Well here we are, Tuesday is the big day. I've been jabbering on and on about homeschooling here on the blog all summer (my apologies to those who are bored to death with it), and it's time to begin! I've never felt so good about something and so sure that it's the right thing. But I also felt totally sure that the kids would love the idea right away, too, and boy was I wrong about that…
I just hope that in a few weeks I still feel as good about it all.
Our first day…
Instead of the traditional picture out front with back packs, as the kids wait for the bus to come take them away for seven or eight hours, we're starting off with a back-to-school picture in our jammies, with hot cocoa in-hand. I am giddy when I think about it and again have to ask myself why in the world we didn't do this sooner?! Kent joked with the kids that we should go through the school parking lot mooning everyone who has to go sit in school all day, LOL! Of course they thought that was hilariously funny. 🙂
By the way, I'm only joking around and we say this stuff to our kids to get them more excited about what is still a very foreign way of life to them. I don't mean it as a slam toward my friends who still send their kids to school at ALL. As I said in the comments below, it just wasn’t a good fit for us. Many kids thrive at school and if ours did we’d likely still be there!
How I'm going to get it all done!
Of course I'm still concerned about how in the world I'm going to be a good mom and wife, work full time, keep up a house, make meals, get enough sleep, and homeschool our kids, but I also know without a doubt that God called me to do this, at least for now (hopefully forever), and because of that it will work out.
I'm excited about a new plan we're going to implement around here.
One of the benefits of homeschooling that had me really excited in the beginning was that our kids will have the time to learn life skills like cooking and cleaning. Normally by the time they finished their school day and then homework, I felt bad making them do anything more than a few random chores here and there. But now I've got a whole chore chart worked out in my iCal. We've started a lot of this over the summer, and they've already been cooking and cleaning, but we're stepping it up a bit this fall. And because we have four kids, each day they'll only have a couple of chores.
These won't take too long, so they won't feel overwhelmed, and they'll still have plenty of time for school and playing.
I'm “working myself out of a job”, as Peggy, one of my favorite blog reader friends, has suggested. I'll still have to supervise all of this, which sometimes takes more time than doing it myself, but as time goes on, that will get easier. And I'll still probably do the bulk of the cooking, at least for a while, and besides, I love to cook. Plus, because I know that the cleaning won't always get done as well as I'd like, especially while they're just learning, I'm going to hire cleaning help to come in quarterly to get down to the nitty gritty. (I can't stand cleaning and I found a very affordable company that did a great job after I tried them out through a Groupon.)
I know that I can't do it all, so I feel good about this plan. Since I'm doing less around here, I'll have time for teaching them and for working. Perfect plan!
Well, it sounds perfect anyway. As we all know, the implementation of these grand plans we Moms have sometimes goes completely haywire.
I'll let you know!
I sure hope you have some of your own grand plans to share with us about how you have been able to make it all work – tell us about it in the comments, and thank you for your help!
Kresha @ Nourishing Joy says
Oh, my goodness. You’ve expressed exactly what I’m thinking and feeling right now, as we just decided to begin homeschooling this year after 1 year in public school. Granted, my children are significantly younger than yours (1 first grader, a preschooler, and an infant who has figured out how to climb bookshelves even though he only mastered crawling last week….) but I echo your sentiments “that I also know without a doubt that God called me to do this, at least for now (hopefully forever), and because of that it will work out.” Teaching our children IS a holy calling – and an incredibly special one. I pray fervently that we’ll all have the energy and the patience to do it well!! 🙂 Heh… check in with me at the end of the year to see how successfully THAT worked out…
Many blessings as your year begins! Wahoo!
Christina R says
Good for you!!! I have to tell you some things go by the way-side. I’ve been homeschooling for 2 years (starting our 3rd YAH!)
One of the most major things that helped me was reading “A Thomas Jefferson Education”. The principles in this book saved my sanity. When I presented them to my family everyone jumped on board. My kids decided that it was important for them to be in charge of their own education. This doesn’t mean that they get to choose all of their materials but they are responsible for making sure they learn it and get their work done. Now I don’t even have to ask the kids to do their school work they just do it on their own or bring to me what they need to have help with.
I hope homeschool is as much of a blessing for your family as it has been for ours! You can do it!!
Mindy M says
I am so excited for your family. The whole “teacher-student” thing is a misnomer. No one can MAKE a kid learn, no more than a parent can MAKE a kid eat or sleep. (not that you are, just a paradigm shift) You have to get them to want to. If a parent can potty train and “teach” an entire 1st language to a child, then they can homeschool. How did they learn their language? It was very natural. Learning is not a job kids do from 8-3. It should be a natural part of life that never stops.
Kelly, that’s what you are all about with real food. You are encouraging others to search it out. You learn something, then you share it, and we all get excited. It works for homeschooling too. You can do it!
Ann Marie says
We are getting ready to begin our 9th year of homeschooling. That first year was a bit hard, my oldest (and the only one who had been to school) missed some things about being in a school. However, the last 7 years she has LOVED homeschooling and thanks me continually that she doesn’t have to go to the public school. We will graduate her this year (a year early -her choice)!
This is my first and only year to homeschool all 4, as the youngest is in Kindergarten and the oldest a senior. We’re looking forward to another great year of learning together, and wish you all the best in your school year!
Very excited for you…we home schooled (or unschooled) our two sons, now grown, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Even as adults the difference in them compared with their schooled peers, in light years apart…
People often “marvel” that was are such a clsoe family until we tell them they were home schooled then they say..”oh thats why”..yet most won’t try it (I knew others that couldn’t WAIT for their kids to go off..there’s even a commercial where the mother is jumping up and down cheering! Horrid! Yet we had one local superintendent tell us he LOVED the way we did traveling vacations stopping at museums and historic site, to make a lesson stick..and of course the reading..LOTS of reading..so much fun!s…
It won’t be uneventful, and it is hard at times, but there are more good times than bad thats for sure, and of course, it is ALWAYS an adventure……so enjoy your adventure… looking forward to hearing some of them…
How exciting! I hope that you have a wonderful first year, and that homeschooling exceeds your expectations. We are heading into our 9th year, and I have 3 grades for the first time. It is not always easy to balance the demands, but as the children get older, I find that they can and want to do so much more. They are learning so many life skills that many in my generation have never acquired. I hope that their transition to adulthood and independence is easier than some of my friends’. Best of luck to you and your family!
I’m so excited for you! The photo sounds like a blast! We sometimes have a “moment of silence” as we pass public schools on our way to the park, skating rink or other fun destination to remember those less fortunate. 😉 It’s always done tongue-in-cheek of course. The kids have many public-schooled friends and I’ve always stressed with them that it’s not an us vs. them issue, but more a decision like long hair vs. short hair.
Hey, I found a great tool I’ve been using to keep track of my work stuff, it’s called Shoutdone and it’s freeware. It really helps me stay focused so when I have fifteen minutes at the computer I do the most important things first. You might want to take a peek!
YES, I think I should edit my post a bit so I don’t come off like I may have by accident. It’s not an “us vs. them” thing at all and I appreciate you helping me remember not to come across that way. We have SO many good friends still schooling traditionally, and it just wasn’t a good fit for us. Many kids thrive at school and if ours did we’d likely still be there.
Shoutdone, I’ll check it out! I use Time Doctor and I’m assuming it’s similar but I’ll take a look. 🙂
I don’t know if you can, but if you want to just write a whole new one I can delete your old one if you’d like. 🙂
(I may not see it ’til later though…)