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I have been worried for a while about Micah and Star Trek. I mean, he was running around the playground at pre-school, trying to organize his friends into go-away teams, assigning ranks, “Ensign Hawker!” and visiting areas of the galaxy where shapeshifters like Odo might be found.

The kids didn’t have a clue what Micah was talking about.

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Some of them kind of gamely followed along, perhaps like people follow along with charismatic preachers. And some of them didn’t and my boy would get frustrated and sad because he wanted to play and he wanted to play STAR TREK.

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The other kids knew about vampires. He didn’t (and I didn’t want him to), they knew about superheroes (he does too and that’s a good compromise but he gets tired of it and wants STAR TREK again), and they knew about princesses (he does too but has  little use for them).

Why am I writing this in past tense? It’s not like any of this is over.

So I have been worried about it and wondering if we are doing him a disservice by watching the Star Trek series on Netflix almost every night. Stunting his social opportunities or something.

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Last night my sainted mother came over and My One True Darling Man, Mikey and I danced gaily over to the movie theatre. Or danced as much as any two sleep deprived, cranky, bleary, incredulous (- we couldn’t believe we were ALONE) parents could be. We hopped, skipped over to watch Star Trek: Into the Darkness.

It was pretty exciting. We got to hold hands in line and everything!

The movie… well. Hmmm. WHOAH!

That’s Star Trek?!!

That’s sort of like Star Trek on meth, dipped in shiny gloss or something, I suppose, but it is certainly not really Star Trek!

All that crying! Good grief, it’s like Kirk and Spock swallowed the waterworks. Every which way, I was turning to Mikey, “they are NOT crying again, are they????” By the end (with Spock’s declaration of love for Kirk and all), I was just trying not to laugh too hard, too loud. It was so frickin’ ridiculous.

And all those missed storylines made me ache with longing for some substance. Kahn was wonderful in a Sherlock-y kind of way, but I think someone like Q would have made a more  interesting and less predictable “bad guy”.

Anyway. That’s probably the problem with having a Trekkie like me watch what is ultimately a watered down Star Trek, dolled up for mass, mainstream appeal: I’m going to laugh at it.

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The great thing about all this? Star Trek IS in the mainstream now, in a way it never was before. I like that for my boy’s sake, because all of the sudden, the other kids know what he’s talking about. They get it. Kirk. Spock. Away teams. Prime directives. Capice. Sure, Micah knows oh, about 500 episodes worth of more information than the other kids do, but it makes me happy that it’s all caught up and leveled out a bit.

Everyone is cool with playing Star Trek now.

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We wrapped up our first week of homeschooling last Friday and I think it went well.

I found a book I like to loosely base themes from – It's called Where is Thumbkin?: 500 Activities to Use with Songs You Already Know and it's pretty much that: activities that integrate with songs we already know.

 

For example, this past week in the "Preschool" section it was "Head and Shoulders" – which we sang and re-sang and then did full-body drawings, worked on Micah's "book about me", talked about our bodies and body part names and so forth. In the "Toddler" section (- another reason I really like this book – it has both Preschool and Toddler sections – so in doing both, we are covering things a little more suitable for each munchkin), we learned "Good Morning to You", got used to circle time and made placemats to sit on.

I think both kids could pretty easily, pretty happily, engage in their "school" – the short "lesson" with the long arts and crafts, then the long outside play and more "school" in their Little Yellow Schoolhouse – for many more hours than we did this past week. I basically had to drag them away to do other things.

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Discrimination

We signed up for Spanish – Micah, Moxie and myself. It was supposed to be in the TPR style, a Mommy-and-Me kind of class. Pretty rad-sounding, huh!

 

But. Well, it wasn't TPR. It felt like the fumblings of a beginning teacher, unsure of herself, uncomfortable with kids, and with an unfortunate knack of losing class control.

 

These things I was willing to roll with – everyone has to start from somewhere, right? – but she kept on excluding Moxie. I mean, she'd talk with babies that were clearly pre-verbal and skip Moxie. Pass out worksheets to every kid in the class except for Moxie. Hand the toys out for some activity to every kid except for… yep, you guess it! Moxie.

 

Everything considered – the bountiful exclusion coupled with the fact that it was not actually TPR-style, and that I was spending the whole time in class helping the teacher rather than being a student (as was promised), we quit and switched to a French class for just Micah. So far, so good.

 

I wrote a letter to the school administration about the reasons we left the Spanish class but it still rankles that someone saw my daughter as basically unworthy of education.

So this is how it can go. People will see her obvious physical characteristics of having an extra chromosome and place her right into some small tight and dark box and clamp a lid on her.

 

Yeah, well. Screw that. Over my dead body.

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Star Trek:

An awesome Mom that I have just become friends with told me about this thing that she heard about in the Homeschooling Conference: a Star Trek Curriculum! I almost peed my pants.

STAR TREK CURRICULUM!

woo-hoooo!

Google didn't yield up anything (worthwhile looking) that has already been designed, so I'm assuming a parent created and implemented a curriculum specifically for their child. With Star Trek – Next Generation – that's pretty easy. Micah's only 4 but when we watch it every night, we pause it throughout and talk about what's happening. Most of the episodes contain thinly-veiled references to current subjects – gay marriage, racial equality, values and morals like standing up for what you believe in and so forth.

 

Watching it already as we do, it's an easy matter to integrate themes. Branch off and study stars by visiting the local space and science centers, watching DVD's on the universe, constructing our own space crafts and model Milky Ways.

 

Fun!

 

My lovely friend Melissa also gifted us with one of the most incredible gifts I've ever received.

First the box – with the blue stuff that the kids are crazy about!

Then the absolutely adorable fingerless gloves – FINGERLESS GLOVES!!!!! – for Boo as well as an adorable hat that Micah thought looked like a Star Trek Communicator. These precious bits of handmade goodness make me want to dress him up already. One more month.

We had NO IDEA what the box entitled "To Boldly Go Where No Imagination Has Gone Before" would be about

 

He figured it out first – clever cat. See those dolls? THE SENIOR OFFICERS OF THE NEXT GENERATION! L-R there is Riker, Picard, Geordi (with visor!!!) and Worf (with sash!!!)

 

Oh yeah.

On his fingers they went

 

She did too (that Counselor Troi she's finger-cuddling there)

 

He wanted the puppets – all of them – to enjoy watching themselves on the show. So he held them up while we watched that night.

 

Thank you, Melissa. What a gift. What talent you have….

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Wrapping up, I found this great quote and spun a little photo-meme that I really love:

Over and out. Let's get our week on!

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