It was a long day. Our first day "back to school" lasted until after dinner because Elliot has been down with a cold and kept doing his work in chunks of time when he was feeling up to it. I was surprised at his determination to keep going instead of making excuses. We are working on a lot of new things in addition to sharpening skills that need to be mastered.
Then, at the end of the day, while saying goodnight to my third grade son, I told him how happy I was that he worked so hard in spite of not feeling well. He said, that's okay, I didn't really learn much.
So I learned that the introductory lesson to keyboarding skills, cursive handwriting, learning to research and take notes for a report on the Indonesian rainforests, writing poetry based on an example from classic poets, equating coins and values is nothing much to learn. It's the standard stuff of third grade. I was ignorantly happy all day because in my mind, we seemed to be on track. The standards were not so challenging as to make him cry or leave him completely lost. Elliot could re-enter a regular school and be just fine. We aren't hiding from anything or anybody. (These negative thoughts sometimes creep in, no matter that he scored at a fourth grade level in vocabulary on his second grade end of year test.)
So, hmmm. All those hours of lesson planning and offering what I thought was "new" material turn out to be nothing much. What will bring a sense of wonder and excitement back?
Time to get tough. Time to dig deeper. Maybe today will be about discovering something completely unexpected.