Monday, February 18, 2008

What a week

Last week didn't get moving as I'd hoped.

The 16yo was recovering from burnout a bit. She did get some stuff done, but not much. She said, though, on Thursday that she was really enjoying having a break after the several weeks of stress.

Our dog passed away on Tuesday :( , which left us with a no-work day on Wed., then Thurs. was Valentine's Day, and Friday was only a half day. We cleaned a bit Friday morning and then watched a movie.

This means that the 16yo is now 2 weeks behind her original start date for the semester, which was already a week behind the school's 2nd semester start.

However, I'm reminding myself to focus on what I want, so I'm focusing instead on how to make the most of this week, which is a holiday today, tomorrow we're at a ski hill, Wed. and Thurs. are full school days, then Friday is another half-day with yet more ski in the afternoon. 2.5 days, plus an hour tomorrow morning. Since I am so resolved to get work back on track, I'm taking that hour to work with the kids on establishing plans for the week. The 16yo already has a calendar with her subject unit/chapter deadlines, so her job will be to figure out how much she can reasonably get done during her available work time. She'll need to aim to do 1.5 to double what she was originally going to do each day. She'll probably have to work 6 hours both Wed. and Thurs. to make a good dent on her stuff. She doesn't have diving or anything Thurs. night, so she can bring some work home with her, too.

For "Bob," I keep bouncing back and forth between ideas. On the one hand, I'd like to just tell him, "You have to do this, this and this." On the other, I want to work with him. But then thoughts come up of, "It doesn't work well. He's not willing to be responsible/follow through on his plans. Etc." I have to have a clearer image of where to go with him. Let me babble here about the things that need to be worked out in terms of work.

Okay, he needs reading time, obviously. He needs to have time to read silently, and he needs reading instruction to improve his skills. He needs to work on his printing, but it doesn't have to be every day. He needs to work on spelling--at least 3 times a week would be good. He needs to write daily. He needs "remedial math" time as well as time to work on his math text. Since he did NONE of it last week, he now has 75 days to do 100 days of work. He really ought to have science or social studies each day. Maybe he and I can just discuss things and work out a vision from there.

For dd, it'll be the same: work out what kinds of work should be worked on then take it from there.

For ds, it'll probably be more of a discussion along the lines of, "It's important to practise reading and writing and do some math each day. When should we do that?" Other than that, it's really up to me to come up with activities and lessons to invite him to. He's already agreed to telling me all about some bugs he knows and I'll write down the information, but we haven't done it yet. We did do the Golden Bead presentation last week; I can do the layout this week and play some games like, "Bring me 3 tens. Bring me 5 units."

My niece is only coming once this week. I should still probably think of some activity I could show her.

I know one thing I want to bring up (again) during our discussion/meeting tomorrow is what is acceptable in the morning. Bob in particular will need a reminder that going off to talk to someone, especially while they are working, does NOT constitute work and is interfering with the work others are doing. Another thing that needs to be brought up is how he seems to feel the need to take a break after every work item, even if it only took him 5 minutes; I'm not going to bring that up specifically (focus on what you want!), but we can talk about when breaks are reasonable, how long, and what is okay to do during a break. I think we'll create a big "Reminders" poster or something that can be put up and referred to.

I just had the thought that I'd like to bring back something I haven't had going in a long time: classical music playing lightly in the background. One problem with that is that our upstairs stereo's cd player has gone haywire. I could put it on downstairs, that'd still work, since the way our house is built, downstairs is just right there. I should try cleaning the stereo again and see if it helps. The way it's acting makes me think it's dirty rather than actually damaged. I might need to see about a different cleaner since we've lost the actual cleaning solution for the one we have.

Oh, and I put up an Agenda sheet for meetings and it's so strange how meetings help curb certain behaviours in Bob. For example, after coming back from his dive meet, he kept saying to people, "Go home!" Well, up it went on the sheet and when we sat down for a little meeting at lunch, he said he'd stop (even though we'd all asked him before to stop, but somehow, having it brought up at the meeting makes it more 'serious') and he really did catch himself a couple of times and changed what he said. Haven't heard it since.


Jane said...

I'm so sorry to read that your dog died :( Thats so sad.

I enjoy reading about your meetings and the things you discuss.

Pinar said...

I'm sorry about the loss of your dog. It must be difficult for the kids...

As for teaching... I don't know how you do it! So many children and all working at different levels. You need a good pat on the back! :)

Daisy said...

Thank you, ladies. :)

The kids have never had a puppy (we got our dog when she was 1yr old and before ds was born), so they have adjusted well and are looking forward to a new addition. (Ha! Wait until they see how much work a puppy is!!!) Which won't be until at least spring break.

As for working at different levels... Let's just say it's a constant juggling act. :)

Correne said...

Daisy, I'm so sorry about your dog dying. I've been chatting with you about dog breeds, and here I thought you were just getting ANOTHER dog. I'm glad the kids are okay.

Daisy said...

That's all right, Correne!