Day 59 (of 186) december eve
I love December – especially as a december baby who was NOT held back a year….yet knowing others who (may have) benefitted from starting a tad later – continuing the ongoing debate about whether it is good or bad to delay entry into school….my bias: if you think they’re ready….start them!
Anyways, I appreciate December for Winter Concerts – the evolution of Christmas Concerts to be more inclusive of the many different events that are celebrated between the start of winter and the new year. I love seeing the mix of presentations from various schools – from the over-the-top wonders of a Grinch play including a slide for the sled to go down Mt Crumpit to the simplicity of songs with candles and everything in between.
Even the “report card” season has been easier as I’ve been using eportoflios – more of a “check-in” on ongoing descriptive feedback loops as opposed to an assessment of tasks – but with some specific comments and connections to the “new” competencies that are important components of BCs Curriculum. Though my oldest is dreading some of the pre-winter-holiday exams that some hope to fit in before people take off on family vacations.
I know my wife likes that I act like a big kid this time of year – the blending of birthday and christmas has always been tricky, but my parents (and now my wife and kids) have always done a great job acknowledging both and not treating them as “one” event (I have a friend whose birthday is a day away from christmas and that was a bit trickier….) but I always like how this time of year helps encourage family and friends to get together
I’m also aware of how stressful this time of year can be. The quest for ‘the right gift’ still reminds me of the quest for the cabbage patch kids that impacted my sisters wish list – though we avoided the tickle-me-elmo craze! And that “perfect present pressure” isn’t the only stress…..being away from school for a couple of weeks doesn’t make re-entry any easier for many learners – consistency is a good thing and a break from school is like a break from meds – it may seem sound in theory but the practice makes it harder on the kids. And the worries: where will people sleep as they visit? Will there be weird food? What if……well, the blanks are endless…..
And as the grinch pointed out: the noise noise noise noise! the disruptions because of late nights and parties and get togethers and travelling make it a very busy time of year.
SO….as I advise/remind myself regularly: when kids (or in this case events) escalate, I gotta get low. So when the chaos of concert rehearsals is going on – I am planning some calm days with a lot of flexibility….and introducing a variety of self-regulation strategies via our Friends For Life program
As a long December looms (concert on the 4th, last day on the 22nd) we are planning some projects to keep us engaged in the learning process (with some commercials being planned, some on-going design thinking projects, some readers theatre) while having some flexibility for when things seem chaotic (knowing that everyones perspective of calm vs chaos ebbs and flows at different rates). I hope to model a calm learning environment and relying on inspiration from my #PLN and some self-care strategies of my own (walking and reading has been very helpful lately).
Ahh December. Perhaps some snow….definitely some music….hopefully a lot of fun….especially since the CP Holiday Train arrives in our town on my Birthday – nicely planned, especially with Great Big Sea’s Alan Doyle performing after dinner!
But I’m still going to start the month with a well-earned “reward” coffee to kick the month off…..just in case!