Better Day

So the funny thing about only writing on this blog when I am at my absolute wits end is that it is basically a very quick reference for all the times I’ve been at my wits end.  (Which, I realize, is not really the best kind of blog to read, but I’m looking for positives here!)  Yesterday, after I vented in that post, I went back and read the last couple of years of posts (easy to do since I post so rarely!) .  I realized I’d left one really important item off my List Of Reasons We Decided To Home School Leah:

Sleep.

Like seriously?  I forgot this?  That tells you what a huge improvement we’ve had in that area since we got off of the public school schedule.  The difference between waking my kid up at 6:30 and waking her up at 7:30-8am is like night and day.  She’s still slow, but now I just go in, open her shades, turn on her radio, turn on one light, and walk out.  No cajoling, no rubbing citrus-y smelling lotions on her to wake her up, no yelling.  She gets herself up, does a decent job of making herself ready for the day, and gets herself breakfast.  And she is always ready to start the day by 8:30.

Also? I don’t stress so much about breakfast because I know if she doesn’t eat a lot first thing, I can just give her something to eat in an hour or so when she’s more ready to eat.  If her attention or energy starts to lag, I just grab some cheese or other easy protein, put it in front of her, and voila, problem solved.  There’s a thing we couldn’t do when she was in school.  (I’d put protein-packed granola bars in her backpack.  And then I’d find them a week later, at the bottom, smashed and disgusting. It was a great system.)

At dinner last night, I brought up the school thing, as casual as I could, and just said, “Hey, do you remember what it was like when you were in school?”  I told her I also had forgotten and maybe we needed to be reminded why we chose this path.  She said, “I thought it was because of my ADHD and because teachers were mean”.  And well, yeah, that’s kind of a good summary but I think it somehow misses the point at the same time.  So we took that apart and talked about all the different hard things, and how kids in high school have 2-3 hours of homework every night, so from getting on the bus to finishing homework she’d being doing “school” for like 12 hours a day.  She didn’t say much, but I could see that sinking in.

This morning I woke up thinking how thankful I was that I was still in bed at 7am because I didn’t have to cajole my daughter out of bed and onto a bus by 6:45.  I am not a morning person either!  And then I was perusing FB (on my tablet, in bed, yes, bad habit, I know!) and I saw an article about a recent survey of more than 22,000 high school students.

New survey findings suggest that when asked how they feel during the school day, USA high school students consistently invoke three key feelings: “tired,” “stressed” and “bored.”

The researcher who led the study warns that such negative feelings can influence young people’s attention, memory, decision making, school performance and social lives.

“It’s hard to concentrate and it’s hard to do well in school if your brain is constantly having to respond to stress,” said Marc Brackett, a researcher in the Yale University Department of Psychology and director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

And suddenly it felt like maybe I wasn’t doing the worst thing ever by homeschooling my kid.

So, I don’t know, we might not stick with this home schooling thing forever.  I still worry that Leah is alone far too much and that I’m not doing enough to nurture her artistic/creative side at home.  But for now?  My hand is off the panic button.  And? It’s Friday.  Thank you, Jesus.

Taken up in the Rocky Mts. on our road trip this summer. That? Was a really good day.
Taken up in the Rocky Mts. on our road trip this summer. That? Was a really good day.
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