9.21.2006

Question and Answer with LaMai

Another bout of schizophrenia. I (Alter Ego) am interviewing myself.

AE: So, for the first-time visitor here, tell us: Is your child an unschooler?
LaMai: No. We are not unschoolers, per se. We love structure. But we love interest-led learning, as well. I don't believe in hall passes or degradation of the student, such as we see in our public schools. What I envisioned as the ideal when we began homeschooling is what you would have seen with Alexander the Great, under the tutelage of Aristotle. So I've set up what I believe is the ideal classical private school, at home.

I do believe in accountability in giving our children a skill set in learning. A foundation, if you will, upon which they can build whatever they want. I do not believe that that eliminates a tremendous amount of freedom for a student to follow his passions.

Check out the link I've provided in the sidebar to the inspiration we use, The Well Trained Mind.

AE: So you work full-time, and you're a single parent who homeschools her kid?
LaMai: Yes, yes, and yes.

AE: How is that possible?
LaMai: You make it possible, if you want it. For us, it's tutors (I've lost count how many, sorry), classes with other homeschoolers, and a weekly bus ride to a four-hour science class in another state, that's how. But that should not be viewed as the norm!

AE: Why not just enroll your kid in a Manhattan private school?
LaMai: Because despite my current educational expenses, private school here is still out of my range. And yes, we've applied -- once. Currently, the weekly classes and tutors cost us around $350/week. So we're paying about half what Manhattan private school tuition would cost us. And Alexander still doesn't need to ask for a hall pass!

AE: Do you think your child is gifted?
LaMai: I hate that word. I think parents love it more than the students who are defined by it. Now that we've watched GATTACA, it reeks of some sort of weird genetic identification that the superior-human-being cop can check with a government wand.

AE: Your "Yesterday and Today" entries. What's the point?
LaMai: Honestly, I don't think the bloggy reader cares what we're doing, but if I blog it, it winds up on my Google calendar, which eventually gets transcribed to my Quarterly Report that goes to the NYC Homeschooling Coordinator. Accountability, accountability, accountability. Or, in other lingo, CYA.

AE: Is it true you speak Latin in your home?
LaMai: Um, yes. Sure. All the time. Yeah, that's the ticket. We speak Latin all the time.

AE: OK, and um, what is up with your status as a single parent? A divorced parent, I believe?
LaMai: Oh, honey, that is so old. Rewind and check out the archives or something. It's all in there.

AE: Uh-huh. Isn't France on the horizon or something? You blogged about it earlier.
LaMai: My lips are sealed. For now.

AE: And about you being an Office Hottie...
LaMai: Oh, please. One bloggy reader seemed miffed that I even wrote that. But this is my diary, folks. The hottie thing surprised me, too. I was always the kid at school who stood next to the girls who were cute, and some boy would say, "Oh, she's pretty, and she's pretty, too," but when he'd get to me, he'd be like, "Um. No. Too thin. Too gangly. Too, um, no." So that blog entry was my anthropologically-based observation in human morph-dom, after a night at that schi-schi boutique bar. Capisce?

AE: Capisce. And what is Tatooine doing on your dinner table?
LaMai: Oh, that's A's word for ratatouille. Tatooine. Say it. Don't you hear the similarity?

3 comments:

Calletta said...

When they called to tell my parents I was "gifted" my mother was convinced they had the wrong house. My father's an effing genius, and she hated the idea that she was going to be stuck with two smarties. She still hates it. I took pride in it, since it was kind of the only affirmation I was getting from anywhere: "Well, my teachers say I'm gifted. That's something."

la Maitresse said...

O.K. Calletta is right. It can provide a terrific boost of self-esteem!

Becky said...

Anyone miffed at Hottiedom is jealous, of your Hottie status and sense of humor lol.

When our daughter, now 9, was in first grade -- just before we took her out -- the public school kept trying to brand her as "gifted and talented". Honestly, in that school compared to the little automatons it turned out, a rock would be gifted and talented. They kept trying to convince us that an hour a week with the special ed teacher would be good for anyone "g&t"; and I kept trying to explain, after many other G&T's at home to calm myself, that she was, rather, bright and motivated, and that takes more than said hour a week. Which is how we started hs'ing...

I like the Alexander the Great/
Alexander explanation. I'll have to throw that out at the next potluck dinner when someone asks me about hs'ing ;)