You hear that saying quite often. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. And Today August 1st I am saying it again. No I did not marry, nor did I just give birth, but today of all grand days I started home schooling. August 1st 2007, is the first day of the rest of our lives.
Homeschooling at first was the only option. I want to be home with my 2 boys, hopefully more one day, and instruct them. I DO NOT want them going to public school. I DO NOT believe in the no child left behind program. After watching my oldest grow I realized he is a social butterfly. He loves to play and interact with other kids. Because of this I reconsidered homeschooling to be replaced with private. I found a great private school fairly close that is based upon our Anabaptist religion. I really enjoyed the school but not the price tag. It would be $125,000.00 to send my 2 children there from K-12 and that does not include a lot of the extras. My humble house did not cost that much.
My oldest son is 4. He is the most awesome kid I have been privileged to meet. I love him, I am so thankful for him, I adore him. Every morning I wake up and look forward to greeting him. He usually says to me "Mom it a new day! Let's have coffee and watch George. " Then the always question "what are we going to do today?"
Today I said we are going to start going to school here at the house. He broke down in to tears. Not the reaction I expected or hope for. He cried and said "No I want to go to bible school!". Oh I get it, he thought if I taught him at home he no longer would be able to go to the 4 days of bible school a week he normally goes to. These are all different types of bible school. Sunday morning he goes to Sunday school classes, Thursday morning during the public school year he goes to a bible school at our church, Wednesday night he goes to Good News Club, another bible school at our church, and lastly Sunday night he goes to AWANAS. He loves them all SO very much. I explained he would still be able to go to those but would also gets to learn here. That started a whole new struggle called home schooling.
Our first day...do you remember your fist day? It is hard to be able to switch from the mom to teacher, in their eyes. It is hard not to pick on or be distracted by your younger brother. It was hard to manage a toddler and start to teach. But I did it.
The schooling started out with a simple "Today we are going to learn about the letter A". Gregory my oldest and first student said "lets have a picnic". What??? No we are supposed to start schooling. But realizing I was up against a young child and a loosing battle I said sure. So he and his brother laid Gregory's blanket over the kitchen floor and I gave them Alphabet cereal. Telling Gregory "A" is for alphabet. Find me the "A's". Well that was a messy disaster to say the least.
After that was over and cleaned up I gathered both boys and went to a table that is sitting the the sun room unoccupied at the moment. There I sang to both the ABC song pointing out each letter as I went along. Gregory also knows this song. After that I proceeded back to the front of the strip I was following and said A is for apple, A is our letter we will be learning. Then things changed.
It went fast. All I had planned went so fast. The kids colored their Alabama coloring pages, and were ready to move on. We made apples out of construction paper, for a healthy eating chart I have planned in the near future. That was done and Gregory asked what next? Ugh..I sat and looked at him. I had more planned but really you are ready for what's next? So I gave him a strip of paper that had a bunch of A's in a dotted line for him to begin to learn how to write. No problem! He traced them in record time. "What next?", again he asked. I gave him a coloring sheet of an acorn. We spent some time on that. Going over what color are acorns and where they come from and the fact that apples come from trees too. Of course throughout this all I was dealing with a TIRED 2 year old who would just not take a nap. After that I let him play computer games that focus on the alphabet for a while.
I was amazed at how much he knew. How much he could do. I could not wait for his father to come home and show off the wonderful things his son did at Gregory's first day of school. His dad was impressed.
We are going to use a hodge podge assortment of curriculum for him this year. I am using Hands towards Heaven, My Fathers World, The Bible, A Beka, and study books for the dollar store.
It was our first day. I am excited and looking forward to tomorrow.