AO Years 5, 3, and 1 | Term 1 Week 1

We finished our first week of school! There was minimal drama although re-entry is proving to be harder than expected.

The most dramatic parts of the day are our morning walks, which is probably a good sign. The kids have a variety of reasons why they dislike them, but none of them are actually a good reason for giving up said walks. That being said, I probably will scale it back to 3 times a week versus 5 just to give them a break.  I think the biggest problem with walks (for them) is actually having to get up and be done with breakfast by a set time!

A lot of my attention this week was spent dealing with medical things. My ASD kiddo needs (vastly) more supports and I have had to have referrals called in, talked with various professionals in a variety of fields, and so on. I have a very strict NO PHONES rule when I’m teaching; but if a professional I’ve been playing phone tag with calls me back at 9:30 in the morning; you better believe I’m answering that call. I’m generating a list of Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime documentaries that I can put on for those phone conversations (as some of them can get quite long).

Some things that need some adjusting:

  • The schedule: while all my kids are great students, I need to readjust the schedule and front-load the week. With more therapies coming down the pipes for my ASD kiddo I get a suspicion that our weeks are going to go crazy in terms of appointments and therefore we need to get work done on days that won’t have therapy appointments interrupting them (or dentist, eye doctor, doctor and even vet appointments for the dog). This week we had our dog’s vet appointment which was right after a therapy appointment and TA-DA there went our afternoon.
  • My Year 1 is an excellent little student with reading and writing, but is having a hard time with the whole structured school day thing. I’m going to break up her times so that she does a subject, goes to play for an hour; does another subject, etc.
  • My Year 5 needs an exercise ball to bounce on for listening (her request, I’m so proud of her in that she can see what she needs to be successful and ask for it).
  • I need to decide whether or not to drop or punt subjects in Family Time if we can’t get to them for some reason (Thursday we skipped it to help Grandma do soil tests on her garden).
  • Why are the riches falling to the wayside again? I need to up their priority.
  • Habit that needs to be taught and enforced: cleaning up the school room (which doubles as the toy/TV room so that may be part of the problem)
  • I need to adjust books for my ASD kiddo – either remove some or lengthen the week, move books to a different term, maybe do a summer term with books I eject?

Despite what needs to be adjusted, there are a lot of great things happening already:

  • All the kids love German and are picking it up extremely fast.
  • My 2 year old STILL NAPS 1-2 TIMES A DAY! Thank you sweet baby Jesus! All the other kids gave up napping around 12-15mos. It’s so nice to have those naptimes still to work in.
  • My ASD kiddo hit a giant leap in math and doesn’t have any real hangups about math anymore. I felt like I was doing a disservice by not pushing math because of the hangup but happily some maturation helped with that. We just did it when it could be done without anxiety and meltdowns. There is catching up by leaps and bounds, which is what I was expecting to happen.
  • Moose reads independently now so we are FINISHED with formal phonics lessons. HIGH FIVE!
  • A couple weeks ago, Mystie Winckler had a great workshop about planning your homeschool with your kids’ Myers-Briggs personalities in mind. It dovetailed nicely with a book I read this month titled “Neuroscience of Personality”. If you’re an MB geek, my kids are most likely ESTP (Peanut), INFP (Moose), ENFP (Wok). That’s a whole lot of “P” in contrast to my “J”. And let’s not even THINK about the level of “E” in this house vs us lowly “I”s! But just knowing that alone has really helped grease the skids for a successful school year, because I am aware that they are able to deal with glitches in the schedule than I am (for example). The uptightness I exhibit about schedule glitches is my J speaking, and really they don’t care. I can let it go. I had a lot more great insight from that book and Mystie’s workshop that will really help this year, I think.  (The workshop gave me the aha moment behind Wok’s all-encompassing enthusiasm and her talking all.the.time and now I just take her as she comes vs trying to get her to stop so much.  Now I just need to get her in the habit of politely interrupting as opposed to MOMOMOMOMOMOMOMOM.)
  • Peanut completed her first written narration this week (and did quite well for her first time).

I plan on spending this weekend to implement what I wrote above. Even though homeschooling is a giant, complex thing that is slowly turning into a full-time job for me; it is beyond the right decision for everyone involved and the kids are truly thriving and learning so much. Thank you, Ambleside Online!

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