Monday, August 15, 2011

The Start to the New School Year


Day One of trying out a very, VERY light schedule (less than half of what I have planned when we really hit our full schedule) for the coming school year.

It was fun, it was full, it was good all around.

The things I've already learned:

  1. 8:30 is a completely unrealistic start time for us. Too many chores, too many mouths to feed, too many babies to hold and snuggle, too many children to talk to and actually parent and love on. No way we'll be pulling out books or Bibles or anything *official* before 9am.

  2. We have a lot to do in any given day. Two babies, two preschoolers, two elementary aged children - plus laundry, meals, housecleaning, the list goes on... No wonder my free summer days have already felt full. Not quite sure how all the school year stuff is giong to fit in.

  3. Now I remember why my house is messy through the school year. I have more spare minutes to tidy and organize through the summer. Once we get up and moving I suspect I won't really be cleaning until next summer. ;o)

  4. Incentives work beautifully. I started offering up fun prizes (two pieces of gum, an ice cream cone, stuff like that) and letting the big boys bid for extra chores. Today I got an entire bathroom cleaned and my van cleaned out, vacuumed and washed, all for the cost of 6 pieces of gum. They're already eyeballing little odd jobs around the house and wondering if they can do them for more. Yay!

  5. This year is going to fly by at break-neck speed and before I know it my baby girl will be walking and my oldest son will be ten and I'll not even have had time to blink!
And I didn't even do any of the school work from our ACTUAL curriculum. Today was just a dry run of getting moving and doing directed activity for the morning. We got lots of preschool time in, a big goal for me this year, but hardly any mom-directed elementary time. The big boys just did their independent stuff and that's about it. So we'll be working out quite a few kinks from the proposed schedule. And we'll be likely dropping a few things from the wishlist as the year goes on. And that's ok. Because my biggest goals for the year are about being a family. I want to enjoy my children and my husband, and I want my husband to enjoy us. I want my children to grow closer to each other and to God. I want to pour into my younger crew and not brush them aside all day for the "more important" schooling of my older children. I want to REALLY soak up my two babies because I know these young months are so very precious and short and I don't want to miss a thing.

So it was a good day. A full morning. Lots of smiles, lots of productivity, lots of life a' happenin'. And I hope to start up week one of our 34 week curriculum next Monday, but I am all about dropping the stuff that doesn't work for us and loving the stuff that does. This year I am leaving the guilt behind and just hanging on to faith instead! God put this family together, He is calling us to homeshcool, and if He thinks we can homeschool AND raise (and feed and clothe...) six small children, then we can. It may not look the way I plan it out, but it will be good.

And so it begins... bring on fall. I'm ready!