Recently I shared about a new curriculum I purchased (in fact, the giveaway for a copy of the curriculum and a Melissa & Doug band set is still going on here!). We incorporated this curriculum into our first week of preschool.
I’ve always planned to homeschool. For as long as I can remember, I loved homeschooling. I spent seven years of my elementary and high school years schooled at home. The rest I was enrolled at various schools. When I was a senior, my mom had a kindergartener…and three other children in between! She was a rockstar!
I remember awesome first days of school with treats and projects and special school rooms. I remember field trips to the park with schoolwork while other kids were sitting in a classroom. I remember finishing my work and picking up my novel while other kids were still in a classroom. I remember Andy Griffith and I Love Lucy during lunch. I remember helping to teach my younger siblings to read. I remember scurrying to get monthly reports turned in on time. I remember graduating with a small class of 40-ish students.
I remember a lot of great stuff from my formal education days, too, and am grateful for those years, as well. I remember memorizing Psalm 91 in its entirety during my kindergarten year. I remember first days of middle school nerves and science experiments and passing notes and crushing on boys. I remember learning that not every student knew what “to parse” meant. I remember first holding my copy of the massive Webster’s 1828 and falling in love (any other nerds out there? C’mon!!).
And then, fresh out of high school, I got a job working for a homeschool group. I saw students all day long. I saw mamas with young and old children coming together to teach each other’s kiddos. I saw the good, the bad, and the ugly from the view of the desk. And I got to talk with mamas in the bathroom who were terrified of teaching their kindergartener. And I got to help mamas through their final years of schooling with their last student – finishing a job well done. Many of those first seniors I graduated are now homeschooling their children.
Not everything about any form of education will be perfect. But my hubby and I believe that God has called us to educate our children at home. And that means a lot of hard, hard work. I look at the 13+ years of schooling ahead of me and realize that they are short compared to the careers of some homeschooling mamas I know! And still it is daunting. Intimidating:
- Do I have enough? Is my education enough to teach my kids?
- Do I want to give all those years to teaching them? Making lesson plans, searching out curriculum, finding co-ops, teaching classes, grading papers, teaching long division, chemistry and Spanish?
- Do I want to have them around me 24/7 (with nary a break!)? To have to look for ways to help them develop purposeful relationships with other kids – both believers and non-believers alike?
Yes, I do!
And so I started preschool with the babies. I couldn’t wait. Now before you roll your eyes (well, ok, go ahead – I even rolled mine), I’ll clue you in to how basic and low-key it was. The letter was “E.”
- They colored on a hard-boiled egg. (And then ate it, of course.)
- They drew on a picture of a letter “e.”
- They put stickers on rows of eggs and we talked about colors.
- We read a book about an elephant.
- We made the elephant sound.
- We talked about what starts with “e” – like “Emma.”
- We made the letter “e” in ASL.
And if you have preschoolers, you know the above took all of five minutes and they were done! And that’s ok! At this age, a lot more is “caught” than “taught.” Little by little we will increase, as their comprehension and attention spans do, too.
Preschool – It’s in the Bag!
Moms of preschoolers, we got this! We’ve even got this with all our toddlers the same age! I believe God gives grace for what He calls us to. And I’ll bet the veterans of homeschooling would encourage us to take it one day at a time – to plan, but not to stress. This long, long, long road ahead of us won’t be easy or perfect. But it will be worth it.
What are your thoughts on homeschooling?