If you follow me on Facebook, it is not new news to you that we started our First Day of Homeschooling today.
I have had many requests today for updates on how we did — so here ya go!
This year we have our oldest, B, continuing with Public School in Grade 7. There was a lot of back and forth on what he wanted to choose, but in the end his friends and his “normal” won out. Honestly, I am sincerely fine with whatever his choice is as long as he is ok, emotionally, with whatever his choice may be.
That being said, this morning together as a family we set intentions towards what this year will bring for each of us. What we are going to require of ourselves and each other. Which creates the energy of how this year will go moving forward.
C had an incredibly difficult year with Public School last year, so the choice to Homeschool seemed like a no brainer to him.
We did a two week trial during summer vacation for him so he would know what homeschooling is and if it was something he felt he wanted. Indeed it was.
I had prepared our school year prior to the trial so he would see clearly how our day was going to go. I made sure to Create the trial days with materials that he would be using during his actual school year to ensure he received a proper preview of what to expect, as well as what was expected. He loved it. He said “yup, mom this is exactly what I need for me!” (😉He makes me giggle)
E is four years old. Technically old enough for pre-school, so we have implemented some pre-school activities for her. Only about an hour a day to work with her and teach her letters and numbers and how to cut and paste. Nothing too stressful. She was the most excited out of everyone, last night, to start school.
So that brings us to today…Day 1! Today greeted us with sniffles and sore throats for C! So I knew today was going to be more difficult — he’s tired and depending on Tylenol in order to smile.
But let’s back up for one second — I dropped off B at Public School this morning, as I have done for the past eight years. But this year was different! I was filled with emotions that I have never experienced before. Contradictory feelings that kind of make me laugh, even as I share them with you.
As he gets out of the truck this morning every fibre of me wants to grab him back and say “No! Stay! You’re making a mistake — you need to homeschool – just come home!” Instead I plaster my smile on and wish him a “Good day and good luck!”
Yet, as I drive by the doors to which I normally would drop C, a part of me screams silently “Shit, what have we done! He should go to school! What if I ruin him?!” I grip the steering wheel and talk myself through in my head just as C says, from the back seat “Wow, mama! I don’t have to do that drop off anymore! This is the best day ever!” Small victory for both of us!!
So this morning was a tough day. More of an emotional turmoil day than I would have ever thought. More difficult to stand in my power of the choices we have made as a family than I thought it would be. But we made it. With lots of Lego breaks (for the littles) and lots of deep breathes (for me), we made it.
We finished our school day at noon. Yes noon! We didn’t jump into anything too major today as I’m sure the public school system was the same. I tried not to put too much pressure on myself to pump out something major for the first few days. Just getting them to the table and acquainted with the routine is a major win for us for now.
After lunch we went to the Public Library to pick up our reading material for our Morning Circle Time and part of our Morning Work, which includes Read to Self/Someone.
Then I treated my kids to the new playground that just opened over the summer. It was barely packed, but still quite hopping with people as it was 32degrees today! Still low crowd numbers was another major win in my books.
It was truly such a weird experience to “play” today. It was like we were doing something wrong. I felt as though I was looking over my shoulder waiting to justify why my kids weren’t in school.
Then I realized something. Something so big that I had to share.
We all carry programs. A program is something we are taught to keep us safe. Some programs are taught to us through the advice of others. And these programs we never have to test out in order to know it’s a good program to have such as “Don’t lick a knife.”
While other programs are created from our past hurts or from the actions of others. Our bodies create these programs so we don’t get hurt again, such as “Don’t rely on anyone, except yourself”
As I sat today and watched them frolic through the water, I realized. Public School is just a program we are taught. We are taught that in order to be successful in life, you must sit in a classroom between 9:00 and 3:30. You must sit with children your age. We are taught that you will learn with this group of kids and you will be graded according to the specs and perimeters laid out by the school system.
Now let me be clear: As I stated before, I still have a son in public school. I have no problem with it. He is surrounded by a fantastic school and this school has always been more than wonderful to us. We , also, experienced outstanding support last year with C and his anxiety.
And so Public School works! For my oldest son!
But it doesn’t work for C.
That being said, I am confident he will be fine with our homeschooling curriculum. I have spent HOURS, literally, on his curriculum. I have spent months researching resources in order for him to have the very best of what’s available to him. We have also been blessed beyond our wildest dreams, with people who are assisting in making this a great year for him. AND I am committed to making this work.
Public School is the social norm aka The Program we have all been taught. But it’s also not the only way to learn. It’s not the only way to be successful. I am confident C will learn this year. In the most unorthodox way, he will learn. And we will be ok.
We are schooling differently than I ever thought I would. But he will learn. He will learn his subjects by noon each day. And then he will learn at the park, at the pool, or wherever our afternoons lead us. And I will do it all without looking over my shoulder. And we will be fine. We will stand in our power and stand in our choice. For C and for us all
Thanks for sharing in our journey!