Don’t be put off by the title, I have no intention of documenting each day of what I do in this homeschooling adventure! I really just wanted to keep a record of today as it was the landmark day 1.
I don’t know what my issue was, but last night I was stressed beyond belief! I got so tense that I actually managed to completely paralyse my neck and shoulder muscles. I expressed my worries to my husband who assured me that it would all be fine and I could go slowly the first week and just let it happen. I didn’t believe him.
So, we managed to do the whole breakfast, teeth brushing, getting dressed thing. Not with the usual stress involved with having to get somewhere by a certain time, but still not entirely calmly as both parents were uptight and kind of jumpy, just waiting for something to go wrong.
I gave him his Ritalin dose and we had a brief…um…discussion about him not wanting to take his fish oil supplements. We compromised and he took only one of the capsules. Daddy went off to work, after expressing disappointment that his son was arguing about brushing his teeth and that didn’t bode well for the rest of the day. His son simply answered,
“Shouldn’t you be going to work now?”
If that’s not a ‘get the hell outta here!’ I don’t know what is!
We took the dog for a nice long walk, and I braced myself for impact as we landed in the newly created ‘school room’. He was delighted with the set up of the room, which happened predominantly while he slept last night. He then set to work straight away and without complaint! Wow!
I explained that we would be doing work for 30 minutes with a timer. After 30 minutes we would have a short 10 minute break and then do another 30 minutes work. After that we would have Recess which would be a 30 minute break. Then we would do another 30 minutes work followed by another 10 minute break followed by another 30 minutes work then lunch for 60 minutes. He accepted the terms and off we went.
Everything was going great. He finished his first 30 minutes without one single hiccup or distraction. It was spelling and writing exercises from a book. Then we started a game of Mouse Trap (the board game version) for our 10 minute break. He went back and did his second 30 minutes brilliantly.
After recess, we moved on to the handwriting workbook. This is really something he struggles with and therefore hates. His Ritalin was also obviously starting to wear off by this stage and he was getting a little jiggly.
By some miracle, I managed to get him working for 20 minutes on a page of writing. Then it asked him to write… well actually copy a sentence. This was a no go for him. He went into his tried and tested reaction of getting out of the chair and trying to fling his body around and starting to fight. I calmly took hold of him, brought him into my lap and said.
“Sweetie. You CAN write sentences. You did it in the spelling book. I know you feel this is something that is too hard for you, but I trust that you can do it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, that is what practice is for. It’s there so you can make mistakes and get it wrong and learn how to do it better next time. I can see that you are a little afraid of doing this right now though. So we are going to take our lunch break early. We then have some chores to do and some errands to run at the shops. When we get back, your brain will have had a really good rest. You can do your sentences and finish the next page of work then. OK?”
He calmed down thank goodness. He then agreed to the new terms and off we went.
I was most surprised in the afternoon when we came home from the shops and he asked me to play. I asked him if he had done his work yet and he shook his head and headed off to the school room to finish it off!
In total I managed to get him to do 2.5 hours of school work today, which is fantastic for the first day! I am so proud, and much more relaxed now knowing that we can do this. He has chosen to do a project about parasites which we will begin researching tomorrow and he can start to learn the process involved in planning and researching for a project. I don’t think he’ll do much writing, but at least he’ll be interested and will participate in what he calls ‘Googling up’ the information.
After all his hard work, asked if he could watch a movie in his room. I agreed, and left him like this…
When I returned a few minutes later, this is what I found.
He was still watching the movie, but had closed his curtains and pulled his blanked completely over himself. I guess he needed to shut the world out after all that brain strain. I wonder what he will do tomorrow!