Thursday, January 17, 2013

Practicality: Transitioning into a New Semester

Well here we are at the tailend of winterbreak and the boys are getting ready to go back to school.

Hopefully for CM1 this will be his last semester of college. We went over all his credits and requirements. Fingerscrossed that we didn't miss something. I know years ago the dean told us he had reached his liberal art credits and I know he reached his major and minor credits, so its just a matter of review by the graduating committee. But I never take anything for granted, especially since I was the one who messed up his credit count in the first place.Don't ask...I apparently can't count and can't read college curriculum catalogues.

Meanwhile, CM1 is registered for only two classes, which is all he needs to graduate. Since he has so much free time he will continue doing volunteer work or get a job on campus. I told him two classes will not keep him busy enough and it was unhealthy to spend his days hanging out with mom at home. He seems pretty resigned to it and actually didn't balk. Good sign.

CM2 on the other hand is going to be in for a rude awakening this coming semester. He is taking some really work intensive courses and studying is not his forte. Yes he would prefer to be on his chatboards, playing video games or  twitter (yeah...oh crap). Of course, none of us would prefer to work if we didn't have to, but becoming an adult is not always easy nor fun. Time for CM2 to rise to the occasion.

So we have had discussions about how he needs to handle this semester and have come up with some ideas on how he can help himself:

1. Scheduling. Everything is about scheduling.  Having open-ended avenues has always been an issue for CM2, so we make sure that he schedules his time. Hubby even found some apps for the iPhone/iPad/Mac that helps you schedule your homework. I think we are going to have to be strict with him, like when he was a junior in highschool. Write your schedule when you get home. Whether he can work in breaks remains to be seen depending on the real amount of homework he will have to do...reading, papers, test prep etc. iPlanner  ihomework

2. Sleep. Making sure that CM2 gets the right amount of sleep is important. As any adolescent he likes to stay up really late and sleep to almost noon. That has basically been his modus operandi these past weeks. Not anymore. But don't lose sleep on his account under any circumstances. His earliest class is 10 AM so its not like he will be having to awake at the crack of dawn either.

3. Meds. Making sure the meds are working just right is always a challenge. We revamped his thyroid pill over break and needs to go for bloodwork to see how his body is adjusting. He says he is not tired and can focus clearly, but we won't really know until after school starts.

4. Pacing. One of CM2's biggest issues is his work/study-pacing when it comes to school He usually starts off like gangbusters, fades terribly mid-semester and then brings it home at the end. Last semester however, something happened during finals and he did not do as well as he usually does. Oh he did fine, kept his scholarship (thankfully), but he was very borderline and not happy with himself at all. We try to use the Aesop fable the tortoise and the hare for the tortoise I tell the tortoise. Trying to get him used to the idea that "slow and steady wins the race" is going to be the hard part of the upcoming semester. Luckily he is taking some rather interesting classes. If he can get drawn into the classes it will be alot easier for him to do the work and study the way it needs to be done.

5. Tutors. One of the classes he has to take is calculus. Now that is a different story altogether. As I have mentioned, I have a child with a learning disability not otherwise specified (probably math related) that wants to study computer science. So the idea is to help him figure out how to access his brain in order to be successful. So far we have come up with an on-campus tutor,  and the fact that he is going to have to work really really hard. First thing is to have last semesters professor review the final and show CM2 what he missed.

So onward and upward as the saying goes, into the wild blue yonder, but not totally into the unknown. An interesting few months to come to say the least.