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Friday, September 7, 2012

Journey into Homeschool

Here I am one week into doing homeschool with 9 y/o Priscilla.  We are working on grade 4 and easing our way into all the subject matter and curriculum.  I have been a bit insecure about the whole homeschool thing - always wondering if I'll get her educated enough to be proficient and to excel in not only core subjects of academia but also in the fringe benefit subjects.  Because of my self-doubts I am all the more aware that this too, as in all things in life, is a journey of faith.  I will need to see and know my inadequacies and rely heavily on God for wisdom - and also rely on any and all resources available to me to support this endeavour.  Because my goal in all this is really NOT to be a 'do it yourself' educator.  Or to stand independently and say, 'I don't need a village to raise/educate my kid!'  (I'd argue that perhaps a village isn't *necessary* to raise/educate her, but is a great benefit to her educational enrichment!).

I am wondering if I'm still in the honeymoon phase (probably) because this week has gone extremely well.  More seasoned homeschoolers will balk at my use of a uniform, but I love it.  In order to take advantage of the homeschool flexibility I have decided to implement 'Fun Fridays'.  The rules on Fridays are relaxed if we are up to date with all the material.  It will be non-uniform day.  She could do her work on the couch or in bed if she wants.  Once our basics are out of the way, she can choose any subject to do and if she finishes early she has more free time.  I think many homeschoolers function like this every day.  But I want to make sure we have built in motivators to keep the pace steady throughout the week, so 'Fun Fridays' it is. Frankly, Priscilla hardly needs motivation.  She goes right to work and I have no prompting to do.  In this sense she is a dream kid.  If she weren't my kid I'd be jealous of me.  I don't tell her these things because she doesn't really need to hear it.  We all have strengths and weaknesses - being a self-starter, diligent, consistent person happens to be her areas of strength.

I'm sure Priscilla could practically homeschool herself, but one of the main points of choosing this is not that she will be left to her own devices but that I will be a more active participant in her education and growth in thinking.  This week we've had a number of meals together and she has prayed, 'Thank you that I can homeschool and that I get to be with Mommy more.'  I'm amazed at her simplicity and gratitude to be spending time with me.  At one late breakfast I got into explaining basic nutrition to her - about starch, veggies and protein.  I taught her that carbohydrate is a chemistry term - carb for carbon, hydr for hydrogen and ate for oxygen.  Sure this was a bit above her head but I am very fascinated by the chemistry of food. Maybe a little of that will rub off on her.  Who knows.

Here was one of the things she wrote for creative writing this week:

Recipe: Best School Year Ever!

1 Cup of Diligence
2 Gallons of Friendship
1 Gallon of good lunches
3 cups of fun
15 field trips
a sprinkle of creativity (optional)
10/11 class pets
10 fun teachers

First you mix the teachers and the diligence.  While you mix, pour in 1 1/2 cups of fun.  Now, one at a time, put in each pet, CAREFULLY!
Pour in the friendship.  Then, pour in 1 1/2 more of fun.  Put in 7
field trips.  In another bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients.  Mix
all together and bake.

I said, 'I'm sorry I'm not 10 teachers!'  She said, 'You're as good as 10 teachers!'  So sweet, she is.



So, so far, so good.  I am still quite unsure of myself in certain
areas - art for one.  We'll have to look into some ideas and options.

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like fun! So glad it's off to a good start!

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    1. Thanks Carolyn! Nice to see you stopped by my blog! This year I have 4 kids in 4 schools! Caleb at Clapham, Priscilla at home, Timo at the Dual Language public school (to learn Spanish), and Andrew at the Public Pre-school. I think I'm in over my head. That's why I let the hustle and bustle of life float over me or else I'll be dragged in and stressed. Instead, I just write my blog.

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  2. Wow! That is a lot! I hope Caleb has likes Clapham, by the way. I feel so out of touch with everyone. The older the kids get, it seems the less involved I've been at school, particularly not working there anymore. I hope things go smoothly for you this year. Just read your other post, too, and had been having similar convictions! I understand. I appreciate you sharing.

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  3. Hi Sarah,
    As one who has completed her homeschooling journey, I'm a little bit jealous. I loved homeschooling my two daughters, and I miss having them around every day. Priscilla sounds a lot like my eldest -- conscientious, diligent, delightful.

    From an older mom to a younger one, may I share a bit of wisdom? You write, "I don't tell her these things because she doesn't really need to hear it." Do you know Priscilla's love language? Many diligent children share the love language of Words of Affirmation (From Gary Chapman's book the Five Love Languages). Not only do they enjoy kind, uplifting words, they NEED them. My daughter is 23 years old and works for a US congressman and commented today how meaningful a "thank you," or a "well done" means to her. Perhaps this is not Priscilla's primary love language, but if it is, don't be concerned about spoiling her if you sincerely affirm her for positive actions and character qualities. That's my 2 cents worth. Keep up the good work. I wish you God's best in your homeschooling adventure. (visiting from Be Not Weary today)

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