Day Writing by Heather Hamilton Maude: Kindergarten Graduation

I wasn’t sure what to expect. Both as a first time homeschool mom teaching a Kindergartner and a pre-schooler, and with regard to Kindergarten Graduation.

It. Was. Great. Fantastic. Beyond what I hoped school would ever be.

Well, not every single day. No. We ended some days in tears. Usually it was the Kindergartner crying, occasionally the pre-schooler, and I don’t recall if I shed real tears, or only wished I could a handful of times. There was a light-blue-colored-pencil stabbing the first week, which resulted in my husband, aka the principal, texting me some smart aleck remark when I alerted him of the situation. I had my hands more than full some days as phone calls, rebellious livestock, and the general menagerie of farm and ranch related catastrophes raised their heads just as we cracked our books.

On the flip side, there was a great deal of freedom and beauty found in shaping our children’s education to fit them, and to work with and around our lifestyle and schedule instead of combating it. That was the lifting of near-literal weight off my shoulders. If there was something else that truly needed our attention, we could take care of it, start a little later, or come back to school later in the day. On multiple occasions my son opted to skip one day of the week to help chop silage, irrigate, move cattle, play cards with his Grandma Jackie, or any number of other more thrilling and equally educational options, then make that day up later. We were also able to send them to Wyoming to visit my parent’s here and there, with zero concern over the days of the week their visit spanned.

We also learned a lot. Despite some questioning my abilities, myself included at times, I proved capable of teaching my son Kindergarten Math at least – we are still struggling to master sounding out three-letter words. Something quite humbling, and high on the list of how to increase patience in my former newspaper editor self. But, (Bbbb, uuuu, tttt) we will get there.

Then there is the sense of community. We are part of a handful of families in our area who homeschool. And they’re wonderful families, good friends, and knowledgeable supporters as we all wade through this adventure.

Which leads to Kindergarten Graduation, which was just one component of a year-end homeschool expo at our local church this week. Where tables were set up to display each kid’s work, special projects, etc… There was a program, during which each child could go on stage and present. Several Kindergartner’s did short poems, a couple kids played instruments, one boy did his times tables, and the oldest girl read a paper she wrote on her family history.

My son asked if he could just show everyone he finished his entire math book, and I agreed. But, now that we know to expect, he wants to present something next year.

The gal who put it all together brought each family on stage. For the first-year parent’s she had a variety of candies. My favorite was when she gave the husband’s chocolate covered peanuts, with the explanation that when their wives suggested this homeschool idea, and again when they called to tell her something was dying or stuck or otherwise needing attention, and she replied she was in the middle of teaching math, they probably thought she was nuts. But still sweet.

It was the cherry on the top of a truly good year.

I realize this education choice isn’t for everyone. However, I sincerely hope each family out there with children in school is able to find an option that fits them as well as this one fits us. If you find yourself pounding your head against the proverbial cement wall with one method, whatever it may be, bear in mind there are multiple options out there, and multiple approaches within each option.

We have all learned a lot of great lessons this year, 170 workbook lessons, to be exact. However, the biggest has been that when you follow God’s will for your family, it will work, and work beyond your ability to imagine it ahead of time.


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