Monday, August 22, 2016

The Next Lap {First Day of School}

I'm never quite ready to begin a new year of homeschooling; but somewhere along the way during this homeschool journey, I've realized without a doubt that, if I wait until I get all my ducks in a row before we start, we will never start.  Since I don't want that to happen, we end up diving in even though I feel unprepared.

This year was no different.  Even though this is our tenth official first day of school (click here for a look at our very first first-day-of-school pictures), I'm still not quite ready...still tempted to cling to summer's relaxed schedule...still procrastinating about ordering all the books we'll use this year...still slow to finish all the plans for all my students.  But one thing I've learned is this: when I start to lament the loss of the free time that summer gives us, I realize that I really, really like the way I relate to my kids when we're homeschooling.  That's not to say, of course, that I never get impatient with them during the course of our school work; but overall, I like the fact that homeschooling makes me pause in my pursuit of various homemaking tasks so that I can sit down and read to my kids about a schoolteacher in Alaska...and so that I can learn memory verses with my kids as we sing crazy music together...and so that I can write in our gratitude journal things that we are grateful for...and so that we can, after reading about Eli in a children's Bible, grab the regular Bible and find out more detail about him ("how did he die? he fell off his chair and broke his neck?? wow!!").  I appreciate the way homeschooling requires us to spend significant, intentional time together.  What a gift!

The first morning of this tenth lap in our homeschool race began with our traditional first-day-of-school breakfast: funnel cakes!
Everyone enjoys the chance to put powdered sugar on their own funnel cakes. Some put on more than others do.  :)

I always try to make the first initial of each child's name, but I'm not very good at it, and they often end up messy, and sometimes break apart.
Oh, well.  We eat 'em anyway.  :)

I didn't make a "B" for Benjamin this year; but by next year, I'll probably be needing to do that for him.  He likely won't be content any longer to miss out on that treat!  :)
Today he was most interested in the ever-entertaining game of Throw the Spoon on the Floor and See How Many Times My Siblings Pick It Up for Me!  :)

After breakfast, we moved on to one of the most important parts of the first day of school: the pictures on our front porch.  :)
How enormously grateful I am that I get to be, not only the mother of, but also the teacher of these six treasured souls!!!!!!
We're always so serious in our homeschool.  ;-)

My beloved little sweethearts.  ♥
Josiah, the 9th grader (starting high school is a very significant step!).

David, the 6th grader.

Can you see who else is in the picture below?  Of course there's David, and I am partially visible, too.  But there's another face that can be seen.  Did you find it?  :)

Tobin, the 3rd grader.

Shav, the 2nd grader.

Moriah, the pre-kindergartner.

And Benjamin, our dear little caboose.  :)

While we were in the process of taking these pictures, we had an unexpected visitor.  It had been eight years since we had had our septic tank emptied out, and we wanted to get that done this summer before the winter came and made the ground hard to dig.  Wouldn't you know, this was the day the guys showed up to get the job done!  Of course we stopped what we were doing to watch the action--can't pass up an opportunity like that!
The workmen were very friendly and chatted with their audience as they dug.
The funniest part for me was when they lifted the lid off the tank, and all the kids unconsciously backed up a step (or two or more!) and said things like "whew!" and "whoosh!" and "oh!" because of the smell.  It's a nasty job, but I sure am grateful that there are people who do it!!
In case you're counting heads, there is an extra boy in the pictures.
Jason, our neighbor boy, had to rush over to see the excitement, too.  :)

After the septic tank was emptied and the workmen went on their way, we managed to officially start our school stuff; but we didn't get through everything before it was time to quickly eat a late lunch and head over to a friend's house for a pool party with the kids from church.  Between funnel cakes for breakfast, getting to watch men open up and drain the septic tank, and going swimming, it sure was a rough day.  Homeschooling is tough, I tell ya!  ;-)

Last year was such a roller coaster of a year because of Benjamin's birth, the puppies, and a number of other factors.  Who knows what the future holds, but I am expecting this year to be significantly calmer, less interrupted, and--dare I say?--easier, as far as homeschooling goes.  We shall see!!  :)

1 comment:

Emily said...

I can't believe Josiah is in 9th grade? How did that happen? He was just a little boy a few weeks ago. I am sure of it! I can't believe how long I have been reading your blog for!! You have a beautiful family and its so amazing to watch them grow and change. Have a fun year homeschooling!!