Today was our first official day of homeschool…the lesson plans were finished in the wee hours of yesterday morning, the books laid out neatly, pencils sharpened, dry erase board loaded with the day’s plans for each child…but I only had one child who was even remotely excited about the first day…and that was Katie.
AJ fought me tooth and nail, the entire time. He started with whining and when that didn’t work, he moved from cajoling to pleading to an all-out fit-throwing. I did maintain my composure, although I wanted to just chunk it all and say we’ll start school when he’s in 6th grade. But…this is only Kindergarten…and I have to remember it was his first day…what was I expecting? For him to just sit down and actually adhere to some sort of structured morning? Was I out of my everlivin’ mind to think he would magically wake up and be a different kid just because school was starting? He’s my little Texas Tornado…a rough and gusty, swirly windstorm that sweeps through my house, strewing papers and toys and leaving a path of destruction where ever he goes. No, he’s not one for sitting still for long periods of time, nor has he ever been known to be a child who listens with rapt attention.
BUT…despite all of that, we made it through. AJ completed his day – and for that alone, I am thankful. He seemed to enjoy it once we got into it and he was surprised and I think just a tad disappointed at 11:30 when I told him he was finished and he could go play. (I skipped Art today, because really? I just don’t have it in me to be creative after expending all that energy being patient with him this morning.) He even told me afterwards that he was going to be a “good boy” for me tomorrow, because he loves me and “that’s what little boys are s’posed to do for their mamas”.
Katie spent her morning alternating between studying and watching the show between AJ and I. I think she was amazed that I didn’t yell at him (she is very aware of the signs of stress in my voice and knows when that stress moves to my face – ya just don’t mess with mom)…but she never said a word. She has a bigger workload this year than she had last year (moving from 4th to 5th grade will do that to you) and as I was writing assignments on the board this morning, I caught her widening her eyes and how long her list was. She actually has 5 subjects this year – Math, Language Arts (grammar, vocab, spelling), Writing, Science/Health, and History. I didn’t do Science with any regularity last year because I didn’t incorporate it into my daily lesson plans – so this year, I’ve decided to use some curriculum and write it in.
If you homeschool…you should check out this wonderful resource for keeping your records online – it’s completely free and has some really neat features. One I really like is the fact that you can check off and/or score each child’s daily assignments and the program keeps track of everything for you so you don’t have to. Of course, I suppose they all do that, this is just the first one I’ve ever used. If you know of something better, by all means, TELL ME, people. I have just found that I am not disciplined enough to write in a teacher’s gradebook every day. I find myself getting behind…well, you know how that goes. But when I sign on to this site, I update today’s progress before I can print out tomorrow’s lesson plans.
Now, I have to wash, dry, and fold 3 loads of laundry that I didn’t do this weekend because I was finishing lesson plans, because I get to leave the house tonight and be with adults! And I really want to wear something other than my pajama pants.
And lastly, the reason I homeschool is wonderfully illustrated in this cartoon. I may have to sacrifice some things now (like time for myself – I can’t imagine having five or six free hours a day!!!), but in the end, it’s worth it, because I think it’s the best fit for OUR family.
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