Term one of 2014 started yesterday, and boy, am I pleased that school (the traditional kind) is back in session. While we love the school holidays because it means our friends who go to regular school can hang out any time (this break I’ve had 5 kids in the house most days, and up to 8 on others!), we also love school going back so that we can enjoy the many wonderful resources of Taranaki without their being masses of other people there. Trips to the library, museum and pool are actually a lot more enjoyable without the chaos. And because it means we can get back to learning about all the things that interest the kids.
Personally, as an introvert, I love this return to normal life. It’s by no means slow or peaceful – there are still three energetic and boisterous girls in the house, and barely a day without an activity scheduled – but it means there is more time to enjoy each others company and deepen our learning, and at least the occasional quiet patch 😉
So far my postings seem to have mainly focused on Lauren, who, since turning five seems to have decided she wants to do all the things. Ivy has made the most of the summer break though and just hung out like the regular school kids. I think she needed it because she seems refreshed and ready to get stuck into some cool learning this term.
The first weeks of February will mostly be about finding our new rhythm. With two school kids, and one pre-school, it’s going to be different again from last year, and I can already see that there will be plenty of challenges along the way. I’m hoping that by the end of the month though, we’ll have discovered a good pattern, and found some things that work for us. The girls too have been contributing to discussion about how we can best maximise our day by letting us know what they need.
Both older girls have said that they really want some one-on-one time, not just with me, but also their Dad, and over the last month or so this has begun to happen naturally, just not at a time I ever thought to include school – right before bed! The girls have been hanging with Dad and playing DragonBox, a fantastic app which teaches the concepts of algebra, and then this last week, we’ve also been working on reading. So, to take this a step further, we’ve decided that once the youngest goes to bed, Ivy will have 20 minutes with me, and Lauren 20 mins with Dad, and then we’ll switch. The girls will make sure they are organized with what they want to do before dinner so that we can get stuck straight into it when that time of the night rolls around.
Not only will this add in some special one-on-one time which the girls need, but it also means that there is another 40 minutes of school type stuff, where the girls can get some focused attention on anything they want – it could be an interest, or a subject they are loving at the moment, or something they are struggling with. It’s their choice, and I’m really interested to see how they decide to use the time.
On top of this, we did some brainstorming yesterday for topics they would like to cover over Term One (and possibly beyond! there are a lot there lol). I’ll be sharing that with you in a separate post, as it’s quite long…
I love that the girls now feel confident enough to tell me what they need, and I’m focusing on trying to say ‘yes’ more often this year.