Survived the First Day of School

Yesterday was the first day of school. WE SURVIVED! @_@

I even managed to get Little Bear out of bed and ready to go without a fight. All I did was guided him up and said “it’s time for a bath” and next thing I know he was getting ready just like that. Normally we don’t do baths in the morning but we missed it the night before and we still needed one from playing in the dirt. It had my middle son in a bit of a twist. The natural order of things was disrupted for him by doing it this way, but you know what? Things went smoother even with him somewhat anxious. Everyone was awake, bright eyed, and refreshed. No sweaty, groggy, grumpy goblins to grapple with yesterday morning. Imagine that!

Scholar Owl managed to get through the entire day without falling asleep on his textbooks. IT’S A FREAKING MIRACLE I TELL YOU!

Then the bus arrives to deposit my public school children and Little Bear all but praises the Lord that the day is over. It was the first day, how could it possibly be that bad? I failed to pack him a second lunch for the end of the day! Dude, you only get a snack at the end of the day. But I didn’t give him a drink so he was stuck with *gasp* WATER! Oh the horror. The school is in view of our front porch so their water is the exact same as ours. I’m still trying to figure out why drinking the school’s water is a crisis. From what I can gather it has something to do with the water fountain rather than the actual water. That part I can empathize with. Water fountains suck for short people. And if you’re afraid of germs well… then they become a nightmare. So if all I have to worry about is whether or not Little Bear wants to drinks the water over there I guess I’m good to go.

Meanwhile my middle son is still bound and determined to NOT use the lockers at the middle school. I told him this year he isn’t allowed to leave his stuff lying around the school like last year. That’s what his locker is for. His solution? Bring ALL of his school supplies back home with him and complain how heavy it is to carry it everywhere. Dude… that is not what I said. Put it all in your locker and take out what you need when you need it. Nope, not happening. This morning he takes only the stuff he thinks he needs for today. Okay, I hope that works for you.

Once again Scholar Owl and I start our day with a 30 minute walk and then he hits his math workbook only to pass out on them 15 minutes later…. I think starting the day with a shower is a better plan. For all of them. Even Little Bear didn’t have any “get up and go” this morning.

What the heck were they doing after I went to sleep thinking they were asleep last night? I swear these guys play possum, wait for me to pass out, and then throw this massive frat parties – never inviting me. And then the nights I don’t pass out they punish me with miserable nights out of revenge. I know how to party and pull all nighters like the best of them. *pouts* Heck I’m pretty sure if I set my mind to it, I could make them wish they can stayed in bed.

Mischief aside, Scholar Owl and I sat down and solidified our schedule and routine for the year. He decided he wanted a 6 day week and follow the public school district’s holiday plan so he would be on vacation the same days as his brothers. The only exception is his birthday. I took the liberty of tossing in an extra holiday for that. Now for our state we’re only required to attend 175 days, but 180 days makes dividing by 4 so much easier in terms of figuring out quarters. It makes the quarters a clean 45 days to work with. So with a 6 day school week this means 1 quarter is 7 weeks and 3 days long. This means using the school district’s planned vacations, and if he doesn’t miss a single day he will finish his schooling on the last week of April. Since our school district’s last day of school is planned to be on June 15th, assuming all snow days are used, this gives us an enormous amount of breathing room.

I’ve also scheduled one Sunday at the end of each quarter for Scholar Owl and I to conference over how the school year is going. I don’t what any more surprises like “What do you mean you’ve read your science textbook three times over already?!” I want to be able to get him another book if I can afford it if he finishes one but I can’t do that if we aren’t communicating closely but at the same time I don’t want to helicopter him either. He really needs to develop a sense of independence at this point and that’s not going to happen if I am hovering over him every single step of the way. Yet at in the same token, there still needs to be some oversight – like there would be in a job. If that makes sense? You give them a task and then you them to do it, only checking in once in awhile not every second.

As for the daily routine, we ended up with one full day (A Day) and one half day (B Day). I double checked at this point to make sure we were in fact covering all of our legal statute requirements. I then checked over the legal association’s high school recommendations. He technically has a full course load this year so I gave him the option to either cover some of the courses daily, or to pick up additional electives (we’ve been considering American Sign Language if I can find my college materials on it), or to leave those slots open for independent study. He’s opted to leave them open for independent study because it gives us more wiggle room. There are going to be days when we have appointments that would fill the typical slot of a course that would normal go in there. So those blank slots give us extra breathing room to shuffle around when we need to.

So here is what this year looks like for us:

A Day Rotation

  • P.E. (Sunshine Therapy)
  • English, Creative Writing, & Library Skills
  • World History
  • Lunch
  • Astronomy
  • History of Art
  • History of Medicine
  • Life Skills (with Siblings)

B Day Rotation

  • P.E. (Sunshine Therapy)
  • Algebra I
  • Handwriting (OT)
  • Lunch
  • Free Slot
  • Free Slot
  • Free Slot
  • Life Skills (with Siblings)

In retrospect, this would have been an excellent year to study world religions along with world history, history of art, and history of medicine. It would have been in keeping with the sweeping theme of “around the world through the ages” and the broad discovery of diversity and culture. What a shame that’s considered a college level topic – although I could be wrong there. I mentioned it this morning to Scholar Owl during our walk and he gave me the stink eye being the atheist that he is. I told him it wouldn’t be for the purpose of converting him to anything but rather for the purpose of understanding people and their cultures, traditions, customs, and histories better. I believe the first step towards true peace is having a better understanding of each other. He seemed open to that idea. Really wishing now that I had picked up a world religions course for us to take together at home this year.

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