Saturday, August 13, 2011

Preparing for the 1st Day of School

For home schooling, getting ready for the first day of school is different; in many ways it's more laid back & in some it is more hectic.

There is no frenzied shopping trip for new clothes, new shoes, supplies. We aren't worried about a fresh hair cut {even though his dad made sure he got another of those way too short hair cuts from his neighbor, egads}. There is a craziness about getting our ISMA (legal paperwork for the state which requires signatures & to be mailed by the 1st day) and making sure our mailing address is correct. Instead of worrying about a new backpack and supplies, I will be worrying today about rearranging things so Little Dude has multiple work spaces; one where he can work on offline material or tests, making sure there is a way for both if us to sit at the computer together, and since he has issues with sitting all day, some other place where he can work laying down or on a ball or whatever.

I have to organize our book & supply cupboard, find a new "box of completion" & make up charts for our daily schedules. Last semester, I instituted a "box of completion" and need to set that up again. We have multiple text books and what I do is set out the stack of books we will need for the day's lessons the night before. As Little Dude completes the lessons in each book for the day, he gets the satisfaction of placing it in the "b.o.c." {as we call it}. Seeing the to do pile get smaller & the done pile get bigger helps him not feel so overwhelmed and actually cut down on some of the whining last year.

This year, I will be making him even more responsible; he will have to help set up the night before, he can help decide the order of subjects he will tackle each day, he will be able to choose his P.E. activities for half of the week & he will be responsible for helping choose which lessons will be turned in to his teacher for conferences this year.

We have moved since last semester and now live down the block from a library. I am planning on a library day once a week, either with me or his sister. He has also always wanted to help me facilitate a children's writing group and we are going to be approaching a local book store with a proposal for that. Last semester our lives were hectic and in turmoil, and I neglected reading & writing to the level which we usually functioned. Once upon not so long ago, we had a bazillion library books out at a time, he was winning prizes every week for the amount he was devouring, and he was writing every day. He has written skits which have been performed by our author friends. He has been a NaNo Young Writers participant twice. Now he is grumbly about writing a blog. Sheesh, Mom, time to set this right.

Well, I have to organize our text books, move the Wii games off of the foot stool, find our science kit & sharpen enough pencils. Two days until we log in and pickup where we left off in June. Wish us luck. His goal is to complete the remainder of the 3rd grade material before his birthday. He completed the entire 2nd grade before the end of the 1st semester last year & wants to get back on that pace. Wish me luck!

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