Tuesday, August 21, 2007

First Day of School

We started school last week, and these are some of our official first day of school pictures. When I was growing up, we always took pictures on the first day of school with us standing out in front of the house. We only lived in two houses between my kindergarten and senior year. Eight years after I graduated, my parents moved to the house they live in now. Stable people, my parents. William started first grade this year, and this is the third house he's posed in front of. And really, that's part of why we homeschool: to add a layer of stability to this crazy military lifestyle.

Our other first day tradition is muffins for breakfast. As planned, I got up early and made the uber-delicious Morning Glory Muffins. William jumped right in and ate four. I'm telling you, if he keeps this up, we are not going to be able to afford his food bills. He is easily eating three times as much as he used to. Thank God. Finally. Anyway, Katie was suspicious of the muffins, but after much coaxing, she finally licked one. Before the morning was over, she had eaten three.

Ever since Katie showed up in 2002, I have said that having two kids was easier than having one because they entertain each other. Homeschooling two, however, is a completely different situation. When Will and I were doing kindergarten last year, we spent--at most--forty-five minutes doing school. The first day of teaching both Will & Katie took three solid hours. I felt like I had been hit by a truck. The second day we were much more efficient and finished in a record-shattering two hours and forty-five minutes. Logically I know that I will eventually find a groove so that I can dove-tail teaching two different levels. Logically I know that the kids are also adjusting to the new school routine. Logically I know that this utter exhaustion will pass as we all adapt. But as I sit here, four days into the school year, half-asleep at 7:19 pm, I'm wondering if I can place a standing order with the pizza place ("If I don't call you by 5:30 that I'm making dinner, go ahead and send the usual.") and how much a cleaning lady would cost.

Last year my attitude toward homeschooling was a little different. I thought, "It's kindergarten; how hard can it be to teach kindergarten?" And it wasn't hard, per se. (Oh my gosh, did I really just say per se?!) Last year really was a joy. But it did take me a full nine months to figure out some things that, frankly, should not have taken a grown woman all year to figure out. Part of that was the cost of arrogance, part of that was just what your rookie year is for. This year, I am infinitely more clear on the disadvantages of trying to homeschool under my own steam. I made a little scrapbook of encouraging quotes and Bible verses to rally me, and you better know that adding Katie and her personality to the mix has me committed to bathing the year in prayer. I even have reciprocal agreements to pray for several homeschooling friends. If you want to be added, leave me a comment. :o)


Jacquelyn said...

Ahhh, yes...life after Kindergarten. Yep, it does get a little hairy at times, doing two Phonics, two Maths, etc. But once you find a rhythm that works, it won't be too bad. I promise! :)

And I really like your idea of a standing order with the Pizza place! LOL!!

Char said...

Praying for you! Hope to chat soon so we can catch up on some "homeschool" talk! :-)

michelle said...

Katie let you do your hair!! WOW
It looks cute.