September Starts

September, for us, does not hold the same foreboding that it did when I was a kid or that it does for many families. Fortunately, ours is a little more relaxed. If you don’t happen to find September daunting, hurray for you!
End of the Summer golf/boardwalk/rides/pizza night!
Castaway Golf, Point Pleasant
We are so grateful that The Midland School exists and provides exactly what Ethan needs and wants. He looks forward to going. He thrives on the structure and opportunities provided to him there. He likes his friends and likes his day to fall neatly into the boxes on his schedule. He wants his routine to be enjoyable – and to Ethan, that means predictable. Thank God Midland has a ‘No Homework’ policy – because our family does too!
Ethan’s new ‘LunchBlox’ System – love it!
So we said ‘goodbye’ to Ethan on Wednesday as he happily ran to his bus!
Although the other boys are homeschooled, we continue to have a strong connection to the September ‘start’. Their hockey league starts practices and scouts begins meeting again. Our homeschool playdate and cooperative start up again, as do classes at The Circus Place.
This year, we think they boys need a little more structure and a tighter routine for their day. Our boys have serious focus ‘issues’ – oh, where did they get that from?! Gavin, in particular was able to articulate that he often does not get done what he hopes to in a given day. Who hasn’t experienced that? I wouldn’t function without a list. We sat with the boys and talked about some things that they are interested in accomplishing. We discussed interests and desires, and how busy they want to be. We looked at what was ‘scheduled’, like existing classes, and started plugging in some blocks of time for them to accomplish other tasks.
This preschool has a ‘shirts optional’ policy – heck, it has a ‘clothes optional’ policy!
I expected some of their requests – like time for computer games and juggling, continuing on Khan Academy and time to read. Some things surprised me – like Mikey’s request to learn about the United States and cursive. I was surprised that Gavin decided to take over teaching himself from The Story of World.  When Dennis and I presented them with lists and routines on paper I thought they might balk at first (turned out only I did), even though we were sensing they needed a little more support in their days. “Looks good!”, they said. Hmmmmm, I guess there is a season for everything.
So here we are in September, with a new season about to emerge, in more ways than one.  I am not fond of fall or change or lots of structure. I am hoping we can find just the right balance for the season we are in.
“Not-Back-To-School-Day at Turtleback Zoo


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