Holidays,  Homeschool

Back to School: Post-Holiday Edition

Our first week of post-holiday homeschool is in the books, and I’m now ready to fully embrace the weekend (I’ve got knitting plans!). I was halfway dreading our return to scheduled learning, but it has been a welcome shift to get back to relative normal.

Leah thrives on routine more than most, so the six weeks of Christmas mayhem really did a number on her — and no matter how much we try to minimize the holiday chaos, the seemingly inescapable barrage of treats, decorations, outings, family gatherings, and general inconsistency make for a seriously disregulated child.* Todd and I often joke about the emotional whiplash that we experience with her — while we’re still reeling from the whirlwind of whatever meltdown has just occurred, Leah has moved on completely and can’t understand why we’re not in the same happy place that she now finds herself. It’s pretty exhausting and while I would have loved the holiday to be a time of relaxation and general downtime, that’s not at all what it looks like chez kimbelina.

By the time this past Sunday came around, I felt like a walking zombie: just what you want as you’re primed to resume all things educational. So Monday morning, armed with a giant mug of coffee and a sense of grim determination, I was ready to face whatever the day brought.

And guess what? Monday was great (barring, of course, the expected grumbles from Adam that it was time to once again crack open his algebra book).

Back in the regular routines of math and reading and everything else, Leah is an entirely different person. Now that she can anticipate the general flow of the day, I no longer feel like we’re trying to navigate a minefield. Bliss. Of course, I still feel like I’m trying to play catchup from a month-and-a-half of riding an emotional rollercoaster, so while I’m grateful for the general sense of calm that has descended on our home, I recognize it’s going to take me another couple days (at least) to feel like I can truly appreciate it.

Even with me trying to squeeze in a couple of work-related projects this week, it’s all felt a little more manageable. Leah is working on money skills (the hundred-dollar bills are her favourite) and writing letters to people; Adam is up to his eyeballs in poetry dissection and solving simultaneous equations.

And now that it’s Friday afternoon, we can end our school week feeling accomplished — I couldn’t ask for much more than that.

*For those of you who aren’t aware, Leah has FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) — she was diagnosed at age six. I’m happy to answer any questions about how we, as a family, navigate life with a child who has an invisible disability.

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