Well, we made it. Day one of school is over. Whew! I am exhausted. At about 10:00 this morning, I was highly questioning my decision from earlier this week to switch to decaf coffee! As tired as I am, words cannot adequately explain how my heart bubbles over with joy and a new found energy from the experiences today…and it’s only day ONE! God is amazing. I can’t explain it, but even though our day was non-stop packed with school stuff, the pace and the general atmosphere of our house was completely different. The day truly felt “holy”- set apart. I was quick to take a mental note: at the end of the next 9 months, how do we keep our days set apart for Jesus, even when life returns to normal. (I don’t have the answer, but hope that God reveals it to me at some point between now and then!)
Our day was not picturesque perfect by any means. There was a good hour to hour and a half in the morning when the baby was crying and wouldn’t take his nap, both girls were frustrated and had questions with their work, and Gideon, well, he was playing with silly putty on the carpet. But, there were times, when everyone was quietly working at their designated areas and the house felt still and peaceful.
Here’s a quick overview of what our day looked like:
We began with breakfast as a family…never, hardly ever does this happen in our house! Then we all headed upstairs to our make-shift school room and did our “kindness starts in the heart” bible study. I planned for half an hour, but we spent an hour coloring, pasting and talking. Gideon launched his heart over the balcony, but given the length of the lesson, he did pretty good.
The best part was when the girls on their own talked about the examples of kindness that were hard for them. It was so nice to hear them say it, rather than me pointing it out to them in the middle of disciplining them. To know that they get it on some level was so satisfying and hopeful. Helen said it’s hardest to let someone help her. (Right on, for her personality.) Ava said it’s hardest to let someone else have a turn, even though you have been waiting. And they added their own act of kindness…wait for it…having nice manners! We discussed how it shows respect and love and care to say ‘thank you’ and ‘your welcome’ and in our house, not smack your food while eating. As we continued the day, they encouraged each other and shared…the pom-pom balls were definitely the motivator, but I pray Jesus is working in them. We will see what happens when the novelty wares off!
Next we moved on to calendar time. This was mainly for Gideon to learn the days of the week and daily weather etc. Ava had to work on her handwriting by doing everything in cursive. Hopefully tomorrow this time will go a little smoother. There was a lot of explaining for something that was supposed to be relatively self-guided for the girls. But at least we set into motion the routine.
From then we were off to working through our work binders. They were my compromise to a workbox organization system in our small classroom space. I think it worked well, but we need to make a few revisions. Once I get the system down, I will have to share more.
(that’s my decaf coffee next to Helen, not hers.) 🙂
We learned about science safety rules, common and proper pronouns, expanded notation, Thurgood Marshall, Abigail Adams, and Sojourner Truth. We started filling in our timeline on the wall and setting up our reading and writing journals. It was a busy day, but a holy one. And well, as it turned out, a wholly one too.
Gideon’s scissor skills need a little priming:
And Helen lost a tooth:
To end our first day, we celebrated by buying some wholesome chocolate and powdered mini doughnuts. Ava said, “Can we do homeschool again next year?” (sigh… dude! I am exhausted! And it’s only been one day!) I wonder if it was the doughnuts, or if she, too could sense feeling set apart. I think that perhaps she, like me, could sense that this was what God desired for us. We weren’t misunderstanding his command. I think, that like me, she could feel the fresh start of a special little adventure for our family that has been designed to “set apart” the next 9 months to a year and focus on inclining our hearts to Jesus.
And maybe it was the doughnuts. 🙂