...the second day of homeschooling did not go as smoothly or easily as the first day. It was almost as if the Lord gave me an easy first day in order to calm my anxieties and fears about homeschooling, and then gave me a more challenging second day in order to keep me from pride. The Lord is indeed wise, for both strategies worked.
Christopher was still eager to learn but became very easily frustrated when I drilled him on certain facts. Sarah wanted to draw on all of the flash cards that I had made. Hannah kept bringing me her board books to read to her (i.e. she gave us no peace unless I picked her up and held her in my lap while she flipped through the books). I remember thinking to myself, 'It's only the second day... has the novelty worn off already?!?'
Having said that, the beauty of being at home is that I could stop the lesson and deal with the heart issues behind Christopher's anger and frustration. While he had some time to think about these issues, I was able to give Hannah and Sarah a little attention before resuming school. When Christopher returned to the table, he was more than eager to get back to learning. And my very helpful Sarah picked up Hannah and carried her to the toy room where they happily played together for the remainder of the lesson. We still got a lot accomplished today, but it was not nearly as easy, smooth or joyful as the first day!
One of the things I told John yesterday was that having a structured and scheduled lesson is a most welcome break from talking incessantly about dinosaurs, which is Christopher's default activity if we don't have anything else planned for him. Regardless of the lesson, he will still find ways to sneak in the topic (i.e. yesterday he insisted that I write "Quaternary" and "Quetzalcoatlus" on the back of the "qu" flashcard). It became very frustrating today when during our math lesson he continually wanted to divert to his "guess which shape of dinosaur I am" game (a highly frustrating game when the 5 year old doing the charades is pretending to be a dinosaur that you've never even heard of). I had to remind him several times that I am the teacher, he is the student and the teacher is the one who decides the lesson plan while the student obediently follows it. As I was writing down "kept" and "wept" as examples of words containing the "pt" blend, he looked at me and said, "Yes, and Archaeopteryx is another word that has 'pt' in it." After thinking about it I realized he was right and had to write that blessed word on the back of the "pt" flashcard. Good grief.
So today was a good dose of reality. Obviously I'm still committed to educating my kids at home, but I'm also not blind to the challenges that will accompany this very demanding task. I must say that in the midst of the challenges, it certainly is a joy to watch my children's growth in learning and hear the funny things that come out of their little brains. I think back to my teaching days at Covenant when I would write down or try to remember the funny things that my students said or did so I could tell their parents. What a privilege it is to witness these things firsthand from my own children! I'll try to keep that in mind especially on the more challenging and humbling days...