Brick School Lessons

Nadie, our oldest child, began “brick school” this year after six years of being homeschooled.  That is the term that we use to describe “non-homeschool,”  because “real school” insinuates that homeschool is not real school.  It was not a decision that we took lightly, but God let us know that it was time.  I repeatedly warned Nadie that she was about to wake up in a new world, but no one warned me that I was going to get walloped as well.  I shared my experiences on Facebook as I was taking my brick school beating.  These are those posts, in order…

August 4, 2016

First brick school lesson learned. Unlike a lot of the homeschool world, start times are for real and not just a suggestion. How many tardies until they kick us out?

August 7, 2016

Brick school lesson #2 learned today. Going to Walmart the night before school starts is just a bad, bad, bad idea. It’s not just homeschoolers that procrastinate either. Stephen Rudolph, how many more of these lessons must we learn?!??

August 8, 2016 (apparently this was a big day for lessons)

Brick school lesson #3 – That seemingly small packet of papers they give you to read, sign, and return by the first day of school…Do NOT leave that until Sunday night to deal with. You will be up at 3:30am wondering what in the world happened to common freaking sense that such simple rules require a signature. And you will ponder your own school years, and try to remember if you had to sign a pledge to adhere to basic behavioral guidelines. And if you are like me, you will remember that you did not sign something like that. What you DID do is hear that if you couldn’t act right, they would call Jenny McLaurin Sanford (insert your own parental name here) and let her take care of it. And that was enough. No signature needed. Meanwhile, I could have read War and Peace. Twice. Guess I’ll catch a small cat nap before it’s time to get up and go to my first day of brick school student drop-off. CANNOT BE LATE. Stephen Rudolph, this is really not looking good for me. #ifyousendahomeschoolmomtobrickschool

Brick school Lesson #4 – Do NOT employ the Jack Butler Method in carline. Luckily, I did not. But I could feel the tension from inside the car for those that did. All I could think of was Kenickie from that scene in Grease…”Hey, you’re parked in a No Parking Zone!” “The whole place is a No Parking Zone, Crater Face.” Stephen Rudolph, we will need to do a practice run before you ever attempt this.

Brick school Lesson #5 – While I am not advocating for the Jack Butler Method, I understand the desire to do so. Especially when you pull into the carline and, within two minutes, you find out that the child in the seat behind you has an insanely intense aversion to non-moving motor vehicles. So he starts to tell you that you aren’t doing it right, and that you need to go around all the cars “in your way.”
“They ah not even moooovvving! You jus need to go THAT way on the side! We ah nevah going to make it! I will die fuhst!”
I learned that, from now on, Oliver will be supplied with a tablet and an educational assignment, or a game, or something to entertain him whilst we wait in carline. Or a mild sedative. It’s still a toss up. Stephen Rudolph, not trying to brag, but I made it through day one with no tardies.

To all of my teacher friends, how many emails can I send, and questions can I ask, before I begin to annoy the teacher? Nadie has implored that I not make her look like the “weird kid.” How many questions/emails am I away from that??

August 9, 2016

Brick school Lesson for today was Nadie’s alone. If you want to buy your lunch, better make certain that you don’t forget your lunch money😂
“I know! I know! Leave me alone. I know a good place to keep it.” “Nope. I don’t want you to send anything. I’m going to buy something.” “What’s an IOU? Is that even real?”
Why, yes, Nadie. It is real. And now you know.
Stephen Rudolph, delinquent on day two. She’s definitely ours.

August 10, 2016

Brick school Lessons from the past 24+ hours…(Andra, here you go!)
1. Apparently phonics in brick school are different from homeschool phonics. After just three days at brick school, Nadie has picked up extra syllables in many of her words…”Nooooo-uh. I’m tiiirrrred-uh!” “That’s not truueee-uh.” “I’m huunnggrryy-eee!” “Why can’t Oliver do thaaat-aaaah?” “I don’t want to go to get uuupppp-uh! It’s sooooo earrrlyyyy-eeee!!!” These are also magic syllables. They make hair stand on end, skin crawl, and teeth itch for all those within earshot.
2. Today I found out that there is a car line caveat. I saw a car stop just across the street from the line which I had just gotten into. The car turned its blinker on as if it were going to turn into the middle of the line, several cars ahead of me. Surely not. Surely this person would not sit there with a flashing freaking light and think that they were going to get in front of me and the fifty people behind me? Suddenly, another car pulled in behind the first and put their honking blinker on. Whhhaaattttt?!? Are you kidding me?!?! Then there was another and another. Many others passed them and went to the end of the line like the rest of us. What was this? Like a VIP line? Is this what the parent’s of honor roll kids get to do? (Because, if so, I was going to get Nadie right on that.) As the line began to move, sure enough, these “VIPs” started turning into the existing line right in front of other cars with captive parents and siblings. I was most unhappy. Others must have been too because horns started blaring. I thought, “Well, this is it. My first time actually using my pepper spray is going to be in an elementary school car line.” Oliver was all, “What ah they doing?!? It’s not theh tuhn!” I’m all, “I KNOW!” Sadly, I’ve been told by my trusted friend that this is a thing. This has been my least favorite brick school lesson to date. I did not let a car from the VIP line in front of me. Sorry, not sorry.
3. I’ve not had any tardies all week!! But I know it’s coming. We are all already getting way too comfortable about sleeping an extra ten minutes. It won’t end well.
4. Oliver has quickly learned to greet Nadie with a barrage of all the cool things he did without her during the day. He has to really spit it out fast. Once she starts talking, his chance is over and the ship has sailed. Today, he was sitting in her seat when she opened the car door. He said, in rapid succession, “Boo!! Hahahaha! I’m in youh seat! I had cheese dip today and watched tv. And you didn’t. You go to schhhooollll!” He’s playing with fire.
Stephen Rudolph, you are missing all the fun. When we were choosing up sides, you should have opted for the stay at home parent.

