Hippie Academy is Open for Business!

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Home of the Peace Freaks

We had a plan to start school on September 10.

The idea was that the public school kids go back on the 4th, so we’d have a whole week of watching the bus go by while we lounged in our PJs and said, “nah, nah, nah, nah, na-na.”

The reality worked out a little differently.

We had a VERY busy summer.  After the first week of August, all of our summer activities ended and we had a few weeks of lovely, quiet down-time.  There were whole days where we never got dressed or left the house.

I was loving it!

Sweet Hippie Daughter was too…. for the first week.  Then she started whining and complaining and crying and generally making life difficult for all of us.

If I heard, “I’m bored!” (you have to imagine it in high-pitched whiney 7-year-old voice for the maximum effect) one more time somebody was going to GET IT!

We needed some structure in our world, so school started earlier than planned.

Homeschool is all about being flexible, right?

So today the learning officially begins for my big 3rd grader.

And for me, too.

In the last few weeks of preparation, and on the first day, so far, I’ve learned…

1) Despite graduating high school with a “B” average and finishing 5 years of graduate work including classes as varied as Probability and Statistics, American Diplomatic History, Theater, and New Testament Exegesis, and living a fairly content & reasonably successful adult life, I can’t meet all of the Michigan State Grade Level Expectations in math, science or language arts.  I guess I’ll learn something this year too.  (Who comes up with this stuff anyway?!)

2) Despite the fact that I’ve always considered myself an involved parent, the reality is that I really have no idea what my daughter knows how to do.  There is going to have to be an assessment period where I figure it out.

3) My girl is quick to say, “I give up! I can’t do it.”  I already knew this, but didn’t realize the extent of the problem.  Already those two phrases have been officially banned.  “I’m having a hard time, will you please help me?”  is perfectly acceptable.

4) In homeschool, learning starts before the books open.  Today’s first lesson was about cooking your own oatmeal for breakfast.  If it was a “regular” school day I would have had breakfast ready when she woke up because of the time constraints.  I love that we had the chance to giggle together in the kitchen this morning without worrying about the bus schedule!

5) We give a lot of hugs and words of encouragement in our house.  Homeschool amplifies this by a zillion or so.  Our day is a constant, “You can do it! I believe in you! You’re so smart! I’m so proud of you!” stream of words and love.  It’s my absolute most favorite part so far.

6) It won’t all be tip-toeing through the tulips.  It was (literally) 12 minutes into lesson #1 when the first melt down started.  Thankfully, when I pointed this out, the meltee in question fell into a fit of giggles.  Crisis averted.  For now.

7) I’m happy with our choice.  You know… so far.  After, like, 6 hours or something.

And so there it is! We are officially open for business.  It’s going to be a great year, full of fun, challenges and learning for all of us.  What more can a girl ask for from life?

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12 responses »

  1. Good for you! As a fellow homeschooling mom, I definitely related to this. It is challenging at times, but also very rewarding. And I’m ashamed to admit that I have been learning too, even though my oldest is only starting second grade!

  2. You are going to be fine and I wish you God’s wisdom when you feel like YIKES! I never homeschooled but always wanted to.I love the idea of teaching your kids how to make oatmeal and I laughed about the meltdown because we used to have them during Bible Memorizing with my son.He would tell me that He knew God would give him the wisdom when he needed it and he shouldn’t have to memorize anything.Now he is 29 years old and he thanks me for making him learn when he didn’t want to.He says that after he got older I got smarter.Blessings

    • Hahahaha! Those are the words of a very bright boy! 🙂 Thank you for the encouragement. I can see, already, that there will be trials but James tells us to consider that pure joy, right? 🙂

  3. It was (literally) 12 minutes into lesson #1 when the first melt down started. Thankfully, when I pointed this out, the meltee in question fell into a fit of giggles. Crisis averted. For now.

    #2, #5, and #7 spent the day today, and I had to be silly all day to avoid those end-of-summer meltdowns.
    A big hurray for you for having the courage and the brains and the heart to home school.

  4. “What more can a girl ask for from life?” Hmmm…….I don’t know…Gold…Diamonds….maybe Peanut Butter or Grits….????
    So, you’re okay for now…..You are about to find out why most people who know…say teachers are under-paid and under-appreciated……I spent some years in front of a classroom..Hope yours are better than mine!! Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea….I love the idea….I love the idea.

    Seriously, the hardest part will be requiring or making your own child work hard (up to their ability and beyond..) This is an opportunity for them to excel–but YOU will have to push them to do so.

    Let me know in a couple of months what you think…Oh, be wary of EOG testing!! I assume Michigan has some sort of requirement..(Sorry, I ought to know I guess…I used to live there..!!)

    Good Luck!!!
    H.

    • Ew. Not grits. Ew. I’ll take the rest, though! 🙂
      My husband and I were talking, yesterday, about how hard it has been this week, getting our daughter in the routine of school days. I can’t even imagine dealing with that x 30!
      EOG – is that MEAP? (Michigan Education Assessment Program)

      • EOG=MEAP..???? Sounds like it might be similar…..Tell you the truth, I don’t know. I left MI some years back and haven’t followed their processes. Around here it is End Of Grade…Requirements exist for students to meet certain parameters before moving on to more difficult work. There are about three “benchmark” years where students MUST meet parameters or it’s “do over” time. Of course, my major complaint is the requirements are too lenient….Example: 12th grade graduation requirement is for students to pass an 8th grade competency (minimum..) ….Now you know why our public school students graduate and cannot read or write a coherent sentence…..No arguments–I know. I worked in college administration for ten years. Fully seven out of ten public high school graduates require remediation before being able to pass basic ENTRY requirements into lower division classes……not pass the class,…Just get INTO the class!!
        ……And it’s NOT always the teacher’s fault!!!

        Your daughter: Here’s my take (I know you didn’t ask… 🙂 ) The reasons schools work the way they do (private/parochial and public..) is because the students are at least temporarily divorced from their home environment. Now that your daughter is no longer being shadowed by an authoritarian presence in school—how will she respond?? There are no guarantees. We both know (you have to be honest here..) that your child is far more likely to get away with something at home than at school…She can and will talk back to you, complain, whimper, get mad, maybe even cry…to get her way. And you will show sympathy because she is your daughter. Perfectly understandable. BUT…she would definitely NOT do those things in a formal school environment……This could easily turn into a post, so I think I will shut up now!!! 🙂

        In general, I am in favor of home schooling under some circumstances. Everyone needs to enter into it with their eyes open and an understanding of the challenges.!!

        Good Luck,
        Howard

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