Monday, August 31, 2009

the day our Home became a School

In a sense, our home has always been a place of learning (as all true homes are)... there are always things to teach and lessons that are being learned. But today was different. This was SCHOOL. Complete with freshly sharpened pencils and brand new boxes of crayons and workbooks and the tangible sense of excitement that comes with a fresh start.

I set our start time for 9:30 am. It might seem a bit late, but for us, it works perfectly. It gives me time to exercise, shower, do devotions, feed the baby, get everyone dressed and ready, make sure we all eat breakfast, and then put Rosalie down for her nap. I have a feeling our new schedule is going to be good for us all.

We had a special first-day-of-school breakfast this morning. Cherry-berry smoothies (for protein) and cinnamon muffins (with sprinkles, of course. Because sprinkles make anything special).

And then, it was time to begin. Emma and Annabelle were eager and excited, clad in "school dresses" found especially for the occasion, their hair in pigtails-- pigtails are just so school-ish, don't you think?

I was ready too.

Emma was so glad that I was FINALLY going to let her write in her new books.

But first, she remembered that her feet needed to be appropriately dressed too...

We began with our Bible book and prayer. Emma's prayer was for God to "help mommy to be a good teacher", among other things. I'll take all the prayers I can get! After starting our school day off right, we delved into the vast and wonderful world of phonics, history, math, and writing... my little kindergartener was in heaven. She really thrives on learning, and I could see her mind working as she concentrated and took everything in.
At one point, when we were talking about the things children can do to glorify God (and this was while doing history! Love it!), Emma looked up at me with an impish grin and said "Just X the bad."
Silly girl.

While this year is mostly about Emma, as she is the official kindergartener, we certainly couldn't exclude Annabelle. I ordered preschool books for her that cover everything from letters and writing to numbers and shapes. My thinking was that she'd get bored and want to go play about half-way through school time, but she sat there the whole time and kept quite busy with her little workbooks.
She was very pleased with herself. And who can blame her-- just look at those beautifully colored socks!

We worked hard for about an hour. An hour that really just flew by, it seemed. But we were definitely ready for a break after that. In honor of the day, I bought Trader Joe's cinnamon schoolhouse cookies. Snacktime!
It's quite possible that snacktime is Annabelle's favorite subject.

We resumed our studies once cookies and juiceboxes were all gone, and were done for the day by 11:45. Not bad. Not bad at all!

And where was Miss Rosalie during all of this, you ask? She was a doll and did this the whole time:
Thank you, baby, for making our first day of school just that much easier!

I can hardly believe, in some ways, that our years of formal education have begun and I actually have a school-age daughter. This is our life now. It's exciting. New. Different. And wonderful. I look forward so much to all the adventures we will have through our years of schooling. Not every day will be as easy or as fun as today was, and I know the challenges and difficulties will come, without a doubt. But I am blessed with an amazing group of people who are daily an encouragement and inspiration to me... as well as an abundance of grace.

It's true that homeschooling is not for everyone. But, for me, I simply cannot imagine doing this any other way. Oh, the joy of seeing these sweet faces light up with the thrill of something new learned. Such a reward.
yes, indeed, it was a good day.


Grandma said...

i loved being able to share your first day with you. Talking on the phone while reading the blog makes it even more fun!

Band of Brothers said...

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Dying over the cuteness that is you and your girls! I think I squealed and clapped when I saw your girls in their piggies(to die for) and their new adorable dresses. Seriously cute, cute, cute. CUTE.

and the smoothie...mmm... and sprinkles:)

i LOVE everything about this post. It is so fresh and beautiful. LOVE the photos.

And Annabelle's socks WERE colored beautifully.

You are a breath of fresh air! I'm so thrilled for you.

Ruth said...

Thanks for sharing, Talia! I'm so glad you had a great first day!!! The girls are just sooooo adorable and it looks like they are having a lot of fun. We are done with our first month now (whew!) and we have definitely had our ups and downs but then I look at our notebooks which hold the outputs of all that we are learning and I feel much better. Progress is being made! I hope you have a great school year!

thatmom said...

Talia, thanks for the lovely read this morning! Want you to know I am praying for you and the girls. I can guarantee that you will look back on these years with precious memories and a gratefulness to the Lord for the time you spent investing in their lives in this way!


Sarah said...

This is so exciting - I really admire you so much for taking on this very important task yourself. I look forward to reading updates on how the girls are doing!

Lauryn said...

I didn't know you were going to homeschool the girls! That's great. Looks like a fantastic first day!

Sunny said...

Oh Talia, what a wonderful first day! Your pictures are beautiful! Jonah happened to just walk by and noticed the pictures and asked me who was in them. When I told him it was your girls and how they were homeschooling, he said, "Yeah, GIRL homeschooling." I guess there is a bit much pink on your table for his tastes, LOL! I am so excited that we are all on this journey together and I look forward to sharing tips, ideas, frustrations and feedback!! You did an awesome job and I hope the whole school year goes really well. I am very impressed that Annabelle stayed at the table and her COLORING... my oh my, she colors better than Jonah!

The Thompson Family said...

Great start ladies!! So cute! I love how you all got ready. Such a fun start to what I'm sure will be a great year!

