Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Day

 Planning, praying, perspiring, more planning, pondering. . . The decision to homeschool our three oldest this year was certainly not easy.  Although I am beyond certain that we made the right decision, it still doesn't take away the butterflies and the "what-if's" and the uncertainties.  Technically last year was our first year of homeschooling, but it was only the Drama Queen.  She is bright and loves school; so it really was an easy year overall.  Being pregnant with Little Sprout did complicate things a little, and towards the end, we were both agonizing through endless worksheets and books.  I am learning a lot about homeschooling though.  It's not "school at home."  You don't have to do every. single. worksheet.  If she can spell all the words on her list without looking on Monday, there's no sense in dragging it out for the whole week.  If curriculum isn't working, I have the power to ditch it and find something that does.  Anyway.
 We had our first official day of school yesterday.  The Nerd had steam-cleaned the carpet in our "school-room" the night before; so I got up early to move furniture back in, look over lesson plans, make pancakes, soothe an unhappy baby, push the unfolded laundry to the end of the couch, etc.
 When I came out to the living room, I found Little Miss Drama Queen curled up on the couch asleep.  As soon as she smelled the pancakes sizzling on the griddle, she shot up from under her blanket and asked if it was time to start school yet.  I was tickled to see that she had gotten up in the middle of the night and changed into her "back-to-school outfit" before going back to sleep.
 Since no day passes around here without some drama, our first day of homeschooling certainly had its share.  Spud woke up sobbing that he didn't feel good and spent all his time at the breakfast table crying that his brother was "looking at him."  The Beast was of course overstimulated with the excitement and difference in schedule.  He spent a lot of time running into walls and causing general chaos.  No one was particularly thrilled to be posing for so many first day pictures, but obviously they did a great job faking it.
The school day went well enough.  It helped me see where my planned schedule didn't work and where I could cut time.  I got the same tingle of excitement that I got every year as a school teacher before I had my kids.  When asked what their favorite part of the day was, The Drama Queen responded with "math class" and the Spud favored coloring the American flag in history class.  The Beast's favorite?  Sharpening pencils and making sure everything was in his pencil box.  Obviously we have lots of room for progress. :)  Afterwards, we headed out to the library to check out books on the topics we are studying in history and science.  Then I took them to the park to burn off some extra energy.  (I had no extra energy at this point).

Here's to another successful day today.  Hey, I'll settle for a pretty average day.  Also, I need to write in "Teacher Nap Time" on the schedule.


  1. Do you use a particular curriculum? We're still thinking/praying over the decision to homeschool and thankfully I still have a year to make a decision (though we are doing preschool at home to see what it is like). I get excited thinking about doing it, but that quickly turns to feelings of being overwhelmed.

    1. Hi, it IS exciting and completely overwhelming. Last year, I stuck to using the A Beka Book curriculum for all subjects with my daughter. It's a little pricey but it's really laid-out nicely and easy to follow. However, after I went to a homeschool conference this summer, I started seeing that I needed to break away from a one-size-fits-all curriculum and branch out into the books and methods that would help my children the most. This was especially important since one of my kids is autistic, and he simply doesn't learn the traditional way. We are using Math-U-See for arithmetic, A Beka Book for reading and phonics, "Picture-This" for Bible class, and a variety of sources for other subjects. For history and science this year, I picked out topics that the kids wanted to study. Then we check out books from the library on those topics, research them on the internet, print out activities and worksheets to do, visit places that will help us learn about them, etc. It's more work for me but I think it just works out better for us personally.

      The important thing is to find what works for your family. Every homeschooling family will tell you that the curriculum they are using may not be the right one for you. I highly recommmend finding a homeschool conference in your area to go to. It really changed my perspective on the whole matter. I was encouraged by the speakers and got so many great ideas. Also, lots of book and curriculum vendors come to those conferences and you get a chance to explore the curriculum hands-on and see what would work for your kiddos.
      Prayer is vital! One speaker at the conference I attended recommended praying to God specifically about what books and curriculum to choose as well as what goals to set for each of your children for the year. If He calls you to it, He will help you in ALL of it, even choosing curriculum. :)
      To be honest, I am still a little (okay maybe a lot!) overwhelmed by it all. When I think that their education and training rests solely on my shoulders, it scares me a little! But "Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it!"


Help relieve some of my insanity by letting me know you stopped by!