Friday, October 12, 2018

Weekly Update: Being Responsible

These past couple of weeks I have been in a flare of basically every one of my chronic conditions, which I am not going to list out here. Suffice it to say, calming Sjogren's has been my primary goal. That generally requires following all of my doctors' recommendations perfectly, and resting. Lots of resting.

I'm not good at resting. 

Milori and Rosetta aren't good at resting either. 
I had great plans to spend days at home lounging around while Amber worked on school. I had planned to go over lessons with her and simply rest. Yet my brain can't be calm or inactive, so we ended up leaving the house for something every single day the past two weeks except for today. It was utterly ridiculous and at the same time so needed. I wasn't quite sick enough to lounge about during the school days.

I have been eating an assortment of bland food and avoiding all liquids except water and a little bit of stevia sweetened tea. I'm currently thankful for potatoes that I tolerate well. Is it actually possible to live on potatoes, and bananas?

While I was trying to be restful and contemplating what needed to be done, I finally was able to discern why our schedule felt so hectic. I even came upon a solution, which should have been perfectly obvious, yet I had been too rushed and focused elsewhere to see the situation properly.

You shall not pass. (That's actually what he was doing too. I was not to leave the room)
The issue was in my enforcement of Amber's game time, bedtime, and morning wake time. I was so busy with all that I needed to do, that I let her just game when her school day was over. So she did. Unfortunately, that left almost no time for things she should be doing outside of school time. Additionally, I did not enforce usage of her planner, so she honestly didn't remember her extended assignments. She was going to bed too late, getting up late in the morning and then short on time for even her regular school day. Not to mention, I was then equally tired and short on time for my errands. 

We spent most of last Wednesday relearning how to use the planner, then scheduling out when she could possibly work on her assignments and other daily activities, like flute practice and cardio exercise. The crux of our problem though has been our schedule or lack there of. We discussed why I have been having problems enforcing the game time and a good way to help us both keep to our agreed time frame. Amber now has an alarm for school nights that tells her when to stop gaming (or any other activity) and begin her bedtime routine. This also means I need to begin my night routine too, because we both have alarms for a reasonable time in the morning.

Since all good intentions often get forgotten if we don't put them into practice immediately, we began with the new schedule that evening. It was rather an adjustment, however we all survived and Thursday was an impressively productive day. She simply needed an earlier start to the day, and an outline of what needs to be done before she is free to do as she pleases each day. She has kept up with her co-op assignments, but home assignments were getting missed as well as a few other random activities, because she was looking to me to tell her when school was over for the day instead of tracking her assignments.

I will work with Amber still on Sundays to create her schedule for the coming week, just as I do for myself. She will need to remember to add to this schedule during the week or to move tasks that were not completed as planned. I have promised Amber and myself that I will be a stickler for seeing the planner used in order to assist her in being more organized and to make better use of her time. 

Amber will now be taking even more responsibility for her schedule and tasks, and I took responsibility for my part in the problems we had in that area. Unfortunately, this past week was a hard one to stick to the schedule. We both have had terrible headaches from the abrupt change in seasons, and very little motivation as a result. Thankfully, it's Friday and we can start afresh next week.

Lesson Summaries:

1. Amber has been practicing diligently for an upcoming flute performance at the King's Faire the local arts group has scheduled in early November. She is playing an array of songs in a specific area, and then performs during the actual show time too.
2. I've spent an inordinate amount of time learning about professional level flutes and Amber has been trying out various mid-level flutes of a few brands. Unfortunately, our local store does not carry the professional level instrument and cannot get them in for Amber to try any of the models. We did find a store in the metro area that has everything Amber could ever want and will even be hosting an expo in November at the community college around the corner from us. At this point we've narrowed down Amber's new flute to a probably brand and model, but it can't hurt to try a few others at the expo. This might actually be more difficult than when we bought the grand piano.

1. Amber is deep into writing her novel in creative writing and it's taking a good part of each day when I give her school time for creative writing.
2. Research writing at co-op (taught by me), is almost boring Amber to tears because she is such a creative writer. It's good for her.
3. Grammar continues on smoothly and on schedule.

1. Not much to say, except she's on schedule and still is fairly uninterested in American history, although at this point in high school she does not have many social studies type classes left to take and simply needs to push through to finish American history.

1. Amber definitely does not like chemistry.
2. Amber definitely does not like math in chemistry.
3. Amber is keeping up with the chemistry homework and actually has an A- in the class.
4. Teaching chemistry weekly from our house to Amber and a few of her friends is the best way we could have attempted this subject. It keeps Amber motivated and she has the benefit of the questions her friends ask. I also really enjoy chemistry and it's kinda fun.

1. Amber definitely does not like geometry.
2. See above.

1. Greek remains Amber's favorite language. It progresses.
2. German is still boring to Amber. It also progresses.

Co-op Classes:
1. Amber likes her art class and has kept up with the assignments.
2. Drama class is more like a fun break for Amber. She chose not to audition for a part, and instead is just taking whatever part is assigned this year, as long as it is not a lead part.
3. She's learning some needful things Home Economics, even if she doesn't realize it. Some of it she knew already, but it's hard to teach a class like this when the kids are all over the place in their practical knowledge.

And that's about it from here for the first part of October.

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