Monday, July 30, 2012

Thinking about back to school...

School starts for my kids and their 23,000+ peers in the Providence Public Schools in a month, on August 28. Right now, we're deep into our summer routine, such as it is. Bedtime is a moving target. The guys are reading according to their own initiative (see this for the prickly relationship that our family has with required summer reading). Leo is obsessing about fantasy baseball and Henry about Legos. So their minds are at work. I am cool with them and they seem pretty cool with themselves. As Anne Lamott might put it, right now, most of the time, their minds are hospitable neighborhoods in which they are safe alone. I credit the laid back pace of summer for that.

Elias is at camp for nearly a month, totally out of my clutches. From his letters, we're getting little glimpses here and there but I don't need those to know he's learning big--about other people, life outside his family, how to take care or himself, self-reliance, coping without tv and other comforts of home, probably about archery and kayaking and I can't wait to find out what else.

The other guys are having fun at their camp (this week it's soccer, hence last night's late night scramble for shin guards). We're watching a whole lot of Olympics and pursuing the learning that comes from that, which includes frequent reference to an atlas and lots of conversation about the rules of various sports, competition, setting and achieving goals, world records, and more speculation than I ever thought possible on whether body hair really does slow someone down in the pool THAT much (if this topic fascinates you as much as it fascinates Leo, you are welcome to take it up with him and spare me another explanation of friction and milliseconds).

However, I've been in the game for long enough to know that now is the time to get our heads (mine, for starters) into getting ready for school. Because in one way or another this is an annual rite of passage for all of us with kids at school, during the coming days and weeks, I'll to share bits and pieces of our family's transition back to school during the coming weeks. What's on my mind now:
  • establishing routines and rituals 
  • setting up the house to encourage and invite learning 
  • figuring out the best way to deal with the sometimes glorious distractions of tv and computers 
  • getting our parental heads around their upcoming curriculum and learning expectations 
  • school supplies, clothes, etc. 
  • afterschool activities 
  • figuring out schedules, buses, transportation, and babysitting/afterschool care
All that and more is on my mind, so if you're reading this, it's probably on yours too. So let's do this. Soon. Today, though, we have a sprinkler to run through.

No comments:

Post a Comment