What are we doing around here? (Schooling Update)

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It seems like it must be almost Fall since everywhere I look there are “Back to School ” sales and things printed in plaid. Some of my FB friends have already started their new school year and the blogs I read have had plenty of “First Day of School” pictures and reports.? Since we are schooling year -round at this point (six weeks of school then one week off with longer breaks for Christmas, vacations and family events) we won’t really have a “First Day of School”…except we will because F will be going to a local Junior Kindergarten in a few weeks.

Huh? Aren’t we homeschooling? And isn’t he just about to finish his Rod and Staff First Grade work?

Yes, we are and yes, he is but there are some things we can’t provide and he can (hopefully) get from a small structured classroom environment.

F is a very intelligent child, but he struggles with social interactions, reading facial and voice cues, and handling it when other people don’t follow what he has identified as the “rules”. We can’t help him with that as much in a family setting. His siblings don’t generally push his buttons since they follow the same rules and have learned the same manners as he has. They also usually defer to him since he is the eldest and his ideas are typically well thought through and executable.

He doesn’t usually have too much trouble relating to children who are older than he is, but his age peers can be a bit mysterious since he interacts with the world in a very observation based and logical manner that many three to five year olds don’t share.

So starting after Labor Day he will be going to school five mornings a week. I’ll have to drop him off and pick him up (though I’m hoping to find someone to carpool with) and our whole schedule is going to have to change to reflect a new phase in our life together.

Su and I will do her first grade work in the morning as well as some Home Ec kind of stuff and work on some of her weak areas (confidence, whining and so on). I’ll also be using some of the time F is in school to start working with W some. This will mostly be in the form of doing puzzles and working on his speech which does seem to be slower than the others and I’m starting to think is at least in part because he hasn’t figured out how to put his mouth in certain positions. He doesn’t have any trouble communicating but he does most of his communicating via sign language which he develops as needed.

F and I will continue with his studies at home in the afternoon, just working our way through the end of first grade and on into second. His work only takes about 45 minutes most days and I think having some focused “Mama-time” around something we both enjoy while the others are having “nap-time” will be good for both of us.

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be easing into our new schedule, crossing off the list of “Things to be done before F starts school” and generally moving into this new phase in our lives.

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