The first thing I want to say about our first day of school is--I am completely exhausted! Remember, please, that legally I am homeschooling "only" three children. Well, Miss Emma has other plans! Not only did she insist that she needed "real" schoolwork--she was not going to be put off with coloring books like last year, thank you very much!--but she worked for two and a half hours!! She was an animal! I kept telling her that it was okay, she'd done a fantastic job for her first day and now she should go and play...well, that just wasn't cutting it. She kept demanding more and more and more.
We were all up early--I got up at 8:15 (which for me is akin to dawn!) and Rachel was up around 8:30. I had stressed the importance of this to her, since she has more work this year. Towards the end of last year we were letting lessons slide till 11 am or sometimes later, and it really made the whole day a mess. So as usual, I am starting the year with the best intentions of working all morning and being done by lunchtime or so. I made coffee and some breakfast, but didn't bother with getting dressed or making beds at all. The kids were ready to start!
I mentioned already that I've planned by the week this year, rather than daily. This will allow the girls to decide how they want to complete their schoolwork--whether it be concentrating on one or two subjects each day and doing a week's worth of work, or spreading everything equally across the week. It will also be handy when we have activities--such as tomorrow, when our homeschool group is going miniature golfing, and Wednesday when we have a picnic at the zoo with friends. We can work a bit less on days when we're busy, and more when we're home all day. The problem I didn't see is how nervous it would make me! I had Ben work for quite some time, because he was fresh and ready and raring to go--but we didn't complete much of anything, which makes me start thinking, what if I planned too much? What if we get to Friday and can't complete it all? Logically, I know that what will happen is that by Friday we'll be checking things off all over the place, finishing up subject by subject. Still, it's in my nature to worry that I'm not doing enough!
Ben did phonics, reading comprehension, an experiment for health class about sweating, art work, math, and two crossword puzzles in a language arts book. Emma did mazes, puzzles about animal babies and reality vs. fantasy, made a book about the farm, practiced writing lowercase "f" and finding words that begin with the letter, and did some writing of numbers. Julia and Rachel did their own thing, but I checked spelling, grammar, math, health, reading comprehension, and heard about witchcraft on Long Island in the 17th century and burial practices in Ancient China. Rachel also was reading "The Call of the Wild" for quite some time, and she is working with Matt on algebra right now. So I think it was a full day for everyone!
The most exhausting thing is trying to juggle everyone! My friend Kelly put it quite nicely when she said it's like keeping plates spinning in the air...I am trying to explain a concept to Ben, but then Julia has a math question, and Rachel wants to tell me about a woman they found in China who was so well preserved that she still had fruit seeds in her stomach, and Emma wants to know when I am going to help her with the next page....and then the cycle starts all over with different questions, desires and demands! It is very tiring, so much so that by the time we finished lunch and everyone was done for the day, I just wanted to go back to bed! But I had to hang laundry on the line, make the beds, do the dishes, oversee chores for the kids, fold laundry from the dryer, go to the pet store for crickets, Staples for a pencil sharpener that works, slog through my email, open the snail mail, put a turkey in the oven for dinner, and ride bikes with Ben like I promised....well, I did all that, and I also got to chat with a friend on the phone, post this to the blog, and make three loaves of banana bread.
But I am tired!!! Did I mention I'm tired???