. . . having been home-schooled myself
Girl 1 goes to a marvelous little Catholic Montessori program. The only downside to it is that it technically is a “tutoring center” and not a school. Her program only meets three days week.
I knew that I’d need to do something the other two days eventually. For now, she’s just kindergarten age, and I hoped that it would be enough for Pat to go over her phonics readers with her in the evenings.
She’s so eager to learn. She writes words and sentences on her own initiative. She tries to write in cursive, making up her own style.
At the same time, she’s been acting up in school lately. And even during good weeks, her unfocused self only gets so much done at school. Mostly she draws and paints and socializes and goofs off. So I’m thinking she needs some supplementation at home sooner rather than later.
I was homeschooled K-12, and I feel like “Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt.” I literally got a tee-shirt. Still it just seemed like the right thing to do to bust out a few worksheets a few weeks ago. A Friday morning in mid-November is as good a time as any to start homeschooling, right?
I held her hand over the pencil and traced the cursive letter “a” with her . . . for about five seconds until she shook me off. It was funny how it brought back memories of when my mom taught me how to write in cursive (except that I think I was a more docile student). A real déjà vu moment.
We only got through maybe 20 minutes of actual work. She did a few easy preschool-type shape-matching worksheets too, just for fun. Then a really long snack. Then some outside play time. Then Peter and the Wolf on YouTube while I made lunch.
I remember my mom playing Peter and the Wolf for me on our record player when I was about four. I was really scared of it. I think my mom turned it off. Girl 1 was scared too. I don’t know what I was thinking. Peter and the Wolf just seems like the homeschooler-ish thing to put on.
After lunch we read some Little House and the Big Woods, then I put the girls down for “quiet” time. Girl 2 yelled the whole hour. Then another snack, then a trip to the library, where we happened to catch a children’s group Suzuki lesson. Then dinner. Then Pat read Girl 1’s phonics reader with her and put both girls to bed. (Okay, and there was some movie-watching here and there throughout the day too.)
The whole day was like an out-of-body experience, especially since our days generally have no structure. (My life is like Jenny’s life, minus the part where her life gets better.) I usually go around in a sleep-deprived haze, trying to keep the girls amused and not screaming, and trying half-heartedly to empty the dishwasher and brush my teeth before dinner. Adding any school work into the day seemed completely impossible.
But, in start contrast to my prior apathy, I find myself a bit excited about homeschooling. A big part is that it might help put some structure in our life.
I wrote another post about how loving your child, for some people, might mean giving up your dreams of homeschooling. For me, it might mean giving up my dream of not homeschooling. Girl 1 has a strong will, a short attention and probably ADHD. Her sister is no shrinking violet either. I have extremely limited emotional reserves, I doubt that we’ll homeschool full-time for any significant period.
But–for today–we did it! Only 20 minutes of real work, but we did it! Because that’s what we needed to do. And it felt good.
(**Update, several week later, we are still at it. Some days are better than others. The novelty has worn off for Girl 1. Girl 2 is excited to do “home-goo wook” because she gets to chew gum. We still only get a few minutes of serious work each time. But we’re doing it!)