Saturday, September 02, 2006

School Starts Tuesday

I've got the little butterflies going as I think about school starting Tuesday. I think if it were just with my kids, it wouldn't be a big deal because we have been doing things here and there. But it's having the two oldest come back, trying to set up routines and schedules and get them working and all that. I feel so unprepared. lol.

I've spent lots of time fleshing out ideas and looking at our resources and coming up with rough plans and the like, but part of me wants to know what the first week will look like, and I can't really do that. First of all, I don't even know if we'll have our resources from the school board by that point. Second, it'll be a weird week. Let me babble here for a bit:

Tuesday: I actually don't know at what time the kids will be coming for sure. But they're usually here by 8 with my niece showing up any time between 8:15 and 8:30. Now that I write that, I think I need to adjust the schedule I'd been thinking of, which was our work period would be from 8-11. It should perhaps be from 8:30-11:30. Does it really matter? Well, yes, because we need a set time for our work to be done at or the 12yo will... how do I explain this? He needs the structured limit in order to work. Otherwise each day will be, "Can we stop now?" Even if it's only 10:15. Otoh, if I simply say 3 hours every day, we can start when it fits well to start and we go 3 hours. That could be better. (I've always felt more comfortable in my homeschooling with routines rather than set schedules.)

Back to the point of what's going on Tuesday: the kids will get here at some time, we need to look over what they will work on this year (which will be made harder without the resources), I'd like the 15yo to set herself a schedule to start with (she's going for credit and needs to make sure she plans her time well) but it's just to get her going as she explores the various topics that will make up her program. The only requirement I will have of her is that she do French, math and reading each day. Other than that, it's up to her. We also need to get binders organized, discuss field trips they want to go on, discuss rules like the need to work for 3 hours in the morning and what will go on in the afternoons we're home (niece will take a nap after lunch, during which point it will be reading/writing time and then I'll read aloud to them from something we can discuss) and go to the library. We usually go to the library Tuesday afternoons, but we have the Not-Back-to-School park day that afternoon.

Looking at the list, I'm not sure it will fill up 3 hours. Mind you, it will undoubtedly take us an hour for the library in terms of travel and our time spent there. So, 2 hours? Yeah, that should work. I should plan in some other things. If we have 'empty time', the 12yo will resort to playing, being goofy or rolling on the floor because he doesn't know what to do with himself and usually doesn't self-initiate things (other than play and goofiness). So, really, HE's the one I need to make sure I keep occupied.

Wednesday: (blank mind) I don't think we have anything planned that day. No, we don't. I have no clue. We'll only have 2 potential work days next week--Wed. and Thurs.--because we're taking off Friday to go get ds' cast removed first thing in the morning then we'll do something fun in the afternoon. I know from experience that trying to insist on work when there's no chance of routine setting in doesn't work well. Maybe I should plan on read-alouds (Story of the World, a novel, a French book), a science experiment, I don't know what else. I think the 15yo will be ready to jump into work, though. Maybe I just have to play Wednesday and Thursday mornings by ear.

Thursday: See above for the morning. In the afternoon, park day.

Friday: Ds' cast off. Then either an outing or a little party. One of the things that need to be discussed on Tuesday--do they want to have people over this early in the school year?

After writing all that, I don't know that I feel anymore certain about next week than I was before. It's uncertainty that bugs me. And yet I can deal with uncertainty just fine most of the time. So what's the problem? I guess my main issue is that I fear the 12yo will move towards everything but work and stay there. He is my main source of stress. But honestly, if we took next week entirely off, other than getting things organized and the like, it would be fine. I think.

I think I'm just going to have to see how they are next week. Maybe plan for an hour of work for the 12yo for Wed. and Thurs., just to get things going a bit. We could also go to Goodwill on Wed. and see if we can get the Shakespeare the 15yo will be doing for English and maybe some other stuff.

It would be so much easier if the 12yo were motivated to learn and progress, but he's caught behind so many difficulties and fears and tries to avoid it all and drags others with him. However, it has been two months of summer and maybe a good break has made him more willing to get started. I guess I'll just have to see.


Jane said...

I love reading your blog seem so 'together' and 'organized' in real life.....its nice to see you have the same concerns and stresses as the rest of us :)

Our week....
Monday- holiday
Tuesday- HS group and library
Wednesday- start 'work'
Thursday - 'work'
Friday - 'work' + afternoon out somewhere.....

This will hopefully be the same every week except Monday will be our 'MP' day for phys Ed...and HS gym class.......

I'm not good at sticking with routines though so we shall see what happens lol!

Daisy said...

Oh yes, I'm normal like everybody else. :)

I'm not good at sticking with routines, either, but I find we need at least attempt some to get going well, then come back to them when needed again.

Which reminds me--our best start to the year was when we had a morning meeting each day. I can't remember how long that went on for, but it got us going and was a nice routine. It fell apart only because it was no longer needed after a while: the kids (except the 12yo) were ready to move towards work before the meeting, having had the routine of planning our days already in their minds. There didn't seem to be a point to planning the day when they already knew what they wanted to work on!

Merry Mama said...

I really like the idea of morning meeting. I thought it might be fun to do it with a video camera, like announcemnts at secular school...Right now, though we are still trying to solidify our daily workout at the park, and since I need it most, I am putting it first. If we master that, I will go on to do an announcments time (like ten minutes max.) THey can share whatever: holiday definitions, mising items, frustrations, etc. (With no comments permitted) into the video camera. If they get their work done, they will be allowed to watch it later. THat way the kids can share without pointing the finger.. and everyone will have time to think about how to help each other solve problems.