Adjusting…

Life sure is different with my son in school, instead of homeschooling.

I have changed my work schedule, so that I can be home when he is dropped off by the bus. I had to give up my unpaid lunch in order to make it happen. I tried my new schedule Thursday and Friday. I didn’t really miss the break at all. I just had a larger snack on my first break, to satisfy me longer. I then took my second break about an hour after I would have normally taken my lunch. The 20 minute break is plenty of time to eat my lunch and call hubby to check in on him and the little ones. Both days I made it home before the bus, but if there wasn’t construction traffic slowing down the bus I may not have. I need to make sure I am ready to leave at 2, instead of 2:05.

Some people might think negatively of me for thinking it is so important for me to be home before the bus. I just want to hear how my son’s day went right away, as my husband hears about it too. I don’t want my son to have to tell the same stories twice. I realize that at some point he won’t be so eager to share how his day went, but I will always have questions for him. “Normal” ones, like do you have homework, and others that relate to his adjusting to the school environment and socialization.

So far, my husband and I aren’t impressed with the amount of work he is getting done. For example: he hasn’t done any real math in his math class after 6 days of school. They have been working on an ISN, or interactive student notebook. All this has shown hubby and I, is that the teacher has control issues. She has the students tape handouts into the notebook, and doesn’t want to see any “guts” or parts of the papers sticking out. She had them decorate the covers, and is covering them with packing tape. Being organized is great, but forcing everyone to take notes exactly the same way, and on the same page/side of a page in a notebook seems like a bit much to me. My son is also in a class that doesn’t really have a title. It seems like a study hall to me, but the teacher asks random questions in it, or shows slides with a projector. It just doesn’t appear to be an actual class. A lot of what he explains about his day seems to be a huge waste of time….which is one of the reasons we homeschooled for 6 years. If he hadn’t had such a rough time this summer, I wouldn’t have put him in public school.

I haven’t asked him about his thoughts at school, and he hasn’t shared any negative ones. I plan on gently asking today or tomorrow. I don’t want to cause thoughts to arise by my questioning, but I also want him to know he can share them with me so he doesn’t feel like he has to hide them or struggle through them alone. Part of his uncomfortableness sharing them is thinking about what others think of him for having “bad” thoughts. So far, he has been told his thoughts are completely normal ones.

We are all getting used to new sleep schedules. This Monday will be my first day being alone to make sure he is up and on the bus on time. My husband basically slept through my actual first day getting my son out for school last Tuesday. I will be here 3 days this week, and I am guessing I will be the one to get up when the alarm sounds. I have an extra day off this week for my Baby’s First Birthday! It will be sad having my twelve year old at school, rather than home to celebrate with us. We don’t really celebrate birthdays, but we could have taken a day trip somewhere. We’ll have some sort of cake, and that will be after my son is home from school. It’ll just be strange not doing our normal type of celebration. The freedom of homeschooling is very much missed. 😦

Advertisements

First “week” of school is over!

So, the first week which was only 2 days of school is finished. Matt did well, considering he has never been in full day public school. He accidentally went to the wrong class both days. He has his math class, then time to go to his locker before his next 2 classes. He is supposed to go to science class after math, but he went to social studies both days.😝

I don’t know how to help him. I thought about making him a note card to remind him, or maybe trying to work on memorizing the two teacher’s names together. He only has 2 female teachers, the math and science ones…maybe he can remember to go to the second woman’s class after the first. We’ll see how he does Tuesday. 

He realized earlier today that he left his jacket somewhere, either the bus or the school. Hopefully he’ll find it. Luckily it was an inexpensive one from Wal-Mart. 

Overall I think I stressed out more than I should have.πŸ˜‰ I want to organize his binder,notebooks and all of his supplies the way I would. I know he needs to learn these lessons himself, but I can’t stand things to be messy or inefficient. His OCD made him color code his folders and notebooks for specific classes all by himself. I may have helped him put those things in order of his classes when they were put into his binder though. 

We just bought him a larger backpack tonight, so we’ll see if he transfers everything to it tonight like I would, or if he waits until Monday…or possibly Tuesday morning. (I’m fairly confident it will be done tonight or tomorrow 😝)

Hubby had to survive Wednesday and Thursday caring for our two little ones without his helper. He definitely missed his helper.
*Update: After our groceries and other items were put away, my son started organizing his school supplies and packing his new backpack.πŸ˜€ I knew he would.

