So apparently first day jitters don't disappear when you become the mother... or the teacher. Today (Monday) we began our homeschooling journey.
I was so excited, anxious and to be honest: very, very nervous about our first day. You can tell because I got up at 6:30. I don't do that. But this morning was great. I jumped in the shower and prayed, prayed, prayed. Thanking God for the opportunity to be able to do this and then asked for his strength and help.
I sat on the couch and had about 10 minutes of journaling/quiet time and then a few more minutes to talk to my husband before he headed out the door for work. I think I figured out why I was so nervous. I was fearful that Kai was going to tell me: I want to go to "real" school. What if she didn't like homeschooling? What if I was boring? I was feeling pressure to make it super special, not so my kids can learn in a fun environment, but out of fear of not being good enough.
Well, I was very thankful to get my feelings worked out and put those fears behind me and let God's peace take over just in time for Sissy (Kai) to come walking out into the living room. She snuggled up under my blanket with me and we enjoyed about 20 minutes of snuggling time and she wanted me to read to her a library book. Yes! This was how it was supposed to be. Our first day of school was off to a great start!
Sis and I made our way into the kitchen so she could eat breakfast and Braycee found her sleepy little self to us around 8:30. The dishwasher was opened and waiting to be put away and dishes were piled up in the sink. I didn't want to put them away, but I also knew that I didn't want a "distraction" and to have to tell the girls "just a minute" when we started school. So I had the girls eat their breakfast at the counter as we talked and I unloaded the dishwasher. Wow! Productivity was feeling good.
Then it was time to start. Had I prepared well enough? Were they going to learn enough? No.. thoughts of being good enough I will not listen to you today.
Everyday in PreK Kai drew in a journal and she really enjoyed it - it was one of those few things she would actually tell me about in her day. Jonathan and I always enjoyed seeing them at the end of each month and getting to see what creative things her mind had come up with each day. They were usually filled with rainbows, rainbow tornadoes, and rainbow monsters. So this was something we wanted to continue on with during homeschool. My plan is to have their journals set out every morning on the table with their school box ready for them. Then they can go straight there and color, drink milk and eat breakfast.
Today Kai did not disappoint with being creative. She drew "a fairy that couldn't fly because someone touched her wings, like if you touch a butterfly. They can't fly and will die. But she had help with a trampoline. No.. a tall windy tree."
Then Sissy moved her chair all the way around the table to be right next to Brayce. She wanted to help her draw. They drew a princess riding an elephant, a man dressed up like an elephant... or a raccoon." I loved getting to hear them interact with each other and be helpful.
Then I asked the girls to both draw something about their new school year, maybe something that they would want to learn about. Kairi began drawing before I was even done telling her the instructions. Her #1 thing she wants to learn about this year:
Then it was time to make the rules for school. Kai whined a little and said, "No! No rules!" I told her we needed some rules and I asked them what they thought might make good rules. They started listing off a few unenthusiastically... "No hitting... No pushing... No kissing." "Whoa, whoa, whoa!! There will be kissing." They looked at me a little confused and Kairi said, at PreK I did not kiss and I told her at this school we do kiss. And then I wrote out Rule #1: Kiss Your Teacher!
It was really awesome to me that this conversation came up because last night I was getting a little overwhelmed and thought oh man, I don't even have rules. I need to make some rules. Like no talking while Mommy is... etc. So I pulled up Pinterest and this was the first Pin I found. I loved it!! I automatically chilled out and was filled with peace. This was going to be fun. This did not have to be anything we didn't want it to be and it could be whatever we make it. I'm having to unlearn some of my "traditional school" thoughts.
They got smiles on their faces and I told them to think of some more rules that maybe didn't start with "No..."
Here are a few rules we thought of...
They especially liked rule #6 Pajamas Allowed! (As you'll see from the pictures from today, they didn't even get dressed at all. No cute "back to school" outfits for these 2 today. Just think of all the money I'll save.)
After the rules we took some time to pray for our homeschooling year and thank God once again for this opportunity.
We read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and went over all of the ABC's several times. Kairi knows all of them and was doing her best to help Brayce learn them. We sang our ABC's, Days of the Week, and Months of the Year. Talked about Today, Tomorrow, and Yesterday.
But they were patiently waiting/begging to do some workbooks. We did a couple fun maze sheets and then a cutting page and a few others. It was so fun to be right there teaching them and seeing them learn.
Then I declared it was "chore" time and we cleaned up our messes, picked up around the house and then went to their room to clean it. We turned on some music and danced while we cleaned. The girls were loving it. And it was actually on my "schedule" to do today. Man, Kai has some dance moves.
You may be wondering right about now what I did with Zeke the whole morning... Well, he finally woke up around 10:30 and joined in on the fun.
Their attitudes have been so pleasant today. They are being so helpful and kind towards one another and me.
Zeke was getting tired again around 12:30 so I had the girls pick out a few books each and "read" them while I put him to bed. Kai told me, "I let Brayce have all 6 of them so I'm reading my Bible." Seriously Lord? I am humbled.
Daddy came home around 1 for lunch and the girls were so anxious to tell them all about school and show him their room. They read a book and played Legos while I made lunch.
The girls then had rest time for 1 hour and just now came squealing out! They are now holding their brother and reading a book to him asking all sorts of questions: What is a canyon? What is ancient rock art?
So I must go. The learning never ends.
I am so thankful that God has led our family to this new way of doing school. This has been the best day. I couldn't have imagined it going any better. I have been smiling all day. I am just so thankful for this opportunity to teach my children and all be home together. God has confirmed to me that this is exactly what He wants for our family. I know their will be rough days, but I know we are doing what we are supposed to be doing. And that will make it all worth it.