Today is our first day of summer break!  We’re all so excited to take four weeks off before we start into our second year of homeschool.

We’ll continue reading books while snuggling through the rest of our summer. You know, the good stuff. I’ll also make sure that Big Brother and Big Cousin keep a summer writing journal, but nothing too difficult.

This past school year flew by.  It was my first entire year of homeschooling. I’ve written about our journey to homeschool and why we decided to take the big leap in January of 2012.

I have to admit, it was a lot of work and I’ve been through a roller coaster of emotions including doubt while schooling my boys.

I’ve questioned myself many times.

  • Am I fit to teach
  • Are they on track where they should be?
  • Are my boys at the same level as other first graders?
  • Do I really have the patience to continue?
  • Would they be better off in public school?
  • Can we afford private school?

I’ve come to realize that I am fit to teach.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

I took on a heavy load this past year.  I  home schooled Big Brother, Little Brother, and Big Cousin while raising a newborn, teaching outside the home, running a blog, and going through a stressful time in life as my husband lost his job this past February.

Yeah, there was a reason for my panic attacks, and anxiety. I was fatigued, had too much on my plate, and was especially stressed by the feelings of the unknown as we really weren’t sure what my husband would be doing – If he’d find a new job. (Praise Report: My husband started a great new job last week!  I’ll make sure to share a gut wrenching spiritual post very soon about our trials that God has seen us through. God is SO GOOD!)

God’s really shown me that I need to focus my mind on him. To meditate daily in his word.

Meditate on These Things

8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

I’ve learned a lot through this first year of homeschool.  I’ve learned that this is our school and we can learn at our own pace. I’ve learned to not compare my homeschool to the public school. To realize that each of my children grasps knowledge differently and that it’s okay where they’re at because they are learning beautifully.

There are a LOT of things I wish I would have done differently. Goodness, there were days I showed no patience at all with my children. Days I wanted to open the front door and ship my kids to school for a little peace and quiet. But in those days, we also learned about grace. We learned that this homeschool thing is new for mami and that just as they’re learning new subjects in school, I’m learning to be a good teacher for them. We learned that when things get tough and our attitudes are not how they should be, we need to bow our heads and ask God for strength. We learned that through prayer, God could get us through our days successfully, filled with joy.

I love teaching my kids. There’s such joy to be found in seeing them learn something new – when they put two and two together, or when they learn a new skill.

A few weeks ago my husband and I came up with our family mission for our homeschool. A post I wish to share soon but the gist of it is this.

We will continue homeschooling in order to make God real in the lives of our children. That’s our number one priority for taking on this challenging, yet edifying responsibility to our children. Again, I’ll share our thoughts on that in a future post.

As I was sitting this past weekend wondering if I taught them well this past year, if they learned enough, if there was something more I should have taught them, I casually went over my instagram pictures that my husband and I have taken. I realized right away, we didn’t just do okay, we did beautifully!

Below are our pre/k and 1st grade year in pictures.  Be aware, there are a lot of them.

We had a fantastic year, and I’m ever more excited for kindergarten and 2nd grade. Watch out world, we’re here to shake you and live radically for GOD!

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

I learned that I need to return library book on time… eeesh!

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

We learned about Johnny Appleseed and visited Apple Orchards.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

 

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

The boys played Homeschool soccer, it was a blast!  This year we’re moving up to club soccer 😀

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

 

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

The boys learned about eating ridiculously good food.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

We went out for an exploration day every week.  The boys loved it while we learned about nature and being outdoors.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

 

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

Yes, we sometimes do school in our chonies 😉

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

One of things I treasure most about homeschool is that our mornings are relaxed. I don’t like to hurry in the morning 😉

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

 

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

I also love that the boys and Little Mama can grow up together.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

We learned about Jesus in a month of advent.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

 

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

We learned about compassion and made snowflakes for the children of Sandyhook Elementary.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

I cried when Big Cousin gave me this special ornament for Christmas. It makes all of this worth it!

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

Yes, we did make lego costumes as one of our assignments for the day.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

 

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

Little Brother learned to write his name. This was one of my favorite days of the year.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

Big Brother and Big Cousin learned a lot about cooking.  I think this year I’ll have a cooking or baking class once a week.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

We went to the Civic Center for a couple of live theater shows and ended our days at La Mie. Our favorite local cafe!

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

We celebrated our birthdays with pizazz!

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

We loved hands on learning at local museums.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

We joined a homeschool-coop and met lovely new friends. Our co-op’s name is LEAF. Life Education and Fellowship. It’s going to be AWESOME this year!!

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

 

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

 

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

We took a few snow days.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

 

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

 

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

I asked Dad to make some Valentines cards for the kids to share at Homeschool Coop.  Unsurprisingly, this is what he made.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

 

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

We learned that Big Brother is a teacher at heart.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

 

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

Big Brother and Little Brother learned about sharing the workload in a family.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

 

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

Big Brother and Big Cousin started seeds all by themselves.  What great help this was!

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

 

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

We all pitched in to get our urban homestead ready for spring planting.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

We took a trip to California where the boys learned about geography, temperature changes, and the different landscapes.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

We stayed with my family that we hadn’t seen in so long.  The boys learned about their Mexican culture, different countries, languages, and pride in heritage.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

 

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

They learned about the mountains, elevation, and clean air.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

They learned about waterfalls, spring waters, and how it’s oh… so cold.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

 

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

We learned about the redwood trees and how they are the tallest trees in the whole wide world!

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

We were able to visit the ocean and learn about the sea lions. It was a treat to see them and we even saw a whale!

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

Finally, we took in some fishing.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

Back at home, we learned about different edible weeds, flowers, and mushrooms that we foraged for.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

We bought new chicks, learned about rain barrels, and helping on the urban homestead.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

We played tons of baseball.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

 

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

Re-learned our fermentation skills.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

And picked our share of fruit at the u-pick farms.

We Kissed First Grade Good-Bye!

If you’ve stuck with me for this long, I think you could agree, we had a beautiful year in homeschool!  Lord willing, here’s to another.

Do you homeschool?  Do you have any advice or encouragement you can share with us?  Please share your school year and any advice we could be edified by.

Diana is a mother of three, proud wife, and humbled daughter of God. She finds the most joy meeting with Jesus in her organic gardens. She is completely blessed to be able to call herself a stay at home mom where she home educates her children, joyfully serves her husband, and cooks nourishing, real food, for her family. She loves connecting with people on facebook, google+, pinterest, and instagram.

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