We don’t need no stinkin bells, or schedules, or scantrons…

School has officially begun in our household.  We started Sunday, and all went very very well.  Girlie was ready to start, did everything she was asked to do (and more), and was surprised she finished everything in about 2 hours and was finished for the day. We were all sitting around and discussing what she like about the day, what she hated etc., and then it happened.  That one question that I’ve been basically ignoring for a week: “Can you make me a written schedule now?”

Ok, here it is in a nutshell.  The child cannot handle a written schedule.  She can work on a verbal time frame, she can work with deadlines, but the concept of a strict schedule is simply way too much for her to handle.  Her brain freezes, her body tenses up, and her eyes narrow whenever she’s given one of any sort, and then the freak out begins.  Her mom and I have the procedure down pat at this point, and it goes something like this:

Girlie receives schedule.
Girlie’s head explodes.
Girlie starts freaking out.
Girlie asks the same questions over and over and over and over.  “What if I finish before this time?  What if I don’t finish on time?  How can I move on to another subject if this schedule tells me math is from 10-11 every day? What if something comes up?  What if I can’t find my (assignment, paper, pencil, binder, big toe)?”

We usually let her ride out the initial wave of anxiety while watching for the signs of a panic attack. We step in only if that becomes the issue, otherwise we’re really working on her using her skills to calm herself down.  The major upside in all of this was that she did in fact calm herself down this time. After about 10 (very very long) minutes, I was able to explain to her why I hadn’t given her a written detailed schedule, even though she harassed the crap out of me for a solid week after being told she didn’t need one, we have something else planned.  THIS HAPPENS, KID, THAT’S WHY *headdesk*.  I had settled on the idea of giving her a basic written schedule and gradually weaning her off of it but only because she insisted on that blasted paper.   After about 30 minutes of talking her through it, and her finally (!) realizing she does this every flipping time, she agreed to work using a to-do list. HALLELULA!!!!  Her mom also pointed out to her that she was finally learning about herself, because she was given the time and resources she needed instead of being forced to keep up with everyone else. Sooooooo….

Monday was a freebie day since we started on Sunday because of mine and The Honey’s work schedules. Tuesday started with The Honey waking me up to go to Urgent Care because of the thumb she slammed in my car door on Monday. Girlie took her math with us and worked on an assessment worksheet until that was finished, then started working on creating a goal for herself. She ended up getting really pissed off because she could not think of one right then and instead of telling us she went straight to “I can’t of anything, this is stupid.” Yes, my teen turned into a 6 year old–don’t be fooled parents, it totally happens.  SO once we fixed that attitude together and finished up at the doc the three of us went to have Chinese for lunch and then on to our main project of the day.  Girlie officially has her very own library card!!  Proud does not even begin to cover the energy she exuding.

We spent about an hour learning how to use the catalog computer and finding the GA history books she wanted by using the decimal system.  We made notes and she went to the ref desk HERSELF and asked them to get the book she wanted. This, btw, is a HUGE deal, as we have been working on her ability to ask people (waitstaff, cashiers, ref desk librarians) for things she needed on her own.  It has been a continual work in progress, and other than her asking, “Do I just walk up and ask?” she did the entire transaction by herself.  I’m a very proud momma.  After that, she went to pick out a book for personal reading and her mom and I found some homeschooling books on math, LA, and science, she did look at me and mention how cool it was that the library used the decimal system her school used.  Um, two things here: why don’t you know how to use a library catalog computer, and why don’t you know about the Dewey decimal system??  I take my part of the responsibility with that, but I know she spent time in the libraries at school.  In any case, she knows now.

I think I’ll sum up this entire post by saying this: Never have I been so thrilled to have my child argue with me, than when she told me I was wrong about the date Georgia was colonized. Did I mention she didn’t waiver at all, and was confident in her knowledge of the information??  Did I mention today is the third day of school?