Each new year brings exciting things, hard things, mundane things. With a freshman, a tornado toddler, and two girls in between I’m sure it’s going to be full of all the things.
It is our eighth year and it started a week early. No one was entirely ready to give up summer yet, but another surgery for the little one meant a schedule adjustment straight away. That’s a beautiful thing about homeschooling—it’s not just education; it’s life and life requires flexibility.
Keith was not excited about first-day pictures until I let him (safely & outside) burn his “first day of school” sign. He really cheered up after that! We took a trip to the park and had lunch in a restaurant. A lady in the restaurant actually told me the kids were well-behaved & I’m a good mom. Now she has not seen us at our worst, so I won’t get too puffed up, but that still felt like a win!
We set out to read aloud each day and actually did! This is one of my favorite parts about homeschooling. I love the days when it actually happens. I also set a goal to stay ahead of Keith in math. He is doing well in Principles of Math 2, but he needs some work on fractions before he can move forward. I tried to find something to help him in this area and nothing seemed to fit. So here I am, writing it for him and loving it!
We are studying South America with Gather Round Homeschool. It is fantastic! On day three, the kids learned about anacondas. They loved that and I loved that Keith could read that and lead the workbook page because yuck! The phobia is real over here. We are enjoying learning Spanish; we discussed the verse in depth including the meaning and the grammar; I gave Keith some freedom with his writing project and he wrote it without argument!
Not every moment makes the highlight reel and too often we don’t want to talk about these parts. So here is a glimpse at the not-so-fantastic side of this journey.
We all, myself included, had some grumpy attitudes about starting school. Summer is this glorious time where we skip the lessons and spend time together. I’m off work from one of my jobs. We are generally less rushed and have plenty of time to invite friends over. When school begins, lessons become a priority again and everyone feels that loss of freedom. It takes a couple weeks to transition and get excited about the lessons. We aren’t there yet.
I ran to dollar tree with no list and a vague plan to get some things to entertain the toddler during school time. Last year he napped and we did our lessons in peace. This year, he does not nap—we miss that! Well, it didn’t go well. I spent entirely too much time and money in that store. I did get some good things, but wow! Make a list and go with intention. I do know better, but this was a fail!
Even with new things, fun things, messy things, and his own binder, this little one is a tornado! He climbs on the table, tosses things on the floor, rips pages out of books, dumps bins of toys, yells and sings over us when we are trying to learn. He is a maniac! Wish us luck! We haven’t quite figured out what to do with him.
This isn’t our first year and it isn’t my first attempt at homeschooling with a toddler who won’t nap. I know from my own experience that we will get a groove, Grady will settle in, and we will have more good days than bad. It wasn’t the best first week and it wasn’t the worst. We learned a lot, had some fun, read some great books, and maybe I threw a fit over the sand mess. We’re all works in progress.