Is it just me or has the summer flown by this year?
I'm probably one of the very few moms you'll hear say that I'm just not ready for school to start. This is the first year out of five that I've homeschooled my kids that I am having doubts as to whether or not I can do it. I have actually lost some sleep over it the last few days as the date of Sept 1st draws nearer.
One of the bittersweet things about being a homeschooling family is that I don't get to experience the same emotions as other moms when it comes time for the kids to start back to school. In some ways, I am almost jealous of these women who will soon have more free time during the day while I will still have my kids at home with me, attempting to do even more than I've been doing this summer. Having a schedule should help, but I'm still wondering how I'm going to do it all, especially having a third separate grade to teach this year.
Abby is starting Kindergarten. I've lamented all summer over the fact that I'll not have a sweet story to tell my friends about how I dropped her off on her first day and promptly cried my eyes out because she was just fine when I left. Nor will I get to hear her tell any stories about her classmates and teachers and how they all sat in a circle and sang Kumbaya. Oh, I kid. Sort of. She's the baby, my last. I'd sort of like to have that memory...does that make me a homeschool traitor? We'll be using Abeka Kindergarten curriculum because I honestly think their phonics program is the best of all I've seen. I will probably pick and choose through her daily subjects, because there's really no need for her to be "in class" for six hours a day - we'll more than likely pare it down to just two hours daily.
AJ is a first grader this year. He flew through Kindergarten with flying colors. The thing I worry most about him this year is being able to teach both him and his baby sister simultaneously. Anyone ever done that? I must admit, I'm a tad bit concerned about my ability in that area. I want each of my kids to come away from school every day feeling a little bit better about themselves and their abilities. He is quite the energetic/rambunctious/raucous that I stay worried I won't be able to keep him occupied while I'm teaching his little sister. We are also going to be using the Abeka program for him this year - again with the phonics - he's still learning to read and after this year, he'll have a solid foundation. This year I'm focusing on teaching him to write in something other than capital letters.
Katie. She is the old pro at homeschooling. This is her fifth year and she will approach it pretty much the same as she has every year for the last four. With an eager and willing attitude and showing much grace to her mother for not being the "perfect homeschool mom". I have myself a middle schooler this year and it's not lost on me. We are using Landmark Freedom Baptist curriculum with her. She has used this curriculum for the last three year and loves it. English, Math, History, Geography, Science and Literature. We'll try to sprinkle in some craft time somewhere - and yes, there will be some experiments.
So what was the point of this post? I just needed to share my angst with someone.
If you homeschool, there is an unspoken pressure to be a "perfect" homeschool family with the best-behaved and smartest kids on the block. People expect your kids to know three languages and have the ability to work college-level calculus problems before they leave Kindergarten. You must have daily crafts, weekly science experiments, and monthly field trips.
The beautiful side of homeschooling (yes, there really is one) is that I get to have my three beautiful kids at home with me. I love learning alongside them and finding out what makes the world go round. I love seeing the light bulbs switch on when they finally “get” something they’ve been struggling with, and I absolutely adore watching the creative juices flow while they are working on a project. Most of all, I just love spending time with three of the smartest, funniest, most insightful, and most curious kids I know.
Maybe this year won't be so bad, after all. I just needed a reminder of why I do this. Now all we need is a name for our homeschool academy. What should it be? Any thoughts?
Oh, and if you're a homeschooling family, or you have ever homeschooled, I'd love to hear your thoughts as to how you taught more than one grade at a time.
If you're not a homeschooling family, I'd like to hear from you - what is your first reaction when you hear someone is homeschooled? Do you expect them to be smarter? Artsier? Better behaved?