August 11, 2016

Brick school Lesson #? (I’ve lost count?) – You mustn’t EVER joke with those running the car line at brick school. While things can get a bit touchy (I have more to say on the VIPs later) with those IN the car line, I have to give serious props to the school and teachers for the efficiency of the line management. It moves pretty quickly once it gets going. As you approach the school, the kids are placed around the semi-circle drive behind a white line. Magically, they are standing on the sidewalk precisely next to where you stop. It’s impressive, really.
Today, as we came around the circle, I didn’t see Nadie. I pulled up to my spot and there was a young boy standing next to my car. I rolled down the window as the teacher prompted him to get into the car. I told her, “That’s not my kid.” She looked at me and then at the boy and asked him, “This isn’t your car?” Judging from the size of his eyes and the look on his face, he was way ahead of the situation than everyone else.
I said, “No. That’s not my kid, but he’s cute. And he probably acts better than mine anyway. I’ll just take that one.” Right then and there is when I got my brick school lesson for the day. She put her hand across the child like I was going to try to take him (Like I want another kid to pick up in a car line.) “Ma’am, what is your child’s name?” Ugh. I was just kidding. But there is no kidding in car line. I hung my head and told her which one was mine.
Not sure exactly what happened, but they had it fixed in no time and out came Nadie. Oliver was not with me, or I feel certain that he would have wanted to negotiate further on the possibility of a kid swap. Which probably would not have gone over well either. Stephen Rudolph, we are going to have to switch cars for a few days or something. I’m not winning at this brick school car line thing.

August 15, 2016

I told her this morning was an opportunity to see just how fast she could get from the car to her class. Like an Olympic sport. Go for the Gold, Baby Girl! Stephen Rudolph, hopefully all these years of Rudolph Time prepared her for her first near-tardy. As we left this morning, she said, “Well, we made it to the second week without being late.” Oh ye of little faith! You made it with two minutes to spare.
Look at the time!
Look at the time!

August 19, 2016 (This is not a Brick School lesson in and of itself, but it is a direct result of the slow learning curve I experienced in my Brick School lessons.  It felt it should be merited as such.)

I went and picked Oliver up from my grandmother’s today. As he climbed into the car, he paused and said, “Hmmmm. Something is awhy in he-ah!”

Um, something is awry? In this car? The car that I spend 85% of my waking hours in? The car that hauls kids and dogs and food and anything else that manages to sneak its way in? How could anything be awry in a car where everyone is so diligent to clean up after themselves with every trip made?!?!
“What exactly do you think is awry in here, Oliver?”
“Well, it smells like the YMCA in he-ah.”
Touché. That would be my turkey and pesto sandwich that I scarfed down in between errands and drop-offs and pick-ups and appointments. And it was good, even if it did smell like the YMCA. Stephen Rudolph, I would like to submit a request for a coffee maker in the car. And maybe some air freshener.

August 23, 2016

I have to thank my sister for posting this one…

September 12, 2016

Brick school lesson number eleventybillion…Brick schoolers have recorders. Recorders are considered musical instruments in the brick school world. We were actually required to purchase this thing. The brick school child brought this “musical instrument” home today to practice her “music.” For the LOVE OF HUMANITY, why?!? It even has a cord attached to it so that she can wear it around her neck and it conveniently travels with her. Ugh. I told her that it would attract Cobras if she kept playing it. She asked if they preferred Hot Cross Buns or Ode to Joy? Stephen Rudolph, you are going to have to address this sarcasm that she wields at me. I somehow feel that there is some karma attached to this. Her recorder and music sound very similar to The Sorry Song that the ice cream man plays over his speaker when he is all out of ice cream😳 Dang it, I knew that that would come back on me.
Recorder practice...
Recorder practice…

September 21, 2016

So, my brick school lesson today came directly from my child. And it has got me seriously thinking about my future. Without going into the whole long story, I’ve decided that I need to convince my children now that FaceBook has been permanently shut down. Because that child could not wait to get to school today and tell her teacher about some things that I may not have needed to be broadcasted. And she just did not care that I didn’t want it known. She’s all, “Oh, my teacher is gonna get a kick out of this.” It occurred to me that if Nadie was on FB, she’d be airing my business online, tagging everyone I know, and posting pictures to boot. That is something I just cannot have. So if everyone could just back me on this, that would be great. Tell her it was the government. She’s been homeschooled in Stephen’s den of conservatism, so that should fly just fine. Stephen Rudolph, she’ll rat you out too. We need to be proactive on this.

I had to quit the Brick School Lessons after learning the Ultimate Lesson that not everyone on FaceBook has a sense of humor.  It is almost Christmas as I am writing this, and for those that might be wondering, I have had a few “warnings,” exceeded the tardy limit, and may have had a note sent home about unexcused absences or something to that effect.  However, we made it through our first semester of Brick School.