Monday, August 27, 2012

day one

Who cares that we went right back inside that door to begin school.
I still wanted to document this momentous first day.
And when I asked her to pose with a smile, she spontaneously broke out into this happy dance.
That's what you want to see.  Excitement for learning.
And Lord willing I pray we can end this year with that same feeling.
Both of them were over the moon to begin homeschooling today.
She woke early to find the table ready.
And couldn't wait to dig into the surprise set of clay I left out.
I couldn't have asked for a better day.
You know how very much prayer and planning went into this.
And I sort of jumped in both feet first not sure of how it would really be today.
And praise God, it was peaceful.
I felt the Lord with us.
And I felt my heart warm.
Watching them learning and working together.
Both said their favorite was this teddy bear math manipulative activity.
 And a game of hide and seek with sight words.
Each taking turns hiding and finding.
And of course reading the cards once found.
I have found through their regular classroom experiences
and even at Lindamood Bell that rewards for trying hard
and doing your best work well.
So I adopted something similar using these Dr. Seuss cards I found at Lakeshore.
Each time I'm proud of them for working hard, trying, or helping they get
to add a sticker.  It's definitely a positive way to encourage cleaning up too.
When three cards are filled we'll cash them in at the Target dollar bin or dollar store.
I know all days won't be this smooth and I know we're starting out
with things already covered for the most part.
But I'm just thankful and so blessed the beginning of this journey is off
to a great start.
We have big plans to keep this as fun as possible.
And not to lose all those great things about kindergarten,
like a party on the 100th day of school
Oh and I've so very much been wanting to share with you a post
about the kitchen nook that I've been diligently changing over
into a homeschool room.
I took this as an opportunity to support some etsy artists whose work I admire.
That post will come soon, but here's a sneak peak.
The whole thing just makes me smile.
 And I created some fun things too that I'll share
with you soon.
And this is a part of the scripture I've chosen for the year.
Something I want to hold onto and remember.

It's Romans 15:13
"I pray that God, the source of hope, 
will fill you completely 
with joy and peace because you trust in him.
Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit."

What a powerful promise to claim over our lives.

To overflow with confident hope through His power.
To be filled completely with joy and peace, 
because I trust in Him.

That is what led me here.
And I want to stay in that place.
And teach my girls to live their lives this way.
And so with confident hope I'm jumping in with both feet.
Because I trust him.

392. smooth mornings
393. kid's making their own lunches
394. a gymnastics class for homeschoolers
395. new friends through this new adventure
396. that happy confident sheer joy on her face
397. books on tape
398. a drive not as bad as anticipated, most of the time
399. help lining up
400. plans for fun party favor making
401. a clean space
402. instrumental praise music
403. an absence of stress
404. being the home where friends want to visit
405. dinner plans
406. seeing my son spread his wings
407. & being a leader in creative play 
408. hearing them say, "I liked our first day."

I went into this wondering if I could meet their needs,
would I be frazzled, would I misplace things?
Would I hold their attention?
Would I be able to navigate around difficult moments to
help things make sense?

And I realized first of all, we all already do that naturally as moms.
We are their first teachers.  This is more instinctual than you think.
(I'm speaking to myself)

And there are absolute directions for everything.
I'm not making this up.
I'm following directions.
I'm tweaking it when needed.

And when my daughter says I'd like to circle that with a heart instead.
Or can I color the whole thing in, instead of just the part it says.
Well, as the teacher I get to say, "Sure go ahead."
Because here she's not going to get in trouble for not following
the directions absolutely.  Plus she asked first.

Speaking of that I came across one of the most interesting
articles about education that I've read in a long time.
It was titled, "Would You Hire Your Own Kids?"
I really believe in what Tony Wagner is talking about.
His site has plenty more to dig into too.

We've wiped out that stress of studying for the test.
Or the anxious nights and mornings about school.
With that gone, we're all more at peace.

