It seemed fitting to give an update about the events of last weeks’ post before writing about this weeks’ #WASO theme ‘A typical school morning’.
Last week I found myself writing a #WASO post about Beeswax’s first week back to school, and the anxiety and angst that he brought with him on his return home on the Friday afternoon, due to a confusion with his timetable and placing him into a vocational activity which was for many reasons, so unsuitable. I am pleased to say that one wonderful woman (curriculum co-ordinator) not only took time out from her own personal time to respond to my email at the weekend, but had by Tuesday morning resolved the situation and placed him into a more appropriate programme.
So this is one mum who was hoping that on his return today, she would have a happier teenager son (OK, well as happy as a raging, hormonal teenage boy can get anyway) – Oh well maybe next week!
It is fair to say that, with one son currently being home educated and the other attending a residential specialist school Monday – Friday, there are very few occasions where I can safely say “this is a typical school morning for us”.
Of course I could bore you with the insane madness of a Monday morning in my pursuit to make sure I have 2 boys who are ready to walk out the front door no later than 8.15am – rounding up a gaggle of geese would be easier and far less stressful. Trust me!
“Mum where the hell are my shoes?” (“By the front door where you last dumped them”)
“Muuuuuummmmm! Beeswax won’t get out of my room. He is being a (bleep bleep bleep)” (“Beeswax stop tormenting your brother and concentrate on getting yourself ready for school”)
(“Beeswax can you please stop messing around with the dog and eat your breakfast”) “Why should I?”
If I am honest there is too much talking and not enough ‘doing’ on a Monday morning – I have learnt over the past couple of years that on a Monday, rather than expecting my pseudo-independent eldest son to get himself sorted out, if I want him to ‘get a wriggle on’ I need to walk him through everything step by step and repeat myself 9, 10, 300 times before it is done – his toddler brain, well and truly takes over on these mornings. I am not even going to go into what Bumble and I have come to describe as ‘Waxy’s Monday morning download’ – in short, in order for Waxy to switch into ‘survival mode’ and become the exceptionally compliant pupil that his school have the privilege of experiencing all week, he must first ‘dump’ all this stress and anxiety onto the household before he reaches the front door of the school building. Chaos and stress doesn’t come close to describing it and I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was thankful that I no longer have to endure this EVERY morning with him.
OK, so let’s move from the routine and structure of getting Waxy off to school on a Monday to the flexibility of home education and ‘a typical school morning’ for Buzzbee.
I think flexibility is the key word here. Buzzbee is a creature of habit in most areas of his life, but now that he is no longer in a school setting and having to manage the stresses of the start of another school day and all the anxiety and fear of failure that this brought, mornings are more relaxed and his is able to gently prepare himself for the day ahead.
Although I have found that allowing the morning to be more self-guided by Buzzbee means that I have a better chance of getting him to engage with school work, there still remains some routine to our mornings:
– Washed and dressed.
– Take Beedog for a walk to local fields or woods and sneak in a crafty bit of ‘learning’ without him knowing or have a relaxed chat about what the plan for the day is.
– Juice and a snack whilst laughing at mummy grappling with Beedog trying to dry her off or clean her up.
The rest of the morning (days’) home education adventures really depends on Buzz’s frame of mind that day.
I suppose this is why I say that a lot of our day is guided by Buzz. Maybe a better way of describing it would be to say my plans are guided by Buzz’s mood and his threshold of tolerance to making mistakes – some days the volume of work I can get him to do is amazing, but then there are the days where I have to be quite creative with how I get him to engage with learning, or more accurately allowing him to believe he has wormed out of doing any more work that day and instead getting to play his PC game ‘Spore’ (reading practice, designing and programming creatures, planning and strategy, emotional literacy/social interaction between creatures – but he definitely isn’t learning anything 😋) or one of my recent favourites – Geography on the beach.