First Day of School: Homeschooling Edition
"Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely."
Our first day of school was not planned. No cute signs or pictures were taken, no alarms were set, we didn't rush around that morning. no backpacks full of supplies and donations, and it ended in less than an hour. I won't lie, I did miss some of these traditions that flood Facebook and Instagram, but man did it feel good to start off our morning slow, with some freedom, and then use an experience wisely.
Our morning did start with some sass and disrespect, which I know we can all relate to, so I knew we needed to head outside and recenter ourselves. We headed to a local coffee shop down the road. My only goal was to walk there and back to release some energy. When we got there my boys found the game Battleship. Honestly, I do not love teaching new games. Having a 5 year old that doesn't like to follow rules makes playing games tough, but I knew I had an amazing experience that I could not pass up.
As we got the game set up, and I began sharing how to play, it hit me that this experience encompasses way more than just playing a board game. They were having to use a grid/graph to guess a letter and number (letter and number recognition, counting, and graphs). They had to then find that spot on their on grid. They had to count holes, they had to cooperate when someone hit their ship and take turns. This was our first day of school.
It was weird to call this our first day. In my mind I was battling the things I know about school- public school schedules, transitions, and routines that we didn't get to. I had to be okay with a shortened day, not every subject being taught, and slowing way down. When you've been a student in public school and then taught in public schools, that's what you know. I can already tell that it is going to take some time to get out of this mindset, and to throw away the timeline we put on kids.
I came across this quote after our first day, and I knew it was God smiling down on me, reminding me of why I decided to homeschool this year, and that my boys will be okay.
The beauty of homeschooling is that we can go at our own pace. There are no assessments that deem my children performing below average or average. No need for interventions when maybe my child just needs more time or isn't developmentally ready yet. There is time to dive deep into something of interest, time to travel, and work on social emotional and self-regulating skills I "ran out of time" to focus on. There is so much to look forward to.
I know the days will be long and I may question my decision to homeschool, but I will never get this time back. No one has ever regretted slowing down.