So depending on which way you look at it this is well over a week overdue or I am ahead of myself. But this evening I am declaring that lessons are done and we have in some way or other completed our first proper term of home learning. We started strong and with a good pattern to our days and have finished in slightly less orderly fashion which at this end of the journey I am comfortable with.
Last week was more structured and while I am now more relaxed with go with the flow weeks when they need to happen, the structure made a big difference to Bob and his days as a whole and to mine also. So last weekend I hoped we would finish strong on structure just as we had started but Kanga decided that some more teeth needed working on and as with both the boys at 13 months my milk supply has stopped basically over night without Kanga’s permission and so our days and nights are not as straightforward as they were a week ago. It has also been a week when Mark and I had our focus on possible paths beyond the PhD which turned out to not be as clear as we might have liked and Monday was also the 20th anniversary of my Mum’s death and so while the children were doing their very best to keep me grounded in the present my heart was being pulled both toward our furture and back to my past. Bob is extremely aware of my emotions and however hard I try to limit their overflow he picks up on them and plays up which only leads to both of us spiralling unhelpfully.
But at the same time there have been many highlights as I have listened to Bob reading to Zog when I have been trying to calm Kanga down and he is now able to read picture books. What I have been made aware of though is finding the right ways to encourage and praise Bob for his reading and writing because he does not like attention being drawn to himself or realising that others have been listening to him. But he has made massive steps forward from where we were when we started back in September and I want to acknowledge that and let him know that.
Last week we went to two French class Christmas gatherings which was fun and it was particuarly interesting to see him with his class on a Wednesday as I have not been along to those as it is Mark who drops him off and picks him up. So it was interesting to see him in context with the older children and able to hold his own despite being between 2 and 4 years younger than the others. It is also the one place where I have seen him stand up and wear a costume (just a mask) for their ‘performance’ of Owl Babies. It was a very low key event but it is still the only time where I have seen him willing and choosing to stand up front in that context.
We have also had lots of fun this week with crafts and Christmas material from http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/ and http://www.3dinosaurs.com/printables/printablepacks.php as well as spending lots of hours curled up under duvets by the Christmas Tree reading and re-reading our Christmas story books.
All in all I am so thankful for this term, for all the lessons learnt, both the ones planned and the unexpected ones, for those who joined us in the journey.