August 22, 2011

first day of (home)school

The first day of school went fairly well. Okay, maybe I did have some frustrating moments and the girls got sent to time out a few times (better than the principal right?!), but it wasn't bad for a first "official" day. Actually, the "official" day is on Tuesday, but we want Friday off, so we started today. It's kinda nice having that flexibility!
first day of school
Today, we did some phonics, writing, math, and spanish (really basic stuff). The girls really liked the end when they got to do free journal and document the bits and pieces of what they learned today. They dictated to me sentences of what they learned and I wrote it down. I am sure once we get into a regular rhythm of things, I will break down our precise schedule for you, but we aren't quite there yet and we don't do "school" all in one sitting. The day is broken up into parts and we do a chunk of school while Soul is napping. I hope to get baby and Soul on the same nap schedule, so it will make things manageable for the girls' learning time.

I didn't really do "preschool" with True as we did things weaved into the day, but it was never official, but with Brave, she is just being taught the same things as True. She doesn't get some ideas as quickly as True, but I figure she will get what she can and next year when she is in kinder, concepts will be much quicker for her. The tricky part is being patient with her and remembering she is still a whole year younger than True.
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Thank you for all your encouragement and your questions regarding our decision to homeschool. Here is some background information on me that you may or may not know about that helped aid our decision to homeschool.

1. I have my California Teaching Credential and taught 4th grade for a year before I got pregnant and decided to retire early. Not that having a credential automatically makes you a great homeschool teacher or vice versa.

2. My siblings and I were homeschooled by our parents. My younger siblings did it through through elementary school and I did it from my sophomore to senior year in high school. My remaining two years I was integrated into a local private school and took my math and science classes there (it was too hard to teach myself physics and calculus), but I was so mixed in with the students of that school that I even went on the Senior trip with everyone.

3. Most of my really good friends are still currently teachers, so if I need help or have questions, I have plenty of support and trust me, I have already bugged some of them.

I know you must all have lots of questions of the whats, whys, and hows we are homeschooling and I promise to address that in another post soon, but I will touch on just one subject of homeschooling that I know some of you are wondering about.

True is indeed a shy girl and we do think it is important for her (and the rest of our kids) to be able to get social interaction. Though she is at home, she isn't deprived it as we are part of a this church family where she is able to engage and meet with other children every Sunday. In addition, our homeschooling is done through a public charter school in which we have the option of signing up for "enrichment" classes one or two days a week. She will be attending a full day of school once a week and will be definitely getting lots of social time through there. And honestly, she does have (almost) three little siblings she interacts with daily who are very close to her age, so she will be more than fine. Plus, when I was a kid, I was just like her, super shy and always hiding behind my mommy's leg, but look at me now... Ben says I ain't shy at all, though I think I am just a smidge.

That's our philosophy on the social aspect of homeschooling and I remember when I was homeschooled there were some kids who were a bit more peculiar than others, but really, I think they would have been just as peculiar if they weren't homeschooled. Plus, peculiarity isn't such a bad thing, I am so glad everyone is different and has their own quirks! Aren't you?!

39 comments:

  1. Congrats on your first day of school! I'm doing kindergarten with my oldest two this year (ages 5 and 4), though we are taking it super casual so our school days don't look much different than our pre-school days did! I have a baby due this week, so casual is definitely the way to go for us. ;)

    I also wanted to say that I totally agree with you on the socialization issue. That question comes up *so* often, but you are absolutely right--even with a child on the shy-er end like True (or perhaps *especially* for a shy child), it is a wonderful opportunity for her to be able to grow out of her shell in the context of the home and your church community. Natural interactions with lots of different ages, all in safe and comfortable situations for her and you--it is one of the wonderful gifts of homeschooling, I think!

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  2. How old is True?
    We are thinking of the possibility of homeschooling but first i need my Faith to learn Spanish but she wont be able to be as good with me alone so i need some outside people, latin people that is in her daily life so she can catch with Lulu and me and finally be able to talk to my mom as she come once a year to visit us for about a month.
    My husband was homeschooled and he is just great in studies. He went to college for a bit but he noticed that he was wasting his time because he was partying too much and trying to figure out what to do with his life. His family owns a carpet cleaning business so although he has no degree he is still able to provide for our family (Thank God for that) but he is thinking it is time to go back. He is super smart. His brain processes things so quickly and he says it is all because of his mother's work when homeschooling and focusing in what he was interested in.

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  3. BTW... my husband always says "Why does people think that because you are homeschooled you got no friends or social life? that has nothing to do with it."
    He is very outgoing, and has more friends that me and i went to regular school.
    I bet True will do just great!

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  5. kathya- True is 5. I know, Ben speaks conversational spanish, and his mom is fluent, but she doesn't live nearby. We are excited though because a class she will be taking for enrichment at school is an intro to spanish, so i am hoping she is able to get some basics from there. i can't wait to see where homeschooling takes us, as nervous as I am about it all.

