It felt a little frantic and sooo disorganized in the past couple of weeks as I tried to wrap my head around homeschooling again this fall. A good portion of the summer was spent with my family in BC and I suddenly realized that September was almost upon us.
I still feel a bit chaotic and disorganized, but, um, welcome to my life at this stage. But, ready or not, today was the first day of school for both Aneliese and my little Cecily. Aneliese in first grade and Cecily in Kindergarten (or Primary as it is called here) and a totally bummed Kathleen who wants to do everything that her sisters do.
Honestly, it’s actually a little anti-climactic to have a “first day of school” given how we choose to school for these early years. I think that when we talk about school starting and grades, the girls have something in their minds of worksheets and me as the wise old owl suddenly telling them how to do and learn things in a very specific and guided way. And yet, we didn’t stop schooling all summer even though I’ve laid out some more clear guidelines for myself for the next months in terms of the literature that we will share together, through reading, narration, copy work, and activities. We’ll study artists, bugs, weather, geography and history. But it’s still just in the natural flow of our day; I’m still delaying formal teaching of phonics or math for example. We’re approaching math playfully through stories and life and its working if I’m going by the Nova Scotia learning outcomes. I still believe that if we read regularly of good, solid twaddle free books that as we interact and engage in the stories, the reading will come as they are personally developmentally ready. I have high expectations and desires for my girls as they learn and grow in the wholehearted little people that they are to the wholehearted, aware, vibrant big people that they will become.
I’m confident that this is good for our girls and that this is right for us, for our family. And yet, I’ve been panicking this past week. So close to driving to the nearby school to register the girls. Because. I’m not organized. I’m not capable of perfection. I’ve been struggling with patience lately. I want what is best for them. I doubt my convictions and personal beliefs of education and learning. I’m scared. It’s a big deal.
But today, we walked through our first official day of the year together. And it was stressful at times. Didn’t meet expectations in some ways. Yet, it was so perfect. So natural and so us. My girls are bright, inquisitive, free, imaginative, and so ready to learn. I’m unconventional and have so much to learn, but I’m all in. Jumping in with both feet for as long as this is what is best for our girls and I. I can do this.
I have a planner that has on many pages this quote by Robert Frost, “I am not a teacher, but an awakener.”. Being a teacher is that for me; I want to awaken their souls and their minds to passionately learn and explore in this one life that they have to live.