Sunday, August 04, 2013

Preparing for Changes

August is here! This summer has been a strange one. There has been lots of rain, and for the most part it has been cool. It feels like fall already with warm days and cool nights. It feels like we haven't even had a summer, and here we are a mere two weeks until our summer vacation days are over and we set out on this new adventure of private school. I'm not ready!

The past week has been a blur of school shopping, last days of summer play dates, school paperwork, searching Pinterest for classroom ideas, talking nicely to the tomatoes to hurry up so I can do some canning before school starts, and trying to prepare the gears to make the shift to our new activities and schedule. I'm exhausted!

The kids are warming up to the idea. Vivian is thrilled. She has been from the beginning. She will be in my class, and to her this is the best decision we've ever made.

She is not ready for is the getting up early. Our kids have never been big on sleeping in. They are usually all up by 7. Vivian, in the last week or so, has decided she loves sleeping in. Not only sleeping late, but then lounging in her bed for awhile after she wakes up. I've been dragging her out of bed between 9:30 and 10:00. We will need to leave for school before 7:00. This is going to be an adjustment.

Nolan is the most adamant that this is a horrible idea. Have you seen this angry face before? This picture was taken a few years ago, but Nolan still makes the same angry face now. If anything it is more intense. This is the face we get any time the word "school" comes up. The face, along with a lot of grunts and growls.

The other day he and Vivian were having a conversation about the money he earns from his Ham, Bacon, and Egg project.  He told Vivian, "Next year I am going to put all that money into my savings account. I'm going to need it for college because now that we aren't homeschooled, I won't be so smart. I won't get as many scholarships."

Between you and me, I think Nolan will probably love school the most. He is very social. That is part of the reason he is so upset about the change. He is sad to be leaving all his homeschool friends. Once we get through the initial transition, I think he will love being with other kids every day, and I think the structure of school will be good for him too. We'll see.

On a complete rabbit trail, in the interest of writing this down before I forget, Nolan and Vivian had another interesting conversation the other day. We were processing chickens, and they were helping me package them up. They cut and seal the bags for me. They help me get the trays ready for packaging. We use biodegradable trays with absorbent meat tray pads something like this:

They were putting the pads on the trays for me and making a stack. I'm not sure how the conversation started, but this is what I heard:

Vivian: I don't know. I think it is toilet paper.
Nolan: I thought they were diapers.
Vivian: Diapers?! They are too small!
Nolan: Diapers for the chickens.

They were talking about the meat tray pads.

Back to the subject on hand.

Lydia, my sweet sweet Lydia. She doesn't have much to say about school. When you ask her how she feels the answer is "I don't know." She really is just an easy going, go with the flow, cooperative child. We met her teacher. I think that helped put her a little more at ease with the change. I think she is a little nervous. That is understandable. School is something completely new. I'm a little nervous about math. It has always been hard for her, but she has worked hard the last couple of years. She has gained some confidence in math. I think it will be ok. I think she too will enjoy having her friends around every day.

And then there is Kellen. This picture pretty much sums up his reaction to going to school. His biggest complaints have been about the loss of freedom. He has complained about the dress code, the required courses for graduation, and things like that.

He is used to pretty much learning what he wants when he wants. Deadlines and structure are not part of his homeschool experience. We keep pointing out that it will be good practice for college.  I think he gets that even if he doesn't like it. He also appreciates that there will be classes he can take there that are hard to cover at home like sciences with labs, foreign language, and classes he can get help with like higher math where he is well beyond his mother's math skills.  I think he understands why this is the best thing for the family even if he wishes it would have happened a few years later.

Personally, though I am far from ready, I can't wait until we are past this transition and into the new schedule. The transition is hard. It is like we have each foot in a different place. We are trying to tie up the loose ends on one side while we plan and prepare for the other side. I am very sad to leave our flexible, laid back homeschool life. I am sad to leave the co-op we've been a part of since Vivian was an infant. Sad that I've had to step down from the board of The Wild Ramp. Sad that this change also means changing churches. There are so many people that I'm going to miss regularly hanging out with.

I am excited though for us to embark on this new adventure as a family. I can't tell you how thrilled I am for us all to be going to the same place on the same schedule every day. I am excited for my second grade class. There are only seven kids, and in many ways it will just be an slightly expanded version of what I've been doing for years. I am excited for Tim to be home in the evenings, for the time on the farm we'll have on breaks, and for the breathing room in the budget. This is going to be a good thing. Now, if I can just get through the next couple weeks!


  1. I'll be praying for you over the next few weeks.Can't wait to read your posts by the end of September. A class with seven kids=awesome :)

    1. Thanks! My thoughts exactly. Seven second graders sounds a whole lot nicer than the 25 + eighth graders per class I used to teach. :)