We have finished our first year of homeschooling our children! I don’t think you heard me, so let me say that again: WE HAVE FINISHED OUR FIRST YEAR OF HOMESCHOOLING OUR CHILDREN! This has been some kind of year for us! Between juggling marriage, fatherhood, doctoral work, speaking, and leading Ink, homeschooling our kids has been one of the most challenging, exhausting, yet fulfilling things my wife and I have ever done. While I started the year off strong by assuming primary teaching responsibilities, my wife, ever supportive, stepped in to help carry the load when I attended class or had to travel for a speaking engagement that required me to fly commercially.
Together, we have managed to lead the kids through second, first, and kindergarten, respectively. Berkeley is reading and writing very well, and is ready to begin first grade Saxon Math. Christopher, our most ambitious child when it comes to school, is well ahead of his grade level in reading. Last time I checked, he was reading at a fourth grade level. He has been waking up at 6am on his own to begin school. One night, I walked into his room at 3 in the morning, and I saw a light coming from his bed. I asked him why he was awake, and noticed that he was doing some of his schoolwork! With what kind of kid have I been entrusted? He is so focused that he has been finishing his schoolwork early every day. I normally like to go until 11am or 12pm, but Christopher is sometimes finishing at 9:30 or 10am, at which time, I tell him to do fun reading.
Manuel is doing very well, too. He is very smart, but sometimes has had the hardest time focusing. So Alice and I have had to adjust our teaching styles for him, which is what good teachers do. He is a much more kinesthetic learner, and needs to be physically involved in each lesson. So we have been doing jumping jacks, building, stacking tiles, drawing pictures, listening, watching videos, singing, rapping, marching, exercising, all while learning about arrays and fact families and multiplication and prepositions and history and geography. Of all our children, Manuel is the one who has forced me to grow the most as a teacher. Of course, I’m still a work in progress, but I have grown a great deal.
To celebrate their (our) success, we will be going on vacation. That will give Alice and I a chance to recover from a very intense season of speaking and teaching, as well as give us all a chance to explore other parts of the world.
Once we return, we will begin first, second, and third grade. For now, we’re going to vacate, and rest, and prepare for what will be our busiest year yet.
(If you want to check out my reflections from this first year of homeschooling, check out the series of posts here!)