Friday, August 28, 2009

Day One with Two

Let me back up a little bit. With all my turbo school planning, lining up of SEVERAL rows of ducks and filing everything just short of frozen pancakes for the “Tuesday breakfast”, I had to leave my lap top at Best Buy over the weekend. Silence, please.
Talk about horrible. Horrific. Tragic, maybe? I don’t know, but there is some perfect word out there that describes it. I just can't come up with it. Everything that used to be just a few clicks away from me is now in some big room in St. Louis. What ailment did my computer have that it had to be shipped off? The left click button would stick- everytime- and for those of you who still work on a PC, you know the potential for frustration. Just when I thought I had everything I could possibly need off the hard drive for the next 2 weeks, Sunday afternoon, I realized critical files were missing. As I lamented my case to a friend, she empathized and smiled. In her ever-sharpening way, she caught hold of the thread that had been sewn through my thoughts over the last few days except I had not let the knot take hold. My thoughts had been, “This is probably no coincidence that this has happened now, at the beginning of school. Is the Lord doing something else here?” Her words were, “Remind me of the name of your blog?” My words back were one thing but my thoughts were another. “I told Him I wanted to home school “not by might”, not “not without my computer”! Her words implied the spiritual and my thoughts revealed shallowness and practicality, leaving no room for maybe something special. This too shall pass and hopefully I can learn something significant in the passing. Susannah Wesley didn’t have a computer, right? Jeff had an early morning meeting today so here I am with the familiar heat and hum on my lap clicking away on his very unfamiliar keys, but clicking nonetheless. I like the sound.

Over the weekend before we began school on Monday, Brighton’s excitement about Kindergarten became very apparent. He really hadn’t said much about it but at bedtime Sunday night he kept saying, “Let’s keep talking about school, Mom.” In line with his personality, he wanted to know just how the day would play out and the details of what we would do. He has a thing for maps so he was most excited about “Explore Time” where we map out places or journeys we read about. The night before we started, I fell asleep wondering how his enthusiasm would decode Monday morning with a No.2 pencil in his hand and boundaries for the markings it would make.

As for my Laura Ingalls “wanna be”, Julia’s excitement focused on the new “chore” of making breakfast. (We are trying this out after a suggestion from a friend. I'll let you know.) Monday morning it felt strange putting on makeup to the sounds of someone else stirring in my kitchen. When I walked in, she had a smile on her face, an apron around her waist and everything under control. I found B sitting at a set table. He threw up his hands in greeting and said, “Welcome to Cracker Barrel!” Well, it sure smelled like it.

During our first day, I began to fizzle sooner than I had anticipated, but I found Brighton’s energy contagious. He was eager to do anything I whipped out, especially if he recognized it as something Julia had once done. Thankfully, Julia caught his bug too. She stepped up continuing to cheer him on and praising his work. “Those are the best 5’s I have ever seen, B!” This may have been my favorite part. The only frown I remember from the day was when I gave Brighton his Saxon 1 work to do and for a minute, Julia thought I had erased all her math work from two years ago so now he could do it. I AM frugal, but not crazy.

The most interesting observation of the day was the added dynamic of peer pressure—or rather, a little old-fashioned competition. Two and half years ago when I realized I was really going to do this school at home thing, I started searching ebay for all sorts of things. I secured a Geo Safari game with tons of cards for different ages. The kids have used it some but not near what I had hoped. I’ve tried all sorts of tricks and incentives trying to conjure up within Julia some interest in learning something new from the myriad of cards. When Brighton saw the familiar letters “Geo Safari” on the list for “extra credit” towards his Friday goal, he was all over it. He started working those cards and earning stars. Next thing I knew Julia was learning Indian artifacts, wonders of the world, and famous quotes by historical figures. For every card he completed with a perfect score (on his level), she had to master one too. His star chart would NOT be fuller than her heart chart. After looking up who in the world “Chief Joseph” and “Madame de Pompadour” were, I put their lunches together with a private grin on my face.

If I had to label the week with one word I would pick encouraging. I have been ready to try this out all summer- a day with two. After just a week, I think it is going to be fine. I know there may be days I consume an extra cup of caffeine, preferably hot and with whip. And there will be days my stash of dark chocolate will shrink. There will be weeks I wish my Tuesday time was a little longer. There may even be weeks I search for the journal that I wrote down this confirmation of homeschooling- just to make sure it is what I wrote down. But what I do know is that our relationships will benefit from our time together, I will learn a ton whether they do or not and with two, there is potential for twice the fun!
Above picture- J and B with their notebooks to hold all of their work. (B's first one and J's third one) Yes, Julia got a haircut and Brighton........well, that look is "detangler not yet dry".


Sarah said...

So glad it was encouraging. LOVE Julia's haircut and Brighton is looking so big and handsome... and Krista, my friend, are you getting younger?

Anonymous said...

Trying to get back into the blogging world and catching up with everyone. Love reading your blog, as always. And so inspired. I'm looking toward our "official" school years and contemplating home school (agh!). Always lots of encouragement here. Good to reconnect to you. :)

...and hello to Jeff for me, please!

Alyssa said...

I'm so grateful your first week went well even sans computer! May their enthusiasm continue and provide you with the encouragement to carry you through.

Anonymous said...



nikki said...

i am frugal, but not crazy- my favorite line...sweet friend, you make me laugh...i'm so grateful for you!