We’ve officially dove into homeschool kindergarten! Last week as the first day of school came and the big yellow buses began to pass our house, I had a mini parenting crisis. Could I really teach my girls? Was this really the best thing for them? Is Aneliese missing out? How will it work to have friends if she doesn’t go to school? What if all my theories, however well backed, researched, and read, don’t play out well for my girls? What IF????? I’ve chatted with a few people, had a couple late night talks with Dan, gone back over my original reasons, and as always prayed for wisdom. And I’ve come back to the same place; for us right now the best place for Aneliese is at home.
And so we begin our home school journey. I’ve shared before that we are in favor of delaying education in that we are waiting until about age seven to formally teach reading or writing. We are continuing to follow on that path and while it at times makes me nervous, I’m also really excited. While we aren’t going to be doing work sheets or letter drills and have always had times for art, music, imaginative play and lots of reading, I know that Aneliese (and I) will benefit from a more structured rhythm of learning. Actually, our whole family benefits from it as we will all be participating.
Because at this point, our focus is mainly on learning through play and daily life, I'm mostly trying to weave our "kindergarten" activities within our day. I'm thinking that a bit more tweaking is required as some parts of today felt rather stilted. My hope is that as we tweak and get comfortable, we will have more of a natural feeling flow from work to play where there isn't such a distinct line between "school" and not.
After the morning responsibilities of getting ready for the day, tidying room and caring for pets, we plan to check the weather and Aneliese will then decide what goes on the weather board (my rather last minute but kinda cute felted wool weather board). Based on the weather, she will take part in deciding what our nature walk/activity will be. Again just something that we try to do regularly but something I want to be more intentional about.
My girls love many art forms but especially painting, drawing and music. Their day isn't quite complete without doing at least two of the three. I'm honestly never super eager to pull out all the paint stuff but I've found before that if I schedule it in our day I'm so much more prepared for it so I'm trying to plan on painting a few times a week at least. Even just today, Aneliese was learning more about secondary colors as she asked how to get the colors she wanted by mixing the primary colors.
Part of integrating learning with nature will include their (Cecily has one too) sketching journals where they can draw something that they saw. Cecily is a little peeved that she isn't allowed to fill as many pages as she pleases but I'm holding out on this one.
And that was the first day of kindergarten. Aneliese was thrilled. She is always eager to learn and at times I find it nearly impossible to keep up with her hunger to know more and to understand. Last night as I was preparing, I felt the same butterflies in my stomach that I felt as I prepared to teach my first class of junior high students. I really am so glad that I am able to be the teacher for my girl.
I know that some of my readers have or do home school and I know others are considering it so I would LOVE to hear any advice, thoughts or questions you might have!