March 19, 2010

Two Years and Counting

I missed my blog-iversary. February 19, 2010 marked my second year of "pushing buttons" on blogger. In honor of that, and in anticipation of Peter coming home for Spring Break tomorrow, I want to repost one of my very first posts. It set the tone and defined the purpose of my blog--remembering and celebrating our homeschool journey.

School, an Endless Summer

I've always loved school. I'd come home from kindergarten and play teacher with my younger brother. From those first days, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. That's why I went on to get a degree in education.

When our first child Peter was born, I started teaching him. After all, that's what parenting is, isn't it? We teach them how to eat, how to go to the bathroom, how to dress themselves, how to talk, how to be polite. So why do we hand them over to somebody else when they turn five?

One of the happiest days of my life was in August 1994. It was the first day of school and all Peter's little friends were going off to their kindergarten classrooms. I was actually giddy. I didn't have to make sure his clothes were just right or that he had all his school supplies. I didn't have to worry what the other kids would think of him or if he'd eat all his lunch or if he'd be scared or worried. I was thrilled that he had a chance to be free of all that school stress that still plagues me today. Do you still have dreams of getting lost on your way to a final exam?

He didn't notice that first day of not going to school, but I did. It was endless summer. Year after year, we slipped from summer into fall with hardly a hitch, maintaining the joy of learning and the joy of childhood.

But next fall will be different. He'll go off to college. I've been working on saying goodbye for about 3 years now, so I think I'll be ready. I know he is; he's going to the school of his dreams-- the University of Chicago on a full scholarship for four years.

All that stress-free time to read and explore paid off. He got a 35 on the ACT and a 2300 on the SAT, commenting after each test that he wished those reading selections had been longer, they were so interesting!

Schooling is one of those fascinating topics I want to write about. If you have any questions or topics you'd like me to discuss, please let me know.

This picture is Peter studying for an SAT subject test (some colleges require those for homeschoolers). Notice the creative use of the ice cream bucket.


Kika said...

I like how you said you prepared yourself for three years for your son's leaving the nest. I have been feeling like that is the season I'm moving into - cannot believe my son is taller than me and going to start grade 10 (or parts of - early) next year. Where'd my baby go? I can sense that the next few years will be great but also bittersweet as we prepare for our oldest to leave home/follow His own dreams.

sgaissert said...

What a lovelypost. I always notice the first day of school for the neighborhood kids who go to school; there';s a bus stop on our corner and I watch them walk to it. I also think a "thank you" that my girl is not among them, but happily home, or somewhere else.

Karen said...

I don't know how I managed to miss this the first time around, thanks for re-posting it. What a wonderful way to learn, and very elegantly expressed.

Thank you also for sharing your knowledge and experiences, you give me confidence and hope with every post!

Alphacare1 said...

Thanks, Jena, for blogging these last 2 years. I use your posts as reference material to help me focus on what's important in the education of my children. I've also frequently sent links to friends to address their questions. You've been a great encourager!

Lori said...

Happy blogiversary (belatedly)!!
When we decided to home school our daughter it was so wonderful. I know what you mean about that feeling. It was so wonderfully stress-free!

Jennifer said...

I OFTEN have dreams about my last years of public school! I graduated 1 year early (to get out as quickly as I could) so it may have something do with my dreams where I think I'm done with high school and then I find out that I still have one more year to go. In my dream, I am filled with dread and despair over having to go back! Ahhh! :)

I also have dreams where I am facing final exams, cannot remember what order my classes are in or where they are, and cannot remember the combination to my locker.

I'm so glad I don't have to go through public school again and my daughter (now 5 and homeschooled) will never have to either.

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