Anxiety Sets In

I am freaking out about sending my oldest back to public school. He starts next Wednesday. I worry about every little detail. 

We are sending him on the bus, since we have 2 little ones that would make getting him to school on time difficult, and only 1 good winter vehicle that the person working would need to have long before school opens. So, this all leads to me wondering how that first day getting on the bus at the next to last stop will be for him. Will he have trouble finding a place to sit? Will he feel out of place, will he sit alone, will he be welcomed into a seat…who knows? I want to know how it’s all going to play out, and know he’s going to be ok.

I just want to tag along, to help him with his locker, make sure he doesn’t get lost and to keep him organized and prepared for his classes. I want to make sure he isn’t picked on, or too shy to make friends. I want to make sure he stays focused in class, and trays to do his best. I want to make sure the curriculum is at his level, and that he isn’t being taught lies. 

Having complete control over his curriculum from 1st-6th grade and now giving that control to the state is stressing me out. I hate it! I know he’ll be exposed to things I don’t believe or approve of, but I have to let go. He needs to have more interaction with kids his age, and he also needs some exposure to different authority figures. I think he has had it pretty easy with hubby and I as his teachers. He would question the things I taught, and my reason behind lessons but he won’t be able to do that in public school. He’ll have to learn to do as he’s told without protesting too much. 

I think overall he will do fine, even if it takes a few weeks to settle in. I may be surprised,  and he’ll fit right in on the first day. Maybe his kindergarten buddies will remember him.πŸ˜‰ I know from reading our local newspaper, that many of the kids are still in town.

I’ll be a wreck for the first day for sure.

7th grade registration is done.

Yesterday we met with the guidance counsellor of my son’s school, and took a tour. She was pleasant, and my son didn’t seem stressed out. He was happy to see the computer lab.

I don’t feel good about sending him at all. I realize the school was being cleaned, but besides the clutter and smells it felt like a dungeon. The school seems pretty run down, and outdated. 😞

My son will have access to decent technology, but overall I am not impressed. Hopefully his teachers will impress me more than the environment. πŸ˜‰

Shortly after meeting we found out they had set my son up as if he were starting 6th grade. That was changed by crossing his name off of one list, and adding it to another. I didn’t mention the misspelling of his name when she re-wrote it though. πŸ˜› She asked us about how he was doing in math, because they did have pre-algebra as an option for 7th grade. We chose to put him in it. After a month, if he and the teacher feel he’d be better off in the standard 7th grade class he can move down. I am pretty confident that he’ll do fine.

He’ll be starting in 3 weeks. It will be so strange not homeschooling him. Last year he pretty much did everything on his own, since it was computer based learning, but he was here. We had so much freedom, and now we will have to conform to the school schedule. πŸ˜›

I am feeling anxious about having all of his schol supplies ready, worrying that he might get lost trying to find his classes, worrying he might get picked on or ignored. I can’t let him see my anxiety, or it will only cause him to worry. Part of me wants the next 3 weeks to drag, so we can just have our normal lives and part of me wants to speed time up so he can start…and hopefully adjust well. πŸ™‚

Getting Ready For School

We have been out school clothes/shoe shopping over the past couple of days. It’s so strange to be doing this for the first time in 6-7 years. We had planned on unschooling this year, but my son’s medical condition changed our plans.

Hypothyroidism doesn’t always lead to the mental conditions my son developed, but since it’s what we’re dealing with we have had to make some big changes. My son really craves socialization, and with two brothers so much younger than him it can be tricky to find opportunities that work for our family’s needs. School will give him an opportunity to be around kids his own age, and give him a break from the babies.

My husband and I feel that he has a good grasp of our family values and beliefs. We hope he won’t just go along with the crowd when he is surrounded by beliefs that go against ours. He has been given the opportunity to know about other beliefs and make his own decisions about what he personally feels. We’ll see what actual exposure to other’s beliefs/teachings will do.

