Monday, September 14, 2015

Home School: The First Week

Ella, talking to Dan at dinner tonight: "I did so good in school today, Dad! I didn't cry once!"

It took a full week of home schooling, but on the sixth day Ella made it through all five subjects with nary a tear in sight. Last week's crying was sponsored by:

  • Math (double digit addition)
  • Math (double digit subtraction)
  • Mom's inability to find seeds anywhere to do the "make something grow!" science experiment (yes, I actually do understand planting season ended long ago, Mr. Home Depot employee. But science is for all seasons apparently! And also I didn't open up the teacher's guide and find out about the needed seeds until class started, so please stop looking at me like that.)
  • Mabel getting to "do whatever she wanted" (re: destroy my house) while Ella had to do school work. 
  • Mabel making Matty laugh while Ella had to do school work. That's HER job.

Honestly, the first week went way better than I was anticipating. I know a lot of her frustration and tears came from the struggle against something new and big and full of change. I know that because my first born is so much like me in so many ways and the initial scariness of change tends to get the better of me most times, too (this really is an understatement, as Dan could probably tell you. COULD, but won't I'm hoping  guessing, because he's a saint who just rides out his wife's change induced fit storms like a champ).

One thing I wasn't expecting was the peace that came into the house once we had a schedule in place (peace obviously being a relative term here because A) Three year old and B) 11 month old). I don't know why I was surprised by this because schedules and organization are my jam, but both Ella and I relaxed into our roles relatively easily once we knew how the school day would look. Her and me, man. Schedules and repetitiveness and order speak to our souls. 

Sometimes the down to our bones similarities Ella and I share actually make it harder for us to connect. I'm not particularly fond of admitting that, but it's the truth. And I was really nervous that me being her teacher would make that struggle even more apparent. But that didn't happen last week. In fact, the exact opposite happened. We got along better, understood each other, and had fewer snippity arguments. There were tears Every. Single. Day, but neither one of us ran away which is a really good argument for the existence of miracles, if you ask me. 

I don't know if we'll always home school, but darn it if the first week didn't just try its best to beat every fear of it out of my head and heart.


  1. Having my kids home on the farm with me (and, oh yeah, homeschooling) is something I'll never, ever regret. Enjoy it for what it is: giving your kids the tools to make their way successfully through life. Beyond that, reading (really long, epic) books to them instills that love of reading and lets you sit down at the same time... it doesn't get much better than that.

    1. We do lots of reading around here, and you're right--it doesn't get much better than that! :)

  2. Another great read Emily - really touched my heart. Thanks!

  3. Emily, you're a good mom and I know you'll impart so much to her this year. Reading your posts reminds me of my early days with homeschooling. I can so relate... The fears and pressures and all the funny moments too. God will guide you. I pray that He will give you deep, lasting connections with your kids through all your hard work of homeschooling. They are blessed to have you with them.

    1. Thank you so much, Sue! That really means a lot to me.