Nearly Ready for the First Day of School

I’ve been working, working, working for weeks, trying to get everyone’s lessons organized for the whole year because I know myself, and I know if I don’t do it now, it’ll never get done.  Brenna and Delaney are completely ready to go.  The rest are scheduled out for at least half a year in all subjects, and all of the year in some subjects.  I had hoped to be all done by now, but I’ve been working at this around all the rest of the work and activities.  I’ve actually done really well, and I will finish it all by the end of the month.

Now, we just have to tidy up the last few corners of the school room, sharpen the pencils, and lay out fresh textbooks and notebooks and novels.  The children love the first day of school, and have been very much looking forward to this.  Me, too, actually.  Even though this homeschooling business is a lot of work.

A few weeks ago, we attended a Knights of Columbus Officer Installation Mass.  Tommy was perfectly well behaved throughout the Mass, because, of course, he knows how to behave at Mass.  But afterwards, during the speeches and acceptances and blessings, he started to get a little restless.  Not disruptive, but… mischievous, shall we say?  A very loud yawn.  A dash across the aisle to hug his Godmother.  Whispers, at varied degrees of quietness, of, “Are they done yet?”  He kept the folks around us entertained, at least.

At the dinner afterward, a woman we hadn’t met before walked up to me and asked, “Do you homeschool?”

“Yes, we do!” I answered with a smile.

“I thought so!” she said.  “We watched your family all through Mass, and you just don’t get relationships like that if you aren’t homeschooling.”

And I think that’s true.  These children are each other’s best friends, and we all do our best to honor and respect each other, no matter our ages.  We genuinely enjoy each other’s company, and none of us can stand to be parted for long.  My teens are in no hurry to go, and my little ones plan to stay here forever.

It’s not perfect, of course.  We sometimes get on each other’s nerves and there are almost always crumbs on my floor, but it’s as close to perfect as it gets.

So, yes, homeschooling is a lot of work.  But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

7 Comment

  1. Do you do anything special or fun for the first day of school?

    1. Honestly, I never do anything special for the first day, except issue new pencils and crayons and whatnot. They are just genuinely excited about new things to learn and – I suspect – getting back into a rhythm that regulated their time a little bit for them. 🙂 Barbara (next comment) makes Schultutes (I think that’s how you spell it) and her kids love them, but I’ve never been quite organized enough to pull that off. You have to go to the store and buy poster board ahead of time. 🙂

  2. I have almost all of the lesson plans finished, too, but a few to tweak. I can never have it just the way I want it. Is it subconscious? I don’t know. I surely could have done it if I had forced myself!

    I hope you have a great first day.

    1. I’m working on tweaking our MODG history curriculum, which is about the only part of MODG that I use. I should leave well enough alone, because my kids LOVE history, but they are also starting to complain about the stuff they never learned about. I found a new (old) book series by Dorothy Mills that we’re going to use as a spine. Very well written, no anti-Catholic bias so far in either the text or Memoria Press’s study guides, and more thorough than MODG. And we want to learn about the French Revolution at some point (in high school, I think). I’ve read that it is possibly the most important revolution, but we (or I, at least) know very little about it! I found out last week that it has a profound effect on French culture and thinking – a French friend has a problem with the image of Christ the King and Mary, Queen of Heaven! She said, “I guess I’m just a daughter of the Revolution,” which really got me to thinking that it should be studied, and I think I’ve even located a spine book. Out of print, of course. 🙂

  3. Jennie,
    I have been a long time reader but my first time commenting:). I was wondering what if any curriculum you are using for Tommie? My oldest daughter is the same age as Tommie and I am trying to figure out which direction to go.
    Thank you in advance for any help and guidance

    1. We don’t work him too hard. In fact, he’s not even required to come to school, since his daddy is home all the time and usually puttering around on the farm. If there is tractor work to be done, we won’t see hide nor hair of Tommy, but he’ll come if the job of the day is weeding the garden. 🙂

      I picked up the alphabet and number books from Memoria Press, and we have started working on those. He likes them, and I show him write the letter and what sound it makes and he colors his pictures (sometimes) and then practices making his letter on the chalkboard (voluntarily). Then he wanders off to do something else, and as long as he is not disruptive, I don’t care. We are studying geology this fall with the little ones, and he is a rock lover, so I think he’ll have fun with that.

      I don’t think you should stress too much at this age, though. It doesn’t matter. Just work on making “school” fun and build up to real work by the time he’s six. There are lots of sites with instructions for homemade, sort-of-educational toys and games, and he loves to play with the math manipulatives. Along with regular story times and real life, I think that’s enough.

      Happy homeschooling!

      1. Jennie,
        Thank you for your advice. My husband and I are getting a lot of pressure of our families to put her in “real” preschool and how homeschooling is crazy. We couldn’t disagree more with there view points. There are so many things kids miss out on when they are away from there families for 8 or so hours a day.
        Thank you for making me feel like I/we are doing enough. She loves anything outside or really anything that is hands on. From housework to coloring to pulling weeds to whatever. I won’t beat myself up too much then if we don’t get a lot of actual school done everyday. Some days are harder than others especially with a baby and animals and life in general.
        Thank you so much. I have learned more than you will ever know from you. I wish we lived closer we have so much in common from religion to family values to farm life.

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