It’s Not Even November

Boy howdy. When I wrote out my class syllabuses in August, I had no idea how much I would depend on them, and so quickly! At the end of September I checked in with the books to see how we were keeping up and discovered that we were halfway through November’s science lessons, but behind on a few smaller things…like Rules of Civility.

I guess we are training uncivilized scientists.

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To compensate, I made some adjustments to our schedule, {cough, cough} and added more subjects, activities, and household responsibilities. The result? We were drowning in busywork at the midpoint of October, behind in Language Arts, and still, somehow nearly done with December’s allotted science chapters. What was going on? I realized that checking in with the books needed to be much more frequent, like every week.

Columbus Day was the perfect excuse for a ‘teacher in-service’ day, and I spent the afternoon industriously writing out two weeks of lesson plans that looked like a psych ward journal.

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We ended up with too much bread in the slicer. {He was asking too many questions and he was asking them too quickly. They were stacking up in my head like loaves in the factory where Uncle Terry works. The factory is a bakery and he operates the slicing machines. And sometimes the slicer is not working fast enough but the bread keeps coming and there is a blockage. I sometimes think of my mind as a machine, but not always as a bread-slicing machine. It makes it easier to explain to other people what is going on inside it. ~The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time}

We couldn’t keep up.

Back to the drawing board. I revisited the syllabuses yet again, and found that we didn’t actually have to finish out the entire school year by December 31st. How did I miss this the first time? Contrary to what the psych ward lesson plan said, there was room to slow down. We could take more time with supplementing lessons, absorb more, invite friends over, take longer lunches, play, have recess, take walks, and most likely sleep better.

I amended the lesson plan. The new schedule has us finished with October’s work by {gasp!} the end of October. With a sigh of relief, the burden was lifted.

{The load is still a tad heavy, we are reading The Jungle, after all.}

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The best part of the week was our ‘Gratefulness Tree’. It is sort of silly, but each leaf has been a fun reminder of all we have to be grateful for, and a challenge to show appreciation for them. Now this is education, am I right? Construction paper and scotch tape?

Writing up a short list of work for tomorrow, Shelley

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