End of a long day... we had a great time taking Amirah and Eli and Amirah's friend NE to the ballet today. Papa went too. The tickets were only $2! We saw excerpts from Swan Lake, met a lady who had danced the lead role in San Francisco in 1940, had a 10-year-old girl demonstrate some of the basic ballet steps, and heard the whole story of Swan Lake. It was a really nice sampler. Perfect for the kids. Amirah and Eli have heard the storybook we have of Swan Lake a number of times, and have watched the dvd of Swan Lake three times. It's fun to see them enjoy a different performance medium. We also went to a fun birthday party at one of those inflatable jumping places. All four kids bounced all over the place with 25 other children and had a really good time.
I also had some "interesting" e-mail exchanges with the math teacher at our co-op and I'm realizing that this co-op might not be a good match for us after all. I'll be talking further with the co-op founder and the teacher, but I'm pretty sure it won't work out there for us. I think in general, the classes for which they have hired a teacher are going in the "school at home" direction instead of the homeschooling/cooperative learning/private tutoring direction. The other students in Amirah's class are 7/8/9 years old and I think the class is more directed to them. There's more than that, but those are the crucial issues. That, and can we get our money back. :)
If we cancel co-op altogether, that leaves Mondays and Wednesdays completely flexible, and Tuesdays and Thursdays affected only by my teaching schedule. That feels better to me. We'll see...
Dean and I spent quite a while tonight discussing a lot about what our educational objectives are for our children, why we are homeschooling, and how this all fits into our Jewish identity as well. Dean has a really good theory of pedagogy background, and we both have (very different!) teaching backgrounds so we play off of each other very well. I came home tonight after the birthday party, and it just felt so good to walk in the door and greet that person who is my absolute rock. This home is so well-anchored that whatever goes on out there, coming home is a place to find peace, acceptance, and respite. Baruch hashem, we have that. It is a nes gadol (big miracle) that we found each other here in Portland. When I was in Israel, a very wise lady was absolutely convinced that when I returned I would find my beshert (intended one). One month later I (re)found Dean (he'd been an acquaintance for YEARS). Baruch hashem!!!!!!!