Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I'm A Little Nervous About This School Thing

I know I don't really have a right to be, but I am.

For the past week or so, I've had opportunity to witness friends preparing their children for their first day of school. I've listened to many of them talk of their angst over the unknown -- what will the teacher be like? Will their child adjust to a new environment? More importantly, how will they adjust to their little baby leaving for the big, big world called school? And I have listened to all of this patiently, feeling extreme empathy for my friends, while at the same time content in the knowledge that I made the right decision to home school my own children, just as they have made the right decision to send their children off to school.

But there was one thing I didn't count on. Like these friends, I too am getting the jitters. For the past month or so, Kurt and I have been busy preparing for our own first day of sorts. We've converted the "toy room" into a more friendly space for Walnut Grove, complete with white board, supply cupboard, small table, and easy-to-get-to educational toys. We've hung a map and a large blank calendar, and we created a space to display our art. We've placed a large clock on the wall to help us learn how to tell time, and we've stocked up on paints, paper, and every art supply under the sun.

We've even chosen a curriculum, though I have yet to fill my newly purchased lesson plan book with ideas from it -- I'm planning to do that before we leave on our trip. And, as a last-ditch attempt to erase my unfounded fears that home schooling will make my children anti-social, I have enrolled all of them in a home school co-op as well as swimming, dance, soccer, and an ECFE class.

So I guess you could say that I'm ready. But I don't feel like it.

Like my friends, I too feel angst. Though I know my children love me as the mother, I wonder daily if they will like me as their teacher. I constantly worry that I won't know the answers to many of their questions, and I am stressed that the lessons I will plan won't be fulfilling enough. At times, I think I've signed them up for too many extra-curricular activities; at other moments, I think they're not involved in enough activities with their peers. I hesitated to sign them up for a home school co-op, yet admittedly I breathed a sigh of relief when I found out they were accepted into the program (apparently quite a few families are turned away each year), happy that I wouldn't solely be responsible for educating them day in and day out.

Most of all, I'm scared to death of the first day. Unlike my friends, who get teary just talking about dropping their child off at the bus stop or leaving them at the classroom door, my angst can be found elsewhere. I feel dizzy just wondering where to begin.

Just as I've reassured my friends that I know that they will make it through this life changing time in their lives unscathed, I too know that our own experience will be okay, and that my children and I will work to make this leap into home schooling together and weather the bumps along the way.

But I'm still nervous.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Our Mission Statement:

Walnut Grove Home School strives to develop strong character through creative and independent thinking, using a holistic approach that inspires a passion for learning.