Monday, August 19, 2013

School Days

Today is the first day of school for lots of kids. My nephew, Ian, is probably coming home from his first day of Kindergarten as I write this, and I can't wait to hear how the day went! I know he's going to do great!

A couple of weeks ago, we started home schooling Caleb. It's sort of a trial year. He's too young to start Kindergarten in public school, but he's ready to learn, so we decided to try it. Home schooling appeals to us for many reasons for both our kids, but we will just see how this year goes! If we get bogged down and don't enjoy it, well then, off to Kinder he'll go next year. But, if he loves it and learns--and if I love it!--then we just might keep it up. We shall see, and I make no promises either way.

We have met a great group of home schoolers in the area. They meet weekly for group classes, and sporadically for field trips and other events. The ages range from Kinder to Senior year, and there are around 50 kids who participate.

The group classes do not start until September, but I decided to start Caleb's home classes early, since I would like to take off a few weeks when the baby is born.

The Saturday before we started school, a local restaurant had a Back to School Bash, complete with a bounce house, a fire truck for Caleb to explore (and honk the horn!), and face painting! He and I spent the day picking out a few final school supplies and going to the library for books. And don't forget a Sonic run during happy hour! All in all, it was a great day to celebrate starting school. I didn't get pics until we got home, but here he is with his dragon and his new dinosaur backpack.

I had fun getting everything organized for school. It's all neatly stacked inside a cabinet by our dining room table (aka: school room). Every day it's a simple task to take out what we need, and then put it back at the end of class time!

On Sunday night, I laid out everything we would need for Monday. Now that we've done this for two weeks, I have figured out just what to pull out when I need it, instead of getting it all out at first.
Yes, I realize the calendar says It occurred to me in the middle of the night that Sunday night, and I fixed it before school the next day.
Jon and I also strung up a few streamers to the fan, blew up a couple of balloons, and wrapped Caleb's chair. It looks pretty unimpressive to me, but Caleb was ecstatic the next morning. I hope he's always so easy to please!

Caleb wanted to wear his crown to mark the occasion. (And you'll notice the corrected calendar.)

We are starting our third week of class today, and so far it has gone very well. On day 2, Caleb asked, "Do we really have to have school today??" I was a little surprised by that, but I suppose for a kid who hasn't had any daily requirements of him, doing something two days in a row (and longer), might seem a little tedious. But he's doing a good job, and has learned about the sun and the moon, counting, cutting, pasting, and handwriting.

Today, when I told Caleb we would be making a mobile today, he said, "But I don't want to make a mobile!" Without explaining what it was, I simply said, "You will love it. It's right up your alley."

After doing the work we do every day (marking the calendar, adding to our 100 Chart, and tracking our progress on making raisins), he said, "Is it time to go to my alley, yet?"

And sure enough, he loved making a mobile, and even added a few ideas of his own.

So far, I love the flexibility we have. I love that he is able to do most of his work before breakfast, then complete some worksheets while he is at Hope Landing with James. I love that. I love the hands-on and outdoor activities that are incorporated into the lessons. I don't love the negative attitude that Caleb sometimes has about it, even though once he gets started, he really enjoys it. Then again, I've mentioned before that "attitude" has been a problem with him lately, so it's not confined to school.

Anyway, our big FIRST of starting Kindergarten has come and gone without any more fanfare than a couple blown-up balloons taped to a chair. Because we're not fully decided, and Caleb could be doing Kindergarten in public school next year, and because I wasn't leaving Caleb at the door with a dozen other little boys and girls, it just hasn't been that different. But it's still a mile marker! And I am excited about it, and about watching Caleb learn and grow this year!


  1. I love to read what y'all are doing. Looks so fun!

  2. Excited to see how your year progresses!!

  3. Great post! Cass (our neighbors/friends daughter) is also 4 and very eager to learn so they're starting her early this year too at home. I think it's a great way to do a trial run like you said and see if it's a good fit. Blog when you can about this, excited to hear what Caleb's learning and how you're feeling about it. I love the flexibility you seem to have and that it allows him to do something while James is in therapy. Keep up the great work mama!


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