Previous posts in this series:
To Home School Or Not to Home School?
Our Adventures in Homeschooling: Pre-K Curriculum and Prep Work
Like probably every other first time homeschooling parent, I was a bundle of conflicting emotions as we started the week. Am I prepared? Is she prepared? What am I getting myself into? How badly must I mess up before I give my child a permanent dislike for school or years of therapy?
You know… the usual mental conversation you have with yourself at a time such as this.
But even with all of the panic there were those tiny seeds of excitement. There is nothing like new school supplies and a fresh, young mind ready to learn. Nothing quite like being able to pour your heart and soul into teaching and molding your own child… being responsible for every aspect of their upbringing. Exciting, challenging and downright scary.
I am so scared.
But I hear that is a normal part of being a homeschooling parent. That even the seasoned homeschooling gurus have those moments of fear. So maybe that’s a good thing. I wouldn’t be scared if I didn’t care so much. I want to give her the best I have to give. All the time. Even when I’m scared and don’t want to.
And that’s hard.
But oh, so rewarding.
And did I mention hard?
Having exactly one week of homeschooling experience under my belt I’ve come to realize a few things already:
- The day will not go as planned. Your “perfect” plans will be derailed. Get over it and move on. It’s not about you anyway.
- Homeschooling happens throughout the day, every day. There are always opportunities to reinforce what they’ve learned. Use them. That’s when they learn the most.
- You will get frustrated. The child will get frustrated. Take a time out and come back to it later. Don’t let a sour attitude ruin the day.
- Praise them for the small things. A healthy self esteem is so important. And they learn it from you, Mama.
I planned to complete each day of schooling while the baby (J) was having his morning nap. C’s attention span is normal for a three year old (read: nonexistent) and I knew that mornings would work better for her. And me.
She took to it far better than I expected. There have been many days that she asked, “Can we do school again?” while I was cooking supper or right after she got up from her nap. Oh, what wonderful words. I guess I’m doing something right.
She really, really enjoyed the scavenger hunt on the first day. I used masking tape to make X’s around the house to mark the spot where her supplies were hidden. I left the X’s up for a few days and every time she saw one she’d exclaim, “It’s an X!!”
The cheese and crackers were a big hit. She now makes most of her food into X’s. 🙂
Here we were practicing writing X’s and identifying and drawing rectangles. She does not enjoy writing letters — she will do so gladly if I help her — so we’re trying to work on that. Right now I usually end up helping her. I don’t want to push it too much… she is only three and has a few years before I’ll start to worry if she can’t write her letters by herself.
Here we were coloring our “God’s Word is a treasure” treasure box. It went promptly into our big treasure box to be saved. She loves to get the box down and look through her treasures — sometimes even a few times a day.
What’s better than Playdoh X’s? Not much, according to my daughter. In fact, by the end of the week she was making X’s with pretty much everything… pencils, construction paper, sticks, her two ponytail braids… (Yeah, that was really cute. :))
Overall, I thought it was a great first week! There were a few trying moments — and one day when I decided to put everything up until we were both in a better mood — but that’s all part of it. The point is that she’s learning. She’s learning her letters, shapes and other things that are stepping stones to becoming an independent adult. But most importantly, she’s learning more about God and what the Bible says.
And I’m blessed to be the one teaching her.
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