I'm hesitant to say this aloud, but this year is going very smoothly. I don't take all the credit for that: this year's kids are different than last year's, more focused, more willing to listen, if not necessairly more gifted academically. Maybe it's the different schedule- a later start time, prep in the morning instead of after a long day. Maybe it's by virtue of my experience and recognition of the things I needed to change after last year.
I don't know why it's working, but it is, and I'm going to enjoy it while I can.