We are very excited (nervous, anticipatory– not anxious) about school this fall.
As you may know, this year is Jay’s “turn” to travel to Antarctica again (because this is the internet I’m not going to specify when. Those who need to know and don’t should have our email). Because of the combined weight of single parenting and the other challenges during his absence we looked into “away” school as a means of lightening my load.
The result is we’ve picked a Christian school (uniforms and all) that we’ve committed to for the fall semester. We’ll reevaluate at Christmas as to whether the children will finish out the year there.
Natasha is already excited, Melody already trepedatious, and Elisha vaguely positive, but mostly neutral.
School starts early enough in the day that Jay will take the kids on his way to work, but that will mean retraining everyone’s sleep schedules: they’ll need to leave with Daddy before 7:30 in the morning, which means they’ll need to be up around 6, which means we’ll have to try and have everyone down by 7:30.
We’ll experiment with some of those changes (up and down) closer to school’s start in August.
And for me, now that I’m settled that Fall semester (at least) is happening away from home, I’m trying to wrap my head around the implications. Of course there’s the ~6-hours alone each day, and that currently seems like a fairy tale.
I mentioned it at a picnic with other homeschoolers Sunday, and one mom asked, “Does that include travel times?” I was confused for a minute before I realized my “crowing” might have sounded like I was delighted over a chunk of undiluted work-time.
So not talking about productivity at this point. Just reveling in the (someday soon) stretch of silence. Even while I’m typing and the kids are sweetly “reading” Calvin and Hobbs together, it’s all about the noises.
While I’m confident said silence is not worth sending them off for, it is certainly a byproduct I expect to enjoy.
The hardest thing to plan, at this moment, is how to maximize our remaining time together, between school’s-out and bedtime. The reason it’s so hard is that currently that window is my dead-space.
That is, currently I’m in full energy-conservation mode from 3 or 4 p.m. till bedtime. I’ve never mastered how to trickle out my energy to last the whole day. Instead I do until I’m tired/used-up then lock-down to my minimal levels. (This is why crockpot meals are so wonderful to me: I don’t have to scrape together any extra energy at dinner time.)
I fully expect this to reverse when I’ve only got myself to take care of during the day, but it’s really difficult to visualize or plan such an inversion, and I’ve just about given it up.
But we’ll figure it out as we go along, and I’m sure it’ll be fine.
I am nervous about the curriculum for the younger kids (I looked at the A Becka books for 1st and 2nd grade, and was bothered by how small the handwriting lines are, and that the curriculum has kids still learning to print starting on cursive. But the teacher assured us they’ve used the curriculum for year because of its phonics-base and never do the cursive element.
This is why committing only to Fall semester was such a big part of this decision. I mistrust a curriculum (or attitude) that pushes “achievement” so hard at such a young age. I know that everything could come down to the way it’s taught, so I want to give them that chance.
And having a different curriculum than the kids are used to has the back-door benefit of creating something inanimate to get frustrated about.
That is, Melody in particular, but all of the kids at times, can produce some very negitive self-talk, and I kind-of like the idea of having something to draw off the self-criticism that comes from generic frustration: “It’s not you, it’s the new way of doing things. Let’s try…”