And finally, I realized they are eager learners.
They want me to pour into them.
And they have the most forgiving, sweet spirits.
Even if I do mess up, they're not going to hold it against me,
because I'm their mom.
And they love me unconditionally.
What an honor it is to get this chance to pour into them.
All the while, I most certainly will be learning right along with them.

For the "Not" back to school blog hop I'm linking up to, I'm supposed to give a run down of our day.
Ok, so now you get to see how super crazy our schedule really is.
We have a ten year old in school, many cities away from where we live.

So I rise at 6:10, get some exercise while the coffee is brewing.
I read my devotionals & drink that coffee.
My youngest wakes on her own around 6:45
At 7:00 I wake the other two.

They eat breakfast and get dressed and I shower.
We're out the door at 7:50.
I get back home with the girls at 9:15.  

Yes. It's that long round trip because of the distance and the traffic.
Long story short is the school moved, but it's his fifth grade year.
He has six kids in his grade and really wanted to finish out his
elementary years with them.  I feel like I need to honor that.

So the girls are so excited to start by 9:30.
We do our devotional, opening prayer and discussion
about the calendar, day, week etc. and then move into math.
We break by 10:00 for a snack.
And then from 10-11 we did language arts, handwriting,
and spelling.
At 11:30 I read to them till 12:00 and had them read a little to me.
Then it was time for lunch.
I'm easing into this, not trying to do too much right away.
And this felt like the perfect place to take a break.

Today we we had the best of intentions to start a new tap class for Ava
and ballet and tap for Audrey.
So we needed new, bigger shoes.
After lunch and some free play time we headed out for the shoes
then off to pick up brother at school.
From there groceries for the week.
Which put us in pretty bad traffic getting home.
Thank goodness for books on tape.
We've been listening to "The Secret Garden".
Once home I had enough time to throw the food that would spoil in the fridge.
We then raced through bad traffic again to make it to the 5:30 class 
in the nick of time.

Oh I forgot to mention they ate while we
grocery shopped.  It's a funny habit of ours.

But thankfully, because of that the girls weren't starving.
The classes, didn't go so well.

My poor daughter who struggles with dyslexia
and an auditory processing disorder found all the combinations too fast 
and I saw her holding in tears as she struggled to keep up.
She is a great dancer, but it was too much and way too much noise
for her to handle.  

So we left with her in tears begging to not go back.
The teachers were so kind and did their best.
But not everything is a good fit.
And Audrey, well she felt a little too old for her class.
So we'll keep looking.

Anyway, that put us getting home at 7:00 to have our real dinner.
My best laid plans were also shelved 
in exchange for turkey dogs, green beans and left overs.

My son showered, but the girls we skipped bath in light of how late it was.
Then it was off to bed for all, including me.
I had one of those nighttime naps, which I woke from
to remember I wanted to write this post.
And now it's officially midnight and time to clock out for good.

Did that just bore you to death?
I hope not. :)


Kim said...

No not at all...
sounds like an awesome day! Great job! Your nook looks great...
We had a soft opening with school yesterday. Did not even take any pictures... I will get around to it. : )

Mommy Girl said...

so thrilled for you! What a wonderful day and a blessed start to a new year! God will reward your faithfulness to follow Him and homeschool your girls.
I LOVE the verse you shared, I'm adopting it too!! xoxox

AlongCameTheBird said...

This looks so cozy and peaceful. What a great education your girls are in for this year! :) Enjoy every minute of it!

Kate said...

I have Central Audiotory Processing Disorder(CAPD) and that is 1 reason I am homeschooled. I can relate to your daughters frustrations.When I was in 4th grade (in public school i have only been homeschooling for 2 years and im entering 9th) I attemped to play the piano in band.(Now i am good at it)It was way too overwhelming.

Anonymous said...

So cool and exciting! Double thumbs up! Continued success!

Anonymous said...

I loved those first day pictures! Your pictures of your children are so sweet! I wanted to do a count of our school days and completely forgot- thanks for teh reminder!
have a great year! I'll check back ;)

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