Sunday, January 22, 2012

Homeschool Mother's Journal: The basketball edition: Week of January 16th

The Homeschool Mother's Journal
What is Happening in My Home this Week: I was fortunate to spend some quality time with my friends this week while my daughters played with their children.  We talked about important things, things that matter to who we are as women, wives and mothers.   We had tea and shared meals.  We shared friendship.  Thank you to all my friends, who enrich my life more than you know!
What is Happening in Our Homeschool: 
math: Grace is half way through book two of Key To Fractions and has learned to simply fractions by finding the greatest common factor. Lilah’s lessons this week took her back to her learning from her Business Math program.  She was adding with decimals and writing checks! 

grammar: My girls are loving the lessons from one of my favorite books: First Language Lessons.  We are technically on the second grade - but I don’t consider it to be leveled by grade.  Since my girls are significantly older we are able to skip lessons, condense lessons and compress several lessons into one.  We have been focusing on different types of sentences and the use of pronouns.  I think we did six or seven “lessons” this week!

language arts: Lilah’s story is growing page by page.  In her head she is writing a movie which she will direct and her friends will play the parts.  She does not have an outline or a clear ending to her story yet but every day she reads it to me and I am amazed at what is developing.  She is taking the approach of M.J. Allaire, write the story day by day, page by page.  She is now up to 10 or 11 handwritten pages.  What amazes me is the connections she has in this story to her everyday life.  When it is done I would love to share it on my blog and demonstrate how she is inspired by her relationships, books she has read, stories I have told her, and more.  
Grace is using the calendar on her laptop to keep track of topics she wants to write about.  Her goal is to blog every day.  What is happening is she writes one day, edits it the next day and publishes it to her blog.  Realistically her goal should be amended to blog every other day.  I am happy that I see an spark of interest in writing.  This week she plans to write a complimentary letter to Hampton Inn and Suites as well as write about her last basketball game.
science: I hope that our scheduled bird walk at Yale happens Monday.  The forecast is for rain.  Why is nature working so hard against my efforts to learn about birds?  The birds have not found our bird feeder after more than a week, our first bird walk was a disaster, and now our next one might be a bust.  How fun can it be to look for birds while holding an umbrella and trying not to get water on your binoculars?
What We Are Reading:   We are plugging along on the books we have in progress.  Grace is almost done with her Clara Barton biography.  Lilah is happily reading the second installment in the Books of Elsewhere series and I have been doing more knitting this week than reading.  When I am reading it is still Free Range Learning.  I never finished Organized Simplicity and I have gone back to it.
What I am Pondering:  Friday night I took my girls to their basketball games.  Grace’s game was a nail biter.  For two years Grace has studied the play of one particular girl on the opposing team.  The two girls played together their first year, as third graders.  Their coach did not teach them how to play, he just had Grace shoot the ball whenever she got it and the other girl stand under the net for rebounding.  Grace is tall.  I am guessing she is already 5’2”.  This other girl is taller than me and I am 5’8”.  She easily has twenty pounds on Grace.  
Their first year was their only year of playing together.  Now there is a bit of a rivalry between them.  Nothing bitter or fueled by animosity, just a sports rivalry.  Grace knows that you can’t go through the middle to the basket with this girl.  You have to go to the sides and shoot over her and make the shot.  She advised her teammates on this.  They guarded her, they blocked her shots, they prevented her from getting under the basket.  They could not shut her down however, and this girl scored most of the points for her team that night, like most other nights.  This team is used to winning.  Their style of play is not fun to watch, it is aggressive for a 5-6th grade level and I get angry when fouls are not called.  They win, and their coach likes winning.
When a foul was called against them, the coach lost his temper.  He got angry.  He became aggressive.  He crossed the court to yell at the referee.  (this should have been an automatic expulsion from the game in my humble opinion).  He was sent back to his bench.  He became incensed.  He crossed the mid court line and tried to provoke a confrontation with my daughter’s coach. (again...why was this allowed to happen?  He should have been in his car on his way home).  Our coach was stoic.  He showed no emotion.  He led his girls by example, just like the aggressive, confrontational, emotional coach leads his girls by the example he set.  I got out of the stands to find a town representative from the Recreation Department to complain and ask for his removal.  There was no representative in the building.  
Thankfully the moment passed.  The teams were tied at the end of the game and tied at the end of a two minute overtime.  They declined to offer a second overtime, which I thought was wise.  
This was a teachable moment.  This is how adults should not behave.  Ever.  Under any circumstances.  This was poor sportsmanship epitomized.  If not for the level headed, calm behavior demonstrated by both the referees and my daughter’s coach, this incident could have easily escalated into a dangerous situation.  I hope my girls learned the importance of playing with dignity and respect, not only for yourself and your teammates, but also those girls you are playing against.  I hope my girls appreciate how honorable their coach is.  Winning is an integral part of playing a sport.  My daughter is naturally competitive.  I support that spirit within her.  I can tell her over and over to be a good loser as well as a good winner but now she will understand why.  Wining at all costs is worse than losing.  
After the game I did find a Recreation Department employee and voiced my concern and my request for him to be removed as a coach.  I will follow up it in writing and deliver it to the Recreation Department office with the Mayor cc’d on Monday.

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