The school boxes were lined up, the room was ready. First day of school sheets were printed with care. Portfolios sat, waiting to be opened, and work to be documented. All was in order and ready for that perfect first day!
The next day, reality sat in!
The boy didn’t want to “do school”.
Our schedule didn’t go quite as well as I had planned.
TV no longer kept the boy happy.
Not keeping up with math lessons all summer led to forgetting, EVERYTHING from the year before.
At 3:15 the books were closed. THREE FIFTEEN! The exact same time as our local school ends (we started at 9 am).
It was a HORRIBLE first day of school. HORRIBLE! And, quite frankly I wasn’t prepared for it.
Now as we finish up our third week of school, I am eager to share how we overcame our bad first day of school.
We had always HAD great first days, so I expected a great first day. In hindsight, I should have been prepared for this. The first day of school had always been easy. At some point, the shoe had to drop right?
I expected to be done by 1ish every day. My new expectation is 2. I expected the boy to be eager to do school, my new expectation is for him to learn and do something. I expected my girls to work more independently, my new expectation is to ease them into this by staying in the room and available, but not hovering.
When we have high expectations, we are bound to fail. Reevaluate your expectations after your first day. See what can be changed, and lower if needed.
Homeschooling is hard. VERY hard. But, we set the mood in our homes. When things don’t go as expected, our kids will look at us for guidance. What kind of example do we want to give them? One of frustration? Or one of joy? One of anger and disappointment? Or one of understanding?
Keep in mind, our kids have expectations as well. They have moods, and can pick up when things are not going as planned. Choose joy, and start the school year off right.
Remember the Big Picture
This is huge. Really. What are your long term goals in homeschooling? Yes, we want our children to learn the basics, but we are also raising human beings. First and foremost we are to nurture our children’s hearts and minds. We are to point them to Christ every step of the way. Our jobs as parents are to “train up a child in the way he should go (Proverbs 22:6)”.
As homeschool parents our biggest goal is to educate not just the minds of our children, but there hearts as well. We are to disciple our children. THAT is the big picture.
Moms, I can ensure you that at some point you WILL have a bad first day of school. At some point, you will have many BAD days of homeschooling in general. But, how we react to those bad days will determine how the rest of our homeschool year goes.
Choose well. Choose Joy. Lower your expectations, and remember the big picture. This is just ONE bad day in the course of many great days!