First Day of School

I’ve been nervous for this day. My oldest, A, he’s only 4 and he’s been begging me for school for about 6 months.

He is a dedicated self learner, an intense why asker with a deep curiosity for the world around him.

That was a huge part of our decision to have me, Michelle, be a full time mom and homeschool our boys. We don’t want the why squished out of our kids, the curiosity and natural love of learning … we want to keep those. Cultivate them. Nourish them.

Is school great for some? Sure. But for my husband and I, we know we can give our kids everything and more a traditional school can, and even still. I have been and still am, totally nervous.

I’m not a teacher with a formal education, how am I supposed to do this?

Through the support of a minimalist homeschoolers group, I found that every mom fears the same. We all feel inadequate and at times totally overwhelmed by the thought until we are reminded of how incredibly simple it can be.

Today was the kids first day of school and honestly, it was not much different than a normal day for us.

I picked up a couple pre k math, reading and writing books, some French flashcards and we aim to keep it pretty simple. He is only 4 after all.

We woke up at 7:15 AM (say what now? That’s a sleep in for us!) and started our day with oatmeal and apple slices. We then cleaned the table as a team with the boys taking turns vacuuming up all the crumbs on the floor and then headed to the living room for yoga.

I turned on some kids yoga for the boys on one TV and then continued to do my own from my laptop. This is the first time I’ve put on their own yoga or workout for them while I do mine, usually I try to include them in what I’m doing or join them for theirs but to be honest, I just need my own time and I’m not ready to start waking up before them, so this was a huge win for us today because they loved it so much! And there would be pictures, but my little N (2 years old) is a bit of a free bird. Potty training you know?

After yoga I asked A what he wanted to learn today and he asked for Math. He did 2 worksheets, the first is writing the letter 1 and the second writing the word one. I marked them, gave stickers, we read a story, and called it good.

boys-at-desk.jpg
A writing the number 1, N colouring; Sept 4 2016

Then came my favourite part. We packed up, headed into the city to a special micro creamery called Made by Marcus for our first, first day of school tradition, getting ice cream. It was a bit of a drive, but totally worth it for the fresh chocolate fudge brownie vegan ice cream, regular chocolate for the boys.

ice cream.jpg
Vegan Chocolate Fudge Brownie for mom

We were the first ones there, we laughed, played and enjoyed our treat.

This is just as much a treat for me as it is for them, reminding me homeschooling can be lighthearted and we can take it slow, letting my kids lead. Probably with ice cream.

boys ice cream.jpg

One day they may ask to go to school, and I’ll never hold them back from taking control of their own education and exploring their learning styles and favourite places to learn. But today, today is for us.

Today is for keeping my boys together so they can continue to grow their relationship before being separated into different classes, for allowing them to get up and run around if they need a break, for choosing what they want to learn and for how long they want to learn it for.

Am I worried I won’t be able to give them everything they need? Yes, but not in the learning sense, because they will be responsible for their learning as well. But in the sense of being organized enough, in actually having the material they want to learn and giving them the structure they love, because they do love some structure and we all need it, but it can be a challenge for me.

But that’s homeschooling I’ve been learning. It’s a journey, it changes year to year, sometimes month to month. We learn together. I learn what their learning styles are and I help them learn what they love and teach them how to learn in a way that helps them succeed. Something that would have been invaluable to me as a kid.

Would you ever consider homeschooling? What’s holding you back?

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