Archive for September, 2013

First Day of School!

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The girls have started their first day of school! Homeschool, that is….

As we started our school year, I read about a German homeschooling family who had all 4 of their children seized by the state for the heinous crime of…educating their children at home. You can read about them here. Over in Tennessee, another German homeschooling family is fighting to stay in the U.S., as the Obama administration tries as hard as they can to get them deported. Considering what an asset this family is to American society – educated, wholesome, and hard-working – you would think Obama would be happy to give them refuge from oppression and allow them to live out the American dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The fact that he wants them gone speaks volumes. The message is, “We don’t want your kind here.” Considering there is no detriment to the country by allowing them to stay, I would say this is a purely politically motivated move. A statement of what he think of families who educate at home. “We don’t want your kind here.” Loud and clear, Mr. President.

So against this backdrop, I am feeling very, very blessed that I am still free to educate my children in the way that I see fit. Being their parent, I have a fundamental right to direct the course of their education. I don’t know for how much longer this will be the case in this country with personal freedoms being eroded every day, but I hope it will be for a very long time to come.

I ordered uniforms for the girls, partially because it will help me be more structured about school with the visual reminder, and partially because some others in our homeschool group Our Lady of Perpetual Help Home Educators also have uniforms and I love the idea of us all wearing the same outfits for field trips and gatherings.

Here are the girls on their first day of school. The angle is a little weird, they aren’t as long as they look here!

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I don’t know where the tradition came from of taking pictures of kids on their first day of school with a sign saying what they want to be, but I rolled with it.

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The first day of school was a little if-y. Violet started crying after the first lesson (Phonics) and said she wanted to quit school. It was very melodramatic. I figured out that she does not yet have the patience for me to finish Ivy’s lesson up and I can only teach them subject at the same time if their are equal in length. Since some of Ivy’s take longer, I am going to have to do those after Violet is done. I am also realizing that every day is going to be just a little bit different. I thought I could teach all the subjects in the same order every time, but apparently not! Every day is an adventure, but one that I am absolutely loving!

Their core curriculum includes: math, phonics, handwriting, art, science, history and geography, religion, and poetry. It may be ambitious, but I have also tacked on a few extra subjects- Latin, Spanish, and Music Theory. I might have to keep those as afternoon options and not insist on doing them every single day. Our morning is jam-packed, and although it feels like the afternoon by the time we are done with the Mother of Divine Grace curriculum, its usually only about 11:30am or noon.

One unexpected thing that I have to do every day is help them do their music practice. Piano for Ivy, and violin for Violet. I guess I didn’t realize how much work goes into making sure they are practicing all week in order to prepare for their next lesson. They are both enjoying it though, and that makes me incredibly happy.

Next week they start swimming lessons and Violet starts gymnastics. I am still not quite certain how well our day will go with those interruptions. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays our mornings will be chopped up by those things and I will no longer have a huge block of time to work with. It remains to be seen how we all handle that.

Say a little prayer for us in our schooling adventures!