It could have been worse. All in all, this may have been our best first week of school to date!
On Monday morning school took longer than usual. But that’s to be expected. That’s why we only do half days for the first week. It takes a while to get back into the rhythm, especially with new books and new expectations for the new grade levels. I did find myself running around like a headless chicken for awhile, all the stress dropped my blood sugar to dangerously low levels (don’t worry, I survived,) and my cute little kindergartner was so sick, he just cried and cried. Doctor’s diagnoses? Strepp throat. The second grader had a bloody nose all over the place. The 4th grader became overwhelmed just by the thought of everything she would have to do and sobbed and sobbed in her bedroom before she was ready to come out and actually start her day. The 6th grader was a little overwhelmed with “all this math.” And the preschooler was being potty trained, so, you know how that goes. I forgot to do spelling. I actually forgot a lot of things to do. Oh well, we’ll just try again tomorrow.
On Tuesday the antibiotics were really kicking in. My husband handed me a huge list of natural strepp throat healing remedies that I couldn’t possibly all implement right then, no matter how natural and awesome they were. I changed the sensor on my CGM (continuous glucose monitoring thingy) so my blood sugar levels were easier to manage. Everybody was in a great mood, although the second grader did ask in exasperation, “What? We have school again?” School got done slightly earlier than the day before. The kindergartner declared that he LOVES school. In the afternoon, everyone was peaceful, happy, and content playing games together, playing with their toys, creating jewelry, and I got a good hour of The Great Courses in, just sipping on cool water in my living room and the A/C hadn’t conked out yet! It was awesome. THIS is why we love homeschool! I think we were nearing homeschool enlightenment.
On Wednesday the second grader decided he doesn’t want to do school anymore. Everything is a battle. Everything. But we managed. I get an email saying that the local school district has registered my son for kindergarten without me knowing or getting my permission. Umm, what? I have to admit, I am slightly tempted to send him to public school. The teacher he was assigned to is just so awesome! That night, that poor, sick, little kindergartner comes upstairs crying – again – and sleeps on the couch. I sleep by him on the floor and suddenly start to panic. The first three mornings have been generally ok. But so busy. So, so busy. And next week I am adding in 2 to 3 more hours of afternoon school? Every day? Teaching 6th, 4th, 2nd grade, and kindergarten all at the same time is a heavy load, and it is starting to weigh on my shoulders. It’s only Wednesday, people!! “Don’t stress,” I tell myself. One day at a time. It always feels like this in the beginning. And it always works out. Don’t panic. Don’t panic. Don’t panic. (Plus, the afternoon subjects are the most fun and relaxed – this will be where all the field trips come in!) Don’t Panic. Breathe. And for goodness sakes, go back to sleep.
On Thursday the older kids get all their chores and math done early – on their own! They aren’t so happy about it when I remind them they are also supposed to clean bathrooms, clean the chicken coop, and mow the lawns today, too, though. The second grader has decided school isn’t so bad. He’s ok with doing his math on his own now. But the kindergartener – maybe the antibiotics are having abnormal psychological side effects – cannot communicate any quieter than a scream. Everything is screaming. I hand him a paper to work on that he just loved doing yesterday. And he just sets it back on my desk and starts to scream. This is a good reason NOT to send him to public school. Maybe it’s time to look into those natural remedies. The reluctant second grader takes a greater than normal interest in the possibility of a “homeschool audit” and the portfolio we need to be ready to create on a moments notice. “My best work?” That phrase gets mulled over in his mind for an abnormally long time. The 4th grader gets invited to a tea party after school and has the time of her life. The potty trainee is pretty much just running around naked all day long at this point. But hey! No accidents! Do whatever you want, kid. The 6th grader’s best friend comes over and they start planning all the awesome ways they are going to earn merit badges before hitting the streets on their bikes. The preschooler is napping. And the K and 2nd grader are bored. By 3:30 pm, all the kids are back home, the bored children have found something creative to do on their own, but now I am bored, so I start making dinner. Maybe I’m ready for full days of school after all. This isn’t so bad.
On Friday we have to book it. Seriously book it. The 6th grader’s soccer coach scheduled practice at 11:00 am. Can we get it all done in time? (Because it would be awesome NOT to come home from soccer practice and have some more work hanging over our heads. we have a campout to pack for, after all.) And all that talk yesterday about our “best work” has struck some sort of chord with the reluctant second grader. Now he’s decided that today he must achieve his very best work. Fine by me! Everything is a breeze. Now, all of the sudden, his penmanship is flawless (for a second grader), he is asking me to time his fact sheet, and he tells me he wants to do his math assignment all on his own. (I’m thinking maybe we need to make portfolio’s more than just once a month.) We adapt a few assignments in order to fit our time frame, and we get done with 5 minutes to spare. It’s off to soccer! Back at home, the 6th grader confesses – “Mom, can I please learn German? I really want to do that again?” Uh, yes. The answer is always going to be yes. Seriously, what 6th grader asks if he can learn a third language? Probably yours does. You have awesome kids. We should get our kids together. Anyway, we ended the evening up in the mountains with a handful of members from our church congregation acting out funny skits, telling stories, reading poetry, and uplifting each other – as my children cried because they were too tired, it was too dark, the wind and lightning were scaring them (yeah, I was a little freaked out by the lightening, too!), one child really, really, really, had to go to the bathroom way across the camp in the pitch dark in bear infested mountains, and the second grader had a bloody nose again. The fun just never ends! 🙂 Sleeping was – when possible – rough. That was the nice way to put it. And when we got home the next morning and my husband shouts out “I’m SO HAPPY to be HOME!” I am reluctant to tell him the 2 hour drive and 14 hour “vacation” is nothing compared to our 36 hour drive and 9 day vacation coming up. Sorry honey, but I just know how much you love visiting my parents!! Hee hee!
(He actually likes visiting my parents.)
By then, we will probably be ready for a vacation from school. Tomorrow starts our first full week. I totally forgot to do school prep last week and tried to figure everything out Saturday night. Don’t Panic. Don’t Panic. Breathe.
Somebody needs to remind me that I homeschool. That I am in charge. That I make the due dates, the schedule, and that I just need to chill out.
But you know what? This happens every single year. (Not the strepp or the camp out, but the panic freak out moment.) I know it happens. I know we will adjust. I know this will work. I know tomorrow is going to be great. And if it isn’t actually that great, it’s going to be fine. One day we will attain homeschool enlightenment. Either that, or there is no homeschool enlightenment and we are enjoying the journey that we create ourselves.
I don’t know. Somedays are just so perfect, I feel like maybe this feeling, this place of peace should be our goal everyday. And then other days I feel like that previous bliss was just a benevolent fluke. It’s too late the contemplate this kind of stuff.
It’s time to just go back to sleep.
But before I do, here’s a little campfire comedy for you. I hope you had a FABULOUS and more stable first week of homeschool at your house! Don’t Panic. Don’t Panic. Just breathe!