Saturday, September 30, 2017

Things Not to do the Morning of your First Day of Co-op - a 7QT

We here at Wild Goose Academy are still finding our groove on this whole "home education" adventure... the rhythm is starting to fall into place - though we still have trouble with the concept that we can't go outside to start our "Play Block" until we've put on clothes, and we've already made some curriculum "adjustments" (tossing aside a curriculum is counted as just an adjustment, right?). But generally overall, things are working out just nicely. We do homeschool on Monday and Tuesday, the wee girl goes to preschool on Wednesday and Thursday, and Friday was "field trip" day.

That is until yesterday, when we started homeschool co-op!

Now, logistically, I was thinking this would be a piece of cake to do - since on Wednesdays and Thursdays we have to get out the door by 8:15 to get the wee girl to preschool, but on Fridays co-op doesn't start until 9:30 and it's literally a few blocks down the road. To my (inexperienced? ever-optimistic?) mind this was a whole extra hour of time in the morning to get ready!

However, as I learned yesterday, this really doesn't mean much. So here are a few things NOT to do in the morning before going to co-op.

- 1 -
If it is a feast day - as yesterday was (Happy belated Michaelmas, y'all!) - do not think you can read all the bible stories from your children's story bible that have to do with angels. There are more in there than you think! And chances are your child will want to know why certain angels have swords (easy. Because they fight the devil) and others have blonde hair (ummmm....) and you just don't have time to tackle all that.

While we're at it... why do Gabriel's wings look like they could use a lint roller?

- 2 -
Regarding said feast day, don't think you can start preparing dinner for it at 8:30am, even though you are thinking to yourself "Well, all the squash is doing is just roasting in the oven..." It *might* have been possible at 7:30 when you're brain was in a slightly better frame of mind and you could have pulled out the recipe to make sure you were following it *correctly* - but, news flash, it's now 8:30 and the kids still aren't dressed (nor are you), breakfast hasn't been cleaned up (or entirely eaten - little dude, get back to the table), oh! And you haven't fixed everyone's lunches yet! Or taken a shower. And the kids are now fighting over that cute little Archangel Michael you bought. You're bound to mess something up or burn the squash.

Or in my case... both.

- 3 -
St Kateri could have been a bit more helpful...

Which brings me to my third point - don't give out "surprises" the morning of co-op. I loved that little angel sitting on our table before the kids came out to the kitchen. Yay for liturgically-themed table decor! But I neglected to remember that there was only 1 of them... and I have 2 kids.  Normally, this kind of math doesn't bother me in the slightest. There will always be instances where one kid gets something that another kid doesn't, and better to learn that lesson early. However, again, teaching that lesson before co-op is *not* the best use of your time. Getting the kids dressed, and their hair/teeth brushed is much more on point.

- 4 -
Don't think you can pack 3 lunches the morning of co-op without at least a little bit of prep. Especially if there are students in the co-op with a food allergy. As they say, a stitch in time saves nine. Plan ahead by at least washing the grapes the night before. Or figure out how you're going to carry 3 lunches and snacks. Or both! This will not only save you time, but also precious counter space as you will not be tearing out all your lunch bag options at the same time as you are searching for a place to let your grapes dry.

- 5 -
For the sake of the other members in your co-op, try not to let personal hygiene be the first thing that gets bumped when you look at the clock and realize it's 9:25am. Cleanliness is next to godliness after all, and if you're not going to be punctual, at least you can have clean teeth. (Sorry co-op members)

- 6 -
OK, now it's 9:30, you're dressed but your hair/kitchen/teeth are just a mess. Try not to take this out on your wee girl by yelling "SHOES!!" at her repeatedly. It isn't exactly her fault that you're all running behind, and now your yelling is only making her flustered. She will only respond with how all 4 year-olds respond: with more foot dragging and (probably) doing something to make her little brother mad... like, say, taking his hot chocolate while he's not looking and drinking it all. Cue the 2 year old brother meltdown when he realizes his cup is empty.

(If I were on the receiving end of this, I might be flustered too)

- 7 -
One thing, nay 3 things, you *can* do once you've realized you've gone astray: Repent - rejoice - repeat. Truly, things did not start to get better until I prayed (out loud!) "Jesus, this morning has been a mess. I'm sorry. Please redeem this day." And He did! Our first day of co-op was great. It was so exciting to see the wee girl make connections between what we had been working on all week and the lessons we did in co-op on Friday. She made a great sand painting to boot. And the little dude did just great in the nursery (despite his still sensitive mood from his sister's hot chocolate-pilfering) - even making me look (dare I say it?) good by impressing the nursery teachers with his alphabet-singing-while-hand-washing and staying in his seat for *all* of lunch. (Now if he would just do that at home!)

So there you have it - feel free to learn from my mistakes! We're all about real-life education over here. *wink* There seem to be some other homeschool related links over at Kelly's, so pop on over and continue to get educated!