22 May, 2011

Ready to begin some plans for Next Schoolyear

Spring fever


This is what we have had going on around here for a couple of months, now. If you had asked me two weeks ago what I was planning to do next year, I would have rolled my eyes at you. Literally. I was so ready just to be done with the year and move on to graduation celebration for our next senior (our third, now).

It has been a traumatic season in the family, with my Mom's cancer diagnosis, surgery, and continued chemo treatments. Then there is my husband's father's cancer numbers going up, after his first diagnosis almost 18 years ago. There are silver linings during the clouds of this chapter. Mom's numbers are going down steadily, and she is 2/3 of the way through chemo. Father-in-law has already outlived what his doctors had predicted by at least a decade, and he's feeling pretty well, all-in-all.

This week, I finally turned a corner in my mind and am getting excited about next year. I had almost given up on inspiration for the next year or two. Those of you who know me, know that I am a huge proponent of life long learning. Home schooling has allowed us the freedom to pursue and encourage that with not only our own kids, but many, many families and children along the way since the very early 90's.

What helped me out of my end-of-year funk? A new-to-me book about education that I purchased for summer reading and teacher continuing education. But first, I had to wrap up some pretty important details regarding this year. I needed to prepare for Spanish class reviews, make copies of Spanish tests, wrap up readings of short sketches and poetry in American Lit. with the writing of Garrison Keillor and Billy Collins, but not capping that class off with a final of any sort. I did not want to beat the literature with an analytical bat, so-to-speak, but let it stand in the kids' minds on its own merit; to marinate.

When we wrapped up today, it was exciting to hear my students' passion and/or narrations of their favorite or most surprising book, poem, or author from this school year. My own senior surprised me the most. He had made connections with Buckskin and Blanket Days, which is the story of a major part of the life of the newspaper journalist who reported on The Battle of Wonded Knee. He also happens to be one of my ancestors.

Several weeks ago, I had ordered a copy of The Student Whisperer by Oliver DeMille and Tiffany Earl, but had not been able to pick it up, for the aforementioned reasons. I could finally pick it up after this past week was nearing its end. Most of my class preps were behind me, so I spent a couple of nights reading into the wee hours. This book is hard to put down!

I am motivated once again to plan afresh, with the old purpose put in me years ago. It's great to have certain things reaffirmed, and to be challenged anew. Some of the background stories are so new to me, but it all reaffirms what I have always felt in my gut and even experienced in my own life of travel and living, working with others from various cultures and countries.

I'll close for now, but plan to blog more on the book as I proceed and as ideas simmer for a couple of days.

Are YOU ready for summer, or for continued learning?? :-)

Anyone want to read along with me and comment? Please do, and let me know!

Ciao for now,