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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day Eight

Well,  not a bad way to start the day. 

I got out of bed at 7am this morning.   I spent about 20 minutes, before I got up, just laid in bed, listening. I was listening to cars go by and trucks thud and bounce down the road one street over, there's construction in the area.  I heard the beeping of trucks backing up and I think it was garbage or recycling day because I heard large plastic containers of things being emptied into vessels of some description.  I heard husband breathing heavily, WalterPug  snoring loudly downstairs, I heard air brakes, I heard birds yell at each other.

I never listen to things out the window.  I never listen to things out the window on a school day before the alarm screamed to wake me up at 5:30 am.  I think it's a nice way to wake up, just open your eyes and listen for a few minutes.

I'd heard rustling around outside my bedroom earlier. Neither dog moved, the husband was snoring so I knew it was the Banker.

I came downstairs to find him curled up on the recliner with a snuggie and his English workbook.  "I hope you don't mind, I woke up at 6 and wanted to get ahead a bit".  Yeah, that's fine, kiddo. 

We have had a couple moments already around math.  I knew it'd be our one and only subject issue.  I can't DO math, he knows it.  He is asking specific questions about math that we both know I don't know how to do.  We just had a pencil throwing incident.  Well, a pencil tossing.  I went over to him and we looked the answer up *thank you Internet* and the answer wasn't as forthcoming as either of us would have liked.  I left him to continue on the hunt and when I suggested a (bad) idea, the pencil tossing happened.

Putz, I'm doing the best I can!  (ok, that was in my head but I looked at him when I thought it, hard) 

I need to get it in his head he's allowed to veer off site and find different/new/alternative ways to solve the equations he's trying to work through.  It's not what you know, it's that you know how to, and where to, look. 

We found a great spot to look for an alternative, Math-prof.  Ok, answer found, easily, apparently the storm isn't over yet.

Oh, he is in a massive snit at the moment.  He doesn't cope with frustration well, he never has.  The attempt to log into his online lesson plan resulted in some rather dramatic, "it's NOT letting ME IN!!!!"  He's muttering disparaging remarks at the computer.  It's 12 yr old profanity without actually being profane.  I'd love to give him to grief, really, just calm down, but I think this moment is best spent by me quietly typing over here and he muttering and sighing heavily over there.  

For mental picture's sake, the Banker and I sit at a round kitchen table.  He on one side with his laptop and notebook space.  There is a tall, square lamp between us and my laptop and extra monitor sit directly across from him.  

I made bread already this morning and a load of chocolate chip scones for Banker.  He asked for them and since he never eats more than a couple, I offered them to husband to take to work for the masses.  He turned me down with an abrupt, "no".  Really, thanks, and just when I wondered if I suck.  You bet I take it personally.  I haven't killed any of the workmates yet with things I've sent in, well, that I know of. 

I'm sure it got up my nose more so than usual because of this new venture.  I am trying not to spend every waking moment wondering if I am breaking the Banker and wondering if perhaps I suck.  Husband never tells me, without some sort of "well?" prompt, that I do anything well or great.  I should be used to it but when I'm doubtful, although happier in my skin?!, about my ability and decisions here, even small kudos would go a very very long way.  I'm not talking fake, sickly sweet, dribble but a little cheering from the inner sanctum might help.  But I digress.  Although I guess this is part of my homeschooling adventure. The way things affect me, the time I have to do or not do things.  How I think and feel about what's going on around me.  

Luckily, the snit seems to have passed, I am SO lucky that they are generally short lived.  I guess everyone is entitled to be in an academic snit every once in a while.  I may have to look for a better math system.  He is now doing 3 maths, loving them, but I need to find a way to correlate them better.

I just reviewed the science he's doing.  For pete's sake, he's DONE all this.  I rechecked with the AISD 7th grade math and other areas for their science curriculum.  They are all doing the same thing, plants then ecology then sex.  Well, we've dealt with sex already, he's studying ecology through another online add on class and iKnow textbook.  He was in so many plant classes over the past two years, I have made a decision.  We are SCRAPPING the bought online science program.  The kid already knows about plants.  

