Well, he actually slept for about 9 hours on the return flight which was just great. We arrived back in Sydney refreshed and ready to enjoy our lovely home and cuddle our animals. Oh and of course to see and cuddle Daddy!
It didn’t take us long though before we were back into the swing of normal life again. As the weekend rolled around, we went straight back to the routine of weekend outdoor activities to get all our projects finished. Firstly, we did some more painting of the cubby house. I will do a post later next week to update everyone with photos on the progress of the never quite complete cubby house! It is looking fab though.
We finally planted my lovely apple trees in the garden and marked out the size and shape for my veggie garden, which I will get to one day 🙂
I also started planning and thinking about the whole home schooling scenario. Geez. What am I getting myself into here? By Wednesday, I was starting to stress rather a lot about all that I needed to do. Without even considering all the cleaning I needed to catch up on in the house, and the finishing of the painting of the cubby, and the chicken house, and planning and purchasing for my son’s 7th birthday party, I also now had this HUGE task of creating a learning plan for my son.
In Australia, you need to register with the department of education when you decided to homeschool your child. You then have to have an interview process where they come out to your home to view your learning plan and curriculum. They will assess the learning area to ensure that you have adequate light, space and ventilation for the child to learn in. They will also want to see regular assessment work from the child to prove they are progressing and learning the NSW curriculum. It’s a lot. I mean a LOT. It’s quite daunting.
The other thing is that I will not get any break from him and he won’t get any from me. I started to second guess myself as he started to get annoyed at spending so much time with me already just in these holidays. I had been lulled by his fabulous behaviour while we were in America, and over the last couple of weeks while not at school. Then I did something which brought reality slamming back home. I did a seemingly innocent thing. Something which most kids would find fun. I invited one of his cousins, someone he has had successful play with in the past, to come over on Wednesday for a play date.
Sigh… It didn’t go great. Why? Well I have a number of theories on that. Firstly, this particular cousin is a year and half younger than him and started school himself this year. He has now reached that stage in every young boy’s life where he is ‘bigger, better, stronger, faster, smarter’ than everyone and everything around him. You know how it is. Little boys get to that point where they become a little bit obnoxious. They boast, about things they clearly don’t have any reason to boast about! My son does it too. He hasn’t grown out of it yet either. Now when you get two ‘normal’ boys together who are in that stage, they kind of work out a pecking order if left alone, and then get on with playing.
Sadly, when you put one ‘normal’ one with one ‘not so normal’ one, the results can be less than favourable. If you add to that a Mummy who forgot what she was supposed to be doing and started embarrassing him by pointing out that he was talking rudely to his cousin, and that he was being too bossy, and blah, blah, blah… oh dear. I’m not sure why I had a lapse in concentration of support and emotion coaching, but I kind of did. He lost it. The result was a huge physical fight from my son with spitting and the works. I wrestled him into his room, and he spat at me that I had embarrassed him and he was bigger and stronger than he used to be and that he could fight everyone including me and…and…rarrrghhhhh!!!!! Eeek!
I apologised for embarrassing him after I had calmed him down. Which wasn’t easy by the way. I had to actually force him onto his bed and hold him still until he realised that fighting me was futile. I don’t like having to do that, but he was so out of control even emotion coaching wasn’t going to get through this time! I worked out a secret way to get him away from everyone when I needed to tell him something about how he was behaving so that no one would know I was correcting him. He didn’t really agree, but he accepted that was a better way.
Finally, he came out again, and he and his cousin managed to play next to each other for a while at least. I think they are just very different boys now that they are a bit older, and I just need to accept that when he gets around other kids, that’s when the trouble starts. He was very clearly anxious from the moment his cousin arrived. So with that reminder under my belt, I am still convinced that home schooling for a while is his best option. He just really doesn’t cope well socially or around other people at all. It’s a such a shame as he is so sociable. It seems to only work with either younger or older kids though. So that’s what I’ll do until his confidence increases a bit more and we do some work on learning social skills with people his own age who challenge him.
I guess if I do get time to blog around doing lesson plans, cleaning, shopping and teaching, it will be all about home schooling experiences from now on! Wish me luck as the new school term starts on Tuesday!!! Argghhhh….. I haven’t even cleared off his desk and set up the first day’s lesson plans yet!