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  6. Yay! I'm sure your girls will do wonderfully. You will too!

    This is our 2nd year schooling, although last year was off the record and just a trial run (since my oldest was only 4). But it went well, and he's reading... so, on to doing first grade curriculum this year!

    One question for you: What Spanish Curriculum are you using? I ordered La Clase Divertida for my kids this year (sight unseen) but, am unsure of my choice and would love to hear your review of what you're using.

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  7. We are homeschooling (6 and 4) and expecting baby four in December. It's quite an adventure. I know for us, it comes from a desire to help our kids love learning and have the freedom to learn in an environment that is best suited to them - even if that eventually means public school. My eldest two (6 and 4) are also boys, and I think public school K-3 is really suited better to little girls brains than to little boys brains, so that has been a part of our decision making as well. I look forward to following your adventure since our circumstances seem so similar.

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  8. So cool! I kinda want to homeschool my own babies (whenever I'm a mom)..I think it would be amazing. Can't wait to hear more! I teach preschool, so I'd love to hear any (and all!) random super fun things you girls do!

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  9. Yay for the first day of school! We had our first day today, too. This year I have a 2nd grader and kindergartener (along with my 3 and 19 month old, of course). We're also homeschooling through a public charter school.

    I totally agree and always tell people that ask- I went to public school all along and met many people who were lacking in social skills! :)

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  10. It looks like a really great first day! :) I love the journals and I so admire moms who homeschool!

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  11. Yay! Good for you! Growing up my little siblings got ahead in school because we did so much together. I was the oldest so I didn't benefit from that, but my sister Kyleigh graduated at 16 and my brother Nate will be a year or two early as well - even something like math could make all the difference if we had done it together for one year. If it happens, that's fun, but if not they just have an extra advantage!
    We were pretty structured, but what makes me excited about homeschooling my own children (instead of dreading the day when we have to be driven by a checklist) is the idea of more flexibility and priorities. I've met moms who take off when they aren't feeling well, when guests come, when Daddy's off, for trips, or any other reason, and just do the school that they have time for and is necessary. They aren't driven by schooling, just education. If they've read scripture and worshipped together then they see the day as successful, even if it was interrupted by a lot of discipline or guests and not much 'school' got done. Those are the things that really matter, not the perfect number of days. Now I'm excited - but I still have about 5 years til my first is ready ;)

    love, Cait

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  12. Your first day of schooling, how exciting! I was homeschooled k-12. I can't express how much I apprecaiate my mom giving up having a job and so much time to do that. What a blessing and I'm sure your girls will feel the same way some day :o)

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  13. Ruby, Yesterday was our first day back to homeschooling after the summer off. Welcome to the club!

    Thank you for your post, particularly the positive answers to those tough homeschooling questions. I think that you answered them very well. It is easy to get defensive, but you took the high road in your response. I always appreciate the the positive radiance that shines throughout your blog. Cakies makes me feel a bit better after reading each morning.

    When is the next installment of your love story being posted?

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  14. I'm going to live vicariously through you guys for now! My daughter is 2 and a half and I've been planning to home school since before she was born. Can't wait to see your creative ideas :)

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  15. They look like they're having so much fun, thanks for the answers, it's difficult to imagine a homeschooling day when you've never experienced it so cheers.

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  16. Ooo, first day of HOMEschool! What fun. I admire you for taking this route - I think it's quite admirable.

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  17. I was homeschooled all my life! I'm now an art teacher and thank my my parents for taking time out of their lives to homeschool my brother and me. My younger brother is graduating this year and mom says she would never change was started over 16 years ago!

    Hooray to you in starting! Hooray to my mom for completing!!!!

    I'll share the two things that got mom through on days she wanted to quite and send us on the yellow bus that drove by.

    "No one loves your children more than you do!"
    "My teaching is not my own. It comes from He who sent me..." John 7:16,17

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  18. We started kindergarten homeschool yesterday as well! I like the journal your children made to document what they learned. My sister's and I were also homeschooled at various stages. Blessings to you and your family on your homeschool journey.

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  19. my girls are in private school. For a short while we thought we werent going to be able to get my youngest in a private pre-k class, so I was seriously contemplating homeschooling. For me, its either private school or homeschooling. I am very afraid of public schools, especially here in Florida. Our school system is extremely below par. Besides, the private school environment is small and more personal, which I love! And, they are teaching my children more now than they would have been taught being in public school.

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  20. zoe (who is the only one school-aged) goes to a private catholic school. some people may find it "weird" or "peculiar". but we do what we think is "right" for our family.

    and yes! i am glad that everyone is different and has their own quirks!

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  21. The journal reminded me of the ones my girlies used to make! And I loved the time when they would make the pictures and then dictate to me so I could write for them!

    I am not sure why everyone worries so much about the socialization part of homeschooling...it all works out and homeschoolers generally become very well rounded.

