Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Our First Day of School

First Day of School 2010-11 

The first day went well. The books were all here, the kids were well rested and they all participated! They love the new books and are so excited to learn. We took our annual picture by the door, which is a candid shot of what “they” decided to wear for their first day. The children have been measured – and they all grew 3-4 inches since last year, and about 1 inch of that was this summer! At this rate, they’ll be taller than me before they graduate.


Here’s a side by side of year to year – 5 Years of Home Educating our children at St. Brigid’s Academy:



P8310028 First Day of School 2010-11

1st day preschool P8310025100_2365

0 PreK Mikayla Age 4OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         1st day 1st grade 

P8310024 100_2363

 See how that door knob gives a good height visual! Yes, I thought of everything!


100_2373 2010-11 School Room

Salvaged desks and chairs are a new addition. I added a shelf with all items I’ve collected in my travels around the world or that were given to me. Below is a refinished old toddler desk, which turned out so adorable for my two little ones. This is the first year we added a walkthrough gate to the door. Keeping daytime wanderers in, and keeping little hands out at night. They like making a grand entrance and exit with their new bathroom passes.

  2010-11 School Room2010-11 School Room 

I won’t show my desk, mostly because it’s still a work in progress! My new approach this year is to stay off the computer as much as I can.




Q: I could never do that, how do you do it? Why do you homeschool?

A: Only with God’s gift of GRACE! I could never do it on my own. This was God’s calling for our family, and I take up my cross and carry it gracefully. My husband helping along the way. Anyone can do it with God, but it is certainly a calling – something to pray about.


The calling is the top reason for home educating our children. The rest of the reasons are obvious as our own experience of the public school system or watching the evening news.


Q: Will you ever send them to real school?

A: This is a real school. I am a real teacher. Think of it as tutoring. And, yes I am very qualified as are many of us moms.


Q: Look at what they're missing. What about all those extras they have at the public schools?

A: We have a lot of that here in our home. If we want access to any of their classes or programs, we are free to participate as any other local taxpayer. I look at all the EXTRAS they’ll get at home! We have more field trips than publicschoolers. This is part of an attempt to unschool, or have hands on life experiences for learning and less bookwork.


Q: Do you give them tests?

A: We test weekly and quarterly. Some tests are within the curriculum. The overall grades I am required to report to the local school district. At the end of each year they take a standardized test for state and local statistics.


Q: Are they socialized?

A: If you’ve ever met my kids, or most homeschool kids, you’ll notice that they are the most polite and respectful of kids. The respect their elders, mingle with all age groups and have proper manners. (Most do, but obviously not all – we’re still human.)


We spend time with other homeschool families in our area on a regular basis. We have friends outside the group as well. What many people forget when they ask this question, is that school is for education not socialization. I could tell you stories about the number of times I got sent to the corner or back of the class in K-12 for being too social.


Q: What about P.E.?

A: We find ourselves occupied with Soccer this fall and T-ball is available in the spring. In between we have regular sessions of exercise indoors and outside, no different that the local schools. We hope to enroll the girls in dance class soon.


Q: They'll miss the prom?

A: Is that the only highlight of High School? Really? Besides the fact that we have a high school dance, it is simply a small activity – and done in modesty. We also have annual barn dances, which are incredibly fun!


Q: What about graduation?

A: My children will graduate like any other student, when they achieve all grades up through 12th – which I intend to teach them. They will receive a diploma. Home school families have graduation ceremonies which are so fun as the parents are involved and it is a special event.


Q: Can they go to college?

A: Yes, many schools accept homeschool students based upon ACT/SAT scores and recorded grades. This is a legal school with rights, rules and advantages. Home schooled students average higher scores on standardized tests than public school students.


Need I say more? Okay, feel free to comment with questions. Of course, most who read here already know – because they homeschool too!

1 comment:

  1. We are so proud of all of you!!! Good job Melissa and Tom in making a fun, bright, cheery classroom for your kids.
    Even Jonathan looks like a school boy….what 1 year old gets his own desk with activities planned out for him???

    I want to be a little girl and come to learn and have fun in your classroom

    How fun to see how the kids have grown – great idea to put them against the same door each year to track their growth.

    Love you lots,
    Grandma Pat and Papa Bruce


Thank you for reading about our family. I look forwards to sharing ideas, joys and struggles. God Bless you in your journey!


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