Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Teachers' Strike Day 2

Today went pretty well for us, but we all wish the teachers would go back to work.  I'm definitely on the fence about the strike.  I think it's terrible because it impedes the education of our children.  I understand that they want a fair contract, but I also think that they need to make some concessions, too.  I am generally pro-union; I've even belonged to a union in the past.  However, everything I'm reading reports that CPS has conceded on this point or that, but nowhere has the CTU given an inch.

As a parent it is even more frustrating when union president Karin Lewis says things like "I've got to go back to the silly part of my day [referring to the negotiations]. . .Y'all continue to have fun. Show each other some love." (Read more on today's happenings)  Never mind, that kids are missing out on their rights to an education, or that parents are having to find and pay for ways to take care of their kids while they're not in school; y'all just have fun! (I do like that the Tribune reporter spelled "y'all" correctly).

Okay, I'm done ranting.  We actually had a pretty good day, and if I lived somewhere where my girls weren't going to a really good school, I think I could get the hang of homeschooling.  We were a little more laid back today, but we still did some good work.

I let them start the day with playtime because I need some time to prepare tutoring lessons for this evening.  Best to get that out of the way first.  Next, we took a walk to the library where everyone picked out chapter books, and we had an impromptu photography class along the way (pictures below).  Then, we had a brief lunch and started the real work.

I found some grammar sheets for Hummingbird to do, and I helped Bumble Bee practice writing her name (she's great at tracing, not so much at freehand).  Her goal is to be able to write her name and get a library card of her own, so this may not take too long.

Next came math, Hummingbird worked on the computer with Math Trainer.  She answered 100 of 102 multiplication facts (from 1x1 to 5x5) correctly!  Tomorrow we push her up a notch...  Bumble Bee and I worked on a pre-K workbook -- counting & circling objects, tracing numbers, and determining sets.

After math came social studies.  Hummingbird suggested on our way home from the library that she would like to learn more about the Star-Spangled Banner. So, I found some color sheets and informational sheets online that she worked on.  I also wrote down 7 questions for her to research online with Daddy while I was out this evening.  They completed all but one of those.  Tomorrow she'll finish that, and we'll add some state flags (Illinois, Georgia, Louisiana, & Indiana).

We didn't get to the science experiment today, so tomorrow we'll learn about air pressure and crush a can.  I'll probably post a video of that one.

Karen Lewis says the union is in this strike "for the long haul." I worry that with their utter refusal to compromise, like the Tea Party, we may indeed miss a large chunk of school time.

As we started out we met a striking teacher and her daughter.
As it happens they are neighbors to Hummingbird's best friend from school.

By Hummingbird
By Bumble Bee

By Bumble Bee
By Hummingbird
By Bumble Bee

Despite my frustrations with the current day, I am reminded each time I look at the calendar that things could be so much worse. As I go to sleep tonight, I will be praying for those whose lives were so devastated eleven years ago.

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