We meet with his guidance counselor on August 8th, and we’ll go on a tour of the school then. I am thankful that my son has an appointment with his mental health counselor later that day. I don’t want to anticipate there being concerns, but in case there are he can tackle them right away. πŸ˜‰ We had planned on his last session actually being his last, but the morning of his appointment he had some troubling thoughts. In that session we also realized that he’s counting “normal” thoughts of frustration as “bad thoughts”, so his idea of having a bad day may not be as bad as we think. For example, if he has a “what the #@$%” thought, he counts that as a bad thought. I explained that it is unfortunate that swear words have become part of everyday language for many people, but having that frustrated thought is totally normal. We want to avoid saying and thinking the swear words, and try to work through frustrations in a better way but that’s all. We can’t eliminate thoughts of frustration over things such as people doing things in a way that cause us inconvenience, or other irritations but we can work on having them affect our moods and behaviors less.

I do worry that he will have issues in the classroom. I worry he will interrupt his teacher or classmates, get annoyed if they teach things he already knows, and get frustrated if he has questions that can’t be answered when he wants them to be. I know there are many more possible situations that could arise and lead to stress on my son, but I have to think positively and not bring up potential problems in front of my son. He will stress himself out over those possibilities and not even think about the potential good experiences. Right now he is looking forward to going to school. Hopefully the good will outweigh the bad. None of us are looking forward to new sleep habits, but I know we’ll get used to it. We’ll see how bad homework is….he’s never had to do school plus more.

A Good Counselling Session

So, we just had a visit with my son’s counsellor and it went very well. My son announced that he didn’t feel he needed to go anymore. This is a huge change from the kid who didn’t think an hour a week would be enough. 

Honestly we all feel that his thyroid medication has leveled out and made a huge impact on his thoughts and moods. He still over thinks situations,  but we just want to make sure he doesn’t blame/ punish himself when over thinking. πŸ˜‰ His thoughts of harming others, or himself have pretty much disappeared. The only ones he might still have are “normal” during moments of frustration. He has been able to deal with his brothers much better, and without thoughts of hurting them. He actually wonders if what he confessed to actually happened. He thinks he may have just been exaggerating situations. I feel the same way. I never witnessed him hurting his brothers, or any signs that he had. The boys do have bruises from time to time, but they are clumsy boys.

We are taking next week off, then going in the following week to make sure he’s still doing as well and feeling like we can deal with any issues together as a family.

We have normal 12 year old discipline issues to focus on, but other than that I think we are able to put these issues behind us. I think we need to be vigilant so that feelings aren’t suppressed and handled improperly. 

It’s a good day!πŸ˜€

A Better WeekendΒ 

AHHH! Finally, a bit of relaxation. πŸ˜‰

I was able to get some yard work done Saturday…things that have been put off for too long. We had some leaves in a few areas of our property that sat way longer than they should have. So long in fact, that they started to compost! YIKES! 

I found so many worms. I kept some to use for fishing, and fed a lot to my ducks. The ducks were very happy to have them. There were plenty more that just ended up being relocated to the leaf piles along the edge of our property. If they only knew how lucky they were. πŸ˜‰

I was also able to clean up our patio by our swimming pool. Our table was littered with the pool floats that were never stored for the winter, leaves and various pool attachments. Trash was tossed, and the good items were stored properly. Now the table is clean and ready to hold my drinks and knitting while the oldest has his friend over to swim. This area had a lot of leaves to be moved too, but they are gone and the area actually looks welcoming. πŸ™‚

The house got a bit of a tidying up yesterday with a good amount of help from my 12 year old. He picked up so many baby toys that were strewn about our living area. The 2 year old almost never puts his toys away. This is something that we really need to work on. When my oldest was hospitalized, the 2 year old was very good about putting toys away in the hospital toy room. Unfortunately that behaviour did not carry over to his homelife. 😦

I have been knitting dishcloths lately, and am very pleased with how quickly they knit up. I was able to work on one while watching some Texas Flip N’ Move yesterday, and I hope to do more later. (Knitting and watching if there are new episodes on my DVR.) I found a bag of Sugar and Cream yarn at a thrift store recently and it’s my new favorite. I really like how it feels when I work with it. 

I might get out and do some more yard work today. My husband mowed most of our property last night after work, so if I can get out and take down the trees that are growing from our stumps the yard will look much more inviting. I’d love to get some stump grinding done, but we can’t afford that right now. 

This was a random post, as things popped into my head…sorry for that. I hope that today actually turns out to be as relaxing as I imagined it could be without set chores or errands to run. The baby needs me right now, so we’ll see how it goes. πŸ˜‰