Our First Day of Homeschool

I’m long overdue for a homeschooling post – after all I am a homeschooling mom and that is a huge part of my life. But I’ve been pretty exhausted from it all and just didn’t want to think or talk about homeschooling this summer. I always order our books in April so it’s not like I have to make plans – that’s already done. But at some point, I do get past it and start looking forward to the new year. That started a couple weeks ago for me.

We usually begin school the last week of August (like the local schools) and this year I had planned on August 29th being our first day. However, I’ve been noticing more and more behavior issues with the children, especially Nathan, as the boredom of the summer “non-routine” gets to them. After a lot of thought & prayer, I decided it would be best to start school this week.

Naturally homeschooling is a lot of work for me, but I’ve been ready to pull my hair out with the kids lately so I knew it would be the change of pace we all needed.

I didn’t tell the children we were starting until last night – I wasn’t 100% sure myself until then. When I did tell them, their reactions were so funny. Emily was very excited and jumped up and down and shouted “Yay! I start preschool!” While Nathan looked a little glum and said “Ok, Mom.” He was very good about it, but he definitely did not share his sister’s excitement. I find it humorous that, as he is getting older, each year his excitement dims just a little. He is learning that school is not all fun, but a lot of work too. That’s something that all kids learn.

We use A Beka Book for curriculum, which is what I was taught with. (If you’re new to my blog, I’ll tell you that I was homeschooled myself from grade 2 all the way through 12th by my wonderful mom.) A Beka is an excellent traditional Christian curriculum and I love how comprehensive it is. I like that the teacher’s guides tell me exactly what to say and how to teach something to my child. That’s not to say I follow it verbatim – I take from it what I will and what works for my individual child. I noticed that many of their suggestions were too repetitive for Nathan, but he’s a fast learner. Emily will probably do better with a lot of repeating. And that’s one of the best parts of homeschooling – how much you can customize it to the individual child.

This year, Nathan is in third grade and Emily is K-4 or preschool/kindergarten. (I’m doing a combination with her.)

I wrote up a complete schedule for myself last night and decided I would do my best to follow it. Of course, keeping in mind that with little ones things can and do change and I had to keep a flexible approach.

We began with Bible reading. For my bigger two, we are reading the “Read-N-Grow Picture Bible.”
This is an amazing children’s Bible that is perfect for elementary-aged children. It has detailed stories and more than just the typical David-and-Goliath story, but it has so many pictures it makes it very interesting for children.
We had this when I was a child and I am so blessed that my wonderful aunt thought to give me a copy for my own children before it went out of print. If you can find it, this is truly a gem!

For my younger two, we are reading the classic “The Beginner’s Bible”
I love the cute pictures:

Once that was finished, we said our Pledge of Allegiance and our school day began. For now, I’m having Emily play with the little boys, while I start Nathan’s subjects. Nathan is in third grade and A Beka really steps it up a level this year. There is smaller print, less graphics, and more quizzes and tests. Nathan is ready though and so am I!
We start with Bible verse memorization and the books of the Bible (Nathan is working on the New Testament. Then we work on reading, language, and cursive writing.
We stopped for recess while I tucked Luke in for a nap and it was Emily’s turn for K-4:
Emily learned about the letter “I” today, among other things.

Joshua even colored a picture with bears. He was very excited to do this! Here’s a few more pictures from our day:

And Luke kept busy today too (more on that later!)
And freshly made oatmeal raisin cookies to celebrate later!
They all did really well and I am so pleased with my sweet children.  And I am happy to say that my schedule worked very well and it’s been a fantastic day. None of the first day “Oh my goodness, I can’t do this!” jitters that I’ve had in the past. Just quiet calm and go-with-the-flow. It was definitely the right decision to start school early – we all needed the extra structure badly!

I have a couple fun family posts I am working on – there’s been a lot of things happening with us and it’s time for some updates! I also have some awesome giveaways this week and next, including sponsors like Boon, Kidorable, and Zoobies! Stay tuned!

For my homeschooling friends, when do you plan on starting school? Or have you already or do you school all summer long?

Erika
About the Author

Erika, the founder of Musings From a SAHM, is happily married and a homeschooling mom to four children. She lives in New Hampshire and has a passion for writing, encouraging other moms, her family, and Jesus. She also enjoys baking, spending time with friends, and is an aspiring photographer.

Comments

  1. yah! i’m so glad your first day back went great! we’re starting next monday! woohoo!

  2. We homeschool all year long, just lightly during the summer with the basics, we offically started our new school year on August 2nd. We are in full swing! Our work load is a bit more this year and is taking me longer to get through each day with the baby older now & now my daughter 2 years old – I have to keep them busy – it’s a REAL challenge! I am trying to figure out what works. So far it’s 1/2 in the morning & the other 1/2 when my 2 year old naps. :)
    Nicole (Mama to 4 Blessings) recently posted..CHANGING GLUE TO FUN COLORED GLUE PAINT!My Profile

  3. We have 5 children ~ 10. 8, 5, 3 and 2 months. I am starting our homeschool on August 29, I think. :) That is subject to change at any moment. I’m not quite ready to give up my summer yet.
    Amy Snow recently posted..After her baaath….My Profile

    • Good for you, Amy! That is great – I am going to check out your blog now! :) And I hear you – normally I am quite reluctant to move past summer – this year was the exception!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with homeschooling! My boys are only 4 and (almost) 3. We are very uncertain what to do with them when it is time to start school. We’re not sure if homeschooling is right for us, but we have not ruled it out either. Seeing posts like this gives me real insight to the world of homeschooling, and I’m so glad you shared! Thanks again!!

