Monday, August 31, 2009

Oh Crap

Corinne (age 3 years, 10 months), as she colors the shapes in her preschool book today:

"Circle, circle, triangle. Square, square, rectangle. Hey Mommy? Where's the Crapezoids?"

The child made me pee. Just a bit.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day!


2nd Grade

5th Grade

No tears!

Work done with effort and CORRECTLY!

The sun is shining. The breeze is blowing. And we were finished before noon.

Here's to the rest of this school year going as smoothly as today went....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hope and Plan and Pray

It's more than just a date on the calendar. It's a feeling and rhythm in the air. Tensions change, the clock is ticking and the hourglass is nearly empty. Every activity is done with a frantic need to have a Really! Fun! Time! before the opportunity slips away.

Each year, the scramble to secure the proper supplies and paraphernalia associated with the Back To School Season stresses the heck out of me. The fact that we are homeschooling this fall instead of "going to school" doesn't eliminate that stress. It's just taken on a new face!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Remembering why...

I have read several "back to school" posts lately that are reminding me of why I believe in homeschooling. Complaints of gifted kids not having the opportunity to continue to grow. Worries of children who have continued to learn all summer (and not having the "summer slide" effect) who will be bored out of their minds when the material presented next week is well below their knowledge levels. Stress over children who need that extra push (but not an aide) not getting the extra time it takes to learn what's being taught...

Though I'm nervous about the initial start-up of this school year, I am more cemented in my belief that this WILL be the best thing for my kids. I have to be positive about that, or the whole system will crumble around us!

On a slightly different note, I was recently asked what was "Wrong" with our school system that I didn't want to use it. "It's not a bad school," I said "It's just not the right choice for our kids, right now." I think the question (which has been asked of me time and time again, and I've only been doing this a short time!) unnerved me because the mom was someone who is in our school district. I didn't want to give the impression that I hate our school district, because I don't! There is a very great chance that our kids will attend public school in this district again, and I am (moderately) ok with that.

But the funding HAS been cut. The classes HAVE grown. The ISN'T any help available for my children's individual needs. What can I do about that? How can I ensure that my very different kids who fall on different ends of several spectrums receive the education I feel they deserve? How can I add extra learning experiences to their day after they've spent 7 hours at public school and have an average of 1 hour (or more) of homework a night?!?

I want them to enjoy learning. I hope they remember this school year as the best year of school, ever!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Pre-game motivation

The desks are cleaned.

The old papers are filed away.

Review sheets are awaiting their dusty brains.

Flip books on dinosaurs, sharks and the US government are freshly glued but empty of information.

We are heading to my parents' home tomorrow to search through my dad's vast collection of history books.

I just need some school supplies and printer ink and I will be READY TO TEACH.

Still gotta convince Patrick that Evan deserves one more chance. Once that last hurdle has been crossed, I will feel confident that we can DO THIS. I will feel confident that we can not only DO this, but do it well.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Deep breaths....

Well, after being on the fence for a few weeks, it appears that Evan WILL be staying in homeschool this year. I had just gotten used to the idea of him returning to public school when he changed his mind and convinced me to let us try homeschooling for 1 more year.

And now? Now I'm.... undecided. I know that it will be 1000% more difficult with Evan here. He isn't as willing to go with the routine that works for me, Justin and Corinne. He and I don't always click quite as easily when it comes to discipline and schoolwork. We'll see... I am planning on writing up some "contracts" for the entire family to sign. Something along the lines of "I promise to work hard, to ask questions without whining, and to treat homeschooling like REAL school in that the work must get accomplished." The parent contracts will have words such as "I promise to remain patient. I promise to not focus on the negatives of homeschooling but to support myself and my WIFE (Pat's contract) in this important endeavor..." yadda yadda...

We need to commit to this. Either we're in or we're out. The goals for the year must be known and posted on the wall. What do we all want to accomplish this year? Where would we like to be at come May, 2010? How can our entire family benefit from homeschooling? How can our entire family contribute to our goals?

Taking a few deep breaths. Gearing up for the heavy stuff. I have started reorganizing the office/school space and hope to have a BRILLIANT first month. We WILL have fun! We WILL learn and discover! And we WILL do this without horrendous arguments or emotional breakdowns (me...).

Deep breaths....