Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A New Day, A New Year

Today was my oldest boy's first day of High School. Since he has been homeschooled his whole life with the exception of a brief stint in middle school, I felt that a picture was in order. Don't you just love that look of pure teen tolerance...

Donna was quick to ask what he thought of the day... He said it was boring. (Imagine that.) He has a block schedule so he has 3 classes each semester that meet for 1.5 hours each day followed by a couple hours of football practice. (I would go crazy myself.) He thinks it will be better when they're doing something in class instead of just listening to the teacher talk. I'm not sure what exactly he's expecting but I think he grossly underestimates the stamina of an enthusiastic teacher given a captured captive audience.


JoJo however, had quite a different perspective on his first day of Kindergarten...


The first day of the new school year is always a bit of a roller coaster for us. I've learned to have very low expectations because there's nothing worse than starting off a new year feeling like you'll never make it past the first day. I try to avoid the visions of cheerful children neatly working in workbooks and enthusiastic listeners sitting attentively at my feet while I read... so I'm not so freaked out by the reality of 5, now 4, boys sitting in a 300 sf room together while trying to keep their hands to themselves and their mouths shut.


I always try to start our morning with Bible time because I so want to have God's word in our hearts as we proceed through the day. It really sounds beautiful. But somehow an insane woman yelling at bewildered, babbling boys really shatters the impact of the message. (I admit this with great shame... but hoping desperately that I'm not alone here.) I will say that I have put great effort over the years into learning to expect their imperfect behavior and handle any interruptions and/or distractions with gentleness, firmness, grace... and a bag of lollipops for good behavior. (For those of you who have not figured this out yet, the character building we parents talk about so much is taking place in us much more so than in our children. Maybe they'll get it when they have their own kids.)


We kept things relaxed for the most part today but I got to have a great history discussion with my 8th grader and I was overjoyed with the enthusiasm and questions of sons 3 & 4 during our reading time. I'm going to add a list on the sidebar of books and curriculum we're using just for anyone who's interested or wants to share their experiences with same. (Don't worry, I have no intention of turning this into a daily homeschooling blog... nor do I plan to start a separate one... geesh... I do have a life after all... I think.)


And... I finished a sock.

11 comments:

Donna Boucher said...

WEll...at least tell us how your high schooler liked his first day :o)

I agree, screaming of the Bible stories tends to diminish the effectiveness ;o)

Oh yeah.

Jo Jo looks delighted to be learning with mommy.

Did you get my email about sign language?

marit said...

I am just SO happy when I can send the kids(there are 4of them: 15,14,12 and 10)off to school! I still have to cope with all that homework! So I really admire you for teaching them yourself.(And I also think you might be slightly insane-LOL)As for the screaming/yelling: I think we've all been there...

sophanne said...

One year as I was close to the "final performance", kindergarten was practicing standing on the risers and singing Jingle Bells. Amidst the sweetness of their faces and voices I was heard to be yelling "GET OFF THE EDGE OF THE STAGE!!!" more than once. It was a safety issue but stil...

It's tough and I imagine a parent with their children is much more difficult than a teacher with someone else's. They've had your whole life to find the buttons to push!

Natalie said...

I don't know if I ever shared with you that I was homeschooled through the 5th grade... I look back on that time and am amazed at the dedication and perserverance my mother had with us... The lessons she taught (starting each morning off with time from the Bible) were priceless. You are doing a good thing!

Michelle said...

Don't worry Tammy, you're not alone! I have shelves full of new curriculum that I haven't opened yet. Waahh...I don't want summer to be over!

km said...

With 3 in the house I feel pulled in too many directions. I don't know how you accomplish the homeschooling with 4 (5). These days my tolerance is even lower than normal becasue of my injury...and the fact that a Dr. won't see me for 2 weeks. So, the only way I don't yell...is that I have help. Someone comes over a few afternoons a week...my mom or a college student I pay. Yesterday, after a full morning with our co-op, my sitter played in the sprinklers in the yard with the little ones while I iced my knee. Then hubby was home to take over. Seriously, that was a good thing or my grumpy would have come out.

Marylu said...

Is your sock the undulating rib socks from Favorite Socks book? I tried to knit these, but couldn't get the pattern to work with the number of stitches that we are told to cast on. Did you follow the pattern exactly or did you modify? Please help!!

My son started kindergarten on Wednesday too!!! Wow, I can't believe he's five already.

Charity said...

Love that finished sock - what is the pattern?

I think it's great that you have a good understanding of what is reasonable with a roomful of boys. :0) Those romantic visions of happy children around the worktable sure are sweet, though!

Yarnhog said...

I think you're an awesome mom for taking on the homeschooling task. I considered it briefly for my older son (who is what they call "profoundly gifted" and was bored silly in school), but I realized that a throttled child and a crazy mother probably wasn't a good goal in life. I worked with the school to create an effective program for him, and he's been thriving ever since. But my hat is off to you!

uberstrickenfrau said...

I was wondering how it was going with your eldest. Mine is overwhelemed with the amount of homework she has to do, quite the shock to the system. And talk about homeschool stuff to deal with!!!Oy Vey! I'm thinking have having a going out of homeschool fire sale!!! And yes, I was reduced to yelling and gritted teeth when I taught how much God loves them.

Lydee said...

Wow! Hats off to you!