Monday, August 30, 2010

How We're Adjusting

A couple people have asked how we're doing, and I'd say we're adjusting.  Today was the beginning of the 3rd week of school. 

Overall, it's been a positive experience.  The hardest part is things like tonight -- I worked today and pulled into the driveway in time for the boys to hop in the car so we could go to their music lessons.  Bo took Lydia to parent/tot baseball and we went immediately from music to the field so Nate could play coach pitch.

Game ended at 8, so we arrived home at 8:30 and ate some KFC that Bo picked up and now Nate is sitting next to me finishing up an assignment that must be turned in tomorrow.  And he still has to shower before he can get into bed so Bo can wake him up at 6:15.

When we were homeschooling, there wouldn't be any homework, and they wouldn't have to wake up at 6:15 tomorrow.  I know, we've been spoiled the last few years, but that is why this is an adjustment.

I met with Nate's teacher and speech therapist today to discuss the plan for him this year.  His teacher said that Nate is obviously a very intelligent boy, but he's struggling with time management and classroom management.  I expected this, and so did she, and she did say that every day he gets a little bit better.  He wants to strive to do his best, and sometimes gets frustrated.  We also talked about a test they do that involves oral reading that he bombed. He bombed it not because he can't read, but because he can't read aloud fluently. Just now he shared with me that he'll never earn a Blue Zone bracelet because he needs to score a 135 on this test in order to earn one (he scored a 32 last week)  We're confident that the score will increase as his disfluency lessens, but it'll be a long road.

Colin is also struggling with classroom management and learning the ins & outs of what's expected for various assignments.  He had a vocabulary assignment last week to use a set of vocabulary words in meaningful sentences.  He wrote sentences and used the words appropriately, but was scored down.  When we inquired as to the reason, we were told that he didn't define the word within the sentence -- he just used the word.  I understand the difference now, and I assume that is how this assignment has been approached for the last couple years.  Colin, however, just thought he had to use the words correctly.  His teacher did say that his sentences were very imaginative.

As for me, it's been as hard as I imagined it would be giving up the knowledge and control I had of their curriculum.  We are attending "Curriculum Night" tomorrow to learn more about what's being covered this year, but it can never be as specific or targeted as we did while homeschooling.  It's also hard knowing that our time is no longer our own -- there is homework every night, which must be done in addition to sports, music, and family time.  Previously, our schooling was completed during daylight hours and never slopped over into our evenings.  And, personally, I have much more energy to cope with schooling at 10AM rather than 7PM.

There is plenty of good as well.  Chess Club begins meeting tomorrow, and Colin is enjoying orchestra. Nate continues to receive an hour of speech each week and I don't have to scramble trying to figure out how to get him there. I have an almost completely booked calendar work-wise, so I know that this is necessary for our family right now.

Getting everyone out of the house by 7:15 is a struggle.  Homework is a hassle.  But I know we'll all find our groove, and we're looking forward to the upcoming 3 day weekend!

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