Monday, September 16, 2013

First Two Weeks Under the Belt!

A lovely week, each day wonderfully planned out, my children getting everything done each day they need to with positive attitudes... This was my vision for our first week. ;) It's not quite how things panned out.

Our first day, I lost my most recent plans for my son. Could not find them anywhere. So I grabbed an old plan and picked a few things to do. Those have become our "staple" for each day: Religious Studies (usually Bible reading and discussion--boy, did we have fun with the Proverbs 1 reading since the French translation we have uses the word "stupid"!), math (almost every day), history of some sort most days, and my mind is drawing a blank. Oh, some days with copywork. He resists it so much, but his handwriting is not good. And he still has to think about some of the letters. He needs lots more practice! Here and there, he has also done some computer programming, an Irish lesson.

So, my plan for his Charlotte Mason-style approach has been sort of followed but my plan wasn't specific enough; I didn't sit down each day to really plan out what the day would look like, so it's been so-so. At the same time, I'm so pleased with all the different things he's already covered! For now, the reading I assign him is definitely on the low side in terms of amount, but because it's low, he's adapting well to being assigned these readings. I know I need to take the next step and increase the things we do but there's been a bit of a snag:

I've been sick.

Not just sick, but lost-my-voice kind of sick. This creates a definite problem given some of the readings I'm doing aloud, both for him to learn to listen and narrate back and because of the difficulty or unfamiliarity with the language, like in the French history book I got (it's in French). Not only that, but because I started getting sick on the first school Friday, my brain hasn't been able to function well enough to think what more to do and actually have the gumption to implement it. I managed to teach my French class last week and by that evening, pretty much had no voice. I saw family on the weekend that commented I was losing my voice; no, no, I corrected them, I was regaining it! lol. Btw, this drink is fantastic for sore throats or laryngitis:

My daughter is doing much better with her studies this year, staying on top of things, being self-motivated to work in the evening if she didn't manage to finish something important during the day, things like that. She is quite enjoying that she can usually get her two core subjects done by or just after lunchtime, but then she feels a bit like she ought to be working on other things. I had been leaving the other time more open, but she may want more specific things as musts that I expect her to get done. Of course, now we've hit a snag in that she's sick and I actually gave her a sick day today to just try to recuperate from the entire weekend. She was feeling fine about being home and excited about different activities going on, but a disappointing, draining and ill-making weekend have left her blah and moaning a bit about not knowing about going to school or not (it's a moot point for this year! but when she's blah, the emotions go strong).

This brings us all to the beginning of the third week. Well, and now the first day of that week is done, so, four days left. If you are having a bit of a rough start, too, it's okay! Pull up your bootstraps, think about what you could plan for tomorrow that would make things be smoother and "make it so!" For me, my make-it-so plan is as follows:

  • Remind myself of the subject areas for my son that I feel are the most important right now: religious studies, math, history, copywork.
  • Remind myself to focus on routine and habits (like morning prayer time with the kids before we get moving on school work!) rather than all the little things I want to try to remember.
  • Write out an "ideal" plan for the rest of the week (it'll really only be 3 days for him since his cousins will be over on Friday, all day; it's just cruel to make him spend the morning working lol), but highlight those things I reminded myself were the most important things to get done.
  • Remind myself to be very specific in my plans: I too often use one or two words because the idea is clear in my head when I tend to think about it. But when I sit down to follow the plan, do I know what those words actually encompass? Which book I had in mind? How much to read? Etc.
  • Time to relax with a cup of tea (or the above-mentioned honey and lemon drink) and really let go of it all. I don't know about you, but I easily get caught up in thinking and thinking and thinking about things and sometimes, you just have to let the thoughts go, let them simmer in your subconscious and then deal with it again later. Down time is important; vital when things are chaotic or not working the way you had hoped.
If this doesn't all help me, I know that journalling can do me wonders!

What about you? How has the school year gone so far? What little things do you do to try to capture the reins again when things seems to be going out of control?

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