First day of homeschooling

This fall has been unlike any other: we started homeschooling! Here’s the chronicle of our first official day of Lucy’s homeschool kindergarten.

First day of homeschool

p{color:gray}. Photo: Lucy and Rosie on the first day of homeschool. (Click to enlarge.)

In many ways, we’re doing the same things we’ve always done: reading, trips to the park, errands with Mama. I’m trying to give myself grace to ease in gradually and find a rhythm that suits us. This means that my plans will occasionally become derailed by the girls’ suddenly felt passion for playing dress up. But that’s okay. Having the freedom to be flexible with our schedule is one of the many “reasons we’re homeschooling”:/news/2010/how-we-decided-to-try-homeschooling/ in the first place. Mostly, the girls and I are just enjoying each other, which means we’re accomplishing one of our main goals.

Here’s a little taste of what Boyd-schooling looked like on our very first day.

h3. Tuesday, September 6, 2011

* *6:30 am Mama goes for a run.* This isn’t new — just continuing a habit I’ve developed over the summer — but I didn’t want to miss out on the chance to start the day with a jolt of “exercise-borne oxytocin”:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316113506/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0316113506&linkCode=as2&tag=bone03-20. Plus, I knew I would be happier with a shower before the day began.
* *7:15 am Lucy and Rosie are awake.* Jon leaves for work, and the girls and I get on with our usual breakfast routine: toast, cereal, dishes.
* *9:15 am Circle Time.* The girls and I head into the living room, light a candle, and work on a few things: updating a wooden calendar to today’s date, singing some autumn songs, beginning to memorize Psalm 23, and singing a worship song with Mama’s guitar. We also read a couple chapters from a terrific new “Bible”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1433523914/octothorppres-20 we have, and then Mama reads from a book each of us chooses. Blow out the candle.
* *10:15 am Get ready for bike outing.* We’ve decided to go to the “farmer’s market”:http://www.yelp.com/biz/lincoln-square-farmers-market-chicago today. We’ll buy some apples and talk to the farmers. Getting ready takes longer than I had hoped, and I cannot find my phone for the life of me. Finally, I text my friend “derek”:http://strangevictorytouring.com/ to see if he can call me. He does, and I discover that my phone had been in my pocket the whole time. Sheesh.
* *11:15 am Bike to Farmer’s Market.* We buy apples and cheese curds as well as a cantaloupe, tomatoes, and some good-looking peaches. The girls feel a little shy talking to the farmers, but (with Mama’s help) we ask a few of them about their favorite fruit or vegetable. One says she likes pattypan squash, another is fond of Mutsu apples (not available for a few more weeks). Fun!
* *12:30 pm Bike home.* Girls are hungry and cranky. I have to stop a couple of times to break up fighting in the bike trailer, which is definitely getting too small for both of them. Rosie continues to touch Lucy, despite her rage. Note to self: bring a snack.
* *1:15 pm Lunch.* With a little food in our bellies, everyone feels a little better.
* *2:00 pm Bake cookies.* It seems like baking cookies on our first day of school is just the right thing to do. The girls help measure things, and I try my best not to freak out about spilled sugar. Oatmeal with raisins and chocolate chips, for the record.
* *2:45 pm Girls play.* Lucy and Rosie get involved in one of their free-imagination games. (I believe this one involved a baby and a mother, although it is possible there were princesses too.) I finish up the baking, wash some dishes, and chop up the cantaloupe.
* *4:00 pm Reading lessons.* You know the games are over when the girls start fighting, so we move on to a new activity. We sit together and work on Lucy’s “reading lessons,”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0671631985/octothorppres-20 which she began awhile ago but dropped for lack of interest. (I can’t blame her; the lessons are quite dull.) Lucy’s enthusiasm is renewed both by a desire to learn to read, as well as the promise of receiving a plastic “gem” for a necklace after each completed lesson. Rosie gets a gem, too, for hanging out with us.
* *4:30 pm Outside play.* We all head outside for some sunshine. The girls run up and down the sidewalk and write with chalk. I peruse a magazine in a lawn chair.
* *5:30 pm Jon stops at home.* We get a brief glimpse of Papa when he arrives home, but sadly he is off to a dinnertime meeting. Hugs all around and a promise of a special start-of-school supper the following evening.
* *6:00 pm Supper with the girls.* We had a nice chat about bedtimes during our meal. I told them about how I had no bedtime in my childhood, which sounds like fun except for the fact that I was constantly tired. I remember falling asleep pretty much everywhere I went. “And so when you girls were born, I decided that you should definitely have a bedtime!” Lucy and Rosie are fascinated.
* *6:30 pm Baths and PJs.* The girls get bathed one-at-a-time these days, which makes the process “more enjoyable for everyone”:/news/2011/the-importance-of-splashing/.
* *7:00 pm Video.* Lucy and Rosie are so quick and cooperative with their pajamas that I treat them to an episode of “Arthur”:http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Arthur/70176984?trkid=2361637. This means I have a few minutes to fold laundry and listen to “Harry Potter”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0807282324/octothorppres-20. Ah…
* *7:30 pm Rosie’s bedtime.* Books, lights out, and tuck-in. I stay in the kitchen for a few minutes to tidy up while Rosie falls asleep. Lucy keeps busy in the living room, cutting pictures of jewelry out of a catalog.
* *8:00 pm Lucy’s bedtime.* Lucy and I spend a few minutes browsing online for a birthday gift for Papa (just four days away!), then it’s a book and lights-out for her, too. I sit in the dim kitchen, “journaling”:http://annagram.org/extras/journaling.html and reading until she is asleep.
* *9:00 pm Jon home.* Hooray! I finally get to visit with my favorite person. We chat a little, then work on finding him a suitable birthday present.
* *10:00 pm Work.* Jon heads off to bed, but I stay up for a little bit and work on publishing some articles for my job with “_The Well_”:http://tothewell.org/. I don’t like to work this late, but it’s been a busy week, and I’ve got to get it done!
* *10:45 pm Bedtime for Mama.* I’m exhausted but pleased. I keep reminding myself that things are extra-busy this week (with several other projects, not just homeschool). There is a little start-up cost right now, but the girls and I got off to a good start. Later in the week: “Shedd Aquarium”:/news/2010/fun-at-the-shedd/!

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