Tuesday, September 3, 2013

First Day of School 2013

Working hard at the kitchen table
I have been asked by several people during this pregnancy something like, "How are you going to homeschool with a baby?"

Ummmm, am I supposed to know the answer to this??? If so, then we are all in for a train wreck around here. I mean, I have my ideas. I've read books. I've read articles. I've read blogs. But my instinct says that this is one of those things that you learn as you go. I can plan and organize all I want, which I have as best as I can. But when it comes to having a baby, I at least know that most of one's "plans" get tossed out the window.

This is most definitely what I am most nervous about with this baby. I can't totally envision homeschooling with an infant, because I haven't done it. I would like a rain check on this question. Please re-ask me in a year or so.

Occasionally, there is a truly delightful day when everything goes right. And today we were blessed with such a day, which seems to be even more of a blessing than usual. As I am about to enter an unknown phase of motherhood and homeschooling, it is very reassuring and encouraging that we can have days like this. It helps me to know that I can indeed do this and while I realize that everything may be turned upside down for a while, it is so comforting to know that eventually we will have a day again like this one.

We began the day by getting to daily Mass a few minutes early, so we were able to read about our saint of the month, St. Joan of Arc. I was able to ask for wisdom and patience in my prayers and receive God's grace through Communion--the perfect way to begin our year.

We came home to finish our morning chores and then sat down to read about and discuss our virtue of the month--patience. I chose this virtue very intentionally for two reasons. First, it will be helpful to refer to when the boys are ready to strangle each other. Also, as I will be spending the next three weeks waiting for this next little one to come along, I figure that I also could do with learning a little more about patience :)

The rest of the morning was mostly spent with lessons in the basics - reading, writing, math, spelling, grammar and handwriting. There was little conflict and the boys got through the amount of work I had hoped and planned for.
We were also able to spend some time doing our traditional first day activities - measuring how much the children have grown, interviews and student pictures.
Taking measurements
Our list of measurements behind the refrigerator
Our 2013-2014 class! Veronica (preschool), Joshua (3rd grade), Noah (1st grade)
After lunch, we were able to go for a walk together in the rain. We had time for resting and more reading.
It was good we had rain coats - we got drenched!
This afternoon, we began our year as chemists! In today's introduction, we learned what chemistry is followed by a very fun introductory "experiment"--baking cookies!
Best science experiment ever!
The laundry and dishes are done, the pork chops are marinating, the boys are riding their bikes and Veronica is looking at a book on the deck next to me as I write this. Jason will be home soon and I will have a little cocktail date hour (alcohol free wine for me) prepared when he arrives as the children watch a little television.

It has been a fantastic first day to our school year, and my confidence as a homeschooling mother of a large family has officially been boosted. Please remind me to revisit this post in a month or two when I am feeling frazzled!

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