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We still have a few loose ends to tie up before the completion of first grade. At the beginning of June, I was determined to keep up our schedule in order to finish our readings by the beginning of July, but as I checked things off the lesson list, just trying to get it done, I realized that what we really needed was a break. So, we’re just going to finish up as we are able, doing two or three days of work a week – and if we miss a day, or a week, no big deal. That’s one of the great things about homeschooling: you have complete control over when you do it – not to mention how or where. And while a good routine is important to school life, I think the ability to recognize when you need a reprieve is equally important . I get far too focused on the to-do list and keeping up with what I think I should be doing, rather than appreciating the process, being flexible, and being thankful that it doesn’t matter whether or not we finish the school year in June or August. (Although it would be really nice to have more freedom during the summer, especially after this year. All the extra work with the GAPS diet and having a new baby has left me exhausted and in need of some relief. And I really need some time to enjoy my kids and enjoy the summer before it is gone).

So, how did the first year go?

Looking back over the year, I am really proud of Jonas’ progress. When I think of everything he knows, everything he has internalized and really made his own, that he didn’t know a year ago, I am amazed. He has grown greatly in his ability to narrate, which is a foundational part of Charlotte Mason’s method, which we use. And he enjoyed the year. He loved some of the books so much that he couldn’t wait to read the next portion. What more can I ask for in our homeschool than a child who is eager to learn?

Starting out, even though I felt completely comfortable with our decision to homeschool and confident that it was right for us, I felt a bit insecure in the knowledge that I have full responsibility for my children’s’ education. Me. Even though I had a clear vision in my head of how I hoped it would be, I had no idea how it would fall into place. All in all, it was a great start. I still feel a bit awed and insecure over the fact that my children’s academic success rests greatly on my shoulders. They will learn because of me and despite me. I know I don’t need to be the perfect mom, the perfect teacher. I can’t be. And that’s okay. But I am determined to get better and better and become more and more the kind of mom and teacher my kids need to thrive.

Over the coming weeks, I’d like to focus my thoughts in a few posts regarding curriculum and method, what went well and what needs improvement, and Jonas’ thoughts on the year.