Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Oh, the nerves are starting...

I tend to get a little nervous with the beginning of a new school year. This year is going to be so different from last year, the butterflies are very much aflutter in my stomach!

I am trying to have a vision for our school weeks, how I'm going to make it work with a CM (in the morning) approach for my son (and his narrating orally to me until at least Christmas), my daughter having to work on English and math (which she ought to be able to do mostly alone), German (which we can get a year extension on, thank goodness), music, phys. ed and a sort of life skills class (the first two need me to provide some guidance and set weekly criteria that the school course doesn't provide), but otherwise should be able to do on her own), plus her potentially being at the outreach school one or two days a week AND another girl who will be working just on an English distance learning course for the first while and here 3 days a week. I think there are too many unknowns that I can't control that leave me realizing that I can figure out a vision all I want, but I need to be realistic and be prepared to change the vision.

Mixing in my son's CM work with the others is the big challenge. I had initially envisioned my reading to him a bit during the day, him reading one of the readings to me and his doing the rest on his own, but my asking narrations of him here and there. Is all this oral work going to work well with two high school girls present who are going to be trying to focus on other things? I think I need to be prepared to not be as involved in his school work as I thought I would be. Be prepared for perhaps delayed narrations when he can do a few at a time. And then I had this vision of afternoons being more open. If my daughter gets her academics done in the morning and so does my son, then afternoons were open for music, art, phys. ed., nature study, Montessori-type research and self-directed/group studies... With the other girl here, that changes things a bit. Well, I suppose it doesn't have to, except perhaps the nature study. But I could do that with my son, at least, on days where the other girl isn't here. Or take the occasional break with her here and do it with her, too. :)

But I also had this vision of reading certain books right before lunch. Do I still do this with the other girl here? I suppose it's not a bad idea. Should just make sure that I keep the same books for the days she will be here. But butterflies flutter more at the possibility that it could be a flop to do so.

I have figured out one thing and kind of told my daughter, but realized today just how important it will be: She needs to create a schedule for herself. I just found out that she can have the year-long extension on her German course (for a small fee), and to be able to get this course done properly, and to do the necessary review to recall everything previously done and keep practising with me (the course is pitiful in the area of practice), she needs to have at least 3 times a week scheduled for this course. End of story. She has music to practise I would say 5 days a week, plus the aural skills and theory to work on. She has the life skills course to work on and phys. ed hours to track (I ended up doing the tracking last year; I won't be this year) and even to plan and phys. ed assignments to do... She has to have a schedule. Maybe not a stone-carved schedule about specific times she's starting, but at least a "30 minutes Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons" kind of thing. And I think I will work with her on GTD principles so that each week, she's sitting down, thinking about the things she has to get done, should get done and wants to get done and to adjust the schedule or daily checklists as needed.

Just writing this all out helps with the nerves! :)

1 comment:

  1. I asked each of my 3 to give me their 'perfect' idea of a school schedule and I wrote them down. What was so interesting is that they were all very similar and close to what will probably be the master schedule (the 2-3 days that we can actually follow it weekly!).

    Having her create her own schedule sounds like it might have a stronger impact. Last year I made a weekly schedule for the olders (with their input) that was just blank boxes under each subject - the number of boxes for how many times/week they needed to work on that subject. It worked really well. Not sure if I' describing it well! Let me know if you want to see it.