The Homeschool Review: Week 1

homeschool review week 1
Cute kids and a baby doll that joins us in all of our adventures on the first day of homeschool.

Homeschooling is one of my favorite parts of my life. I LOVE learning with my kids. We are so fortunate to get this time together. I’ve learned so much about myself and my kids in watching these moments of “Aha!” and wonder. I’ve also come to appreciate sacrifice and the Lord’s hand in their lives.

Homeschooling is for the meek – in the Biblical sense of the word. “Meek” means to be “gentle” and “humble” and full of “hopeful endurance.” I can want the perfect kids to listen and not fight and get the answers right, but I’m setting myself up for failure in that lens. When I look through the meekness lens, I can see progress as what it is -growth toward adulthood and serving our Creator.

If I can facilitate them growing into responsible, servant-hearted adults, I’ve done my work and can stand before that throne with a grateful and humble heart.

I needed to write that down because a big part of me often wonders, “Can I really do this?” or “Is this really my calling?” or “Am I enough for them?”

I’m planning on a Friday post because I’d like a record of these days and I’m just NOT going to do a few things:

  • Remember where I put that notebook with my thoughts (among my collection of notebooks).
  • Print every picture. (I’m going to Instagram and hashtag and look here for pictures. Some would say I’m embracing the Millennial part of my Cusper identity.)
  • Be super accountable to anything but a few good people who look forward to updates about my kids and “Cute Little Baby.” (You people know who you are and I love that you read these posts. :))

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

Musings from Week 1

  • Going from one homeschooled kid to three is intense. This is especially true when the littles are needing that “at the elbow” attention, but we made it through our first short week. We started Thursday to just introduce the concept of homeschool to the little kids and for me to see how things will go before all the activities start.
  • Teaching two kids who are essentially a year apart is kind of like having two babies again. I had to develop some strategies for not losing my mind. Enter a batch of homemade play dough and a well-planned birthday present for the youngest that all the kids love. This Fisher Price sink was highly helpful in shifting attitudes on Day Two.
  • The big girl really grew up this summer. She’s almost 10 and I think there’s something really special about this age. She’s a totally different kid (in every sense of the word). She does her work at a desk without the need for roller skates and constant reminders to focus. I really worked hard this summer to pick out some curriculum options that tapped into her love language – fun! It seems to be working.
  • Our smart refrigerator and it’s amazing organizational abilities plus Click List made food a no-brainer. Hubby made me sit down last week and menu plan everything down to snacks. It took about 2 hours to set it all up, but I was so calm about not having to think about what to make for each meal. I’m pretty good figuring stuff out, but that calendar and the recipe right on the fridge helped me so much.
  • Things weren’t perfectly planned, but they were planned. This helped me not get stuck in perfectionism. That’s such a blessing. I want things to be just so, but they can’t be when you’re raising real people and dealing with minor inconveniences like a haunted washing machine.

Our favorite books of the week:

  • Cat & Dog Attitudes. Thanks to my discovery of Timberdoodle, I was able to find some great reviews and recommendations for my tinkering, thinking kids. This curriculum is top-notch for Bible and character. You open it and they tell you what to say. It takes about 10 minutes and it’s really easy for little kids to relate to the attitudes of cats and dogs when they have one of each. And we’re all about making God famous over here.
  • This Is My Home, This Is My School. Jonathan Bean nailed it with this wonderful picture book. This is the first thing we did yesterday. I read this to my little kids to let them know that school is home and home is school. They loved his depiction of the “crabby cafeteria lady” and the “scary substitute named Daddy.” If you haven’t read this to your kids (and yourself), please do. It will make all those first-day-of-school photos and bus drive-bys a little easier to stomach. He also did a wonderful job conveying the work the mama puts into this amazing journey. I felt inspired to see these “classrooms” and how much they mean to the kids.
  • Hymns for a Child’s Heart. We started this book over again because the kids were a little young for it last time we tried it. We sang “Holy, Holy, Holy” and learned the story behind the hymn. I love knowing the intent and story of writers, and this book is just precious.

It was a great week at our house! How about yours?

P.S. I’m working on a series for new homeschoolers and those with littles (I have an honorary advanced degree in small children as the oldest of 10 and Wednesday night wrangler of 2s and 3s for much of the past decade) on how to get fun and learning done. I’d love to answer your questions.  Send them to me here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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