HOMESCHOOLING

first grade here we come

this picture has nothing to do with my post

First grade here we come.

Last week was our first homeschooling review and it all went really well. In reality, it was approached more like a celebration of the year versus a check-up and evaluation. And it was really good for me, to be forced to take stock of all that we had done during our first year of "official" homeschooling.

I'll be honest, there were many days where I was ready to throw in the towel, many emails to a few friends begging for advice and encouragement, and days when I questioned if this was the right decision for our family. For me. For Emma.

I learned a lot this year, and I hope Emma did, too. I know Mary did, which is one of the amazing perks of homeschooling. How the little ones can come along for the ride and benefit so much from it. Mary's gone from glazing over when I talked about letters to making very successful attempts at spelling words and trying to read. She begs for school.

I feel like Emma and I reached a sweet spot early this spring. An understanding, perhaps. And I hope that will carry over to next year. I think the physical circumstances will be better next year, things that have made it a little difficult this year–the distractions of living here on the farm, a small apartment where it is hard to find her own spot to work without distraction…

And can I tell you how much relief I felt when a few weeks ago, driving in the car, Emma told me she wanted to be homeschooled again next year? It was a wave of reassurance washing over me. This is what she chooses. This is what she wants, too.

She was still awake when I got home from my review late Thursday night. I went into her room to kiss her goodnight and she nervously asked from under her quilts, "What did they say?" And I could tell she was hiding a very large, very proud smile under all those blankets as I told her how well everything went and how she'd soon be able to call herself a first grader. And that made her happy. And a wave of reassurance (and sleep) washed over her as well. I'm pretty sure of that.

(and what does this post have to do with the picture? absolutely nothing. but when you completely clean out your iphoto and put everything on an external hard drive like a responsible photographer/mother/blogger, you lose that easy-access to some of your old 'go to' pictures.
But this would be one of my grandmother's beautiful roses…and that rain? That would be the rain that arrived the moment my door slammed behind me as I stepped inside from hanging my laundry on the clothesline. Another rinse, perhaps? Or another rinse in acid rain, as my grandmother put it….)

this picture has nothing to do with my post

First grade here we come.

Last week was our first homeschooling review and it all went really well. In reality, it was approached more like a celebration of the year versus a check-up and evaluation. And it was really good for me, to be forced to take stock of all that we had done during our first year of "official" homeschooling.

I'll be honest, there were many days where I was ready to throw in the towel, many emails to a few friends begging for advice and encouragement, and days when I questioned if this was the right decision for our family. For me. For Emma.

I learned a lot this year, and I hope Emma did, too. I know Mary did, which is one of the amazing perks of homeschooling. How the little ones can come along for the ride and benefit so much from it. Mary's gone from glazing over when I talked about letters to making very successful attempts at spelling words and trying to read. She begs for school.

I feel like Emma and I reached a sweet spot early this spring. An understanding, perhaps. And I hope that will carry over to next year. I think the physical circumstances will be better next year, things that have made it a little difficult this year–the distractions of living here on the farm, a small apartment where it is hard to find her own spot to work without distraction…

And can I tell you how much relief I felt when a few weeks ago, driving in the car, Emma told me she wanted to be homeschooled again next year? It was a wave of reassurance washing over me. This is what she chooses. This is what she wants, too.

She was still awake when I got home from my review late Thursday night. I went into her room to kiss her goodnight and she nervously asked from under her quilts, "What did they say?" And I could tell she was hiding a very large, very proud smile under all those blankets as I told her how well everything went and how she'd soon be able to call herself a first grader. And that made her happy. And a wave of reassurance (and sleep) washed over her as well. I'm pretty sure of that.

(and what does this post have to do with the picture? absolutely nothing. but when you completely clean out your iphoto and put everything on an external hard drive like a responsible photographer/mother/blogger, you lose that easy-access to some of your old 'go to' pictures.
But this would be one of my grandmother's beautiful roses…and that rain? That would be the rain that arrived the moment my door slammed behind me as I stepped inside from hanging my laundry on the clothesline. Another rinse, perhaps? Or another rinse in acid rain, as my grandmother put it….)

20 comments on “first grade here we come”

  1. I’m so glad everything went so well. We just pulled my son out of school this past fall and started homeschooling, and he recently said that he wants to continue next year. That really is such a nice reassurance.

  2. Congratulations on a successful first year! We have definitely had a similar experience, at least in the wanting to give up, being renewed by little successes, overcome by self-doubt, and then some miraculous reassurance that we were doing the right thing. It is an adventure! xo,debra

  3. Congratulations – from a veteran and current homeschooling mom (16 yrs and still going). There is no greater reward than when your homeschool graduate (aged 21) thanks you and says she plans to homeschool her children. The comment from your daughter put a smile on my face 🙂 She obviously knows the value of mom as teacher!

  4. congrats on a positive review! so are you going to take a summer break? my one regret from our first year was not doing math through the summer – my daughter was really frustrated by how much she forgot – so that will be her one ‘official’ subject this summer.

  5. Sigh of relief:) Our review is in a month. I don’t get worked up about it, but it’s nice to get it out of the way for another year. My daughter is heading to first grade also. I bought a workbook from Walmart the other day and we are slowly touching on things. BTW, I hung my basket for my clothes pins up yesterday, and ordered my Nellies Saturday:)

  6. Oh, great news! I’m so glad you had a good experience. We had our review last week, and went to Broom’s Bloom to celebrate afterward. It was a great year-end celebration.

  7. Oh Molly, that is just great! I know you really struggled with this so it must be really rewarding to have such positive reinforcements.Well done to you and Emma and Mary (and Elizabeth for somehow letting you get it all done)Best wishes for a great summer and a new school year.

  8. So glad it was such a positive experience, Molly! Really, I knew it would go well, since you are very conscientious and let Him lead the way.

    My oldest is Emma’s age. We have had a good year as well, but will continue through the summer as some unexpected morning sickness stole some time from us lately. He has ADHD, so keeping with at least a modified school routine is beneficial for him behaviorally. Trouble comes when he doesn’t know what to expect from his days.

    Here in Ohio, nothing is required re accountability until first grade. I have to either have him tested yearly starting next year, or submit a yearly portfolio to a credentialed teacher for review. Leaning toward the portfolio, but will do testing each year, too, to help prepare him for the eventual pre-college SAT testing situation. Other states allow for so much more freedom. I don’t care for the Ohio rules.

  9. Congratulations on your good homeschooling review! I am in Louisiana, and we don’t have to do one, this is a very easy state in which to homeschool.

    Just know, that you will have your good periods of schooling and your bad ones, but hang on, you are doing a great thing for your children. On the good days it is SO rewarding! I have been homeschooling for 7 years and have mostly enjoyed all of it LOL I have found that the more relaxed I am, the better everything goes. The hardest years were the ones where something unusual happened. I am sure living in such a small space with your husband gone much of the time made things harder than they would normally be. I’ll bet next year will be much easier.

  10. Congratulations on the homeschooling review. You must feel much more peaceful now that it's done… and that must feel good knowing your daughter likes it and chooses it too. Well done :o)

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