We have about a month left in our school year, and as the end of our 6th- and 3rd-grade year draws near I’ve been feeling a little reflective. Specifically, I’ve been trying to figure out why I’ve struggled so much this year. I’ve been stressed all year because I’ve felt that we weren’t getting enough of our schoolwork done. The kids have a lot of away-from-home activities, and I feel like all I’ve done is play catch-up.
And suddenly a few days ago something occurred to me: I’m evolving. I’ve been the kids’ primary teacher for their entire school career, but that isn’t really the case any more. Poppy is taking classes elsewhere for almost every subject this year, which means I’m more of a coordinator than a teacher for her now. That time hasn’t entirely come for Pete yet, but it’s getting closer.
Here’s a glimpse at what our weeks have been like these last few months:
Poppy’s taking a creative writing class from me at Monday co-op, Pete is taking a class called World Building that involved making up his own country, and they’re both taking a class in which they play board games. We’ve been a part of our Monday Co-op for almost five years. It’s a very sweet group, but it skews toward young kids and it isn’t really meeting our needs anymore. It’ll be a bittersweet departure, but it’s necessary.
Poppy has been taking an Shakespearean acting class, a lot of tae kwon do and some extra training for soccer on Tuesdays, while Pete meets with his spelling tutor and has a swim lesson — all worth activities that do not take place at the same time. Tuesday was meant to be a day that we stayed home and focused on our schoolwork, but best laid plans and all that.
Poppy spends a good bit of the day away from home taking writing, science and a culture and civilization class on Wednesdays, and Pete has chess class. This is one of the days that we actually do get a bit more work done at home, especially for Pete.
Thursday is New Co-op day. That’s winding down for the year, too. It’s been a terrific addition for us, academically. Poppy is currently working on a presentation on Nirvana for her History of Rock ‘n’ Roll class, and she did a presentation on Australia this week in World Geography. She’s also taking a literature and writing class, in which her most recent assignment is to write a persuasive paper. She’s trying to persuade the world to adopt a pet. Pete is working with a small group on making a stop-motion film about the parts of a computer for his Technology class and researching javelin in Sports & Games and the Marquis de Lafayette in literature, and he just finished a project about The Sun for his Astronomy class.
Fridays are my least-busy day, because the piano teacher and the spelling tutor come to us. This is the day we get most of our at-home work done.
My personal goal for next year is to embrace my new role. I’ll handle the registration and help them figure out how to juggle homework and sports and free time, and I’ll plan field trips, and I’ll drive them all over town and back again. And most important for my peace of mind, I’ll stop worrying that we aren’t getting everything done, because they’ll be doing quite enough.
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