" in field events (I disagree that entry-level sports should have tryouts, but well, I am not in charge, either), and my 10th grader is enjoying running the distance end of track. So even though there is no orchestra here (sniff), the kids at least have something to be involved in. It's been one of the more difficult moves for our family (definitely THE most difficult for some members), but I do think it's good to point out what's working.
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