Monday, January 11, 2016

2016: The first week of homeschool

We started off 2016 feeling rather weary. I was doing a fair bit of solo-parenting, as the hubby was on call on the last day of 2015, and just before that had driven up to KL at attend a relative's funeral. We were quite stressed regarding house hunting and all, and I really wanted to ease slowly into the new year. 

So we spent the first day of the year quietly, spending it running around in the park, letting the kids do what they love best: exploring and enjoying nature. I love times like this, when we don't have an agenda, when we don't have to rush to some appointment, when all we have is the company of loved ones.

I had such mixed feelings on the first day of school. My Facebook feed was flooded with photos of my friends' children, all dressed in new uniforms, ready for a new phase of life in Primary One. Everyone was talking about time: how they had to wake up at crazy early hours, how time flew past so quickly that now their babies are all grown up and are going to school. I wondered if my kids were missing out, because of our choice to homeschool. Reading "first day of school" posts in the homeschool group helped somewhat, since everyone was doing such different things, from waking up late, to puzzles or caring for febrile kids. I was reminded that while our journeys look very different from families who do not homeschool, we parents are all the same: wanting the best for our kids, excited about the opportunities ahead, yet worried about how things will turn out. I had that same sense of pride, as I looked at my scruffy-haired six year old (he was the only kid without a new haircut in his Sunday School class!) as he struggled through breakfast. They do grow up so fast.

We let Junior J choose where he wanted to go for his first day of school, and he chose the S.E.A. Aquarium. The hubby was off that day, so we made a trip down. Everyone was rather tired and grumpy initially (there were no happy first day of school smiles that morning!), and we were exhausted from caring for a feverish Baby J, who had a fever the night before due to his MMRV. But the kids did enjoy the trip, and I was reminded about why we homeschool.

The first week of homeschool has past, and I'm making it a point to ease ourselves slowly into a workable routine. Nothing ambitious, just short lessons, since we have to factor in a newborn in a couple of weeks time, followed by a possible move in a few months time. For now, we are just focusing on reading more Chinese, working on Math, and teaching Lil J to read. I know it doesn't sound very exciting, but I'm heartened by the fact that we've managed to keep this up for the past few days, and Junior J has said that he will read to Lil J in Chinese when he has learnt how to. This, coming from the boy who hasn't been keen on the language!

I've been reminded, after a few challenging days with the kids, that all I need to do is the next thing. I keep telling myself that we can't have it all, and I just need to focus on what is important. Let's see how next week goes! 

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