Sweet Sixteen

Sweet Sixteen

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Our First Day of School

Today was the first day of homeschool at our house and to make sure we all got off to a great start I chose a special breakfast that met all of our needs.  Experts say that in order for children to do their best in school they should begin the day with a nutritious, filling breakfast.

However, I opted for the "bribery"/"drug-of-choice" breakfast for our first day.

 No one can get off to a bad start after eating a Boston Kreme doughnut!!! (And even if they do, they are quickly reminded by their teacher that they were given doughnuts for breakfast so they'd better shape up if they ever want that surprise again--I told you bribery works!)

Even Josi, (who started her day spending a few moments of reflection in time-out), was all smiles after her dose of sugar and cholesterol. :)

Of course the teacher needs her caffeine--especially since she just got back from working out and didn't have time to shower OR put on any make-up. Woo Hooey!

I think a little girl is realizing that her breakfast of oatmeal and bananas is a far cry from those yummy round things she sees her brothers and sister eating.

Our day got off to a great start with Nadia enjoying her first few moments in her "Preschool Pen",

Michael plowing through his math and spelling,

Josi staying focused and not being distracted (yet) by wanting to play with her little sister,

 And the eldest beginning his first year of high school and tackling Algebra II without any tears and gnashing of teeth... Ahh...the teacher is lulled into a false sense of security as she surveys her students in their harmonious and relaxed learning environment.

Even the dog is momentarily fooled by the calm surroundings and decides to take a snooze with both eyes closed.

 Then the tide starts to turn.  Little one is starting to go from gate to gate in her corral shaking it and looking for any weak points where she might be able to force her way out.  I'm tempted to get her a tin cup to bang back and forth along the gates at this point. :)

High School student has already resorted to the prone position to read his history book.

"Psst.  Hey you! Furry thing that licks me and lets me play in your water bowl.  Come spring me from this kiddie jail.  I'll make sure to drop more food from my high chair if you get me out!!!"

"Waaaahhh!  I'm all done in here!"

 Time for Plan B.  Let's see how well Nadia does in an inclusive setting.
The teacher wisely removes all writing implements and other sharp objects from within the preschooler's reach and is able to continue instruction time with her students.

 "Mom, how am I supposed to find the major rivers and mountain ranges in South America if Nadia's sitting on them?"  Um, ok, I guess Plan B may need a little tweaking as the year goes along.

 The preschooler is relegated to the high schooler's care while the other 2 students "embalm" an apple. 

"Whew!  School is tiring!" "I'm sure glad naptime is one of my assignments."

Me too, sweet girl...me too!  May I join you???

My prayer for this school year is not so much that my children will receive stellar grades in all of their subjects (although the standards will be high and we'll all be working hard).  Moreso, I'd like to see growth in their love for God and for each other, in their character--especially in the areas of serving one another and being kind to each other. 

 For myself, I'd like to respond to the many "glitches" in our day with patience and gentle words.  Ironically, I heard this verse on the radio as I was coming home from the gym this morning.  It is from Proverbs 16:23,24
"A wise man's heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction.  Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."

I already missed the mark many times this first school day but I'm thankful I have a Heavenly Father who isn't grading me on my behavior, but who gently takes me aside and reminds me that He's here to give me everything that I need to be the kind of homeschooling mom He's made me to be.

His mercies are new every morning and so I can go to bed tonight looking forward to how He's going to show up tomorrow instead of hanging my head in shame for the many times I messed up today.

Now it's time to go to the teacher's lounge and have a bowl of ice cream!


  1. :) Now can I say, "HAPPY FIRST DAY OF HOMESCHOOL!" :)?

    We had one of those super yards--affectionately called it "The Ranch" ;).

    Miss you!

  2. I love this post! I homeschool (I see your son using Teaching Textbooks - love it!) and it's encouraging to see it can be done with a toddler! I've had good intentions of getting a head start with the boys before I head to Ukraine, but alas we leave in 2 weeks and I doubt we'll get much done. It will have to wait until I get back and we'll just start a bit late this year. I would love any advice for homeschooling a child with DS as I'm pretty sure I want to home school Darya when she gets older.

  3. haha my mom bribed me with a double chocolatey chip venti frapp. from starbucks because I had to come to her work after school! I guess bribery works on all kids and teens :) Looks like Nadia had some fun :))))) Can't wait to come over friday and have a girls night!

  4. Can I drop off 4 more students and have your coffee allowance for tomorrow??? Praying for us!!!
    ps-Looking at a very nice print of a beautiful family! It looks great!!!

  5. I LOVED seeing your first day of school. LOVED the kiddy jail :) Tooooooo funny. I know, friend, it sure is an art to keep EVERYONE happy with a larger-than-normal homeschoolng family. I have learned that 'flexiblility' has to be my middle name (at least everyone will be able to pronounce it) when we school.

    Yep, I guess I'm next to take the plunge and get going with school. Yikes. Does that caffeine motivate you????

  6. TOTALLY stealing the doughnut idea for our first day on Monday! And, yes, I fail constantly but God is extremely gracious, especially if I stay in connection with Him. Hey...have you used Teaching Textbooks for a while? We're new to it this year. Any advice?

  7. Oh, I remember those days-- teaching history in the baby's room, because that was the only place where he was safe unattended. Those days will be back for me before I know it(but we will not have any little ones around):(
    Here's to all the life lessons you are teaching that aren't in the books! I loved your post, it took me back several years.

  8. Be sure to keep all tools out of Nadia's sight or she'll be hiding screwdrivers in her pants so she can bust out. (Rugrats) When Milana comes over to play they will bust out and explore the house and outdoors w/o you ever knowing.

  9. I'm sending my 3 down :) You may end up putting them in the 'Pen'

  10. This post made me chuckle, it sounds like you had a great first day.

    I'm inspired with your patience and sense of humor. Your an awsome mom.

  11. I just got my homeschool stuff yesterday...you're starting kind of early, aren't ya? Man, you're probably like the drill sargeant type, huh. Poor kiddos.

    And I'll have you know I was the ripe old age of 14 when I got married! So there!

    ....wait a minute........is there something wrong with that........???

    They all did it that way up in our Hollow......


  12. Is Jodi serious? Is that legal? (Don't tell her, but that is sorta young!)

  13. How in the world did you have the mind to take pics during all of this?? You get extra bonus points for that!

    Just let me know if you want some preschool ideas! I've got lots from trying to keep Lo out of trouble.

    Go get 'em girl!

  14. Loved this post! :) You are so witty and fun. I hope that each day is a GOOD day and that you see the growth in your kids that you are praying for. (I have the same desire for mine.)

  15. What a fun post! We started school this week too - but no pictures! LOL I've enjoyed catching up on your blog and seeing all of your pictures. Nadia is beautiful! I'll look forward to meeting both of you at the Buddy Walk (hopefully) this year.


  16. Great start Kristin! So glad that all is working out with Nadia in the mix! She is so cute, and you are doing such a great job! Let me know how the apple embalming went! Miss you and don't forget to call me from the "Teachers Lounge"!!!

  17. Love hearing about home schooling. Looks like your day went fine overall. Nadia may not have liked it so much yet... but she will.

  18. Too funny! I love your first day of school. I have used the same bribery/incentive tactics! (Although I usually sample the goods to make sure they are "safe" to eat.)

    You are amazing! I can't imagine parenting a toddler while teaching a high schooler. What an investment you are making in your children that will change their lives for the better.

    May God bless the coming school year for your family!

    Much Love,