Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Homeschooling makes me brave

Homeschooling makes me brave.  I think that's one reason I am so addicted to it.

Things and ideas that I would normally be too afraid to embrace, are much less scary when they are required to further the education of my children.

For example, I was once a fan of having pets.  However, after the tragic loss of our beloved dog, Gizmo, two years ago, I no longer have the desire to take responsibility for the life of another non-human living thing.  I know it will most likely die before I do, and I just don't have the heart required to say good-bye to something I love so dearly.

Sooooo...  imagine my response when my oldest son, Bryson, begs me to buy him a dog.


Then a cat?


Then a rabbit?


How about a fish?


Of course, you know how diligent children can be.  He would NOT stop asking.

So, thinking I could outsmart a nine-year-old (and thinking my mother would back me up), I told him if his grandmother had a spare fish bowl, we'd give fish ownership a try.  He eagerly approaches my mother, who totally ignores my fervently shaking head.  What do you know, she just happens to have a spare fish bowl right there in her cupboard.  Oh...  yay...

So we bought a betta fish.  And just as I feared,  within four days, she was dead.

This is where my uncharacteristic bravery kicked in.

It would have been so easy to give up, and say we're not meant to own a fish.  But I couldn't bear to see that look of failure and hopelessness on the face of my precious child.  He was ready to give up, after the death of one fish.  I guess the home educator in me knew we could not pass up this teaching opportunity.

What did we learn from fish #1?   Answer = We don't know the first thing about fish care.

We spent the next few nights researching betta fish and how to care for them.  We checked out books from the library.  We looked on the internet.  We talked to my mom, who owns a tankful of fish.  And we actually listened to what she said.

We went to Petsmart, bought another fish bowl, and purchased two fish ~ Waterfall and Big Guy.  My husband and I figured our odds of keeping at least one fish alive were better this way.

That was three weeks ago.  The fish are still alive!!!!

Go us!


Another example of my homeschool-inflicted bravery -

For our science curriculum, we've been going through the days of creation.  This is our third year of homeschooling, so we are on Day Three - when God created the land, the trees, the plants.  This year I've chosen to use Apologia's Exploring Creation with Botany.  This means we will be spending the entire year studying plants.

Let me first tell you, I am not a "plant person".  When they were passing out "green thumbs", they completely left me out of the rotation.  Give me a plant, and I guarantee it will be dead by the end of the week.

I don't know where I get this from, as my mother has the greenest thumb I've ever seen.  She has plants literally climbing the walls at her house.  It's beautiful.

I have two green plants in my house.  They are in our fish bowls...  and they are artificial.

So as you can guess, I was a little nervous when on Day 6 of our school year, the curriculum says we need to plant some herbs so we can watch them grow throughout the semester.


I must admit, I was tempted to say, "Let's skip over Day Three of creation (botany), and move onto Day Four (astronomy)."

But I didn't say that.

Instead, I got some pots, some dirt, some seeds, some water, and some courage.  We planted two small pots of romaine lettuce, one small pot of basil, and one small pot of parsley.

That was yesterday.

We actually remembered to water them today.

They're not dead yet.  At least I don't think they are.

I'll keep you updated...

Happy Homeschooling!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Day One

We started a new school year today at Chapel Hill Academy.

I couldn't sleep at all last night because I was so excited!  I love day one.  It marks the beginning of a new educational journey.  It's a day filled with new composition books and freshly sharpened pencils, three-ring binders and clean index cards.  While I love all these things, what I adore most about our first day is the potential it holds for the year to come.

I am filled with hope on that first day of school.  I'm hoping this year I'll get it right.  This year, I'll be more disciplined.  This year, I'll get up earlier.  This year, I won't give in to those "no school today" desires.  Then maybe this year, it won't get overwhelming.

Day one is always good.

I got up at 6:45 this morning.  This is a huge deal to me, as I am not what you might call a "morning person". Totally out of character, I jumped out of bed, eager to face the day to come.  I turned on the radio just in time to catch the "Good Morning" song by Mandisa.  So I knew right away it was going to be a good day.  I made breakfast, which I never do.  I loaded the dishwasher.  I even got dressed!!  Woohoo!  And it was only 8am.

We started today with prayer time, followed by praise time, followed by Bible time.  And then my favorite part...

We went to our homeschool group's kickoff party!  Two hours of outdoor activities followed by two hours of lunch and fellowship.  That equals for hours of playing and chatting with our friends.  I don't know who came home more satisfied, my kids or me.  What a perfect day!

When we got back home, we weren't quite as eager to go back to our homeschool room.  We were more in the mood for a nap.  But we did go over a few calendar activities before we called it a day.

So here I am.  Telling you that our first day of homeschool was a huge success, but also wondering if perhaps it wasn't the best way to start our year.  I mean, how can we go up from here?


We've got a full day of school planned tomorrow, filled with Science, Social Studies, Handwriting, Language Arts, Math, etc...  I don't know if I'll wake up quite as eager to start the day.  I doubt I'll be up at 6:45.  I do plan to fix breakfast (this is a major goal for me this year).  I do plan to start with Bible time.  I may even get dressed.

On Day Two we will be at home, doing school.  And isn't that what homeschool is all about?

So, here's to Day Two.  May she continue to hold the potential of a great year ahead.

Or at least be a fun day of learning at home in our jammies.  :)

Happy Homeschooling!