August 16, 2009

School Days

The school year is quickly approaching. On September 8, Elizabeth will begin Kindergarten. It will be different than I ever imagined, because we will be schooling at home. There will be no big send off, no bus ride, no new teacher, no new friends to get to know. But it will still be a big day. Our baby girl will be starting school! And I will be her teacher!!

Naturally, my head is spinning with ideas and excitement - and fear, sometimes ... no, a lot of the time! - about the year ahead. I'm a detailed oriented person, which is great for thinking about what a school day might look like, but not for planning overarching goals and things. I'm working on it and am grateful for Rebecca Rupp's book Home Learning Year by Year that will help to keep me on track. Though, primarily, I'm thankful that in my moments of internal panic, God reminds me that He is with me and will be with us day by day. We're confident in our decision, but it does mean work and facing inadequacies. You know how you can think yourself crazy, though, when you're feeling tired and overwhelmed?

Elizabeth and I took a trip to Staples (thanks to a tip from Libby!) to get some materials for school. I always loved the new crayons, pencils, paper, etc. that signaled the beginning of a school year. Of course, by the end of September the crayons were broken, the notebooks were bent at the edges, and the pencils had been chewed. (Yes, I chewed my pencils.) But the new beginning always thrilled me. New beginnings still have that effect on me.

I wanted to get E some "fat" pencils like what we used in elementary school. Ours I recall being blue. After looking around, I hadn't seen any. But then, there they were, beaming at me from the wall of writing implements.

The icing on the cake is that they're my favorite brand of pencil. If you're not familiar with the beauty of writing with a Ticonderoga pencil, you haven't lived. (I exaggerate, but I do love their pencils!)

We also picked up some lined "learning to write" paper, sight word flash cards, (I was going to make my own, but for $4 I was willing to buy them when I saw them), a large wipe off calendar, a math work book, and a little journal for E. She was enthusiastic about getting school supplies. Of course, I wanted to buy way more; they had lots of cool stickers, workbooks, folders, etc. I'm glad my husband is in graduate school and I had to control myself. I'd rather spend that money on memberships to museums and zoos anyway! In fact, I'm thinking about joining the Pittsburgh Zoo when we're back visiting, especially if they have reciprocity with zoos here.

As you can see, my thoughts are all over the place. But I've been reminded several times that we'll only have to take it one day at a time. Things I'm thankful for:
  • Other friends who are homeschooling, novice and experienced, to whom I can direct question and from whom I can steal ideas!
  • Colin and I are of one mind in this decision and that we have different areas of expertise.
  • Elizabeth is excited about homeschooling!
  • Parents who are supportive, so we don't have to try to convince them. (Thanks, you four!)
  • Where we live: there are so many kids, Elizabeth will have lots of neighbors to play with after school hours.
  • The Holy Spirit, for keeping me from freaking out and getting me into this situation in the first place. :)
Any pearls of wisdom you experienced homeschoolers would like to share as we embark on the journey? Please feel free to comment.


  1. Heather Ramsay just started homeschooling too. You two should talk.

    I am going to grab E a couple of workbooks. They are on sale at Walgreens. See you soon!

  2. Oh, school supplies. How I love school supplies! I admire your restraint in the face of the Staples back-to-school stock :o)

  3. school supplies are the best! we just went with henry's supply list, and he loved every minute of it.