NEW PLAN!  We are going do to a new, cool, fun, science unit a week.  I have lesson plans, activities, procedures and links for the next 3 units.  Rocket Science, Understanding the Universe, and DNA.  To heck with local public school making him learn about photosynthesis AGAIN, he gets it already.  He can now learn things the other kids wouldn't get.  He can learn as fast as he wants.  He's watching theoretical videos that are discussing the creation of the universe; for fun.

I sort of understand why they teach them the same things, over and over and over again under the guise of different class titles but really, now that I have had a chance to review exactly what they've been learning.  Are you KIDDING me?  The actual information being given is small.  In regard to our personal experience, I "get" that the teachers in grades 4 thru 7  have to teach to the lowest common denominator, and to the test, but wow. 

The information itself is small, a couple of sentences of information or one equation, then the worksheets, oh baby the worksheets.  I guess it drives the information home but to what cost?  No wonder he's been bored, *I'M* bored just reviewing it.  Spiral teaching?  Sure.  YAWN. 

I like my plan, I just discussed it with the Banker and he seems to like the idea of it too. *whew*

So, reviewing it all so far?  You bet I'm still manic, it's my best thing.

Yes, I feel good in my skin about homeschooling. 
Yes, I know it was the best decision.  
Yes, I feel happier.  
Yes, I feel changes in me happening that are for the better.  
No, I'm no more confident, yet.  

Yes, I think the Banker is happier.  
Yes, I think he is learning new things.  
Yes, I think we found a way to review and learn in a more balanced way.  
Yes, I think he likes the new science plan.
Yes, I think he accepts the change as part of the newness and fluidity of home school plans rather than a catastrophic failure on my part to plan successfully in the first place. 
Yes, I worry every morning that I'm going to somehow break him.  
No, I don't think that day is today.



Ok, so I really need to find a way to cope with the extra hours in my day.  I no longer have to drive, or think about driving, or prepare to drive, or arrange my errands to go with the drive so that I can save gas, between the hours of 5:30am-8:30am and 2:00pm-4:30pm.  That's 5 and a half EXTRA hours in my day.  Even take out the time I spend working with the Banker.  Well, hold on, I used to do that after school till about 6:30 anyway, um, those hours are still being used.  The hours are just being used in the morning. 

We are both completely messed up about time.  I suppose if that's our biggest problem with the adjustment then we're doing just fine but, wow.  We are so very messed up on time.

Banker called me while I was at the store to tell me he'd worked ahead on his ecology itextbook.  I told him to stop, to be done for the day.  He started at 6am and worked till noon, that's equal to a week of public school, two probably.  He doesn't think he's doing anything but he's working harder than he ever has, he's absorbing things at a shocking rate and maintaining and applying the knowledge.  His vocabulary has 8 days!  He needs to slow it down, just a little bit.

I, on the other hand, don't know whether to slow down or speed up...I am completely time messed up.

So, it's 2:15pm.  I've made bread for sandwiches in the week, batch of chocolate chip scones for breakfast and for a treat, visited a friend, delivered a birthday card, ran an errand, did a couple of weeks worth of grocery shopping, I cooked, cleaned, dealt with dishes, did laundry.  I just finished steaming a cauliflower and was about to make the bechemal sauce to go on it for dinner's cauliflower gratin that we're having with some roasted chicken that was on sale today and I looked at the clock.  IT'S ONLY 2:15!  I don't HAVE to make dinner, just yet!  

Oh good grief.  I need to figure out how to deal with this new schedule.  I guess I could review the work in the "review work" folder that we made.  It's not that I don't have anything to do, I'm a mom, there's a TON to do.  I just have to figure out when I do what I do and I need to wrap my head around the fact that I, like Connor, can take the time to complete a task now.  Finish writing something, finish cooking something or finish creating something in my studio.  

I have to say again I knew it'd be a crazy adjustment for the Banker but i am absolutely gobsmacked by the affect this new venture is having on me.  Perhaps I'll go have a quiet glass of wine and ponder it *grin*


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