Monday, August 1, 2011
"Ready to Learn and Get Some Knowledge!"
We didn't buy new backpacks or clothes, no Crayola map colors, lined notebook paper, boxes of kleenex, or hand sanitizer for the teacher. But for the last few months, boxes have been showing up with living science and history books, math games, music lesson books & classical music CDs, and real art supplies: pastels, ebony pencils, watercolor paper, embroidery needles, and more. We brought home an eMac computer for phonics videos and games.
Plans have been made, not carpool plans or cafeteria food vs. lunch box plans, but how-do-we-manage-toddlers-during-school plans, and maintaining-healthy-yet-simple-meal plans. If shoes were lost this morning, it wasn't a big deal - but still, everyone must have breakfast, make beds, and get dressed (and fix hair, brush teeth, in my case, put on makeup).
Today was our first day of school! This year, I have a 1st and 2nd grader, along with an ever learning (almost) 4-year-old, and a destructive (yet charming) toddler. In a few short months, we'll throw a nursing infant into the mix. It was a great first day, and we are very excited about learning this year. I'm thrilled with my curriculum choices, and think that for this year, and these particular children, they are going to work beautifully.
We are starting early this year, a great advantage to home education, because I want to take a long Christmas break starting on my due date. I am so thankful that we have that flexibility, and I hope that we can focus well during school hours so that the girls can get finished and move on to enjoying the long, sunny days of August. Here in Wyoming, Autumn looms all too close around the corner, and I don't want to strip them of the pleasures of lingering days of outdoor play time. Catching and examining the multitudes of grasshoppers, enjoying popcicles on the porch, having bike/scooter races, and baking mud cookies are are just as important as phonics and math in my opinion.
Sometimes as August and September approach, I get nostalgic about school and question our decision to educate the children at home. School was something that I actually enjoyed a lot, and even as an introvert (even more extreme than I am now) who was also somewhat shy ("introvert" and "shy" are not necessarily the same thing, you know), I looked forward to the social experiences of school in addition to the academic. It was exciting, starting the new year after all the adventures of Summer (thanks to my sweet mother who always made sure that we had fun Summers), and sometimes I feel bad that my girls are missing out on that. At the same time, I know that for now, this is the right thing for them and for our family. I am ever grateful that over time my heart has softened toward the idea of homeschooling - something I did NOT want to do - to the point of looking forward to it and enjoying the planning and execution.
I love to be with my children, I love to see their beautiful relationships, I love watching them learn & discover, and I hope and pray that this will be a successful year of learning at our home!