Okay, so I won’t actually venture to compare our one day of teaching the kids at home to all those that homeschool day in and day out. But, the boys (in kindergarten & first grade) did have a day excused as an educational day this past week (i.e. we wrote up a plan of what we would be doing, and they counted the boys as “present” at school that day).
I have seemed to do this a few times each school year, mostly when they are doing something at school that I know the kids won’t handle well (such as a loud fire safety field trip, etc.). This week, it was because of the kindergartners practicing having lunch at school. This just so happened to fall on the same day that I really wanted to do our planting for our garden. Since Jack is SO picky about food (and wouldn’t want to eat any of the lunch that day), and since he isn’t going to go to school there anyway next year, it seemed like a perfect reason to keep both of the boys home for planting.
My Mom, the boys, and I all went out to three different places to buy plants of the garden (and we still didn’t find any zucchini plants!) — we bought a variety of tomatoes, strawberries, three different colors of bell peppers, and some yellow squash. All the while, we read labels, talked about plants, learned about herbs (though we didn’t buy any), talked about which were fruits and which were vegetables, and the like. My Mom taught the boys lots of things that I hadn’t even thought to cover with them — so it was extra fun to have her along.
Then, the next morning (the day they were staying home), we set out to planting. My Mom also came over for that, and Eric took a vacation day from work. It was great to all work together as a family. We continued to talk about all the different plants. We discussed the various things that plants need to live and what they need to fruit. The boys also assisted in measuring to see how far apart plants needed to be planted.
We had originally planned for the kids to make lunch then, but then I whispered to Noah that we should learn more about Japanese cooking, and he announced that to everyone. (Ha!) So then we all went out to our favorite Japanese steakhouse for lunch. Yum!!!
After we got home, we gave the boys a little down time (especially since we had done so many of our planned activities the night before, as well as having spent so much time outside that morning). Then, each of the boys worked on their eight page gardening journals that I wrote up for them. It included questions about what kind of tomato they picked out for us to plant (Noah wrote “better boy” and Jack wrote “early girl”). For each page, they wrote their answer, and then they drew a picture.
Oh — and one cute part of the day was when Noah declared that we needed to name the garden. He said, “What about the black garden?” This was when all we had down was weed fabric. I pointed out to him that we hoped it would be green. I said, “How about we name it after someone we love? Or maybe a saint?” Jack, of course, jumped at this and said, “What about the St. Therese Garden?” Noah decided he wanted a male saint as well, so then it became “The St. Therese and St. Nicholas Garden.” Quite a mouthful, but it was nice that they got to pick it. (And better than “The Black Garden!” LOL!)
At the end of this school week, I ran into one of Noah’s teachers in the hallway. She gave me a big hug and told me that she was so pleased that I had taken him out to do the planting day with him. She said that he was so excited about it, and had shared his journal with the class and told them all about it. I didn’t take the kids out for any kind of external reward, but it was so nice to have my efforts noticed.
Now, I will admit, at the end of our day, I did tell Eric that I was fine with the kids going back to school the next day. LOL But, then I did say that, of course, if we did homeschooling, it’s not like every single day would be as labor intensive as planting day was. And, in the end, it actually was hard to drop Jack off the next day. He grabbed me tight as we waited for kindergarten and said, “Let’s do homeschool again today.”
Maybe someday — at least for a day, anyway.
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