Homeschooling for the First Time: Day 1

Day 1 of Homeschooling

Our classical literature checklist positioned next to the boy's favorite books.
A minimum of 20 minutes of reading is recommended to keep young minds sharp every day.

It has been a month now since we enrolled in Bridgeway Academy and--considering how uncertain things still are in public education right now--I feel extremely lucky.

I could barely sleep last night because I was so nervous about how today would go. I anticipated the worst, but was treated to a really smooth day.

We started our day off with a 30 minute bike ride around the neighborhood. Some form of physical education is required of all home schooled students, but other than investing time 3 times a week, the requirements are pretty minimal. When we enrolled we were given an activity log for each child to keep track of everything we do. We have decided to do some form of PE every morning to wake everyone up and get them excited for the day.

When we returned from our ride, we sat down and enjoyed breakfast together. It felt so foreign because eating together isn't something we do normally. We took this time to talk about the schedule plans and goals for the day as well as voice any worries we may have.

I am a very spiritual person. I believe in setting intentions, inviting in positive energy, and casting out bad energy. So after we had our breakfast I asked everyone to set their intentions for the year, pray for guidance, and bless the house. My oldest son was really into the experience, my youngest--not so much. In any case, I believe that intention setting is a powerful tool for all to use--whether you are spiritual or not. It preps your mindset for the goals you would like to achieve so you can focus on manifesting your dreams and aspirations. I intend to meditate/pray every day with my family before doing classwork so we can tackle the day with a clear and centered mindset.

Juju sets at his desk, focused, about to write his response.
Juju getting ready to tackle the day.

Once we were done with that, the boys were given their first assigned books for the year. Bridgeway has a Classical Lit unit and provides a list of acceptable books to write book reports on. The boys will have to submit 4 book reports this year. They do not actually "assign" the books. T (my husband) and I set down together, browsed through the list, and selected books that we thought the boys would like. I picked out ones that gradually increased in difficulty to challenge the boys as the year goes on.

What I had not considered was pictures! Blaze, my youngest, is at a particularly high reading level for his age--but he still loves pictures in his books! So, even though I picked books he is capable of reading and that are genres he enjoys, he is disheartened by the lack of illustrations. I'm thinking I may have to reconsider some of my choices for him as a result. He LOVES reading and I would hate if this small thing became the reason he ends up hating it.

Blaze sitting at his desk, staring off into space with his notebook waiting patiently in front of him.
Blaze somberly completing his writing response. Apparently, the only thing he dislikes more than books with no illustrations is having to write about them.

The day continued to go pretty smoothly with plenty of time for breaks, snacks, and plenty of time for T and I to get our own work done. The only hitches we ever seemed to have was with Blaze. He is a ball of energy. He loves to talk. He cannot sit still. He misses his friends and group activities. He misses long conversations with his besty at lunch. He is so tired of dealing with the same three people every day.

Homeschooling seems like a perfect fit for Juju, but there were lots of time when Blaze became frustrated. I feel for him. He seems to do a lot better in large group environments rather than this intimate setting. It is hard for me to personally understand it because I am more like Juju. I like solitary work and working with little to no people. I will try to understand Blaze better though so that I can give him an enriching learning experience too.

It feels like, the world we left behind was made for kids/people like Blaze. Open, crowded, social spaces. People all around, chatting, playing, partying, learning, gathering. Schools with round tables for learning and long packed rectangular tables at lunch. These are the environments Blaze, and people like Blaze, thrive in. When I see him so frustrated with the way things are...when he asks me when can he go back...I feel so sad for him.

At the same time though, for the first time ever, I feel secure in the world. This is the dawning of the age of the introvert. Juju and I have been thriving in our isolation. As bad as I feel for my extroverted husband and son, I don't want to "go back." I hope this experience can help us all collectively create a world that unifies us and embraces our differences.

But for now, all I can do is focus on how I can embrace and include my two very different children.

Juju napping under a weighted blanket.
Naps are encouraged in our school! (Mommy and Daddy still need to work)

If you are interested in enrolling Bridgeway Academy you can get $100 off your enrollment by using my referral code: E326CNG

Check out Bridgeway Academy here.