Jake and Caleb knocked it out of the park today.
Most kids ease into their first day of school.
There is a new teacher to meet – not so much for Caleb and Jake. 😊
There is a new classroom to locate– no, again.
There is a new desk and chair to fit – no, the furniture and exercise balls are very familiar.
There are new classmates to forge relationships with and a number of get-to-know-you activities and games to play – nope, nope, nope.
There are new rules to adhere and follow – um, no.
There are new assessments to administer to determine skill level – no need for that.
No, Jake and Caleb began their tenth grade year, their second in our Jubilant Academy, with excitement, readiness, and a touch of anxiousness, too. Jake is always nervous about learning new things. This first day wasn’t any different for Jake in that regard.
However, what was different was that John and I were able to talk to Jake about it and help him identify his anxiety and fears. What was different was that Jake listened and was able to calm himself. What was different was that Caleb didn’t worry about Jake’s behavior and attempt to control him. And what was different was that we made it through an entire first day without Jake becoming anxious about his new schoolwork for the remainder of the first, full, full, full day of school.
Because our first day of school was full.
Like I shared, we didn’t have to do any of the get-to-know-you activities or assessment work to determine where to begin.
We just rolled up our sleeves and jumped to work.
The boys began their day with exercise with their Wii Fit regime, followed by keyboarding practice on the computer.
Then, we were off and running – er, reading!
We started the day with a Before – Reading exercise with The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois.
Then, it was a lesson in Language Arts. The lesson asked the boys to open their Bibles to the book of Genesis to identify the meaning of ‘manna.’ Guess what manna literally means in Hebrew? Don’t know? The Israelites didn’t either when the flakes of ‘bread’ fell to the ground settling like dew across the land. They asked “What is it?” And that my friends, is what the word manna literally means in Hebrew – what is it. No lie.
The boys asked for more learning in Microsoft Office this year. So, we’re jumping into Excel with their Microsoft Office II class.
Biology is their science subject in their tenth grade year. And man, the first lesson was a doozy, today! The boys and I forged through a generous amount of information on the formation of modern taxonomy – from Greek philosophers to Renaissance botanists to finally, Carolus Linneaus, the Father of Modern Taxonomy. Whoa, Baby!!!
We gratefully made it to lunch – the boys’ fingers ached from all of their taxonomy note-taking and needed a well-earned break.
After lunch, we, thankfully, had an easy time of it with Algebra. That was a relief! The boys were asked to identify like terms. As they say here, “Easy Peasey!” It was gratifying to have a lesson without much mental strain after lunch!
After math, the boys opened up their world history studies – and where did we start today? We identified the differences between advanced societies and primitive civilizations.
Were we done yet?
This year, the boys are taking a first-year art class – focusing upon color and drawing. This is how we will end our school day – with a focus on using our right brain. Caleb loved it! Art was his favorite activity of the day.
Jake, to my surprise, informed us that he liked his world history class the best today.
Jake and Caleb finished their school day with doing their OT (occupational therapy) exercises. These exercises were a wonderful way to decompress after a very full day of work. Both boys performed their OT movements with appreciation. Caleb, in fact, uttered groans of delight as he stretched his joints and muscles.
Honestly, for me, what I most appreciated about this day is that we are here! Caleb, Jake, and I are continuing onward with learning despite the boys academic and emotional challenges. Being autistic, along with Caleb’s intellectual disability and Jake’s anxiety disorder offers us some challenges. I won’t lie. I work hard to develop, enhance and modify their work so that Jake and Caleb will be successful and feel good about who they are and what they are doing. I want them to experience the joy of learning new things and also grasp that they are capable and worthy of learning. After all, we’re in the business of experiencing jubilance – happy and triumphant learning in our Jubilant Academy!
If you have followed along with our homeschooling journey, you may remember that last year I was told that the education work we were doing was a waste of time – that Jake and Caleb should devote their time to learning how to cook and clean, instead. I was informed that they needn’t learn anything about math, history, science, or the world because they weren’t capable. I was beyond discouraged by this medical professional’s hurtful opinion after she was with my boys for less than fifteen minutes each.
Gratefully, I didn’t follow her advice.
Jake and Caleb continued to learn math, study science, develop word processing skills, create a Powerpoint, and learn about US history – among other things last year. All of this effort laid a strong foundation for how we kicked off our school year today.
Year number two of high school – thank you very much!
Bring on the 2019 school year!
The boys are ready.
I am, too.