Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Back to School--a Good Day, and a Bad Day

We officially started back with all our co-ops last Tuesday.  I was worried, since we had been gone all weekend, and Faith, Micah, and Drew got back later from Idlewild.

But not to worry, because last Tuesday went like a charm!  Everyone did well, there were no glitches, even with the computers, and so I breathed a sigh of relief.

That may have been premature, however, because wow, did we ever have quite the day today!  I haven't been feeling well (allergies, I think, plus a bunch of canker sores in my mouth), so I was already not 100%.  We've been having random issues with our printer, which always makes me really stressed.  Bob, Luke, Caleb, Jonathan, Anna, Grace, and Faith were all at the Redskins/Steelers game last night, thanks to tickets from Bob's company, and so while they had an amazing time, they didn't get in bed until midnight. And 3 out of 4 TNT kids had show-n-tell or read-n-tell.

Anna did fine for her read-n-tell, which is like an oral book report.  She picked Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians, which was well received.  Micah was extremely not enthusiastic about his show-n-tell, but fortunately the aide was a friend of ours from our Friday night Bible study, so I emailed her to give her the backstory on his object.  He brought a baseball from a Nationals game he went to with Bob, Anna, and Ian, a friend of ours from church, 2 years ago.  It was right around his birthday, so on the way home, Bob and Ian got the whole metro car to sing "Happy Birthday" to him.  Then this random stranger, who had caught a foul ball during the game, presented the ball to him, which was really sweet.  So Claire, the aide, asked Micah leading questions, which he did answer.  No one else in his little class had ever gotten a ball like that, so they thought it was pretty special, which made him smile.

Grace was a different story, however.  She (reluctantly) decided to talk about our ride in the C-17 when we flew space-a to Travis AFB on our way to Hawaii in 2014.  I helped her type up a little narrative so she could just read it, and I printed out 4 pictures to go along with her story.  In the van this morning, I asked if she had it, and she assured me she did.  But when I dropped her off at her classroom, she turned to me and said, "Oh, I don't think I put it in my backpack."  What?!?  I checked, and sure enough, it was not there.  I told her I would go home and bring it back to her, even though I had to start teaching biology in about 20 minutes, but when I got home, I couldn't find the folder anywhere.  I would just have started teaching class, except Verity chose this morning to have a huge melt-down tantrum.  Eventually I just put her back to bed so I could start teaching, but I was already frazzled, and I hadn't even started my first class!

After we got started, Jonathan appeared in the schoolroom.  He had been in the basement starting the "Traditional Logic" dvds for himself and 2 other boys.  He showed me the disc, which had a largish crack on the back, and so it wasn't working.  Of course it wasn't--not today!  I remembered the second disc had broken the last time we did this class because for some reason, it was really hard to get them out of case, but I hadn't realized the first one had cracked as well.   Lovely!  I sent him back down with instructions to go over the introduction stuff orally, and made a mental note to order new dvds.

Happily, Verity was in a much improved frame of mind when I got her up after my class ended.  When we headed back over to pick up the kids, I got Anna first and asked her if she knew where Grace's folder was.  "Oh, she had it in the van, but she dropped it so it went behind the back seat.  Didn't she get it?"  Well, noooooo . . . and she didn't even mention anything about the van this morning!  I was pretty steamed, so I told Grace that since she had been so deceptive, she was going to have to deliver this little show-n-tell to my afternoon life science class, to the memory work kids, and then to the biology kids during lab on Thursday before giving it next week to her TNT class.  Well, that set off waves of tears and sobbing.  The drama!

It took a good 20 minutes of sniffling and carrying on before she would read it for the life science class, but she eventually made it through.  The boys were very interested, asking lots of questions about the ride (like I knew they would!), so she felt better.  She didn't balk at all about giving it to the memory work kids, and she (happily) told Caleb tonight that she was going to give her presentation (that's a big word for what is like a 1-2 minute thing, lol) to his class on Thursday.  So overall I would say she has gained some confidence, which is good.  My big hope, however, is that she will decide that avoiding things like presentations in front of people by being sneaky is really not a good way to go.  I did point out while we were waiting for her to stop crying before life science, that if she had just read the thing this morning, she would have already been WAY done!  Ah well.  It was interesting.  I'm just glad this was not the first day, or I would have definitely considered it a bad omen for the rest of the year!

And that would have been unfortunate, because really things *are* going well so far this year.  I've made a concentrated effort to work with Micah Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, since those are the days I don't teach.  I started Anna on Teaching Textbooks 5 for math this year, and even though it's only been about 3 weeks, it has already really boosted her confidence, and she is really liking it.  Grace is back to Saxon, this year 5/4.  She and Anna really are in a pretty similar place, but obviously I can't put them in the same program because that would devastate Anna.  So this is working out fine, and she doesn't seem to mind not having a fancy computer program to put her answers into.  Faith is buzzing right along, even getting her work done without me telling her to some days!

This week the online classes start.  It's been really nice to just kind of ease into our fall schedule, since it has a bunch of moving parts and is fairly complex.  After Thursday, all classes and activities will have started, so hopefully we'll be able to work any kinks out of transportation or anything else.  So far Caleb and Jonathan have seemed more motivated to get their school work done, and I can only pray that continues!  Luke and I have been meeting Thursday evenings to work on college application stuff, so we are making some progress there.  There are definitely a lot of plates to keep spinning.  Hopefully once we get this big ship moving, inertia will take over, and we'll just keep heading in the right direction!

No comments: