Homeschooling Begins

On day one of homeschooling, I laid out several centers for my daughter to play with.  There was a place for her to build, one of books for us to read together, markers, clay, and sorting bears.  I thought she was going to happily pick a place to play and love the setup.

“Mom?  I don’t get it.”

“Don’t get what?  Pick where you want to play, it’s up to you.”

“What do I do with all of this mom?  You have to tell me how to play with it all.  Give me directions.  I can’t start until you tell me what I’m supposed to do to get a sticker.  How do I get on green?” 

She sat there confused for ten minutes before she grabbed the sculpey.  “Is it ok if I just try and make something?”

She was tentative at first, not wanting to make a mistake.  I told her that there was just exploring that day, no mistakes to be had.  She would learn from what she did, good or bad.  As she worked with the material she became more and more confident that it would be ok.  By the time lunch rolled around, she was so lost in her work that she didn’t want to stop.

The first thing she made was a flower.  She had an entire story about it and why it doesn’t look like the rest of the flowers, but that makes it special.  When I told her we could cook it and make it hard, she got excited.  “Can I make more things to cook?”  I had creations going in and out of the oven all day.  My favorite sculpture of her is a snake that she made into a circle.  On it, she put four balls of different sizes.  She said that it was a racetrack and the different sizes were to show that the car was going fast.  The speed makes it look different from different places. 

By late afternoon, she looked up at me and said, “It makes me feel like me again.” 

“What does, honey?”

“Working with my art stuff and being creative.  I feel like me again.  So, let’s keep doing days like this.”

It hasn’t all been sunshine.  I don’t always feel like I know what I’m doing, and she keeps asking for Netflix only to be disappointed with an answer of no.  But, her creativity is starting to come out full force.  It’s like watching a flower that has been too long unable to grow start to come into full bloom.  She’s finding what she likes, and some things that she tries and doesn’t like so much.  However, it’s her decision not mine as to how she does and doesn’t want to learn and be taught.  I’m finding that I’m learning as much about her as she is.

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5 thoughts on “Homeschooling Begins

  1. How old is your daughter? We are in our first year of homeschooling, too. Though my daughter is 7, and we do have a bit of a curriculum we’re following. But I’m a big believer in the value of independent play & exploration! Love that you’re encouraging her to do that.

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  2. I love stories like this! We are on the opposite end of the spectrum. We homeschooled our boys from day 1, but when it was time for highschool, they both opted to try public school. We are lucky that in Vermont the kids can go to school part time and homeschool part time, so that’s what we’re doing. The public school system frustrates them because there is so much emphasis put on grades and rewards, but not enough on actually learning the material. Homeschooling is such a great choice!

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  3. This is really encouraging. We are trying to decide between private school and homeschooling right now and it’s way more challenging than I thought. Always good to read positive experiences.

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    • I went to private school and am extraordinarily hesitant to do that to my kids. It would have to be an amazing school for me to send them to private. Figuring out school is much harder than I anticipated.

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