Every. Single. Day. I have asked myself if homeschooling was really a good idea. I have worried that I have bitten off pounds more than I can carry. I think I gained 50 more prominent grey hairs. There have been tears- lots of them. I mean big fat tears, the result of which can only come from hard, ugly crying. This week has not been the yellow brick road of adventure it is supposed to be.
Obviously, I thought about scrapping this adventure entirely. I think I uttered the words, “you will go back to public school”- no less than one hundred times. I do not jest or exaggerate. Nothing seemed to go as planned (at least not to my very need to have and be in control mind).
I talked to God several times about this mission. Thankfully, He would not allow me to abort. I am also really grateful to the many home school groups I belong to on social media, because that is definitely a supportive tribe. An important note here: if you are homeschooling, you’ve got to get yourself a tribe. Your tribe will be more valuable than silver, gold or frankincense, I guarantee it.
Anyway, back to this week… I had planned on starting pre pre-school with the boys Monday. Except, I never finished my lesson plan. Now, I know they are just barely almost two and don’t need a full day of structure. BUT. I need a plan. Lesson plans are for me like GPS is for you… So, I NEED them. Even if they are just a quick at a glance look at the things I want the boys to know. Here it is Friday and I still haven’t finished them or even really looked at them, since Sunday. Hopefully, this weekend will yield some time to get this done and we will really start on Monday.
We might not have had everything planned out and I was probably pulling things out more for this will entertain you value and less for this is going to help you learn this specific thing. but we made it through. And believe it or not, they had fun, didn’t pick up on my stresses and learned some things! Imagine that.
They played in the water tub on my kitchen floor- so they were learning math (weights and pouring, as well as sinking and floating); since they are not quite two, they also had lots of fun splashing the water everywhere, including onto each other and the entire floor. Which of course means they learned how to clean up spills with towels. Another time, I sat them in their respective chairs and they colored… (so they learned to be creative, use those fine motor skills and more, I’m sure). We went outside and drew with chalk and kicked and threw some balls. They were able to run around (gross motor skills, hand eye coordination, etc.). Finally, we read books. lots and lots of books. We are building book lovers and language usage.
Another helpful tidbit: you are doing enough, so stop doubting yourself. You got this home school thing, I promise!
As for Kaira, I was convinced that we had to stay on this schedule (one that lives only in the recesses of my brain), a perfect timeline if you will. (Learned this pretty quickly: there is no such thing as a perfect time line.) Except, I’m pretty sure Kaira never got that memo and if she did, she hardly cared. It was definitely a rough and rocky start, as I may have already mentioned…
When I asked her today, how she thought it went, her response was, “it was actually, fairly good.” Hmmph. Next time I will take pictures of her crocodile tears… But, like with the boys, we somehow pulled through. I am not a night owl. I would much rather be up early and in bed early… You just know God is a jokester, when I tell you Kaira is a night owl and doesn’t do very well with early wake up calls… The first few nights of this week, we did school at night; very near to midnight and beyond, actually. I am not built for that lifestyle, I promise. So, I imposed a bed time of sorts… Instead of laying down the long arm of the law, I simply informed Kaira that she needed to be ready to start school by 9:30 every day. Telling her this was great, because she still has control over what time she goes to bed, but also makes her aware of the expectation. (I also had to set everyone else in the house straight- just because Kaira is here, doesn’t mean that it is play time all day, everyday. School needs to be respected. Doing that, eliminated some of the grumpiness and complaints, also. Here is yet another tip for you: it is okay to compromise. Set the expectation and make sure everyone involved is on the same page.
Again, this was a process and I am convinced pulling teeth might have been easier, initially. We aren’t quitters, so we kept plugging away. (This is kind of what we do in life, anyway, right? Keep going when it gets tough.)
I am so glad we did. We had great fun. (By we, you must know that Kaira did the work and I enjoyed her enthusiasm.) We did not go out to view the solar eclipse, but we did watch NASA TV for no less than four hours- resulting in Kaira already planning out her trip when she is 19 to see totality. (There is a lesson in this, also, my good people. All TV isn’t bad.) Kaira made a skin model. She created AND designed it. She made papyrus-like paper. (It stinks to high heaven during the drying process, by the way.) She created art on canvas. (I didn’t even know she liked art and here again, she hand drew something and then painted it, with absolutely zero instruction from me.) She painted a rock and she watched a video on the ancient Egyptian’s embalming process. As if that weren’t enough fun, she ASKED for a science project to do once she finishes the bone/muscle unit. This was truly an exciting development. The lesson in all of this? Allow your child/children to be creative. They just might surprise you!
We also knew when to throw in the towel- one assignment had us go to the store and try to see if the store’s unit pricing was the same price we came up with. It was marked as a challenge… As for the challenge, itself- we failed. But, we gave it a valient effort and are proud of the teamwork we put in. We didn’t stress over not getting it and we didn’t keep trying to beat a dead horse. We just moved on. You guessed it, another tip: it is okay to fail; it is okay to move on and trying is learning.
All in all, our week was hugely successful despite what we (read: I) believed were major disasters during our journey….
Have you started school? What bumps in the road, if any, have you run into? How did you get over them them? Do you have any tips to share? We’d love to hear it all! Leave us a comment with all the “gory” details and if it’s not to much trouble, please hit those like and share buttons for us!