Saturday, August 27, 2016

Planning My Kids' Schoolyear. You. Not Me.

But before we get to that, I would like to note, or everyone else to note, this is my second post. This week. So we can all feel really good about that. And time for a latte break. Just kidding. Given I usually only get a few minutes to throw something up here before mommy duty calls, I'll save the latte til I'm done here.

It seems the school year comes sooner and sooner with each passing year. Fortunately, I've worked on my peer pressure vulnerability til it's become about as numb and impervious to suggestion as my feet. The pictures of other kids posted on Facebook, all lined up in their plaid jumpers and hot sweaters does nothing even remotely to motivate me to grab my lesson planners( mostly because I don't even have those) and start filling out schedules. I admit, the photographs were a helpful reminder to get my paperwork sent in so the school district can't accuse my kids of truancy when they walk to the corner store to grab a sandwich. See? Lunch and P.E. at the same time! Just one of the benefits of homeschooling. The biggest one being not getting everyone dressed and out the door. With shoes on. Their own shoes.  Matching ones. And 50 other societal niceties designed to frustrate parents with multiple children and force them to just stay home. Not that much force would be needed.

Woohoo! Kateri took the  babies to get the mail (after a long and drawn out search for shoes) so I might get a couple extra minutes. Siblings are the best.

So I'll get down to business. As we are still up in the air about a date for starting treatment in Chicago, I'm aiming to keep this year very fluid and agile. Think Agile. For sloths. Changes might come about slower than they should and scrums might look more like idea gathering for who should deliver dinner. But I'm also working on the serenity prayer. Or my version. Start with nothing. Anything beyond that is gravy. Oh good. that helped me decide on a dinner plan. It's working already!

Since all the formal education able kids can read well, we've decided to play go fish with the babies and set out a reading lists for the big kids. As the oldest ones are more capable and are showing interests in more adulty things, we've had some really fun discussions over some of the election issues and candidates. Since all kids start practicing for a law degree at age three, they all enjoy watching debates. In watching debates, the participants who's arguments came across as the most logical, thoughtful, and clear all had one thing in common. They had had a Jesuit education. Seriously. Even as  joke we say someone must have had one. Then we'd look it up. And sure enough. As the Jesuit missionaries went everywhere, there was no country or town that had not been reached by Ignatius's armies. Look it up. It's impressive.

The kids were so impressed they expressed a desire to be as eloquent and knowledgeable as the people they listened to, so I pounced on it. And said, I'll ask around.

It seems no one has written a step by step instruction book on how to give your kids a Jesuit education without leaving your house. Fine. I'll leave my house occasionally. Still no book. Maybe there is and I just have not found it. In the mean time, I thought I'd ask everyone if they had come across such a list, or had made one themselves. Shane and I could come up with some of our own lists, but why not stand on the backs of giants when it's possible.

The internet has made so many things accessible and we are finding it is really helpful to all watch, then discuss lectures/debates/presentations. So suggestions for online resources, or DVD sets etc. would be greatly appreciated. Fr. Spitzer, a Jesuit near and dear to my heart, has most, if not all of his lectures available on-line. So that has been great.

Shane and I had a lot of fun when we spent  a couple weekends watching a Yale professor's history lectures. He was super engaging to watch and I think would be more compelling than just handing a kid the whole shelf of Will Durant's History of Civilization.  Personally, I think the books are great. Some kids felt they were a little dry.  I guess we will have to come up with writing assignments.

I'm positive about making lists of topics for the kids, along with the resources for them to use so they can keep things going on their own when family life gets a little crazy, or we are all in Chicago for Christmas. Not that I know we will be there. At that time. Hopefully we will hear something back in the coming week.

We did hear from the Acthar company, and shock of shocks, insurance denied coverage. All $78,000. We could appeal, but Dr. says its unlikely because I have not had a bad response to the cheaper and readily covered  IV steroids. So we are moving ahead this week with the steroids. Maybe I'll use the extra energy/wakeful hours , if I'm not busy eating everything, to get the resources sorted out. Or maybe build a shed. But I don't have any building materials, so most likely I'll just sit around and eat frozen Snickers. And sort through any recommended resources anyone throws my way.
Thanks in advance.

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