I’m finding this back to school thing is pretty chill for us right now in the homeschool department. That’s a blessing since, even as a certified teacher, I had doubts about my capabilities as a teacher to my own kids when we decided to start this journey. However, I’m finding at this stage it’s only as hard as I make it. Basically, if I don’t get in the way of everything, it’s usually smooth sailing.
We never completely implemented the modified summer schedule, which means we’ve never quit going to school for at least four days a week this summer. There is no big gear up for the school year; we’re already living it. The biggest change for us will be that all those off-for-summer children will evacuate our beloved libraries and we will have them back until next summer (that sounds so awful and elitist, and I don’t care because the day in June when I walked into the library and there were 400 hundred people there and the twins, who were both suffering major social anxiety at the time, lost their crap for the world to see and hear, I cursed summer break forever.)
I anticipate our biggest challenge at this point being balancing my extros with intros. It’s obviously early to know for sure how the kids are going to land on the extrovert/introvert chart, but there are definite trends right now. Wren and Asher(at least most of the time Asher) will greet the world with open arms, talk to strangers, and just generally draw energy from other people. Sammy and Eowyn, not so much. Sammy is fine once you get him to where he’s going. Sunday School? Totally awesome once you get him there, but he will tell you the whole way he doesn’t want to go. Same with AWANAS, the park, the library, anywhere that is not our house. And once he is finished being social, he’s finished. He’s not rude about it, but he will just kind of find his own space and hang out. That works for him. Eowyn, well, she is still in the middle of all out social anxiety, and it is hard. We’ve seen improvement over a period of weeks, but then last weekend she lost her mind because a kid she didn’t know walked near her. I had to leave the library with her flailing so the other kids could hang with Dennis and finish what they were doing. It’s frustrating. I’m not sure where this comes from, but it makes planning for outings difficult.
My goal is to have the outings and events for the week planned in advance, and then try to do it. Sammy and Eowyn will have to manage, and hopefully have fun, while we make new friends and try new things. Wren and Asher will have to be content with some at-home de-stress time, time their other siblings desperately need.
We’ll see. In every test I was ever given at all the jobs I had, I landed right in the middle of extrovert and introvert. I’m talking dead center. I am either all about socializing and drawing energy from others or I don’t want another human being within five feet of my personal space. It really depends on the day you see me. So, I empathize with all the kids. Relationships are fun and hard and quiet is nice, but so is a big playdate with lots of people. We’ll make it work. And if not I’ll just build a perimeter and go hide until we have to try again.