The first day(s) of school

The first day(s) of school

(If we consider the first day of K and 1st the first two, that is.)

My intention isn’t to make this blog all about my adventures in homeschooling. There are lots of blogs about homeschooling. But this is a landmark day for us, and, well, it’s a big part of what I do.

I woke pH this morning (correction: I encountered an already awake pH this morning) with a “Get up, it’s the first day of school!” Which made her roll her eyes.

I’m having to ease her back into math, because she’s resisting me, and while she knows she has to do a certain amount of math each day, there is much wringing of hands and whining, so I have to leave her in the room by herself or there will be a near constant, “I can’t do this–Mama, it’s too hard…I can’t, I can’t…” Pause. “Oh. Never mind. My brain figured it out.”  I am calling math “games” and using computer generated work as much as I can to make it as fun as possible.

Reading comprehension is interesting. The second grade materials are too easy, but since she’s reading books for pleasure that are more difficult, I don’t mind. I consider the reading comp to be test prep and teach multiple choice test strategies when I can, e.g., “You said these other two answers are silly and that one is wrong, so…”

After two months of not making her practice handwriting, she’s having to write. In this one area, her perfectionism is working to her/my benefit. She is very upset if she perceives that I am unhappy with a letter she has written (seriously, like I care?–I had horrid handwriting throughout childhood and my husband considers my handwriting now to be an abomination…but you should see his).

For writing, I used an Angry Bird noun/pronoun exercise I found online, and after we did the exercise, she had to write a sentence with a pronoun. (She wrote: “He does nothing.”) Then she was to write a paragraph about her favorite Angry Bird (that would be Stella), but that’s daunting to her; I had her narrate the paragraph to me. I wrote it, then she copied it. Her only writing mistakes were because she misread my handwriting…so perhaps kH is right. I think it’s perfectly legible, but you can judge for yourself.

I’m not sure how to approach social studies yet. I included it because there were a lot of blanks for subjects in this planner AND we have a tendency to have history/social study-like discussions that lead into researching topics (or if I know the answers, explaining them) that would count as social studies. But I want to pick a topic she has a natural interest in, and work from there. Probably on the next library visit we’ll find something.

She sits on an exercise ball while she works, or I should say, she rolls around and somehow manages to write and not fall off the thing as she’s working. But it has improved her ability to work for longer periods of time before needing or asking for breaks.

I also give her a list of words and make her look them up in her children’s encyclopedia or dictionary–I pick high-interest words, but I’m trying to get her addicted to reading the encyclopedia the way kH and I both did as kids, and almost–almost–wish we had a physical, adult encyclopedia for her to browse.


Today also included her first swimming lesson, which is A. Big. Deal. I couldn’t get her to put her face in the water until very recently, and I was becoming increasingly distressed I had a child who didn’t know how to swim. (I learned when I was pretty young, and while I stopped lessons when I was…eight? nine? I lived in pools in the summer and love to swim in a warm ocean, but remain creeped out by swimming in lakes.) She wasn’t all that happy about putting her face in the water today, but she did, and it’s progress. Also, I’m hoping she sleeps very, very well tonight.

(I’d really like at least two hours tomorrow morning to get some real writing done.)