Friday, November 6, 2009

A Day at Public School

My dad teaches fifth grade. My son is in the fifth grade. My home schooled son attended Papa's classroom for the day. It was his first time attending public school.

I was slightly anxious for him, and not because I was afraid of the social aspect or the academic aspect; I was anxious because of the complete newness of it all. He wanted to go mostly because his father and I both attended public school. "I want to know what you are always talking about," he said. Good reason.

When he walked in the door, I asked him about his day. "Long," he said as he slooped his way across the floor, landing in an exhausted heap on the couch. Hmmm, yes, I suppose, for a kid who is used to school consuming only four hours a day, four days a week.

I asked my dad how the new kid performed. He was generally positive, of course--we are talking about his grandson. He told me about some of the work they did. Dad had his students work on some fractions as a group. My pod has been focusing a lot on fractions lately, so I thought he probably held his own. This is the report I received:

The problem they were to solve was, "There were eight kids in the car. They're all fighting because there are only seven Subway sandwiches. How can you divide the sandwiches equally?" [Son] talked it over with his group, walked to the front and said, "Give everyone 1/4 of a sandwich then just throw away the rest."

A student in his group (who knew that he was dealing with his teacher's grandson) added out of the corner of his mouth, "We didn't all agree on that answer."

I asked him about it later and he replied logically, "It was the correct answer because everyone got equal sandwiches and they stopped fighting. That was what he asked us to do."

It is hard to argue with that.

Dang home schooled kid, thinking outside the box again.


  1. Fun seeing you and your kiddos this weekend!

    Feeling sorry for the 5th graders in your home school district, though. They're missing out on a pretty neat kid.

  2. Urban Dad is always saying that the practical answer is usually the best one. Your pod is a guy after my own heart! Loved his logic!

  3. Your boy sounds like he's very practical! I was never very good at story problems either...

    This is my first visit to your blog, but I enjoyed reading about your homeschooled son's adventures. It's something a public school kid like myself could never understand!


  4. I came back in order to share....

    I started to tell Urban Dad your son's story. I set up the math problem and immediately could see him doing it in his head. But Urban Kid 1 immediately chimed in with, "you split one sandwich in half!" She was very proud of herself.

    Anywhoooo, your pod charmed Urban Dad, as well.


    Happy weekend!