Are you curious? Here are the top ten things I've learned about homeschooling in the first week.
1. It's important to have at least one or two people who are completely supportive of your decision to homeschool. I took this photo of the kids with my grandparents when they stopped by to bring me some National Geographic magazines that the kids could cut up. My grandpa tried to make me cry when he told me that I'm the best mother he's ever known. Seriously? I could cry now just thinking about it. Neither one of them have questioned my decision to homeschool once. That kind of support is priceless!
2. Sometimes Science experiments take a looong time, and I'm not the most patient person. I am still waiting for our popcorn rocks to grow crystals! There are crystals all around the edge of the cup but none on the rocks yet. Grow rocks, grow. Now. Please?
3. Brandon and I love art, but Jordan doesn't think it's as fun as we do. When we create nature journal pages, Brandon and I are in heaven. We like to paint, color, and add details. Jordan draws her stick figures and refuses to color her pages. In the grand scheme of things, it's not a huge deal. She would rather listen to music or play the keyboard.
My Butterfly Nature Journal Page
Brandon's Butterfly Nature Journal Page
My Ant & Earthworm Nature Journal Page
Brandon's Ant & Earthworm Nature Journal Page
As you can see, Brandon doesn't take direction in art very well. He has his own ideas on what to draw and he goes off on a tangent. I figure if he's drawing then it's good enough. Actually, it's pretty funny. He's quite a character!
4. Some of our homeschool projects are quite extensive, but they are very worth it when your kid smiles like he does in the photo below. Thank goodness for Distress Ink! I didn't think that I'd use my scrapbook supplies much during homeschool, but we've already used ink to distress a miniature scroll for Brandon's Bible studies. I have a feeling that my stash might come in handy in the future.
I used Zip Dry to glue tiny wooden beads on the end of skewers. Brandon can roll the scroll up very neatly now and it makes his little heart happy. (The skewers were too narrow for him to roll at first.)
5. Everything is an educational opportunity. (Even a play date with a friends' puppy.) We learned lots of different words this week. Niche, habitat, ecosystem... When my friend brought her new puppy over to play, they had a discussion about the puppy's niche, habitat, and ecosystem. It cracked me up!
Samantha thought her niche was sleeping and being petted. Her habitat? My couch. She was so stinkin' cute and Stephanie wouldn't leave her with me no matter how hard I tried.
6. Remember that ants bite! We successfully avoided the ants while we were looking through the magnifying glass and observing. Unfortunately, while we were walking inside later, Brandon walked through a trail of ants. They decided to march all over him and he has several bites on his foot. As usual, he decided that the bites all needed Band-aids! I keep that company in business based on this kid alone.
7. Academy Sports sells earthworms. You'll need to know that when you find that there's a serious earthworm shortage in your backyard... at least I did. Our earthworm niche is coming along nicely with some refrigerated worm supplementation. These worms are lucky. They're going to avoid some fisherman's hook!
8. Scrapbook time is found after midnight when the house is quiet and the children are asleep. I have to wait until after all of the planning for the next day is finished. I never realized how much planning and organization went into homeschooling. Luckily, I'm good at that sort of thing.
9. Jordan can throw an epic tantrum when she gets one spelling word wrong. I am both proud and terrified of the fact that she's turned into a little perfectionist like me. It makes her really good at sticking to things and trying her best, but she doesn't take any sort of failure well at all.
10. It's worth it. So worth it. My relationship with Brandon and Jordan has developed a lot over the past week, and their relationship has gotten even closer. I catch them playing together and using their imagination instead of watching the TV. They keep reading when book basket time is over and are disappointed when our homeschooling day is finished by lunch time. Overall, I've been really amazed by how well things have gone. I know deep down in my heart that homeschooling is the right thing for these two. I'm not questioning or worrying anymore and that's a beautiful feeling.