This week was all planned out. Or rather, it was not planned out as the calendar was really, really empty when the week began. That soon changed and it has not stopped.
Our normal week has Olaf coming twice a week, mid morning and leaving before I pick George up from school. We tried a few different times and days and this seems to be working for both parties involved right now. However, we are also friends and realize that life happens. Sometimes things come up on our end, and other times their plans change. Sometimes it means he only comes once a week. This week, however, it means coming later on Monday and staying past when I pick George up. No problem.
About 9 a.m. on Monday, another friend called. Turns out something (good) came up suddenly that required her undivided attention and she was looking for someone to watch her son for a few hours that afternoon.
My day already involved two active boys and no expectation of housework being done during daylight hours, we were going to the park instead, so what was one more? “Sure he can come over.” He actually ended up joining us a few hours early, as we ran into them at the library. Jack and Olaf were so happy so see their friend. We moms got some surprise adult time in while the kids played. The librarian only had to tell the boys to be quiet twice. Hey, what do you expect from a 3, 5, and 6 year old who are the only kids in the library and thrilled to see each other?
On the way from the library to the park, we stopped to watch a cement truck work. After all, what else do you do when you have 3 inquisitive little lads with you? Thankfully there was a bench right there to provide a very tangible barrier to keep their curious hand out of the cement and off the buttons of the truck.
That was Monday.
I also was able to call George’s Orthodontist. Yes, we needed to schedule an appointment for my 2nd grader with an orthodontist. Fun times.
The referral finally got through and we were able to schedule an appointment for Wednesday. Due to the long distance we had to drive, I chose a middle of the day time for this first meeting. (Our next appointment will be later in the day.)
Tuesday I planned to go to Big Town to pick up some groceries, light fixtures and some paint primer. We have a lot of walls and ceilings to paint before the electricians come. Jack and I took a long lunch and played on the playground. Tag does not seem like to hard of a game until you have little people all around you trying to catch you. They can move fast.
I worked some school in along the way – “I need 6 groups of 5 ____ in the cart.” “I want you to try and read the sign first.” “Can you find the milk with this sticker on it?” and we did some read alouds when we arrived home.
Wednesday was almost a total loss, though I did get the kids started on school work early enough that they should have been able to finish by 8:30. We started much earlier than normal, but I also created some things for George to do, as we had not had a chance to tell his teachers he was not going to be there. He did fabulous and got all his work done. Jack … well, he seems to be in a slump lately. What he did do was have a blast at his friend’s house. That night he went to bed almost on his own. That is a very unheard of thing in our household.
Thursday looks to be fairly boring during the day with Olaf coming but not much else. The evening however is full. I mentioned to yet another friend, on Tuesday evening, that I was feeling guilty that the kids were going to miss their soccer practice again, but we had a prior commitment in Big Town that started right when practice ended. This would have made their 3rd practice of the “season” and they missed the 2nd one already. My friend then offered to pick the kids up and have them hang out at her house while my husband and I did what needed to be done.
This is what friends do. I could not believe that she would even offer. “I owe you big time,” she said. “Besides, my kids will be so thrilled to have them over.” I had done the same thing for her only a few weeks back, keeping her one child all day so she could spend one-on-one time with another child. This is what friends do, right? Help each other out, even if it is not always the easiest thing.
Jack has been missing his friends lately and I could not figure out exactly how we were going to arrange play dates with them all. Seems I did not have to arrange anything. He has had fun hanging out with friends for hours and hours this week. What a blessing it has been for all of us.
This post, however, is about school, not our week’s schedule. Isn’t that why it is called HOME school, though, and not School At Home? We live life as we learn and grow.
Jack got to see how another family functions, how some of their rules are different than ours. He got to work through personality differences and frustrations.
George learned about the teeth in his mouth, as well as how insurance functions. We talked a bit about finances, how we put money into savings because we know expenses will come up. I reassured him that we knew braces would be in his future and had money set aside. “This is why you save; you never know when something is going to happen. Save now so you will have money when those things happen.” That does not mean we go into things blind. We ask questions, starting off with, “How much is this going to cost?”
I did make of point of mentioning how much of a blessing the Orthodontist was being, making his prices reasonable for everyone. Why can he do this? Because he has been in practice so long, he is not worried about the money. He likes to help the kids get a smile they can be proud of.
Due to the reasonable costs, we will very easily be able to pay out of pocket for this first set of orthodontics. When full braces are needed, then we will turn to insurance. Again, making the most of the resources we have at hand. I had prepared myself to not flinch when I was told the price. Instead, I found myself have to hold back from choking up. I had not realized that a little lump of stress had lodged itself in my brain, waiting to have to write yet another large check.
Tomorrow we will need to catch up on some math and readings. I am not sure how Friday is going to turn out, as George has an appointment to have a few teeth pulled. I am not sure pulling the extra tooth so early was a good decision. I am thinking some of these issues would have not presented themselves if it had just been left till it had to come out. Yet, if we had taken that route, there would be other problems looking at us.
Saturday we are expecting to get the dishwasher. It has only been a few weeks without one, but I really do miss it. Even more than when our oven quit working. We might be able to use that as a school day in the morning. George like to “be home schooled” too, so I have him join in with Jack or modify it to fit what he is learning at school. It can’t hurt and if it makes him feel less like he is missing out then I will keep going.
When Jack and I were at the playground on Tuesday, I was reminded yet again of the need for friends. He needs to be in a setting with the ability to make friends with kids who are his age or older. Because of where we live, there are not a lot of local home school families. There seems to be an abundance of 4 -5 year old’s that we can play with, but this needs to be balanced with older kids too. After soccer ends, I am going to look into signing him up for basketball. I am not sure what the local school will say, but I am hoping they are open to it. He needs that setting, just not all the time.
I have started drilling both kids on their math facts. It really is easier to do it with both of them. It seems that the realization of what the numbers really mean has finally dawned on George. This makes it so much easier to play with numbers, discuss them and understand concepts. Jack sort of naturally gets the feel for them. George, on the other hand, has to work at getting that feel. So, while we are on track with Jack, George is ‘behind’ where he should be at school. I do have hope that even with starting this late, he will get it quickly as he has had some time to mature.