We know everyone has been anxiously waiting to hear all about our first day of school and we are excited to share it with you- so your waiting is over!
Enjoy the adventure!
It is the first day of school! Things could not have gone any smoother! (By the end of the week, I would look back on Monday and wonder if it was a dream or if it had really happened…)
Kaira woke up (ON HER OWN) around 9. a.m- as planned and wanted to get started right away. As excited as I was at her energy, I wanted to sort of establish a quazi routine, so I marched her off to eat breakfast and take care of her hygiene before we started school. (Rest assured, though, I am fairly certain that there will be more days than not where school happens in our pajamas, but for today, she needed real, going outside clothes on.)
After all this, we got to work. Kaira did school and I cleaned the house. When she finished her work, she came to me and we talked about the things she had either read or learned about. She had to write her own poem; we discussed the meaning of a poem; she read the Bible and discovered the lineage of Joseph… It was great to relate this to the genealogy/family history work I do within our own family (if you are interested in reading about that, you can do so, here) and we may have even went off on a slight tangent, that I may be writing about on my other Blog, soon- but that is the awesomeness of homeschooling! You have time to explore the tangents and things that really interest your child, all while learning!
Monday’s ‘school day came to a close a mere two and a half hours after it had began… I can’t believe we learned/covered so much in that amount of time! It was awesome and Kaira enjoyed having the rest of the day to do and explore whatever she desired. She went to an appointment and when she came home, she was eager to practice the piano- a new skill she is learning!
I should have told Kaira that just because she was not going to public school didn’t mean that she didn’t have a respectable bed time. BUT. I didn’t. Instead, I told her that she had to get up in the morning to do do school, because she had things to do with 4 H at noon and yet another appointment in the afternoon. I thought that was enough… that is what I get for thinking, though. Kaira had great fun staying up on Monday night (I think I woke up around 2 am and told her to take her behind to bed), so she didn’t wake up early, bushy tailed and bright eyed- as she had the day before. She woke up around 10:45, grumpy, because the babies were actually the ones who woke her. She was cranky and she definitely was not in the mood for school. My suggestion? Eat breakfast and do some math while she ate- that way she wouldn’t have to do it later on in the evening… This worked and she eventually came out from under the cloud of grumpiness. We made it to her 4 H activity and her afternoon appointment. But we still had babies running around, so it wasn’t calm until 8 or 9 and that is when Kaira finished the rest of her school for the day. She wasn’t to upset about it at first, but then she decided she was tired and that she didn’t want to do anymore work… She skipped out on her science (which I discovered later) and may have only just skimmed over other parts of school for the day. Hmmm… This was definitely something I would have to think on in the future in order to keep this from happening again…
NO SCHOOL TODAY!!! Well, school in the traditional sense that you are thinking, anyway. Today, Kaira went to a behind the scenes day camp at the Richmond Metro Zoo, where she was able to learn about the care of the animals and other things about zoo operation and of course- she also had some fun!
This is another benefit of homeschooling. Kaira has decided that she wants to be a veterinarian, so as a homeschool student, we are able to find activities and lessons that will help her reach her goal of being a veterinarian, WHILE she is learning, having fun and doing ‘normal’ school things.
In Kaira’s words…
We fed the rhinos, well not actually fed them, because they are dangerous. We just put the hay out for them. I touched a snake and an iguana and the giraffes and goats and penguins. We got to see the baby animals and the birds that are walking around can’t fly away because their wings are clipped. We did the zip line and I was scared at first, but I just took a deep breath and told myself “you can do this” and I did it. I’m glad I did it, because it was fun. I can’t wait to go back next year! Oh and I got to touch a parrot and feed the birds and some kids sat on the tortoise, but I didn’t. Next year, I am going to take a picture with the parrot.
Can’t you just hear the excitement in her writing voice? I am excited for next year already, as well. I am already looking for other things she can do also (both now and in the future)- especially because I think after next year, she will age out of the camp… Please let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions!
I woke up sick as five dogs. Bless her heart, Kaira jumped in and watched the babies for me so I could stay in bed. She is wonderful in this way. Unfortunately, it also meant that she didn’t get any school done in the morning, as we had planned. This was okay, though, because babies take a nap, right? To my sick and weary mind, this was a great plan… To Kaira, it meant nap time for her, too. I guess my words, “Now that the babies are sleeping, go ahead and get your school done” were muddled or lost in translation… Needless to say, not much got done. Actually, NOTHING got done and I had a bit of a public school moment; where I freaked out because Kaira hadn’t done her school work. It wasn’t pretty and it ended in me having to apologize to her afterwards… Learn from my experience folks- just keep your mouth shut and let it go, sometimes, because it is okay.
Anyway, that’s how Thursday ended. So much for great laid plans, huh?
I still wasn’t feeling the best, but we both woke up ready to tackle this day of school work. As I mentioned previously, we are following a curriculum- but it isn’t a very rigid, set in stone curriculum. It is a 180 days worth of school, so we have the freedom to school whenever… However, I know me and I need to stick to some sort of routine or it will never get done, because it will always be pushed to the back burner…
So, school it was. Kind of. It was the dentist, first. Then by the time we got home, I was drained and I needed a nap. And Kaira ‘enjoyed’ the babies for me… Then we were ready for school around 3 in the afternoon. With Kaira sitting on my bed and the babies playing all around us, we got to school stuff…
We managed to finish and catch up on a lot of the things Kaira had skipped or not done. It was great. I decided that when she came back from camp (she comes back on Thursday) we would finish what we hadn’t gotten to and then move on. Another pro for homeschooling.
It isn’t always pros, though… Math. Ugh. We got stuck on her math. We had to call in reinforcements. I have taken it to Facebook and I will take it to the math wiz at church… I am determined to find the solution and know how to teach it to her when she comes back. I guess, homeschooling isn’t always the child learning. Sometimes, it is parent and child learning together. The great thing that did come out of this was that Kaira was able to see me not know something and as frustrated as I was at not grasping it, thankfully- this time- I handled it right and now she knows that you don’t have to let it get the best of you and that it is perfectly acceptable to ask for help; it is also perfectly alright to take a break and come back to something that is frustrating you. Which is what we did. We are taking a week long break from math- well, at least she is. I am still here trying to figure it out. I would love your insight! Here is the video we watched. (Keep in mind that we DO UNDERSTAND cross multiplying. It is all the other stuff he did that we had the deer in the headlights look with.)
On the other side of this coin, she was really into the history and we spent 45 minutes watching a video on the pyramids and how engineers were on a race to save the oldest pyramid in Egypt fro m falling to the ground. (Spoiler alert- it didn’t fall)
So, all in all, this was a pretty good first week of school. We learned a bunch of new things- and we are excited to see what comes next! I, especially, have learned that Kaira needs to be on some kinds of routine and as much as I want to leave the formal school structure behind us, some of that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I also learned how to start a Facebook group and did for my fellow African American home schoolers in Central VA and surrounding areas… Please join us if you’d like.
So, how did you spend your week? Have you started school? How is school going? We can’t wait to hear all about your own home school adventures! We want to hear from you and we would love it if you gave us a like, share or even a follow!