Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Guilt-free schooling

Romania's school depends a great deal on parents volunteering since it is a Charter school. They don't get 100% funding from the school district, so in order to keep costs down, they strongly encourage you to find a way to volunteer. They leave it totally up to you, but everyone is expected to contribute.

I was all for that-count me in. Before Holland was diagnosed with Spina Bifida, had surgery for tethered cord and needed numerous doctor appointments, follow ups and fittings for orthotics. Before Egypt was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arhritis and I spent all my free time scheduling and shutteling kids around to 7 different doctors. I actually was able to help out several times in Romania's class. The kids are very sweet. You show up one time and all of a sudden, everyone knows your name and wants your help! I even went in the week before Mother's Day to make homemade bird suet with the kids. That was a huge project. I had to recreate the experience 4 different times since there were 20 kids. I felt given the circumstances, I was doing pretty good with my volunteerism.

So today when I was waiting at the bus hub for Romania, one of the moms came over to me and said she needed some information from me. She said she hadn't seen my name on the "check-in" list in the office for volunteer time. I said I didn't know there was one. She wanted to know if I had been able to help out in the classroom at all. I explained with a 3 1/2 year old tagging along it was hard to work out a regular time to come in. I mentioned the bird suet project. She asked about how many hours I had been in. I said "Oh, 4 or 5". (Remember, we've only been going here since January). She said, "A week?" I about fell off my seat. I said, "No, I've been to the hospital a lot. Not much time to come in to school." If another mom (who knows our situation) wasn't sitting right there, I would have been so embarrassed. Ok. I WAS embarrassed. If she only knew what craziness she was asking of me. I get it. They need people to volunteer. That is just not something I'll be able to work into my insane life right now.

Nothing like guilt-free education.

Oh-and Romania said he wanted to be homeschooled again. Ugh. I told him I couldn't possibly do that right now. He actually comes home in a good mood every day. I think he's just so tired that he needs a reason to be home. He gets along with his peers; his teacher called him a "rock star" in math and his reading has really taken off. If I didn't have so many medical issues right now, I would probably pull him out. I'm looking forward to the summer because I'm going to be schooling both boys. I've opted out of 'extended school year' for Holland so he can do summer camps, swim lessons and our week at the family lake cabin. Can you say 'year-round-school'?

No comments: