Friday, August 14, 2009

We're Official!

I got notification from the county today that they have received our forms. You're gonna love this, I know I did. The form on the internet had the incorrect address on it as to where to send it, and I'm so surprised it still got to the right person. My name was spelled wrong on the envelope, but correctly on the letter.

We took the week off of school this week. We had planned a whale week, and we did a few whale themed activities. I was planning a break next week, but Monday we just couldn't get started and it became obvious we'd start our break early. So mostly we just hung out.

You would think the kids would love a break from school, right? Thing One has been horribly whiny and fussy all week. He kept complaining that he was bored, and wanted to do something fun. Then he had a total meltdown on Thursday. It was triggered by my saying no to a computer game he wanted to play. But after a half hour tantrum followed by a twenty minute calming down period, we talked. He admitted he was having a hard time with our schedule being all messed up and not doing school like we've been doing all summer. And with not getting as much attention from mommy, who has been busy organizing the classroom, and even *gasp* taking some time to do things she likes to do for herself. This is why, as much as I like the idea of unschooling, it does not work for our family. Despite me having to twist arms to get the boys, especially Thing One, to do anything, even things he enjoys, we have to have the structure of at least a routine. I don't stick to a strict schedule but we do the same routine every day. Even weekends cause stress at our house, because Dad's home which changes the whole dynamic, and because we don't stick to our usual routine.

So I think we're going to take one more week off then get back into it. I've spent this whole week doing physical organization, and I need next week to do the mental organization and some prep. I know we're going to stick with workboxes. I'm going to set up three for Thing Two (he's been asking for them), and probably take away three from Thing One, leaving him nine. That's how many we actually get through on a normal day. I'm going to begin some more structured lessons instead of just working on a unit study/theme. We're going to start doing activities to go along with Story of the World Vol. 1 (the activity book is on the way). We've already listened to all of the CDs from vol. 1 in the car, while running errands, etc. and the boys love them. We're also going to start All About Spelling and Miquon Math.

I want to address our "problem time" during the day. We have been doing school only until lunchtime each day. So Thing Two's naptime, and then after Thing Two wakes up until dinner time is wide open. That's when I want a break, but Thing One still wants my undivided attention if he isn't allowed to play computer games, play Wii, or watch a video. I'm thinking I will set up some centers (probably aim for 10/month) and he will be allowed to choose one per day. They would almost be like "afternoon workboxes" but call them something different to interest him. He had centers in his preschool and liked them, and it will be a chance perhaps to explore an idea more in depth. Thing One likes to plan his own workboxes on Saturday so I may enlist his help on planning these. It may not work but it is worth a try.

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