This morning, I ventured into my office for the first time since my late-February surgery. I brought Isabelle with me since I wanted to gather some materials for Mommy Home School, which begins tomorrow. But before I had her help me down the stairs to my office, I showed her the schedule I created for her on Friday.
“What do you think?” I asked her. “Let’s go through line-by-line and talk about what may or may not work and why.”
We looked at the afternoon time, specifically, and realized it needed some tweaking. It was unrealistic for me to ask her to write for an entire hour after lunch when she hasn’t been writing that long in school this year. Therefore, we switched to a half hour. Then, we added in virtual art classes (since we’re going to try Ben Clanton and Jarrett J. Krosoczka‘s classes at 2:00 p.m. this week). She asked for iPad time when Ari wakes up from his nap so I gave it to her with the condition that she won’t spend the time watching YouTube Kids. In addition, I added the line about reading daily for 30 minutes since there are at least two mornings this week where one of us has a medical appointment, which means we may not be able to read at 8:00 a.m. I needed her to understand that while we might have to be flexible with the schedule, reading time would still be mandatory. Because, ya know, it’s the single greatest predictor of future academic success!
Once we made it down to my office, we talked about some of the things we’d need. First of all, we each needed a new writer’s notebook since I’m going to be doing Tammy Mulligan’s Writing Camp with her. I grabbed some new pens and correction tape to go along with our new notebooks. Then, we found a blank notebook she could use for the virtual art classes. Afterwards, I grabbed two books, Writing Radar and Poem in Your Pocket for Young Poets, to keep upstairs with me — just in case I need additional ideas. Finally, I grabbed out Maps so I could show her all of places we’re visiting during our virtual field trips.
I already have flash cards, books, and an iPad upstairs. So I shoved those items into a bag, did some tidying with her help, and made my way out of my office. I don’t know how long I was in there, but it was long enough for my ankle to increase in pain.
Let me be honest… this is not an idyllic situation. I don’t expect her to accept instruction beautifully from me. However, if I don’t try to implement structure from the start, then I worry the next few weeks will be a disaster.