Sunday, October 04, 2009

Sabbath Sunrise

For the remainder of this first full week of October, I find myself at the beach. Yes, I took a whole week off work. (And they let me!)

This week was planned last spring. My sister celebrates a milestone, her 50th birthday on Monday, and this is what she wanted to do and wanted me to do it with her. I obliged eagerly! Plus, I needed some time off.

For the last five months, I have been practically submerged in all-things-school and other commitments, all things I like, but all with deadlines and hours of work. In school, I was beginning to feel burned out, so this week was a God-send.

We drove down after I got out of school on Friday, not arriving until almost midnight. Saturday was a fine day on the shore--temps in the low 80s and bright full sunshine. Perfect.

I started two books that immediately pulled me in, Lighting Their Fires (Esquith) and The Help (Stockett). One to energize me for all-things-school, the other just for an easy read and sheer enjoyment. Yesterday found me well along in both books, interrupted by several long naps in the beach chair. Perfect. Just what I needed.

Both my sister and I are 24 fans. She has not seen the last season, so our evening entertainment for the week is 24: The Seventh Season. Anyone who thinks we party it up on our beach trips really does not know us!

During these days off, I need to decide one particular thing. I have several students in my three middle school classes who struggle terribly with grammar. Some of these students are ESL students. Others have been previously homeschooled.

I'm not knocking homeschooling--most of you all know that I homeschooled my four children all the way through high school. But you know how easy it is to put off those things you don't care for or don't understand yourself until a "better day" that never comes. Thus, I inherited some middle school children who don't know the basic difference between noun and a verb. This lack of knowledge makes it very difficult for them to parse a sentence and to understand the difference between an independent clause and a dependent clause.

So.........I contemplate that the only way to jump-start some of their lack of knowledge is to try about six weeks of intensive grammar. Since I'm so spent at the end of a school day, my contemplation is to offer these students (and their parents, if they choose), intensive grammar three days a week from 7 - 8 a.m. I get to school early, so that early is no problem for me. But I get to school early on these days to do all the other things I've not had time for otherwise. Anyway, my thinking is to try this for a limited time, and between now and Thanksgiving seems a good time. But, I must think more....

And for now, I will enjoy the sun, the sand, the sound of the surf, the salt-air, and silence from outside demands.


Jeff Miller said...

Scrolling back through posts, I saw this & chuckled.
The Help was written by a lady who went to school here at the Univ. Her book has caused much concern and consternation among those around her home area. Many are trying to take of the literary masks & determine who was being discussed in the book. It's apparently been a hoot.

JSD said...

The Help was enjoyable to read for me first, because my sister and I grew up during that time with help ourselves, and second, because my dh and I lived in Jackson for 3 years. Neighborhoods were described that we knew about. I'd say there's a lot of truth in that book! That was a good first novel for the author.