Monday, March 12, 2007

Getting Organized

Last week's illness has finally given this week's illness. I managed to recover from the awful intestinal bug only to get whammed by sinus congestion and a nasty cough. So I've been dragging around now for the better part of seven days! I guess winter is going out with a bang!

Speaking of seasons "going out" or "coming in," the sweet girl's preschool class has been talking about the expression "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb." S. thinks this is a very fun expression and she's been trying out various variations. The other day she informed me that "we've had three warm, sunny lamb days in a row." But then yesterday she announced "I like lion weather better!"

Missing a couple of days of work recently has made me feel a little overwhelmed -- both at the office, where I'm behind, and here at home, where I've had more time to notice the general clutter and mess. I'm trying to get myself somewhat organized here at home. The spring light and at least some spots of spring weather have given me the urge to spring clean, despite the fact that I've not had much energy to tackle the piles of clutter. I'm trying to set myself a small organizing task each day, with a couple of larger projects each week. That makes for slow progress, but slow progress is better than no progress.

I'm also trying to organize my thoughts for this Friday's upcoming meeting at S's school -- our annual evaluation meeting with the added twist of being the 'transition to kindergarten' meeting. Pray for us. We're going to be explaining our desire to homeschool, and since my daughter has an IEP and we'll be in a room full of education professionals (including a rep. from the school district) I'm trying hard not to expect the worst. I keep reminding myself that her teachers have always been helpful, supportive and encouraging, and that there's no reason why they shouldn't continue to be, but given the odd looks we've been given by supervisors/evaluators in the past when we've brought up homeschooling, we're prepared to have to defend the decision. I want to do it graciously and confidently and not at all defensively. We are grateful beyond words for the help S. has been given at the preschool, especially with speech therapy and in learning new socialization skills, but we also feel like the time has come for us to transition to this new season. I'm not sure if our case will be helped or hindered by the excellent scores on her recent evaluation. I am still feeling so amazed and thankful for that report.

As I think about organizing for more formal homeschooling, I've begun poking around for some ideas about record-keeping during the kindergarten year -- ways to keep track of the things that S. is learning and doing, her projects and activities. I found a wonderful website called Small Meadow Press. The woman who runs the site makes gorgeous papers and journals, and I downloaded a set of what she calls "Home Learning Notes." These are simple and lovely -- well-designed sheets for organizing weekly pages, monthly pages, thoughts & plans, projects, books read, community/contact list, outings and field trips, activities & classes, and general memorandum. A homeschooler's dream (at least my dream!) and I think probably quite useful even for folks who aren't homeschooling but who still want to have some beautiful pages on which to organize their thoughts. I printed a set on regular white paper but will likely make copies on slightly heavier paper (she suggests recycled, an earth-friendly idea) and put them in a binder. Just finding them made me feel more organized. Imagine how I'll feel when I actually begin using them!


Erin said...

Good luck with the meeting! I hope all goes well! :)

Beth said...

Thanks, Erin! I'm up way too late tonight considering that I want to be up early to collect my thoughts and have some prayer time before we head out to the meeting itself. But I wanted to do an update letter to our families to let them know about the meeting (the ones that didn't know about it yet) and to ask them to pray about it too. I'm feeling mostly peaceful, but will still be glad (very!) when this is behind us. I'm sure I will post something here about it when I need to debrief!