Monday, August 27, 2012

Hatch School Diaries - First entry

For those of you that said you wished you could be a fly on the wall of my house when I announced our decision to homeschool....

The Hatch School Diaries

We have logged thirteen days, (we need 180 each year) and none have been exactly the same, but generally, for those curious, a homeschool day so far goes as follows:

9am - We begin.  Breakfast has been eaten, beds made, teeth brushed.  I have had at least one cup of coffee and possibly taken a walk.  Possibly.

We meet at the dining room table and start with prayers.  All of us take turns offering up our praises and requests, then we recite the Lord's Prayer or I say a simple prayer to get us moving.  (I had to put a stop to the daily request for more Legos.  That was my little Kelly's constant heart's desire.)

After prayers, math is first; This just felt natural to all of us.  At 10 o'clock we take a short break, then move into language and reading.  That carries us until noonish.  Break.  I make lunch and they go run around outside, do their soccer drills, or play legos.

By 1pm we are sitting in the living room where we listen to a book on cd that Key is reading.  It relates to our history unit, so Kelly gets information from listening as well.  Then on to history, which is currently colonial times and the Revolutionary War.  They have assignments to do and I assist with each as needed.  Around three we tie things up and turn our house back into a dining room and living room.  I have a closet, a big wooden tray, a stack of books, and a portable bin to help us attempt at containing clutter. 

I collected my school lessons from a variety of places - stores, used book sales, friends, and online.  I have found tons of great resources are free on the computer once I get to digging.  The library has become a staple for us at least once a week.  I chose various curriculum from advice of friends, teachers, and veteran homeschoolers.  Some of it I like; some of it is getting scrapped as soon as I find a better alternative. 

For the social aspect and special interest classes, we have lots of options.  There are two support groups here in town and four total in my county alone.  I haven't researched them to tell you details, but some do play dates, field trips, etc.  Some do weekly teaching co-ops and prayer groups.  We will pick one eventually.  The boys both play soccer and are out at the fields four or five days a week.  We have neighbors with children, and we have friends from school last year that have made a point of coming over to visit.  For music and art, those will be incorporated into their education as we get more comfortable.  So far they have been listening to Bach during math, and will read about him this week.  I also have planned crafts for both of them, but for truly educational art, we will probably do more further into fall. 

Also, you'll notice I have left out science.  No worries.  I decided to try concentrating on either history or science, but not both at the same time.  So first a history unit, then a science unit.  The two overlap at times and we will certainly let that happen naturally.  For the year we have four units for each subject ahead of us, and the Revolutionary War unit has proven fascinating.  Next up will be a unit focusing on biology.

If you ask the boys, they are happy - really, and while I am a bit overwhelmed with all to be done, I love having the time with my children.  I know not everyone has this opportunity, and I am grateful a million times a day for mine. 

And p.s. - It is wonderful, but we are not perfect.  Things go differently than planned all the time.  Today we made Johnny Cakes for afternoon snacks, and I just about set off all the smoke alarms.

Any more questions?  Ask away!  I'll try to answer all that I can.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Worshipping Air

We moved.  To the most precious town this side of heaven.  Sorry, I know that's cheesy, but we are still the newbies and are completely enamored with the growing season and the farms and the food and the people here.  My new favorite person is this little old lady with dentures that I met at church last Sunday that told me if I sat next to her at the potluck, she promised I wouldn't leave wonderin'.  Town is a five minute walk and farm country is a one minute drive in the opposite direction.  We are the third to last house before the sidewalk ends, so either way, you get to go somewhere.  And it really is beautiful here.  Green.  Trees.  Flowers.  Interesting historic homes with porches.  Southern homes.  Old trucks.  New trucks.  Lots of trucks.  Churches.  One two doors down and across the street and one on the other side of the neighbors on the right.  And land.  Land in every direction, just about.  You could call it God's country, could easily hear Him breathing there.

So...Yesterday I was driving home in my newly repaired vehicle through a not so attractive part of a city near us.  We go to the city for big stuff and for things like a CarMax car warranty.  So when we hit it, the edge of the city, and we kept driving in, my oldest leaned forward. 

And he said. 

Mom, we don't fit here.  And it is, I don't know.  Just.  I don't fit.

And what he meant was that the place was run down and ugly and tumbling and had weeds all over but no trees and lots of empty strips of stores ran together and it just looked like a place of little hope.

Made me appreciate our new home and big yard and the tree lined sidewalk into town.  A place where my boys can roam and wrestle with the neighbor's dogs and swing on ropes hanging from trees.  A place that for us, offers new hope after a long hard haul.

And then, I thought of a dinner we went to once where I had to explain God to a group of Hindu women.  And they told me about the Catholics in India that were surely more serious than me.  They worshipped nothing.  No statue or picture of their God.  They worshipped air.


And I thought, God, He floats even in a place looking like little to no hope.  In places where a picture or a statue or a fancy replica would not belong.

May not be my version of heaven.  My pretty new house with my quiet corner and grass growing in the proper places.  My place to breathe Him in.

But God, well, He still floats there.  Just on the edge of the city.

Just like He floats near me.

(And He floats in India too.)