Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day of School

So it begins and it was wonderful! We started our first official day of homeschooling in the Muddy Muse Schoolhouse today. Mark and I stayed up late last night getting everything ready to surprise Cammy this morning (we were going to start when the public schools started which was only one days difference but we decided to go ahead and get our new routine rolled out with the start of the week.) Let me tell you halfway through the morning Mark and I were floored...we were amazed that instilling a little routine in the day can do beautiful things for your spirit. We are loving this homeschooling gig...it rocks!!! By lunchtime we were asking ourselves why we hadn't buckled down and done this before now...Mark's response "we're still learning"
How true, how true! I am finding that I am learning just as much from my kids on a daily basis as they are from me. To explain the picture above....I wanted Cammy's first day of homeschool to be magical, so I painted this beautiful picture welcoming her to her homeschool journey. It said
"Welcome to the world of learning in freedom. There are no limits to what your mind, body and spirit can explore. I look forward to being one of many guides that you may encounter on your journey for knowledge.
Love Mom"
I tied up two sparkle pencils with gold thread and laid them all across a handmade pillow that Mark got for her. The pillow has a beautiful African influenced face that the artist called "Superhero". The eyes on the pillow are closed and Cammy has been using the pillow as a medi tating pillow...she goes to it when she is angry and needs to calm down...which is often. The painting is symbolic with an earthen eye awakening and opening to all the possibilities that the universe holds for us. Cammy's response to seeing this in the morning was "Mom....why did you tie these pencils together ...don't you know I have a drawer full of magic pencils already."

Here she is still in her pajamas seeing the message on the new chalkboard.
Mark stayed up late with me and helped me draw some of the beautiful artwork on the chalkboard last night. I loved it, seeing his eyes and heart light up about this adventure into homeschooling. I found this amazing poem sometime last year when I spent my nights researching the whole concept of homeschooling. I regret that I did not notate where it came from but thank to whoever wrote it. It sums up how I feel about this completely.

Grab hold of a magic pencil
Open your eyes and mind
For now begins the journey
Of the most exciting kind
A journey into learning
A step...a start....a glow
And we will be there with you
To help and watch you grow.
unknown?

Here she is busy working after breakfast. We are starting off the year learning about maps, globes and geography and basically our place in this world.

We have had a great big world map up on the wall all summer that we have been marking our Etsy art sales on.
I put some cubes under it and voila.....baby Karma can delight in shelved toys to play with while I'm teaching. It's working for now...that and the kitchen drawer full of sippy cups and tupperware.
We are book lovers in this house....this is just one of many bookshelves in our library. There are bookshelves in every room of the house...the bathroom and pantry included!
This corner of the living room is the main library for Cammy to pull from, but she reads anything these days. She loves to pull out my books and looks through them for hours. This kid takes the dictionary in the car for fun reading:)
This is my station. This is where I keep all the books that I am currently reading through and pulling from. It is occasionally where I make jewelry as well (mostly in the winter when the clay in the studio freezes the bones in my fingers).
All in all our first day of homeschool was awesome. I am even more excited about our year than I could ever have imagined. This first opening topic about maps and globes and geography with it's far reaching themes is helping to center me again in this world. I have really struggled with finding our place, our groove or routine and we are finally getting a handle on it. It has taken writing out many lists and calendars and trial and error and many scheduling mishaps along the way. Somehow taking on this new seemingly impossible task of fitting homeschooling into our lives has actually calmed it down and made it run more smoothly than before. I'm smiling through and through right now. I was so nervous all summer about how this would all work....How was I going to find time to make pottery and fill my orders? How was I going to be able to handle Karma while I'm trying to teach Cammy? and so many other pressing questions. It felt like the right thing to do in my heart of hearts and upon starting officially today I know this to be the ultimate truth for my family right now. We are happy when we are together, living and learning together. Why do we have children and families if we are just going to send then off to someone else for 8-12 hours a day? I love my children and want to be a part of helping them grow as whole people in mind, body and spirit .

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