We picked our first zucchini yesterday. We have tomatoes, but they are still green. I suppose we got a late start on our "garden" (really vegetable plants planted in our flower beds) because of our move and it was a cold and wet June. I'm planning to make some zucchini bread in the next day or two.
And if you are curious about the "harvest" of our pondering about what to do with Peter's schooling, read on. If not, this sort of turned into a novel, so you might want to skip it.
I think this is the hardest decision I have ever made. It is by far the hardest decision Ryan and I have made as a couple. There didn't seem to be one clear solution. I worried and analyzed, thought out and prayed, fretted and discussed, and in the end we came back to where we started. Peter is going to go to regular kindergarten, half day. He starts a little over two weeks. We had seriously considered homeschooling him through an online school (mostly so we could still easily get his therapy services) and that was what I thought we were going to do when I wrote the post last week. We even had him enrolled in one, but chose regular school mostly for two reasons.
First - Peter is still really behind in his language. Past experience has shown us time and again that the best way for Peter to increase his language skills is to be around other people that are typically speaking - Ryan and I don't count for whatever reason. We used to always hear him use new word combinations when we would come back from visiting family for the weekend. We also saw a huge improvement in his language after we enrolled him in a pre-school with all typically speaking children last year. Since we are new to town and this is a small town, if I had homeschooled him, I would have had a very difficult time getting him around other kids on a regular basis. The kids in Peter's summer school class were all very nice and especially the girls seemed to really like him and want to be his friend. One day when I took him to class late, a few girls turned to look toward the door and said, "Hi Peter!" Another girl keeps bringing little things to give to Peter - a band aid, a sticker, etc. I think this could be really good for him.
And our other reason for going with the original plan is that Peter is highly resistant to my instruction. We have known this for a while. I often try to get him to say things for me at home, using a bit of speech therapy at home I guess. A few months ago he just started saying, "No Mom, I don't want to say that," to me. I find it hilarious and frustrating. Since we first considered homeschooling a few weeks ago, I have tried to spend a little time each day doing something similar to what we might have to do for school. Things have gotten a little better, but he still makes a fairly huge fuss if it isn't something he wants to do. At school though, he is more than happy to try new things and do tasks that might be hard for him. One morning before school I was trying to get him to trace letters and he whined and moaned and then when we got to school, the teacher was having the kids trace their names and he picked up his pencil, went right to work, and then said, "Look what I did Mommy!" We are still going to keep working on this issue at home by doing some motor and sensory play at least three times a week in the afternoons with him and Ned. We really need to work through this before he starts getting homework!
We found out Peter is going to be in the morning class (which we wanted because he is so much more organized in the morning) and that he will not have the teacher that he had for summer school. I don't think I ever mentioned that the teacher was a big reason why I was having a hard time with summer school - she was, umm, well, a really big grump. Shouldn't all kindergarten teachers play the guitar and always wear a sweet smile? I'm not sure if the teacher Peter has plays the guitar, but I can't imagine her being any more grumpy than the one he had for summer school.
So, there it is. I will be able to be in his classroom often because we found a little pre-school for Ned to go to here in town and the two school times overlap (the pre-school teacher planned it purposefully that way - hooray for her!). We'll give it a go and I hope it goes well.