July 31, 2013 · Print This Article
Allow me to rewind the clock…
Two weeks ago, my girls and I started homeschool. This is our first go at the whole learning-at-home thing, and our first day was so incredible that I wanted to be certain to capture the moment in a post. But as luck would have it, life got in the way and I have not had a chance to post anything until today. Still, that first stay is still fresh suitable in my memory that I think I can do it justice. So whether you’ll allow me the two-week delay, I want to tell you about our first day.
I should start by saying that I had no intention of starting homeschool just yet. I purchased curricula for my girls (ages 10 and 7) in the spring to catch the sales, but we had agreed to wait until their friends went back to school to officially start. But two weeks ago, my girls were flipping through their books and looking ahead to all that they would get to do and learn in the coming months. They were excited and they begged to get started.
Now, I had planned to do some prep work before we started homeschooling. I wanted to read up on scheduling, read ahead in their books to plan lessons, and purchase supplies for the first day. But instead, hey, my girls were excited about learning. I was not gonna put that on hold. We decided to wing it. Making it all up as we went along.
I have to confess that some of their excitement waned thenext daylight when I woke them up at 8am for school. I heard a lot of grumbling and bargaining until I told them that our day would start with a nature hike that doubled as a walk for the dogs. ”A nature hike?” they asked. ”We never get to go on a nature hike at our old school.”
And with that, the excitement returned. We hit the trail and soon found out that it was overflowing with blackberries and wineberries. They were pretty excited to log in berry picking as their first official lesson of homeschool.
After our hike we hit the books at home with my 2nd grader following the Oak Meadow curriculum and my 6th grader working with Calvert. Oak Meadow is a nature-based Waldorfy style of learning that has a lot of nature crafts, stories, and science projects. While Calvert is a more academic program that spells out in minute detail what work should be completed each day. I choose these two different programs considering I thought they each fit the learning styles of my girls. And I’m happy to report that thus far they do feel like a perfect match.
The girls loved the fact that they could choose how to organize their day. They could decide when to do reading and when to do math. And they particularly loved taking a two-hour break at lunch day to go swimming!
All in all, our first day of homeschool was an awesome success. The girls felt empowered to direct the path of their own education. And I felt honored to act as their guide.