We have a better idea now what Smarty's schedule looks like, and I have to acknowledge that she (and we) will be quite busy. She chose to do PE as an "independent study" which means that she needs to do 4 hours of PE outside of school hours and these hours need to be signed by her coach. Her taekwondo classes are 45 minutes each, so it means that she needs to do 5 taekwondo practices a week or "double up" on certain dates. However, currently she does not want to double up, because she is worried about getting injured. This means that we have to get her to taekwondo at least 4 times a week (the administrator at school told me that she can do an hour of PE on weekends such as hiking, tennis, or swimming, and it should be added to her independent study log).
In addition, Smarty applied to Stanford University middle school circles - science and humanities. She was accepted into both, but there is no way she has time to do two considering that this involves almost 90 minutes on the road of driving to Palo Alto and back. She had to choose and she chose Humanities Circle which will start in the end of September and will go on for 10 weeks. In this session, students will learn how to write dystopian and science fiction. These are Smarty's favorite genres, so she is super excited about this circle. Still, this will make her schedule even more intense as she needs to be in Palo Alto at 6:15 pm every Wednesday for 10 weeks.
Finally, on Saturday Smarty will have an art class. It's the first time we chose to commit our Saturday to another enrichment activity, but she was very eager to try more formal art instruction after her art elective and an art camp this summer. Smarty does not have the same gift for art as she does for, say, math, but she enjoys it, and it's something to do with her hands rather than with her head.
And let's not forget homework. Each of Smarty's 6 classes comes with homework, something that she did not have to do since kindergarten. She does have several free periods in her schedule (1 on Tuesday and whopping 3 on Thursday) when she can at least get some of it done, but she will do Spanish and science at home, because those are her two last classes almost every day. So now her day has to stretch to accommodate homework as well.
In summary, her schedule will look something like this:
- School until 3 pm
- Come home and rest/relax until 4 pm
- Homework or taekwondo (depending on the day of the week)
- Be done with homework and taekwondo by 6:30 pm
- Dinner, finish homework, pack for the next day by 7:30 pm
- Family time (TV, walk) until 8:30 pm
- Getting ready for bed and reading until 9:30 pm
Smarty thinks this is all very busy and stressful. I think a lot will depend on how much homework she will really have and how efficient she is with her time. I hope that she will settle into her new routine, especially once her friends go back to their school tomorrow and their free time plummets as well.
What are your "not school" plans for this school year?