    Have fun with it!

    xoxo

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  22. Congrats on your first day! I'm so excited for you. That's really neat that True has the option to attend school one day a week in addition to being home schooled. I didn't know there were programs out there like that. Also, I totally agree with everyone having their own quirks.

    xo, rv

    http://aneclecticheap.blogspot.com/

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  23. I was homeschooled as well and am starting "official" homeschooling of our kids right after labor day. It's just K but i'm very excited!
    I always say the same thing about the peculiar ones!
    We are using My Father's World and operating from a Classical education philosophy. Can't wait to hear more about your progress!

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  24. you see more and more parents homeschooling their children and i don't think it's all that bad. it's also nice because you actually DO get that one on one interaction. i'd actually would like to try it one day.

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  25. hi there! congrats on the first day of school! I was home schooled most of my life as well - K through Junior Year of high school. I'm grateful for my parent's hard work and will never forget the wonderful feeling of being able to do my school work in my pajamas. :) I was very social even though I didn't go to school and made many friends through church and other activities. Being that I loved the social life and my friends, I did beg my parents to let me go to school and it was a constant struggle for me to accept the fact that they felt God really wanted them to homeschool. Finally they realized that they couldn't teach me upper level math and since I wanted to be involved in choir and theater, they let me go to public school for junior and senior year. It was a good experience overall, and I don't regret the fact that I was homeschooled but I'm still glad I was able to experience both! Whenever I tell people that I was homeschooled they are always shocked. hehe. I think it's so funny to prove the stereotype of "homeschoolers are weird" wrong when people meet me! (but I agree, everyone is a little weird in their own way - and there's nothing wrong with that!)

    I'm sure you will be a great teacher as you are always so creative and such a good mommy with all the activities you do with your girls! :)

    Happy school year!

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  26. wow, good for you! I just know I don't have the patience. But completely see the benefits, a couple of my friends have decided to homeschool and I'm watching them closely!

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  27. You answered all my questions! That’s great to know she will be doing some enrichment classes and be around a group of kids she may not be familiar with. I so admire you for taking this challenge on. It sounds awesome and I hope it works for you. I really dislike being gone from my babes all day at school, so to quell that I just sign up to volunteer in their classrooms every week. I love to see how they interact and behave at the same time. It’s a peek into their lives and I love that. Congrats and can’t wait to hear all about your lessons!

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  28. Yay for homeschooling! We sort of started kindergarten last year. I say sort of because I didn't want to start until this year but changed my mind. Then we went super easy and didn't finish everything. So, now we're spreading out the work into this year plus adding some Tagalog! :)

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  29. I have a super shy 5 year old too and everyone always questions the "social" issue too and even my own mom worries my kids might be "weird" because we are homeschooling. I get so tired of defending it sometimes! I think it is SO wonderful we are nurturing our shy ones by slowly introducing them to the world and giving them confidence to feel comfortable in these situations. Props to you all! What a fun adventure!

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  30. yay for homeschooling! my sister & i were both homeschooled kindergarten to senior graduation. it was definitely a journey & sometimes as a tween i wished i had gone to regular school, but i believe it was well worth it. i was able to concentrate on my school more & now am in graduate school! i also have built a loving relationship with my mom : )

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  31. Where I'm from (Belgium, but living in Barcelona, Spain) we are not that familiar with home schooling but I think it's great there are parents like you out there who do it! It's very admirable! Here it's almost impossible to be a stay-at-home-mum unless your husband erns a lot of money ;-) Good luck Ruby, I wish you a lot of patience and a great schoolyear with your wonderful daughters!

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  32. After having led two enrichment class programs for a public charter school, I think it's a great way for the kids to meet others who are in the same routine as themselves. But I find this more important for the older students. At True's age, it may or may not be something she wants to do and that's perfectly fine! I really believe it's not true that homeschooled children are in any way socially challenged. There are all types of personalities- from very shy to very outgoing. What determines your child's ability to feel comfortable in social situations is how they see their parents interact with others.
    Having been a "shy" girl growing up (really just quiet and observant), I definitely am not now because I recognized that it's fine to be quiet and sensitive. I speak up when it's important. I have a feeling True will be just like that too! If she's not shy at home, then she's perfectly fine. Siblings are the best lesson in getting along with others.

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  33. I was homeschooled. Loooooved it!! So great to see you girls doing it to! Looks like an amazing first day!

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  34. Wow,you are so brave! I think i could never do such a thing with my two daughters (4 and 3) but i actually teach them english and the passion of cooking !
    We are trying to put them in an associative school which offers billinguism and alternative program based on Freinet's method. When you enenter this school you have to give at least 2hours of your time for it and propose workshops. I hope we ll be taken!

    Wish u all the luck with your little wonders and hope we are going to know more about your home schooling !

    Kind regards from France
    Eloise

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  35. never thought about homeschooling, but you bring up good points here. way to go!

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