Day One

Technically, it’s the end of day two, but day one tuckered us out to the point I couldn’t find a coherent thought to write yesterday. After two days of homeschool I’ve already learned so much!

  • I love my children– Really I do. I love being a part of their learning process. I love that I am learning about who they are and how they learn.
  • My children drive me crazy– Really they do. They are just, like, here, all the time right now. Underfoot, knocking on the bathroom door, jumping out of my closet, under my desk. Everywhere.
  • I’ve learned new phrases– such as: get your elbow out of your brother’s throat, don’t chew on your sister’s hair, and my personal favorite; the math blocks do not belong in your nose (I really thought we were beyond that stage).
  • I may have overdone the curriculum: I’ve actually had a suspicion building for a few weeks in this regard. We bought the Sonlight Core, and it is a stout curriculum. We purchased it because I really wanted something that was all planned out for me. I had no faith that I could create my own with any success my first year. However, in addition to the core package, which included two full boxes of books and binders, we also got a spelling program, handwriting, math, science and phonics curriculums. Those who are veterans just shook your heads with a knowing smile, didn’t you?
  • This is going to take time- I was told by so many moms that trying to mimic school was their number one mistake, but kicking that habit is going to take some time. G-Money even started our first day by finding a buzzer and ringing like a bell. Oy.
  • My boys do NOT work independently- Suggestions welcome on this one. I know I need to find some time to work each child individually, but what to do with the other? Right now they just want to play.
  • My patience is better– not perfect, but better.
  • We can do this- After two days, we’ve had ups and down, laughs and tears, but we have ended both days cuddled up reading our books and looking forward to tomorrow. This is not going to be an easy path, but I’m pretty optimistic about the big picture.

Here are a few snapshots of Day 1

We started the day by cooking a big celebration breakfast. Gluten free pancakes...best we've made yet!

We started the day by cooking a big celebration breakfast. Gluten free pancakes…best we’ve made yet!

 

Yummo!

Yummo!

My "class"

My “class”

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This is going to be fun

This is going to be fun

A little walk before we got started for the day. I'm so in love with this picture.

A little walk before we got started for the day. I’m so in love with this picture.

Cause who can get enough of this face?

Cause who can get enough of this face?

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Our first lesson: Frog are slimey and hard to catch.

Our first lesson: Frog are slimey and hard to catch.

History on the Hammock. I think it's going to be a thing.

History on the Hammock. I think it’s going to be a thing.

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First Day

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Today has been our unofficial first day homeschooling. We decided that to combat the summer educational loss and the steamy temperatures, we’d skip camp for two weeks and do a unit study on the American Flag in honor of Independence Day this Friday. I stocked up on crafts (oy.), read up on flag-related books and projects, and coraled my mini-masters for the week.

How is it going you ask? It’s day one. It’s been rocky. Okay, to tell the truth its been a disaster from my perspective. So, during obligatory, quiet time (it’s obligatory for mommy, not the minis), I’m trying to regroup and figure out what went wrong.

First, I woke up early and ran and had my alone (with a friend) time. This was to clear my head of cobwebs so I could be ready for whatever was thrown my way. I also showered, and got ready for the day. This sounds trite, but I’m lucky to get in a shower before dinner since coming home. I wanted to be totally focused on the kids and not my stink.

Then we had breakfast and went downstairs to our playroom. We have a small table, several couches and comfy chairs, our computer, book shelves, craft area (again, oy.) and it’s the only room in the house that is carpeted making spreading out wherever, possible. I’ve read over and over that one big rookie homeschool mom mistake is to make things look too much like a classroom, so instead, it’s just more of a creative kid room. We started with Bible lessons. I was FLOORED at how much they have learned in their private school about the old testament and the Ten Commandments. Willy-man rattled off 6 of the 10 verbatim. I should have been thrilled, instead the doubts were planted: “see they were doing so well, why did you take them out?”

The biggest issue we had during this time was their inability to take me seriously. I got a lot of “awe, mom do we havta?” There was also the littlest of our brood, sweet, sweet AnnaJane who wanted mommy’s attention…now….no, right now!

Then we went to the library to gather our books on the flag. I spent 60 minutes chasing kids down and shushing them. I swear these heathens have been in libraries before, but with mom it’s license to scream and climb the bookshelves (no joke).

By the time we got home, I was searching for the admission director of their previous school on my contact list. Got the little girl down and went to dig into our books by doing a key word scavenger hunt. I though myself mighty creative when I came up with this. Instead of reading the kids focused completely on hunting the words and winning the prize, forget actual comprehension.

Then we attempted a craft. Never use spray paint while wearing white, in 100% humidity, with any chance of rain, around 7-8 year-old boys. Really any one of that list should make the activity a no go.  Assuming the craft survives, we’ll post pictures of it later in the week.

But now, as I sit here with my restorative tea (okay, it’s strong coffee), I realize there was really only one problem today. Me.

For the last 8 years I have been the weekend mom. My job has been to cram as much entertainment, moral instruction, and try not to kill yourself information into a very short time span. My kids probably only knew I could speak about 10 phrases.

  • Get in the car
  • Get out of the car
  • Don’t do ____
  • Leave your brother alone
  • Yes, you have to eat the vegetables
  • Go to sleep
  • Clean up
  • Be patient
  • I love you
  • Or some variation on any of the above

I honestly don’t think I meant to be like this, but with only the evenings and weekends to attempt to get everything on my to-do list accomplished, plus spend time with the family, this is just what it evolved into for me. I’m going to have to learn how to let loose and let my kids be kids while they are around me. They are going to have to make messes, they are going to have to make mistakes, they are going to have get things out of every drawer in my kitchen in order to make the perfect robot, I am going to need an inhaler.

Small steps.

As we move into our afternoon activities, I’ve learned that my kids are Bible scholars, loud at libraries, and terrible with paint cans. I’ve learned that even though they are too competitive and reward-focused for the game I created, they now know 12 new Independence Day related words. We are paint-speckled, but smiling. And really, if that doesn’t equal success for day one, what does?

*Note: our actual school year starts in August, so don’t go thinking this un-fun mom banned summer completely.