OK, I've been busy. But that's not really why I've been remiss about posting on this blog. The real reason is... I've been working to put together a better, more focused program for Tom, and running into no end of frustrations.
We'll be starting a homeschool gym program at the YMCA in Wareham next week - and I must admit I'm nervouse... who knows whether he'll integrate into the group, manage the pressure of uncertainty, or submit to swim lessons when he already has a basic grasp of how to get from one end of the pool to the other?
He's started a "tutoring" program two hours a week with two other boys... one is autistic, the other just "different" - and already I'm wondering whether it was really the right choice. He does ok, but the teacher is not particularly animated - and Tom just sorta wonders about the kids but barely interacts.
He's back in "Hot Jazz," playing clarinet - but after last fall's concerts, where he did beautifully but was basically ignored by teachers and kids (and did his own very impressive job of ignoring everyone around him except to play his music), I can't say I'm terrifically excited...
He's continuing in his bowling league and bowling well, but he continues to use two hands (no one else cares, but we do) - and has yet to say a word on his own to another human being.
We've stopped speech therapy for the time being, because the therapist is working with us as a "thinking coach" - but while she's brilliant, it's also very hard indeed for me to really make sense of how to integrate her ideas into our program.
I'm using Math Mammoth as a math program, and while I like its intense drills and I think Tom's doing well with it, I also know that he COULD be doing more advanced calculation with Touch Math - and I'm totally conflicted. I wake up at night worrying about this!
I'm using comprehension review questions from EdHelper for language arts - and he does just great (just finished Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). But since all the questions are who/what/when/where questions, and he's seen the movie 50 times, I'm not sure that's much of an accomplishment.
In short - I'm wondering whether I really have a clue as to whether I'm doing a particularly good job at teaching, choosing curricula, or even managing our schedules.
Meanwhile, Tom and Peter have been working on an indoor train layout.... building a mountain of papier mache and plaster. It's a great art project, but I had somehow imagined something more integrated and richer.
Part of the problem is that we're really struggling to find the time to plan out much of ANYthing: we're each trying to earn a full-time living in our "off" hours, and I simply can't afford to have my clients feel that they're anything but my first priority... Don't want the house to be a disaster area, or make dinner from a box, or sleep on dirty sheets, or ignore Sara's requests to read aloud or play board games... and every night I fall into bed like a lump.
Not sure where all this is leading... I'm assuming that my spirits will rise as the spring comes closer?!