Wednesday, August 17, 2011

First day of homeschool: a lesson in abandoning perfectionism

Suzi dressed up "like Daddy." She loves the dress-up basket!

I was planning to start our first homeschool year next week, but a friend told me she had already sort of started. Our days couldn't get much harder right now anyway, so I said, why not? We'll get going a week early.

Yesterday we read the story of Peter Rabbit to get ready for today, and went over the tongue twister for the letter A. Suzi loved it, to my surprise. I thought it was kind of hokey, to be honest. She is enjoying repeating back the words about the lame tame crane and remembering more of it than I expected. We sang Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and I started to learn some of the new songs and fingerplays.

We don't have a beautiful beeswax candle yet, so I lit a regular old jar candle and did the motions to the morning verse wrong a time or two. I didn't want to go spend a bunch of money on the fancy papers and books and crayons right now, so this morning I had Suzi draw her picture and write her A's in a three-ring binder on unlined paper with regular crayons. It worked great. Baby Robert gave us 20 minutes or so to work on all this while he looked out the window. Ivey participated in everything with us--although her drawing and letter forming isn't quite there yet, obviously.

Suzi can draw an A, but it's rounded instead of pointy at the top. She's four, though. We are doing this a year early and I'm not going to push issues like these right now because I can see it frustrates her. That is the last thing I want! School should be fun!

Suzi's A

My gate drawing, and Suzi's. The black stuff on hers is to keep Mr. McGregor from getting to Peter.

Ivey's drawing. She can make stars, who knew?

Suzi is learning her letters, and I am learning to tell the perfectionist in my head to SHUT UP and leave us alone. It's hard for me, as someone who was public schooled, to wrap my head around the idea that Suzi does not need hours of lessons at four years old. And it doesn't matter if they are held at a desk. And it's unnecessary to push things she doesn't want.

I am loving our Oak Meadow homeschool so far. It's 9:00 and the girls are playing happily together. It seems that the few minutes of attention from me has their love cups filled and they are happy to go about their business. Exciting! I may get some time to myself this year after all!