A New Schedule

We are trying something new here in the Holland house. My kids watch WAY too much TV. I know are you shocked? School work doesn’t take all day and they watch TV the rest of the time, I know bad Mommy. I won’t be taking home any medals in the Mommy Wars…oh well.

The other day one of the kids had a full blown fist fight with another kid over what they were going to watch on TV. Now you may be shocked again, but with three boys fighting, yes with their fists, happens pretty often. Then one of them had the audacity to back talk me when I requested a tv power change, ie give the controller to your sister. Back talk? Oh yeah they have seriously got their priorities messed up! So I spent Sunday developing a plan, a new schedule, a paradigm shift for my little couch potatoes.

I made up a new schedule, one that does not allow screen time in any form from 9-5. From 5 to 8:30pm they are scheduled into blocks of controller control 😉 opposite their bath time. I haves also put the older two in charge of overseeing the younger two during their bath time…this was essential in that their bath times overlap dinner prep.

I announced this new change Sunday night. No one grumbled, weird maybe they didn’t hear me, or understand? Monday morning roles around and my oldest arises and makes breakfast all according to schedule, they clean their rooms on time and then set down to read, play games and enjoy the warm morning. The day went fine, we had a small scuffle in the afternoon when cries of “We’re bored!” were immediately met with extra chores and suddenly the boredom vanished.

The only real complaints to be heard as we enter day two are understandably from my Ephraim. His whole world is ordered by the amount of video games and screen time he gets. I’m not too worried though, he is taking an interest in Robby’s D&D study and playing imaginative games with Josh. I think he can handle this.

What to write…

Let’s see it’s a new year.

Bobby will be starting in a new section which will mean humane hours and a chance to really do his job.

Robby is starting 6th grade, he and Talitha have started home bar/bat mitzvah training.

Talitha is working through 4th grade. She has been doing very well over all, becoming quite the caring, young lady.

Ephraim is flying through 3rd grade as though everyone skips 2nd. I believe he took a day to learn long division?

Josh is doing well in Kinder, though he was a little disappointed that he has not yet learned to read.

Sarah is a little spitfire! We don’t do preschool, more of a relaxed interest led learning right now. She is eager to learn numbers and doesn’t like to have to wait for her turn to do “school.”

What am I up to? Well that anxiety that set in on vacation seemed to get worse and worse as the months wore on. I am just now feeling like I could get back to normal. This was an exceptionally long stretch, haven’t had it this bad since 2007. With the kids being older this time, they unfortunately had to see it, but also rose to the occasion to help me out, when I had to take to bed for the day. They are good kids .

I have picked up crocheting again, and I’m loving it. I haven’t written to often this last year and I can’t say I will write more this year. I’m reading a lot more, lots of things too. Amish Romances, of course, a few titles to keep me ahead of the kids on Hebrew and bar/bat mitzvah training. I picked up a new title that I haven’t started yet, Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls, recommended by a friend.

New School Year

We school year round, but everyone else is heading back to school and so we get the benefit of back to school sales, play groups and co-ops starting back up.

This year has been different, just like every other year we have started schooling. Robby will start his new school year in October he will start 6th grade with Switched on Schoolhouse. Talitha started fourth grade with the same curriculum about a month ago. She loves it. This is the first time she has ever been graded on her work and she is thrilled with “good” grades. Joshua and Ephraim started their new work this week, with Josh in Kinder and Ephraim in third grade.

I don’t know what grades kids should be on based on their age. I think Robby is on the young side of most sixth graders at age 10. Talitha might be right in right spot at age 9, Ephraim though…7 in in third grade, and he won’t be 8 till the end of the year. This is mainly because I chose to skip second grade for him.

The year that Talitha started Kindergarten I realized she wasn’t ready so we repeated the grade. When Robby wanted to start pre-Kinder at age 3 we did. This is one of the reasons we home school, so that we can tailor the experience for each child.

Last year Ephraim would blast through is work, and he hated phonics. I realized he hated it because at halfway through first grade he was reading at almost a third grade level. So we dropped the entire phonics program and just worked on reading, language and math. As he finished up his year I realized that within Language and math he was not challenged, he mastered everything very quickly and was bored. So that got me thinking, what would second grade look like for him? Another year of not quite staying ahead of him or would it final challenge him. I studied the scope and sequence for both second and third grade and compared it what he learned this year and took the plunge. I ordered all third grade materials.

So I was a little nervous when I placed the third grade work in front of him this week. I wasn’t prepared for his reaction; he didn’t want to skip 2nd grade. He wanted to be a 2nd grader this year  not a third grader. I told him he could still call himself a 2nd grader if he wanted. No, this would be deceptive, he didn’t want to lie 🙂 It didn’t take long for him to be proud of his work and declare to our respite worker that he was a third grader this year! Now about the work it challenged him, he seemed to have to work, but he also seemed happier to do it. I will let you know if that lasts.

So in true Army fashion we will take a huge break just a few weeks after starting school back up full swing. We aren’t complaining we so need this vacation and have been looking forward to it for over a year.

Previous Post

I ran across this blog on Facebook, a group I belong too that serves families who choose to home school their special needs children.
” In just a few months, I am going to be placing my special little boy into the hands of the public school system. Because he is non-verbal, I will have no way of literally knowing how his day went, if he is being treated well, and if those to whom I am entrusting his care really do care about him. This kind of fear is paralyzing. And more so because I know just how little training (read almost none) that most of the staff in a public school have in dealing with children like my son.”

It is for this reason I have never considered putting my children in school, even when like last week I wanna throw in the towel.

Flappiness Is...

Dear Parents of Special-Needs Children I’ve Taught In the Past,

I need to make a big apology.  You see, I’ve been teaching now for fourteen years, but I have only just recently joined your ranks.

I didn’t know.  Not even a clue.  I thought, mistakenly, that having two special-needs children in my family made me more sensitive to your needs as a parent.  It didn’t.  And I’m so sorry for operating under the assumption that it did.  I’m not attempting verbal self-flagellation here.  I meant well.  I knew a lot about autism and some about other special-needs conditions.  I did care about your child.  And I did want to do right by him.  But, like a lot of teachers who Just Don’t Get It, I thought doing right by him meant giving him extra time on assignments and not allowing him to fail my class.  I thought being extra nice…

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