At the start of Term 1, I wrote about the new beginnings for my four Wombats (see New beginnings). There were also new beginnings for me. Well, we’re one term down, three to go. How have we fared?

Overall, things have gone well. Compared with Term 1 last year, this past term has been significantly less stressful. Train Wombat has settled in well to his new school. He still regards homework as though it were a bowl of broccoli – something that other people think is good for you, but he thinks is best avoided. Being in the SEAL (Select Entry Accelerated Learning) program has not changed that attitude – yet. However, we don’t now start each day wondering whether he’ll get out of bed and go to school. And we no longer have that sick, anxious feeling we got from wondering whether he’d even stay at school all day.

We do move the goal posts. There’s plenty of room for improvement. But we’re streets ahead of where we were last year, and this Wombat is feeling much more comfortable in his skin. To top it all off, all his teachers were pleased with how he had settled in, and with the work he was producing. Even his French teacher was positive (which astonished me, as he’s never studied it before and had done absolutely no work at home.)

His delightful Maths teacher suggested that Train Wombat should be doing 20 minutes of Maths each night, regularly – like the way he cleans his teeth. Hubby Wombat and I exchanged meaningful looks at this point, which the teacher saw. “Oh… It’s like that!” he commented. Smart man. Still, at least Train Wombat is listening and engaged in class. We get so exhausted leading this horse to water then watching it refuse to drink – even in the midst of a drought – that we do reach the point of deciding that the horse can make its own bloomin’ way to the jolly water, and serve it right if it gets lost and dies of thirst en route.

Littlest Wombat seems to have settled in reasonably well. At least, there’s been no more hiding under the table. He has had teary moments at home though, missing his old school and querying why we changed schools. Oh – the decisions that you make years in advance, thinking they’re for all the right reasons. He’s another of my Wombats who can find change extremely challenging and difficult. Hopefully he can make a good friend in his class in the coming weeks and feel a bit more anchored.

Free Running Wombat is currently suffering the aches and pains of having spent 9 out of 11 hours (two days ago) doing flips and all sorts of other Freerunning exercise. I’m amazed he’s still standing. His face is visibly drooping as we approach the beginning of term. And being in Year 7 and on the cusp of teenagerdom, his friendship groups are evolving as the larger student cohort is sorting itself out socially.

As for my Dancing Wombat daughter, she still happily trots off to school each day. Communication from the school has been a little better but still frustratingly inefficient.  Too often we find out about the things she has not done when it is too late to remedy them at school – like, on the last day of term. This is a depressingly recognisable pattern. Can Dancing Wombat please complete the enclosed PowerPoint presentation task over the holidays? Apparently, she kept on deleting all the work she started.

Sure – we’re happy to do this. But if this was a negative work habit, we would really have appreciated knowing as soon as it became evident as a pattern. Not at the end of term. And it’s not the first time this sort of thing has happened. History keeps repeating itself. I don’t know how many classes they spent on this task. Maybe it was only one class. I am working in a vacuum – no knowledge – so I might be doing her teacher a disservice. But, grrrrr. SOOOO frustrating.

Hubby Wombat is facing change at work as he moves from his former role into an acting role and then into a new role.  He rarely stands still. And when he does, he’s usually so tired that he falls asleep!

As for me, I’m actually looking forward to the holidays ending so I can really sink my teeth into my “Wombat work”, as I call it. I love having the holidays with the children, and feel blessed that I have been able to be at home with them all this time. However, I’m keen to stretch my wings in other directions as well. I want to show my Wombats that while the work I do with them at home as “Mum” is really important, I have other work roles that don’t revolve around them. (Oh, hang on a minute, actually… Hmm – what am I blogging about? 😄)

So, once more, the uniforms are being ironed, the shoes polished, and the fingers crossed as the next part of our year begins. I wish you all a smooth start to Term 2.