Tuesday, August 4
Homeschooling in Progress!
Well, I went back and forth several times about when we would start our school year. I kept trying to figure out if I wanted to wait until the local schools here started, or just jump in. Eventually, my excitement (with a dash of impatience mixed in) won out and we started this week. August 3, 2015 was the official start of Aiden's kindergarten year! Overall, I am glad we started. No more anticipation and feeling like I should be doing something while I waited for the year to start. No more lazy, hazy days of summer to try to fill. However... I would be lying if I said the thought "WHY did I want to start so soon?!" never crossed my mind!
We actually started preparing for the new school year last week, by transitioning Aiden's bedtime. Well, actually we just started waking him up earlier and praying bedtime would follow the earlier pattern (sleep has been an issue here since the day he was born). It was a long week. Really long. I also started adding some "school work" back into his days. Honestly, we have been doing plenty of learning activities year-round for years now. Aiden is naturally curious, and learning just happens with him. I believe that it is also good for him to learn to sit down and be intentional for short periods of time, though, and both of us have better days when there is some structure. So he had desk time, and we both just pushed through the slightly crazy days of waiting for sleep to even out. By the end of the weekend it kind of had, and we were more-or-less ready for Monday.
I thought about taking the traditional "First Day of Kindergarten" photo... but it didn't happen. Maybe I will take a "first week" photo tomorrow. Day one for us was good, overall. There were some bumps, we were both frustrated on occasion as we got used to things again, and by mid-afternoon there was an epic meltdown. Truth be told, he had been running on a sleep deficit for enough days that I was surprised it took that long. While there were plenty of play breaks on our first day, it was also a lot to take in and we were both just done. So we had some serious quiet time and I thought we would pick up again on Tuesday.
After a good dinner and bath time, Aiden asked if we could do science before bed. Matt is actually going to be (hopefully) teaching him this subject in the afternoon two days a week, partly because he is better at science and partly because we want him to be part of this journey with us. The epic meltdown had taken science off the table Monday afternoon, though, and Matt had gone to his brother's place for the evening so it was up to me. I thought about saying "tomorrow" but then I realized that this is what it is all about for us... encouraging his love of learning and enjoying the fact that we get to be the ones to teach him. So, we did science in our PJs before bed. And... it was the best lesson of the day.
When I woke up today, day two, I wondered how things would go. Aiden had finally gone to sleep earlier (after that day, who wouldn't!) and he even woke up on his own before 8 for the first time since we have started waking him that early. I know sleeping til 8 actually sounds late to some, but this kid would seriously sleep til 10:30 or even 11 if we let him before. He woke up all smiles, and we had a great morning of learning. Matt came home from work early, so we definitely played with the schedule after that to allow for more Daddy time, but we managed to get everything done from the plans for the day.
We concluded day 2 with a trip to the local garden to do some nature study time. Aiden was excited to have both mama and daddy along for this little outing, and we had a great time watching him explore and draw his observations. It reminded me more of what our days looked like last spring. It was HOT in the sunny garden with the crazy humidity, but it was wonderful to just be out together learning and enjoying each other's company. I am definitely looking forward to some cooler temps this fall for our nature studies in particular, but being out there in the heat teaches us a lot too!
Overall, we are off to a good start, and I am excited to see where this year takes us!