    • I’m glad it helped! Let me know if you ever have any questions – there are SO many options with homeschooling it can seem quite overwhelming if you’re not sure where to go. I’m pretty experienced, but when it comes to other curriculums or “un-schooling” approaches, I am clueless, lol. I’m very much a traditional homeschooler.

  5. Thanks for sharing your first day! I’m a first-time homeschooling mom. My dd is 5 (and a 3 yo ds) and we’ll be starting her on Aug 29th (schools around here don’t start until after Labor Day). We’ll be using A Beka as that’s what both my husband and I grew up using in traditional Christian schools. I am soo excited and sooooo nervous! Hahaa! She’s only one little girl, but I’m so afraid to do something wrong! I’m trusting the Lord – one day at a time!

    Thanks for also sharing about the Read-N-Grow Bible! I picked up a copy on Amazon! I’ve got bits and pieces of A Beka’s Bible curriculum, but not enough for the year. This looks like a great extra for us!

    • Stephanie, I can totally relate! I am always so nervous even though I’ve done it before! Just remember one day at a time and remember that no matter what your daughter will be benefiting from more one-on-one attention than she could ever get in any public or private school! I’m so glad you found a Read-N-Grow Bible! Yay! Thanks so much for commenting – made my day! :)

  6. Sounds like a very busy and productive day!! Cute pics! We have that Bible, too…the kids love it!

  7. Love this. My boys are only 20 months & 5 months, so we aren’t homeschooling yet. Well, we still are on the fence about it, whether or not we will. But I love seeing what other mom’s do.

    And by the way, I love seeing distressed Bibles, that means they have been read a lot! :)
    Rachel recently posted..Just Another Beautiful DayMy Profile

  8. The Mommy Mambo says:

    Found you on the blog hop today. And I am totally impressed that you started school early and even that you home school at all with all those little ones. Amazing!
    I’m afraid I wouldn’t be disciplined enough to keep on schedule and the to keep all te whining at bay?! You go, Momma!
    The Mommy Mambo recently posted..Piddlin’ with Puddin’My Profile

  9. How sweet!
    Stopping by from the Tuesday Hops to say hello.
    Have a great day!
    POSH

    Harriet recently posted..Get Kim Kardashian’s Look- The Belle Noel Pharaoh Twist Cuff in Silver and GunmetalMy Profile

  10. I am not a homeschooler, but really admire you! What a great job! Visiting and following from I Love Blogging Hop…hop over to my blog and follow back if you like!

    Jessica
    http://mom4realky.blogspot.com
    Mom 4 Real recently posted..Little Benny…Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  11. Their faces in the first photo say it all…I homeschooled my kids for 18 years! I used a Beka and several others. Happy back to school!

    Thanks for joining our vB Christian Mom’s Blog Hop! I look forward to reading about your experiences a Christian Mom!

    Becky Jane
    http://RiseAboveYourLimits.blogspot.com/

  12. I love the enthusiasm of homeschooling moms! What a great tradition to carry on with your children.

    Thank you for linking up to voiceBok’s Christian Mom Blog Hop! I’m so glad to “meet” you!

    -Jennifer
    Jennifer recently posted..Alton Brown’s Southern BiscuitsMy Profile

  13. Sounds like they’re in for a great year, and they look happy to start again!

    Following back from Mom’s Best Nest. Thanks so much for visiting. It’s a pleasure to meet you!
    Mikki recently posted..Welcome Thursday (Almost Friday!) Blog HoppersMy Profile

  14. We homeschool year round which helps keep us swinging. I have a feeling, if I stopped (or even slowed) schooling and picked back up when summer was over, I would need one heck of a jumpstart, lol! The pictures of your kids are just adorable!
    Found you through the Christian Mom Blog Hop. From a fellow homeschooling SAHM, I’m really enjoying your site!
    TyKes Mom recently posted..Cleaning Rush!My Profile

  15. I love your site, you amaze me that you can homeschool all of your kids!!! Stop by and visit us, http://www.savingmyfamilymoney.com

    THANKS!!
    Kristi recently posted..FREE $5 Shopping Pass @CharlotteRusseMy Profile

  16. Hi from your newest follower from the Mod’N'Natural Blog!

    We would love to have you join us for the Worship Wednesday Blog Hop :o)

    ~Rebecca~

  17. Pauline Munoz says:

    That’s so neat to hear you have the Read-N-Grow Bible too! How sweet!

  18. SaiTiffeh says:

    It’s great you believe in god but I am shocked you would cram it down your kids throat at such a young age. Poor little guys….

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