Ashley said...

You make me want to have three little girls and homeschool.

Seriously - that looks SO delightful. :)

Misty said...

it all looks PERFECT! PERFECT!!! I am a little sad to stick Gen on that big yellow bus next tuesday, but you reassured me a bit. a true home is always a place of learning. you are SOOOO right...

Good job, girl!

the lady of the house said...

Wahoo for you! Keep us posted on how things are going. Your girls are so precious and that pic of Rosalie sleeping makes me so eager to have my little one here soon! Keep it on mama!

Dianne Rigdon said...

You are so blessed by your daughters....thanks for sharing your joy.

Lydia said...

how adorable are you and your girls??? My goodness it's almost too much to handle!
Sounds and looks like you had a wonderful first day! I'm so glad. Emma is gonna be such an amazing student and go annabelle for keeping at it!. Her coloring is fantastic. Almost better than mine. haha
Good job Sister!!
Send kisses to all the girls from their auntie Lydia. xoxoxo

Jerusha Abigail said...

This makes me really impatient to have little girls and homeschool with them! It looks like such fun! Goob job! You seem like the best teacher. :)
I am seriously in love with their dresses and pigtails, too adorable! And those muffins with the sprinkles, yum!! I want some of those Trader Joes cookies too, please. hehe.

Annabelle's coloring is extremely impressive, such beautiful socks!

Yay for Emma and Annabelle and you! Keep it up! Hugs and kisses!

RachelRuelas said...

Talia! Oh my! How exciting is that!? I love your take on schooling, I want to homeschool my children as well, and it's so encouraging to see you start down this path! Yay! You seem to have some excellent little students there :)

Megan said...

Ok, I am not at all surprised that you're a total natural at this! You are so positive and I love how you talked about each true home being a place for learning. So true. You are so good at coordinating your girls! I was just looking at your baby announcement thinking WOW, you guys were all coordinated PERFECTLY without being matchy matchy. Anyway, love love the picture of Emma concentrating and Rosalie sleeping with all those cozy blankets. Girl, you were meant to be a Mommy. = )

Mommy Diffee said...

I was waiting for this post =) I knew you would be perfectly organized and make everything look so easy as you always do! The girls make perfect little school girls from head (piggy tails) to toe (mary jane style shoes)!

I love seeing children learn, at any age, it is heart warming. And I love anything schoolish, for goodness sakes I am still in school I must love it! You are going to be a teacher of the year Talia, you are in my prayers =)

See Sherm Blog said...

Woo whooo! Glad the first day went so well!! What a great day for all of you! Your girls are soooooo adorable!

alyssa said...

OK how flippin' cute is that picture of the two of them? The cutest school picture ever, I am pretty sure!!! Man, I'd pay for a 3 hour school day! Haha!

*CPA* Su said...

I love that you are taking on this challenge (and reward!) with such excitement! Your girls looked completely adorable in their little school dresses! So glad your first day was a SUCCESS! :)

Tristan said...

omg...what a sweet post!!! cute girls!!!!

Kayla said...

Oh Talia dear I loved this blog! You are going to be a wonderful teacher! The girls look so great! LOVE YOU! YOu are very blessed my dear

Kourtni said...

SO SO Fun!!! Your first day looks like it was awesome!! I loved looking at all your pictures! Your girls look very sweet!!!

Sarah said...

Aw, that is the cutest lil school ever! The girls look so happy! Love their new dresses -- and school shoes! Very adorable. And those snacks look so yummy! Ooooh smoothies! And muffins! And TJ cookies! And juice boxes! Totally the best school ever!

Haha, I love that Emma said "Just X the bad" -- too funny! And Annabelle did such a good job coloring those mittens!

All those new workbooks look like so much fun!

Yay for your new school!

Sarah said...

That last comment was from me,
sarah marie p


sohobutterfly said...

You rule for homeschooling - the little pupils look so eager and CUTE. I love it. And that pictures of your adorable, smooshy Rosalie sleeping just melted my heart. *swoon*

Paulette said...

What darling little pupils you have! I think you are super-mom indeed! I totally admire you. :)

And yes, Annabelle is the best 3 year old artist I know!

your wishcake. said...

I have HUGE respect for you doing the homeschooling thing. I think I've mentioned it before, but I was homeschooled from 6th grade on, and my mom is now homeschooling my youngest sisters, too (they are 10 and 7).

I have a bajillion amazing things to say about homeschooling, and it makes me all giddy with happiness knowing what an incredible experience it will be for you! When you have the heart for it, it is definitely the best way. I don't think it's for everyone, obviously, but it seems that it is definitely perfect for your family!

Just another reason I have a crush on your sweet little family.


(Oh, and Annabelle is a lefty! I love it! I'm a middle-child and a lefty, too - I'm sure she'll be a creative, daydreamer just like me. Heehee.)

.jimaie.marie. said...

this post made my heart SO HAPPY!!!!!
I am with wishcake when she said she has a crush on your family LOL! That's totally how I feel, i just want to eat you all up!
Everything about this post was beautiful, i adore these photo's, and I LOVE that annabelle's favorite subject is snack, Isaiah says his favorite is Lunch LOL! A child after his mother's heart ;)