Today was our first day of homeschooling. When I told someone at church that we were starting today, and that I was nervous about it, she said as she left, "You'll be on your honeymoon!"
Whoever said this- you were right.
It was awesome. We did everything we had planned to do, and were done by eleven. I brewed tea for us, like my friend Julie Fourroux suggested, and we got down to business. I had planned on starting with math because it is Bowden least favorite subject, but I ended up reading about the fabled beginning of Britain instead, and from there, it worked itself out.
Lucy had more rough moments than my boy Bowden, who hesitated for less than a second a few times before gamely plunging into whatever I had planned. We did our reading, writing and arithmetic with some Blake poetry thrown in, a French lesson from Daddy, too, and a later nature walk and cooking class.
I'm a little scared that it went too well, and that the rest of this week is going to be less than what I'm hoping it will be.
Really, though, what can you do, but give it the best shot you can while you can, and on the days when you lag, to let it lag only so much as you have to so as to not fall apart?
I loved today. Bowden loved today. He told me that he loved all of the things we studied. Lucy, I think, will love it, when she gets used to it. Miles was some trouble, but he'll stop interrupting when I'm reading eventually, right?
I took very few pictures, because, well, we were doing school. At the end of our school time, we did our grammar work on dry erase boards, and then drew pictures.
Bowden tried out the Chinese markers my mom gave us. To sharpen them, you just peel the wood away. It's so fun, it makes you want to just peel the wood away from the whole thing.
Miles almost didn't mark his face. This picture was taken before the blue and orange made tragic missteps off of the sanctioned paper and onto the forbidden face. I think it was an accident. This time, at least.
Why did we make this change?
Last year was awful. Last year sucked...excuse the not-quite-profanity (Mom).
Every day we would have our crazy, energetic, smart boy come home unhappy. Every day we would have to make him go to school. Every week he would come home to a consequence for having done something wrong at school. Homework took hours. His attitude became a problem. His teacher was unhappy with him, and we weren't very happy either.
But the worst thing was when he pointed to himself in his class picture out of all the other kids, and instead of saying, "I'm at the front of the reading class!" or "I love science, " he said, "I get in trouble the most. I'm the worst kid in the class."
How long will it be before a child who hears from the people that teach and instruct him that he's bad will begin to believe that he's bad? How long will it take for him to just give up?
Bowden is not a perfect child. He's impulsive and dishonest and disobedient. He lacks self-control, and he needs to learn respect. He is a handful.
He's also super-smart. He's a crazy fast reader, and curious about everything. He has energy that overflows into the people around him, and he's sweet, and loving, and really, one of the best four things that has ever happened to me and Josh outside of our marriage and relationship with God.
The school was not on Bowden's side. His teacher could not see his attributes for his deficits, and he couldn't see them either. We prayed about what to do...like we did when we put him in school, and the home school option crossed over from the unwanted and overly difficult to the option that was best for our boy, our family, and the only possible way to do right by Bowden.
After all, the areas in which Bowden needs help are not academic. They're not social, either. They are Spirit issues- they are a matter of producing the right fruit. His teachers and school, as well-meaning as they may be, cannot give the soil of my children's lives the tending it needs- they have the wrong tools, the wrong fertilizer, and they don't even know the right seasons to plant and to reap.
Homeschooling is the best option for my chicken's growth right now. What healthy parent doesn't want what's best for their children?