A few weeks ago John Paul told me he wanted to start school. Tomorrow. Two weeks earlier than I was planning on starting.
So, by golly, we started. And that first day?
Well, let's just say it's not exactly one that'll be looked back on as "the best day ever" by anyone...
There was tearing apart of brand new crayon boxes, yelling, demands to do a *different* handwriting page (first grader), requests to do *more* handwriting pages (preschooler), and many, many disappearances from the table by the only child in the family who *must* be schooled right now.
Crumpled cornflowers from our nature walk littered the table...
And my plans, which seemed so simple, turned out to be unachievable. Art? Who am I kidding?
Library, though... That one I think we can manage every week - we have a *really* good library with a *really* good children's section that Peter particularly loves, which means it's an hour a week that I don't have to be holding him...
This was the only day that Cecilia had a list of things to do. She filled up almost her entire nature journal with drawings of fairies and princesses. John Paul cut out a page to make a pretend cell phone and has since decided that he'd rather not do a nature notebook this year. Too much writing.
And that cooking lesson? It was the whole reason he wanted to start school early, but he kept refusing to do any work, so he didn't get it until the next day!
(Providentially, Dwija wrote all about using a checklist instead of a schedule right after our fiasco, so checklist + loop "scheduling" has made for a much calmer day!)
A wise woman told me that if you're doing homeschooling right, your house will probably be a wreck by the end of the day. Well, I'm not sure things went "right" but by golly, the house was a wreck! Beginning your first official year of homeschooling less than 2 weeks after moving will do that to you...
We *did* end up doing a couple things that weren't on the schedule - IHOP was having $1 short stacks and I *really* wanted pancakes, so we took my mom and after cajoling John Paul into finishing *something* we managed to get a very healthy lunch of pancakes for everybody and iced coffee (free refills, thank you!) for me. And balloons!
And, living within minutes of the most beautiful park on free park admission day, we took advantage.
Because really, we would have been stupid not to!
My expectations for order are nonexistent. This'll be kind of like a practice year, I think - a year where I'm basically training John Paul to develop good work habits, since he's got the academics down.
Maybe a year in which everybody starts putting their shoes away? Probably not, though.
He's got this, though.
And maybe St. Clare will be our patroness? (We could clearly use St. Zita's help, too...)
But really, this is why we're doing this - because if I can't find the kids after I finish nursing the baby, they're probably out in the yard soaking each other with the hose, or off picking berries off the bushes, or chasing the cat around the yard, or climbing the apple tree, or at my mom's house reading with her...
And while we may be going through rather a lot of outfits these days, we're making memories.
And... Learning fine motor skills?
And science. We'll call it science.
But who really cares? Their childhood just got a million times better.
And maybe, somewhere in there, we'll actually get a little homeschooling in.