Monday, February 15, 2016

Beginnings of a Beginning

These ideas still need time to percolate, but before I headed to bed I wanted to jot down some of the helpful bits of wisdom I've gleaned at tonight's class that I think will move us in the right direction.

  1. Make a schedule "for now" not "for forever".  The schedule can be revisited again later.  Not including it in the schedule now doesn't mean not including it in the schedule ever.  Still hard to see some things sit out.  But it's time to face reality.
  2. You don't need to study all subjects every day.  You don't need to study all subjects all year.  Sarah breaks her year into "terms" (six weeks of school followed by a one-week break).  She only plans for one "term" at a time because it takes the pressure off.  I like that idea a lot.
  3. 30-45 minutes one-on-one time with each school-aged kid.  Sarah has a neat way of scheduling this ... but she also has three bigger kids (the youngest of whom is as old as my oldest child) and only three who are school-aged and need to meet with her.  Worth looking into, though.
  4. Looping.  This isn't something Sarah spent a lot of time talking about tonight, but she covers it in her book.  I've been meaning to write a whole post on it at some point.  The basic idea is that instead of scheduling things on a particular day of the week, you schedule them in a loop.  When you come to that slot of the day, you just do the next one in your loop.
  5. The Six-Minute Journal.  The last page of the handout from the Focus & Align class was a journal page to give time for reflection each day.  It includes these prompts:

    Each Morning Before School:

    1. Three things I am grateful for ...

    2. One way we'll live our Rule of Six today ...

    3. One way I'll practice my Words to Live By [words that describe how you'd like your children to look back and remember their homeschool childhoods] today  ...

    Each Night Before Bed:

    1. A win from today:

    2. Noticing each of my children [lots of white space after this one]:

    3. Tomorrow I will ...

    Looking forward to using these prompts to reflect on some in the days to come.  And even now, thinking about a "win" from today reminds me that on the ugliest days, all is not lost.

This was a hard, rough day.  I won't burden you with a long play-by-play, but let's just say that Daddy came downstairs (thankfully he was working from home due to snow) at lunchtime and found me crying on the sofa, where I had been tucked in by a three year old who was telling me (her own, spontaneously created) Curious George stories and letting me hold her stuffed cat.  And yet, even on a day when I look back and see a landscape littered with the gray, twisted mess of emotional train-wreckage, even on this day, I see things that can fit into the category of "a win from today".  Starting with the Curious George stories and the stuffed cat.

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