The kids and I are back in school. Monday was easy as pie. We all worked together at the kitchen table. Some moments were even idyllic. But it was overall, a typical day. Refocused Fish five million times to keep him on task. Preemptively checked the rolling eyes of Keek. Read and re-read the introductory paragraphs of my literature book while fielding questions entirely unrelated to the tasks at hand. Hid my biology text from the children who were looking for anything to do that wasn’t class work.
We woke earlier than usual, on purpose, because I have an on campus lab once a week and we’re practicing. It’s not really early, nor is it a major adjustment to the kids’ sleep routines. Two days under our belts and they are both tired, or acting that way, at 10. A whole hour earlier than a week ago.
Finally hit a good stride with curriculum planning. I plan and make a year ahead then piecemeal the tasks as the year progresses. It’s been trial and error for a while now. We’d try one system for a quarter then change – looking for something better – with the next quarter. I think we struck gold with this one!
Keek is happiest writing her own daily plans and picking her own required reading from the books on the shelf. She arranges the tasks in the order of her choosing, from a weekly ‘to do’ list provided by me. After she makes her day-to-day planner she asks me to review it. At that point I take her required reading book, that she chose, and divide into x pages per day. Each book is different but I aim for a comfortable minimum. She’s currently reading Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. She reads about 40 pages a day depending on chapter breaks. She is free to read more and to read on weekends too. Usually she’s got her nose in other books though! She arranges her tasks in the most unusual ways. I would never organize my workweek the way she does hers.
Fish likes daily breakdowns on weekly lists. Each day is listed by name and date, tasks by subject, single spaced, in the same order as the other days. He likes to see a week at a time and to skip a line between days. He also insists on listing Saturdays and Sundays.
After all the planning and tweaking Fish finished all his schoolwork by 10am yesterday. So I added a spelling book to the list. Today he was still doing school work when I cooked dinner. It wasn’t the spelling. It added maybe 20 minutes – tops. It was the procrastination. Today Fish was all about a catalog that came in the mail. The catalog company sells ‘wet floor’ cones, exit signs, sanitary tissue paper toilet seat covers, industrial paper towel rolls, and the like. Fish was in heaven. He poured through the catalog yesterday afternoon. It really sparked his imagination. He kept talking about it today; asking questions about opening a general store. …grr…
So glad I’m almost done with college. I love learning new things and getting the feedback college provides and I will enjoy the accomplishment after I’m finished. But I’ll be even more excited to resume self-led studies this time next year!