A lot of people have been asking with baited breath, sort of scared of the answer, “So….how’s it going?” I’m happy to report that, for the most part, okayish. This whole experience is a pretty steep learning curve, with most of the learning happening with ME.
Things I’ve learned so far:
- The more prepared I am, the better the day goes for all of us
- It’s hard to find time to prepare
- Field trip opportunities are EVERYWHERE, this is exciting
- Opportunities to complain are ALSO everywhere, this is not so exciting
- I am more patient than I ever thought and less patient than I ever thought, often in the same day
- Curriculum is mostly SUGGESTIONS – right?
- My kids aren’t as smart as I thought they were
- My kids are smarter than I thought they were
- I actually like hanging out with my kids when they aren’t whining or fighting
- This is about 20% of the day – and I’ll take it for now
- Feeding kids is a full time job, but I also hated packing lunches so maybe I just wish these kids didn’t need food. Or clean clothes while we’re at it.
- Having a supportive husband (and roommate) is a non-negotiable. If he wasn’t on board I would feel like a lone ranger. A lone ranger with a tic and a box of wine at noon.
- The teacher gifts that I used to give out WERE NOT ENOUGH. People, thank your teachers, and often – they do this with twenty students that they don’t even get to claim on their taxes. This deserves gifts and praise. Lots of it.
- Flexibility is everything. Don’t like that book? There are about a million other options. Need a day to catch up? Teacher inservices are perfectly acceptable. Need to get out of the house? Field trips don’t require permission slips here.
I hope the kids are learning SOMETHING. I really do. But I have to remind myself that their academic education isn’t even why we’re doing this. They needed a break from the go go go and the testing. We all needed a year to reconnect as a family. I needed time to help build their character. And John needed someone else to learn to do a load of laundry around here. If just a few of those things get done by May, I’d call it a win.