Aug 18 2014

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First Day of School: 10 thoughts

First Day of School: 10 thoughts

Today was our first day back to school. CAKE Academy is back in session. I feel exhausted. It was a full day, but it was a good day. Here are some of my thoughts:

  1. Getting 5 hours of sleep was not enough for me, the teacher. How could I have prevented this? Oh, I know, but the follow through on going to bed at a reasonable time is a difficult one. I’m a night owl and often have to choose to go to bed even though I don’t feel sleepy. I kept thinking of “just one more thing” instead of letting it go.
  2. One of the reasons for this “just one more thing” is the blessing (and curse) of so many great resources available for homeschooling. There are amazingly creative teachers who give away some of their educational wisdom and some are for purchase. Sorting through it all takes time, and it is hard to choose with so much. Even last night, I was looking at a few digital downloads that looked amazing.
  3. A flexible schedule is a homeschool plus. I had a plan, but I didn’t keep rigid hours. We flowed from one thing to the next, and when we were ready for a snack break and lunch, we took a break.
  4. Where I have the ability to be flexible in the schedule, I am not so good at letting plans slip. I wanted to do everything on my plan and probably should have cut more out. One child said, more than once, “I thought the first day was supposed to be easy.” It was a rigorous first day, for sure. What could I have cut out. I am pretty blinded to the answer.
  5. I love teaching. The “lightbulb” phenomenon doesn’t happen at every moment throughout the day, but I love seeing the educational lights turn on. And when it’s my own children, I find that moment exhilarating.
  6. Such a big irony: I am a terrible speller, but my kids are learning to be great spellers. Even while writing this post, I have used the “replace” and microphone option on my iPad. The microphone option is ideal for those of us who can’t get close enough to spelling a word to come up with a word that will work with “replace.” It’s truly sad. I gave my middle children an assessment test and was quite impressed with the level they are starting in Spelling Power. When I told them their scores, my older daughter reasoned, “I read a lot.” It’s true: she reads a lot. It is true, too, that good readers make good writers.
  7. The All About Me page on the first day of school was a hit again. (Now, if I could only find the ones from last year so we can compare.) If you want to read about it and print a copy for your use, click here. The most surprising answer to the list of favorites was BabyCakes’ answer for a birthday wish. She told me “Almond milk.” I can’t figure out why it is so special except that almond milk is reserved for Mr. Real because of his problem with dairy. The question is: If we gave her almond milk as a birthday gift, would she be thrilled?
  8. Technology is wonderful and terrible. There were times technology was my friend today. When it worked, it was a beautiful piece of technological amazingness. (And I totally didn’t appreciate the wonder of it.) Wireless printing. Oh, so cool. Connected devices that allow me to start on one thing (like an iPad) and open it in my Mac. Sweetness. When it didn’t work, and was particularly slow, I had less than nice thoughts about this piece of…something I want to be replaced. I’m sure if I were a cartoon, there’d be all sorts of symbols in the bubble above my head along with steam or smoke jutting from my ears. I kept calm and didn’t rage at any of my technology today, but it was close a couple of times. We are much less technologically dependent this year, so that may have been the reason.
  9. The first day of school is a great day for easy meals. For us, that means leftovers. While I worked hard today, I was glad that dinner plans were simple. The last thing I wanted to do today was make food. Remember the exhausted feeling? Having dinner prep checked off my list gave me a little pep in my step.
  10. Combining subjects worked today. This is our plan for Bible, history, and some of the language arts subjects. One prep for me is perfect. Getting interaction from a group creates synergy. Combining provides an opportunity for conflict, but today was smooth during those together times. Mostly smooth.

It was good first day, but I am thankful I can check it off as done. Welcome, 2014-2015 school year.

What are your first day of school thoughts?

What were your wins and loses?



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