Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The first day of Kindergarten!

We have been so busy lately, I haven't had time to post but I wanted to write about finishing G's first week of Kindergarten Homeschooling!

To make the start of the school year special for her, we went out together for a fun girl's afternoon.My mom did the same for me (although I think she cut my hair herself; the choppy bangs in all of my school pictures are evidence though I won't be posting those!).

The Haircut!

The Ears Pierced!

The New Outfits!

We finally made the decision to homeschool using curriculum from K12 which is completely FREE for PA residents!! When all of her materials arrived, including a computer, printer and supplies, it felt like Christmas.

So many of the books and curriculum pieces for each subject were on my list for this year:

The online lesson plans have been easy to follow and have saved so much time. I love the strong emphasis on art, music, poetry, classic literature, as well as history being taught through story. I like the idea of being linked to a teacher to support us and provide accountability.

In just a week, I have been able to see firsthand all of the wonderful things about homeschooling that I've read and heard:

--building a family culture of wonder, beauty and excellence in learning;
--having multiple ages learning together has provided opportunities for them to grow in motivation, patience and love;
--plenty of outdoor time, though our lessons are a bit longer than I'd like them to be, since we are at home it is so easy to send them outside if we have even a small break and then they have the afternoons to play and run. I can't imagine M. being in a classroom all day and being able to sit and focus;
--tailoring learning for each student; we get to emphasize what we love, focus on what needs to be strengthened, slow down or speed up;
--the ability to tweak the curriculum; getting rid of busy work and twaddle, but even more to bring in our worldview when it applies;
--the time for what matters most to us, like family devotions in the morning, Bible and Catechism instruction, and our Liturgical Tuesday Teas.
--the time for all the things I want them to learn Composer, Artist Study and Nature Walks that contribute to the fabric of the Christian life.
--the time for practical life and habit training, like meal preparation, chores, caring for little ones, even laundry can be done in a meaningful way that so obviously contributes to the common good of the household.

As I reflect on our first week, I know that it was not my planning, a good curriculum, the children's desire to learn that led to our success, but the prayers that surrounded us and our attempt to work for the Glory of God. So thank you to all who lifted us up in prayer and sent encouraging emails. Even when I was tired or things got crazy or G even cried, I always had a sense I was not alone. To kick off our school year, my dh focused our morning devotions at breakfast on what the Bible says about work; we started at the Garden of Eden and ended with a reading from Revelations. These ideas reminded us for whom we were working. It warmed my heart, when I went to take this picture of G on the first day of school, she looked up at the camera smiled and declared, "For God's Glory!"

May it be so!


Jennifer said...

so nice!

The Hageodrn Family said...

Huh??? Last I heard you were sending the kids to preschool! This is quite a turn around. I am so happy that you are enjoying it. We have had a good couple of weeks here and we are loving the many aspects you mentioned as well. In fact, we enjoy it more and feel the benefits more each day.


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