Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Projects are Done! The Classes are Ending!

What a glorious morning! It's the first time I've really felt that way in weeks and weeks. While mostly the last few months have been pleasant, and they certainly have not been horrible, they have been so very busy that I haven't felt too much of anything except pressure.

While I actively try to remember to feel and appreciate each moment as it comes, I know I've been tired and a bit numb of late. but, now, I feel so much better.

As usual, and as I knew it would, the passage of time has eased us through most of our responsibilities and brought more peace to our family. Specifically, I feel joyous that my eighth grader's school is almost done. She has her last full day of classes today; after this the school will be on an adapted schedule for final exams only.

All day yesterday and late into the night, she worked with my assistance to finish up missing and late work and to complete a HUGE project for science that came at the very end (thanks Science teacher.) I know he was trying to be cool by giving the students a super easy ABC of Science book to create. Just definitions and drawings. Problem is that he made it worth 33% of the grade for the entire semester. And my daughter's ADHD has exploded lately, leaving her with the concentration span of about 15 seconds of work at a time. So instead of lifting her grade up, the project had the potential to drop her from the A+ she's had all year to a B- in one swoop. Probably the teacher would not have done that - he is pretty cool and savvy. But she didn't want to take chances. So she spent hours yesterday finishing this late booklet.

Then we brushed up on math and moved on to a packet about The Outsiders that she had mostly completed but which someone threw away during a room cleaning months ago (probably her sister, by accident, but we're not sure which of us lost it.) I sat down with her to just at least get 2 or 3 of the 10 pages done so she could get even 10 points out of the 100. But we just kept going through the questions and the journal writes. She knew the book's plot and characters inside and out -- it's just staying focused and motivated on the writing that stalls her. It went so fast that we wound up going through all 10 pages - her dictating the answers and me typing. One hundred percent her words because I don't remember much about The Outsiders at all. So now she should get at least 50 points for that and cement that A in that class.

I want her to get all A's. I do, I admit it. I struggle with letting go of that attachment to results. But at least I see that she truly does know the material. Especially in Algebra and Science which she loves. In the long run, that probably will lead to more success in life than any certain GPA will. And the older she gets, the more she will develop strategies for coping with and turning the fast, impulsive, reward-focused brain to her advantage.

Thankfully, the younger daughter is knocking the grades out of the ball park. As sixth grade ends, she has straight A's week after week. Elementary school is a bit different but she is still doing super well. So that is a blessing and she only requires maintenance supervision instead of intervention.

I think this is the busiest end of year that we are ever going to have. With both girls wrapping up their grade level and moving to another school next year, there are so many end-of-year events and activities. We have had band concerts and art shows, awards ceremonies, orientations, and special events. We've been at school or at an evening event almost every day for the last two weeks, and will be next week as well. No wonder it's been hard to get anything else done!!

But now, blessed day. The homework is done. The projects are over. Most events are behind us -- only a few loom ahead. And I can hear the bird song and feel the dappled sunshine.

And I can imagine having my own space in my brain again, to fill with my own thoughts and my own work, instead of running around worrying about everyone else's. : )

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