It’s been a while since I’ve done anything on facebook. Too busy. But this morning it’s taking me longer than usual to get moving so I decided to browse and see what all my fb friends are up to. It seems that school has started in several states along the east coast and all the parents are taking those adorable first day photos. Some homeschoolers even posted their pics of the first day of school. One friend is starting homeschool for the very first day of her very first year, how awesomely exciting!
It brings me back to that inspired evening when I came across what would be our first curriculum ever. It was through the recommendation of another homeschool mom. I found it; read through it; pieced together every. single. subject. A four year old kid “needs” to have a complete health textbook, workbook, and teacher’s guide to “do” school, right? Biggest waste of money in the history of homeschool books. Anyway, found the curriculum, loaded up the cart and swiftly found Husband to ask him if we could go ahead and purchase said books, workbooks, charts, games, and teacher manuals. He said yes & I clicked our way into homeschooling. My kid was officially homeschooled.
Six years later we are still plugging away. Some seasons are more exciting than others, but even during the tough times I don’t regret the decision to homeschool. There are days when I long for my continued education ( a real BA, not just a certified holistic health diploma ), but it’s not the right time so I am at peace with my full-time job here at home.
When beginning homeschooling a few years back, we learned that the public school start date was upon us and I wanted to make it memorable since it would have been Big Bird’s first day of kindergarten had he gone to school. We started the day by walking around our neighborhood bringing elderly neighbor’s trash cans up to the house from the road (trash day), then headed home to work through our academics and listened to some classical music. We strongly follow Charlotte Mason teachings with a little Montessori (among others) thrown in there. Classical music in the background is a must since I don’t “teach” music past kindergarten. If you are interested, one of my favorite finds has always been a home school music curriculum, found at www.pfeifferhousemusic.com. It was fun and one of the few original purchases that I did not re-sell.
I once read that homeschoolers usually have a special tradition that begins the year. Some go out to breakfast and talk over what they hope for during the year, others simply set up school “stations” around the house, and like most parents, several take “first day” pictures. I don’t do any of those, although I am going to take a picture today because it does feel like a special day of new beginnings. When I see little kids in their new clothes with backpacks on and big smiles as they say bye to mom and/or dad, I feel nostalgic for those days and want to participate.
This year I had three surgeries that cut and biopsied my organs and 5 procedures that didn’t “cut” anything, but did take some time to recover from. The appointments that led up to those procedures coupled with the amount of pain I was in between stopping my meds (or lowering them) and getting my body fixed, took up much of the beginning of 2013. My kids still homeschooled, but because they had several breaks throughout “surgery season” we didn’t take a summer break. We did, however, begin a new curriculum called My Father’s World Exploring Countries and Cultures ( I am still using Sonlight readers/LA and Heart of Dakota read-alouds ) about 4 weeks ago. It gave a sense of entering into a new beginning. Although comfortable with our hs, as I reflect on the last 5/6 years, it feels a little monotonous. I don’t get excited like the mom who began this journey years ago did. But I want to.
Looking at all those first day photos has inspired me this morning. As kids along the east coast board buses and meet their new teachers, I am going to approach the day with fresh eyes and show newfound excitement for what we are doing. Because it is very exciting and I am so grateful to be their teacher. I’m thrilled to be this far along on the journey and at ease with where we are right now. And this has inspired me to take our “first day” picture because it’s the first day of a better attitude filled with more appreciation. I am valuing my time with them and am going to soak in each day this “year”.
Happy First Day of school friends.