Sunday, August 18, 2013

Great Expectations...

When we started talking about homeschooling late last December, the thought was somewhat surreal.  I mean - we prayed, talked and prayed some more.  And even after we made the personal commitment and informed our children's school we would not be returning in the fall, it still didn't seem real.
Fast forward through months of curriculum research and planning.  School's out.  The kids say goodbye to teachers and friends.  Still not sinking in.  I continued to work on getting everything just right while the kids were distracted with swim team and lazy summer afternoons.  Gerald took off from work the week before so we could do lots of fun family stuff before starting homeschool.  Everyone was getting excited, but still no idea of what we were in for.
Finally THE DAY arrived!  As I said in my first post last week, Day 1 was a success!  New school supplies, new subjects, new "classmates" and "teacher".  We all had fun learning about our new reality.  Only - it still didn't seem real!  After TONS of reading and research, planning and preparation - we all had such great expectations!
Months of following wonderful homeschool blogs as they shared the magical things their families were doing in homeschool left me with sugar plums dancing in my head!  We would do amazing experiments and projects and my children would squeal with delight as their teacher showed them the wonders of the world.  I just knew that their heads would grow three hat sizes the first week!  We sat down to dinner the first night and I smiled and told the kids, "Tell your daddy what you learned today!"  Imagine my surprise (and disappointment) after all that planning when Brack replied, "Not much" as he simultaneously complained about green beans...again.
Man, he really popped my bubble.  Where was the magic?  Where was the praise about me being the best teacher in the world?  Didn't I knock their socks off with Day 1?  I was a little let down, but you know what?  The next morning, we were all up and ready to go at it again!  And you know what?  They did think I was pretty cool when we did a little science experiment about air pressure.  And they loved the cave drawings art project for history.

And after a more relaxed afternoon, Jewell was anxious to help with dinner.
And I was glad to have the company! 

We finished the week with our first Field Trip Friday.  We went to the Alabama Cattlemen's Association MOOseum.  (You read it right - not a misprint!  A Moooooseum.  Tee hee hee!)  So it wasn't a big bells-and-whistles kind of field trip, but we did learn some things.  (Like over 1.5 million bovines are raised each year in Alabama, we rank 15th in cattle production and ahead of several larger, Western states.) 

They rode some buckin' bulls...

They got their cowboy on!

And we also learned about food safety.
(Thus the huge hamburger Brack and Jewell are attempting to eat!)

So there's where we left off with Week 1.  Not perfect - maybe not even magical, but extremely satisfying.  Their brains may not be bigger (yet!), but their smiles look pretty big to me! 
I realize now that months of planning does not equal instant results.  They're still going to complain about spelling words and math flashcards.  That's ok.  We may have more moments of "are we done yet?" than "can we do that again?".  But curling up on the couch with my babies to read "Life of Fred" (who knew, right?) is so worth the hard work.  Week 2 is a little more than 12 hours away, and I can't wait...


  1. So glad you had a successful first week!

    We've been homeschooling since 1997. I have learned to NOT READ the blogs of those whose children are perfect, love handwriting, love writing essays and are reading several years above grade level. It is just not productive for me. I'd rather read about someone telling the truth (like you telling about Brack saying he was not learning much that first day).

    The Mooseum sounds so cute! Wish we were closer--we are in Lauderdale County (NW corner of AL).

    May your journey be a good one!

    BTW, I'm Susan Willingham on the FB page C of Christ Homeschoolers.

  2. Missy, if you realize now what you wrote in your last paragraph, you are doing great and are ahead of some of us who have been doing this long enough to know! Homeschooling is hard work. And it is certainly not always magical, but you are looking at the big picture! Success cannot always be measured the way we want it to be, but the memories you will make will be priceless!