Monday, August 23, 2010

In which The Spaz decides that sleeping is overrated...

Today was Bug's first day of 5th grade and my first day as his Learning Coach. And we made it. We're both alive. Barely.

We started out the day with optimism and smiles. And even though there were a few tears and frustrations throughout the day, I think all in all it went pretty well. I loved that we went right into learning today on the first day (even though Bug said it was all pretty easy) instead of the first day of traditional school where it seems to be all paperwork and teachers getting organized and learning names.

We even got a little ahead of the game for tomorrow.

So Bug's all good. He's happy and I *think* he's pretty happy with the way this home school thing is working out.

Me? I'm fried.

I've been known to jump right into new adventures with both feet. And sometimes that's a good thing, and sometimes it's not so good. It's my nature and I certainly haven't betrayed my nature lately. I'm just wondering what I've gotten myself into.

It's not just the homeschooling, either. At some point today I committed to being a co-leader for Munchkin's Junior Girl Scout troop this year... the troop that holds meetings at the exact same time as Goober's football practices. And I'm still trying to figure out how to fit karate in for Bug.

And I can't forget the fact that I need to somehow fit in at least 30 hours of work time in each week, do the grocery shopping, make dinners, do laundry, and keep the house in some sort of order.

I've decided to just forgo sleeping to fit it all in.

The Man has reluctantly agreed to take some time off of work to play taxi driver and baby sitter and I'm in the process of making a new chore list for the kids to help take some of the pressure off of me. So maybe it won't be so insane... maybe?

The kids are only little once, right? Before I know it they'll be grown up and have their own lives and all this insanity will be like a dream.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Who really uses the Quadratic Equation, anyway?

For a minute (it was actually more like a couple of weeks, did you notice?) I made this blog private.

Because for a minute I let someone back into my life and then I regretted it. And that someone was reading this blog.

But screw it, I say now. I'm not going into hiding for anyone. Meh.

It's T minus 5 days and counting until Back To School time here at the Spaz household and I am patiently waiting for that day to come. We're all ready, with brand new school supplies and all the socks and school uniforms washed and ready to go. We have new backpacks and we know where our school appropriate shoes are and we're back to a normal bed time.

But this year is going to be a little different for Bug and me because this year Bug's going to go to school in his bedroom. It's not exactly home school because I'm not making the lesson plans and I'm not really his teacher. He's enrolled in an online school that partners with our school board so I don't think I can really fail him too badly.

Because that was always my qualm with true home school. I think I would fail my child. Not to discredit those moms (and dads) out there who truly home school their children. No, if anything, I have the utmost admiration for what you do. I don't think I could do it.... I'd be like, "Factoring? Oh honey, you'll never really use the Quadratic Equation in real life! Don't even worry about it."

Really... do any of you really remember the Quadratic Equation?? (Jenny, if you're reading this, you aren't allowed to answer. You are a freak of nature who remembers everything anyone has ever told you.) And even if for some strange reason you do remember it, when have you ever used it? Ever?

That's what I thought.

But no, this school will hold me to standards and require that my brilliant boy actually stay on track and do testing and all that jazz. And there will be real teachers who teach him and real lesson plans. We're both very excited.

And nervous.

Okay, maybe it's just me who is nervous.

Because last year when I made this decision I thought it was such a great idea. Bug had some problems in the traditional school. He's easily distracted. He's prone to day dreaming. He needs someone to keep him focused all the time. They've hinted at ADHD at his school and made it clear that unless something changed severely, Bug wasn't going to be able to thrive in a traditional school environment.

So I could try medication or I could try gluten free diets or I could try this.

And it seemed so progressive and modern. Online school for my gifted child who just needs a little more hands on instruction than your average kid. Most likely because he's so brilliant, right?

I pictured our days together as blissful adventures in learning. I pictured dropping the younger two off at elementary school and coming home to find my Bug bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to learn. I envisioned myself sitting down to the computer with him and reviewing his lessons for the day, the two of us doing fun experiments together and going on enriching field trips. I decided that this way Bug would get his one on one attention from me and he'd thrive by being able to set his own pace and learn the things he loves.

And maybe that's how it will all go, right? I mean, we haven't started yet.

But as the day looms closer I find myself with a nervous lump in my throat. Am I organized enough? Probably not. Do I really have the time to give Bug the necessary guidance he will need this year? I'll obviously have to make the time, but what else will have to give? Am I really up for this?

Only time will tell. Bug actually starts a week after the other two so he'll be glad to have that week to prepare for school in a quiet house free from his siblings. It's another week for me to get myself in order before we have to really put our nose to the grindstone.

I'm praying I've made the right decision for him.