Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Diving in to homeschooling

Although our school year won't officially start until next week, I am knee deep (ok, maybe neck deep) in all things homeschooling. Have I mentioned how surprised I am that I'm doing this? (yes) Truly this is the work of the Holy Spirit in my life because this is a road I did not envision myself traveling, and yet I'm full of excitement and peace at our decision. (mostly - there's a bit of anxiety thrown in there too)

I spent yesterday rearranging our loft/playroom area to include a new schoolroom. I bought some inexpensive tables at Ikea (oh how I love Ikea), cleaned off some bookshelves, rearranged toys and took the opportunity to throw some stuff out and donate a garbage bag full of old toys. Ahhhhh, organization! I'm still waiting for the curriculum I ordered, which will come with books, supplies, manipulatives, etc., so I'll have to find homes for all that too.

After a deep and thought provoking discussion, we determined that our school needs a name and it was a toss up between "Jedi Training Academy" and "Dragon Training School." Surprisingly, Dragon Training won out, so this afternoon we'll be making a poster for our wall. My oh-so-literal six year old had to make sure I didn't mean we were actually going to learn to fight dragons (the name comes from the delightful movie "How to Train Your Dragon), because after all "They're just pretend, Mom." I know, big man, I know.

I purchased curriculum for Language Arts, Science and Math and a homeschooling friend of mine gave me copies of a Geography study that she's going to use. We'll be learning about maps, continents, oceans, etc. and focusing on a new country each week. There's a supplementary animal unit that goes with it, so we can study animals from each country as we go. I forsee spending a lot of time on the animals :). And this is why I am so excited to begin homeschooling! We can run with things if they are interesting, especially when it comes to learning about our world. If we spend less time on learning about the customs of China, and more time learning about pandas... that's ok!

I am still apprehensive of the amount of time it is going to take me in prep and planning, but I hope once I get into a groove, I'll be able to relax a bit more. In my mountains of reading I've done recently, I came across a blog post about things to avoid, and one of them was something like, "Realize you aren't going to be able to do it all, there will be ideas and subjects and projects you don't get to, and that's ok." I need to remind myself of that daily. I keep finding great ideas that I'd love to try, but I know I won't have time to get to everything (not even close).

I'm also trying to let go of the idea that I have to recreate the traditional classroom and do everything he would be doing if he was up the road at the elementary school. And I'm trying to let it sink in that it's ok if we don't do things the way I see other homeschool bloggers doing things. Some of those moms are just amazing. Of course, many of the bloggers I've been reading have been homeschooling for years, so they have a lot of experience (and supplies!). We'll get there - in our own way, and in our own time.

For now I'm riding the coattails of my son's excitement and enthusiasm for this new adventure. I'm a little apprehensive and know that I need to turn to God a lot right now (um, always?) to help me through.

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