Monday, September 03, 2012

One down, 37 to go

Image credit: CollegeDegrees360
My kids are students. Homework is their labor, so on this Labor Day, I couldn't help but think what this year might bring. They've finished their first week of school, and discounting holiday weeks, have about 37 more to go.

Kyle is in 3rd grade, and he's excited. I don't see any big hurdles, even though this is the year of memorizing multiplication tables and learning cursive. However, I do think that in May I will be looking back at the physical and emotional changes. 

Amanda is jumping right into her high school career. She's determined to put her best foot forward as far as keeping up with homework and striving for grades that will help her to have choices in this ultra-competitive Texas college market. She's done a great job. She's slow and distracted when she's doing her homework, and she often chooses to multi-task, so what I think should take her an hour and a half often takes two or three hours, but she doesn't complain. I'm very proud of her.

She's also joined up, which is not just a transcript-booster, it's who she is. She knew she wanted to do Key Club. It's pretty intense, but I think she'll enjoy it (and it does look good on her transcript).  She was worried when she decided not to do marching band this year that she didn't have "a thing." She does art, and will be involved in competitions with that, but she said that didn't count. When we were at the electives fair and freshman registration meeting in the spring, I told her I thought she'd like/be good at Speech club. I explained to her that she'd be able to present pieces from books and that sort of thing.

She saw the poster about the informational meeting and decided to go, so she's going to give that a try. When I suggested it, I forgot that things have changed in the twenty-five years since I was in high school (Seriously? Yes, 25 years. I'm moving on from that topic quickly). One can't just dabble. One has to commit. She's supposed to stay after at least twice a week to prepare for the meets. I honestly think that this is more for debate, which does take that sort of time, but that seems a little extreme for the preparation of a couple of speech events.

She said that when she went and said she was interested in speech that she was told it wasn't as competitive, that most people are doing debate, so it makes sense that the guidelines would be applicable to that. But it still seems excessive, and it's part of my beef with how things have changed, but I'll commit to the two or three meets each semester that she's "required" to attend in order to be stay an active member of the "team." Again, I'm not sure if this is geared at debate, which I do think is a different animal, or if it really matters.

She'll decide if it's what she wants to do or not, and if it is, then I'll support her. In this case, my support means picking her up at school twice a week, and waiting for the bus to return her to the high school parking lot at midnight. I'm reminded that my primary labor is that of Mom, and that means encouraging both of my kids to do what will benefit them in the short-term or on the long-haul. It means making sure that Kyle learns his multiplication tables and making sure that Amanda doesn't shy away from trying something new. It means a lot of driving. And a lot of encouraging, even if that simply comes in the form of writing checks for entry fees and dropping off or picking up when necessary.

I've linked this post up to the 5 Minutes for Mom Labor Day Link Up.


Michele said...

What?? Things have changed since we were in high school? I remember liking Speech but not so much the Debate. Good luck on the rest of the school year.

Life with Kaishon said...

I hope they both have fabulous years. I am sure she will be fine when it comes time to enroll in college no matter what extra curriculars she participates in!

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Good for Amanda! And good for you. And yes, it's weird how much of a commitment any club or activity can be these days...

I have a non-joiner. :) Though he's been committed to piano for years and has volunteered at church quite a bit, so it's not like he does nothing. He's just not usually looking for something new to commit to. He must be like his mom.

And oh, those multiplication tables. Not really looking forward to revisiting those. But for this year, it's just phonics for us...