When one transitions from working in the public school system to homeschooling, it is both liberating and fearsome! The most funny thing is, I was most excited about not having to wake up early and get dressed up - to be able to wear jeans EVERYDAY and not just once a month! Liberating! :) Of course, it's a joy to be able to teach whatever I want, or whatever the kids want to learn about. But there's where it's also fearsome. For anyone reading this who has not been a public school teacher, one of the MANY requirements piled on top of teachers is to be observed throughout the school year by the principal (or another administrator, depending on how big the school may be). Despite having worked in mainstream education for a decade, it was still nerve-wrecking when I was going to be observed. So as a new school year started and I was venturing on this new course of teaching, I subconsciously had a sense of "fear" that someone would be judging me, checking in on me at any given moment, observing my teaching skills. I told myself I could not fail, I had to be successful at this homeschooling thing! I was putting so much pressure on myself for absolutely no reason because no one was going to walk through my front door and tell me what I was doing for my children's education was inadequate. I had to get out of my own head and just enjoy teaching my children. At the end of the day I trust my skills as a teacher to provide my children with a sound education, and no critic or naysayer will bring me down! Now, talk about LIBERATING!!
This week, we have entered our 7th week of schooling. Things are going very smoothly. Josh does lessons 5 days a week, whereas Will does just 3 days at home. Mondays and Wednesdays he goes to the public school pre-k program for socializing and to get used to the idea of school in general. It also allows me some one on one time with Josh who's in 2nd grade. When Will's home, the attention is more on him or even on Zeke, who is only 1 but so wants to participate in what we're doing as well! There are high moments where the learning for Josh and Will is exciting and brings joy to my heart to be able to be a part of it. Of course there are "low moments" where the struggle is real for any student struggling with a concept, or more often just having the focus/attention span to get through a challenging task when Legos are just in the next room begging for the boys' attention, too! But through it all, they are loving homeschooling! I worried how Josh would transition from regular school to this, but so far he's never asked to go back. I think he honestly likes the freedom as well to do school in his pajamas some days and play with his toys earlier (as we're usually wrapped up around lunch time or so and the afternoon is theirs for free play).
Here's some pics from our first day of school (since this post is about starting homeschooling). I'll post more as I continue to blog about our journey from here on out. This blog will also serve as an e-portfolio to show our progress for state qualifications at the end of the year. I guess someone will be checking up on me, but it's a lot easier knowing that it's not until the end of the year and it's comprehensive of everything, not just 20-30 minutes worth of a "walk-through"!
The beginning of the "classroom" decorations. (More has been added in 7 weeks.)
Quiet reading nook under the stairs!
Work binders are ready!
First Day of Homeschooling - EVER!
Josh working on math.
Will working on sequencing.
Zeke coloring a picture from our Bible lesson.