2 days to go.
We are exactly that far away from the beginning of our school year. Where, oh, where did our summer break go?
I have most of our plans in order, but I’m definitely behind where I like to be by this time in the summer. The biggest deterrent to finalizing anything is that there are a few life/school changes that will impact us at home. I won’t know the full impact for a couple of weeks.
I reluctantly have to release the oldest more and more into the hands of others as her college load dictates. I felt it most when I handed her a women’s devotional that was given to me years ago. You see, normally we have Bible study/ devotion as a family, even including Dad when he’s here. Because of the various schedules and speeds of getting started in the morning, Bible study was, more often than not, our finish to the school day rather than our beginning. To add to that, sadly in this past school year Bible study was sometimes rushed or missed altogether in order to get the kids to dance, or deliver me to an evening of working with my “big kids,” (i.e., college students), or transport hubby to the airport. I stand determined not to position us in that way again, so I moved Bible study back to the 1st thing in the morning. However, there are days when the oldest won’t join us until later in the day, and then for only a brief moment before she leaves to help build the coordination of budding 3-4 ballerinas. So, we will move forward without her at our table on several days. Oh, Lord give me strength.
Our son’s routine is perhaps the least subject to change. At his request, we will add Swahili to his studies, and he will study medieval history. I’m very excited about his reading list (still in development, so don’t hang your proverbial hat on the “Curriculum” page just yet!) I think he’s going to thoroughly enjoy The Once and Future King and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. I’m anxious to dialogue with him about the differences of the way Homer depicts his epic heroes versus Virgil. He has such great insights on his books, often shared in the evenings while dishes are being washed (which tells me he’s thinking about what he read–YAY!!) and I love to hear them. Prayerfully, our change of science texts and a return–at least in part–to living books and nature study will give him a better experience with Biology than the oldest had.
Our youngest, a 4th grader, will return to her studies, with a few tweaks of mine as well as a number of changes that are largely of her own design. As I’ve shared before, she has some valid reasons as to why she is not having the same kind of fun experience that the older two had during their elementary years. However, when she began to discuss how “we” could make school more fun, the conversation I wanted to have was about attitudes and unrealistic expectations. But I was able to bite my tongue halfway through my speech and then say in the spirit of partnership and buy-in, “Will you write down for me a list of what changes you’d like to see, and maybe we can add some items to what I had planned?” (I’ll pat myself on the back for that one!!) Well, a week later, I’ve still not gotten the list, which I fully intend to use as a teachable moment when the opportunity comes again to discuss what’s missing. I know she’s working on it, but also hesitant to write down any plans that might solicit a “no” response; I’ll have to process that when my brain is not as fuzzy. In the meantime, what she did get a lot of energy around was giving us school colors and a mascot.
We are now the Bullard BEARS, with a silver, lavender, and navy flag.
She has now at least begun to have her comparative discussion using the term ‘traditional’ school versus our school. That ‘what regular schools do’ drove me nuts.
I still need to round out reading lists.
I still need to check planners and be sure that the kids actually have something on their schedules for the 1st day.
Lord, please smile down on the BEARS.