Adjusting to school has been a bit rough for the kids, though in different ways than I expected. I suspected there might be some 'breaking in' time with the already established kids (cliques can be rough), and that hasn't seemed to be an issue for any of them. They all seem pretty happy with friends that they've made and their social interaction seems to be good. (Not that I thought they were lacking in that, but kids can be rough). I am extremely grateful that all 3 of them seem to be outgoing and make friends easily...I can't imagine dealing with the school struggles if it was compounded by the "no friends" thing. The only frustrations we've encountered seem to be simply stemming from not having been taught in a classroom, lecture-style atmosphere, and this mainly seems to be affecting Bryce & Kate. They've both expressed struggling to "keep up" and get work done quickly, sort through all the information the teachers are giving, and managing to remember it and write down things. I really think that this is just something that needs an adjustment time, because, frankly, when homeschooling, that's just not how things happen. Everything we did was at our own pace, and totally interactive. While that was a 'enjoyable' way to learn, I feel like now in switching them over, I've probably done them somewhat of a disservice in not making them work more independently and with stricter guidelines. I spent a good chunk of Sunday evening and yesterday in tears, kicking myself for not doing better, and questioning whether I should have ever homeschooled. However, with a lot of prayer and an opportunity to talk with Bryce's teacher, and just some good conversation with the kids, I feel better about just walking them through this time, knowing that I was obedient to what God had told us to do in that season, and feel we are doing what He's leading us to for this new season, and trusting that HE will be faithful to work out everything for, in and through them and me! There will be struggles, there will be adjustments, but I keep telling myself (and sometimes I actually believe it) that they aren't "ruined" and they will be okay. And so will I.
Seth is seeming to come alive a bit more. The first week or so I was concerned because he would come home every day and just be a zombie on the couch for most of the evening. But I think it was just getting used to having such a long day, and his body seems to finally be catching up with the schedule. He still needs a lot of sleep, and is pretty wiped out til bedtime. Last night he asked to go to bed at 7:30! I had told him he had half an hour til bedtime, to which he replied "I think I'll just go now." Once he had gotten all ready for bed I think it had actually gotten him a bit of a 'second wind' and he decided to read a little bit instead of going right to sleep. That was fine...he was still in bed by 8 and out like a light soon after. And he was up around 6:30 this morning...way ahead of schedule...but just said he was done sleeping! Ah, to be a morning person...!!
All of these adjustments have carried over to family life too. We are now realizing how vital it is for us to not have many things going on in the evening now, as that's our only time with the kids. We are having to really take a hard look at our schedule and it's forcing us to be more disciplined with our time...an area of great difficulty for Todd & I both. I have so appreciated my dear husband's willingness to step up and commit to helping the kids with all math homework, as that is my weakest area. (I helped Bryce one night and he ended up having to stay in at recess the next day to re-do his homework. It was geometry, which I almost failed in high school. Apparently I'm no better at it now. When Todd heard this he said "WHY did YOU try to help him with math??" That about says it all...) Todd is such an awesome dad, who is really involved and connecting with the kids...I do realize this is not necessarily the norm, and that I am truly blessed to have such a great man. (However, in my defense, I will be handling all the Language Arts studying...and especially spelling!! LOL)
The kids are especially excited about the extra opportunities school offers...Seth starts the "science club" next week after school (he just loves 'experiments'!) and Kate is looking into the "art club". Bryce signed up for the "thinking strategies" club, but all the clubs get filled by lottery, and his named didn't get picked. However, I'm thinking that on the day that Seth is busy with his club, it may give Bryce & I some extra time to focus on practicing his music. (And, in all honesty, I think it's really good for Seth to have gotten an opportunity to do something where Bryce is sort of having to "wait his turn"...I think from Seth's perspective it's usually the other way around.) Bryce has been thoroughly enjoying playing football at recess every day, and by the end of last week had gotten to be the captain of the recess team.
Luke & Maggie are quickly becoming best buds, and they both get the same excited look in their eyes whenever they hear a bus! :)
All in all, we're all doin' okay...but looking forward to next summer! I miss my babies. (Don't tell them I said that though!!) (Countdown: Boys - 10 days down, 170 to go; Kate - 5 down, 175 to go!)