Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Homeschool - First Day

Well, we took the plunge and started our year of homeschooling the Drama Queen on Tuesday. This decision to homeschool our daughter did not come without its share of inner turmoil, fears, anxieties, and general "What-if?"s. Still, I know it is the absolute best thing for our family this year, and I looked forward to the first day almost as eagerly as our little scholar. I was nervous about time management and little-boy-wrangling on the side, though.
The Drama Queen started the day off by posing for a bunch of first-day photos and exploring the writing instruments and shiny new textbooks in her desk. Although she is technically in kindergarten, her academic skills are far beyond that of a kindergartener; so I purchased first grade curriculum to teach to her this year.
I wrote out some rough lesson plans for our first day for each of her subjects, not knowing how much time it was going to take to teach one child each of these things. I am used to planning out lessons for classes of 15 or more students! During our first day, I recorded how much time it took for each subject to use for future lesson planning. Disregarding sibling interruptions and other distractions, actual class time was about 2 1/2 hours - much faster than I anticipated. We made time for a "recess" break and a snack as well. The Drama Queen soaked it all in, especially science class, which is her favorite by far.
We set up a large white board in the dining room for the teaching times. I have always enjoyed "board work" as a teacher and would take hours in the evenings to set up my boards for the next day of school. now I get to do that again - on a much smaller scale of course, but it is so fun to see the Drama Queen's reaction when she comes out for breakfast in the morning and sees the exciting things we will be learning that day.

Of course, we don't want to leave the Beast out of all of this. As I mentioned before, he has been approved for a blended class at the local community school this semester (a mixed class of both "normal" kids and kids with autism or attention deficit disorder.) He started his first class with his new teacher, Miss Alison, today. He went right into the classroom but then the shyness and nerves took over. He headed straight for a chair in the reading corner and hid behind it. When I picked him up two hours later, he kept hugging and kissing me and asking me to hold him. I tried to talk to him about what he actually did in school that day, but as usual the vague little man left me hanging. All I know is that there is a class pet turtle.
In the meantime, the Spud tries to horn in whenever he can. I caught him singing today, "A,E,I,O,U, I can sing my vowels to you." I do try to include him in Bible time as well as art time and other activities as much as possible.
Of course, we are in the midst of first-week-of-school-euphoria. I am fully expecting a stubborn Drama Queen to melt down at some point in the future, crying that she can't do it, and also anticipating that this growing-ever-more-tired-by-the-day preggo momma will have a day or two when I just don't want to do it. Welcome to real life, peeps!
And with that, I had better get some rest. We are facing basic addition in arithmetic tomorrow!

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