Holcomb Gardens, 2009 (I think)
Someone new to home schooling or thinking about home schooling may find it helpful.
When it was time for Callie to start Kindergarten, we had already made the decision to teach her at home. That is a sort of funny story too, but I'll save it for another time.
We lived in the city and had several neighbor children who would come by and I babysat two or three days a week for 3 other little girls her age. When she realized that her friends would no longer be coming every week to stay and that she wasn't going anywhere she was a little sad. I decided that we couldn't have that! So I called my friend Joanna. We met her and her husband while I was pregnant with Callie and she and her husband were taking the same child birth classes. She ended up having their first child the same day, and at the same hospital as I had Callie. However, she will be quick to tell you that she was due and Callie was early and my labor was less than half of hers! She forgave me though and we quickly became very good friends, learning the ropes of motherhood together.
Anyway....It was decided that this needed to be a day of celebration, not mourning! I made a big deal about the books that we bought and kept them all a surprise until that morning. I didn't wrap them, just made a stack on the table with the books, pencils, etc. We went to the zoo and had a great time, packing our lunches just like her friends.
We are very fortunate to live in an area where there are all kinds of places to visit. Nature trails, museums, the homes of former presidents, the choices really are almost endless. We have repeated a few because they are favorites. There was one year (maybe two) that it was just Callie and I because our friends were going through a very trying illness. I felt like such a traitor going without Joanna, but as soon as they were better, the tradition continued.
I also keep the books a secret until that morning. Even if it's just boring thesaurus! :) It makes it more fun that way. Also, I don't have to hear any groaning or questions about something she might not think she will like and on the flip side, no one is bugging me to go ahead and start doing something before I'm ready.
Callie never once acted like she thought she was missing out by being home schooled. In fact it has really been the other way around. She likes the fact that we can go and do different things and learn the way we do.
Please don't let this post lead you to think that every day is a walk in the park. There have been tears shed by more than one of us, more than once! It is hard some days! But it is wonderful too and I have learned a lot about grace and patience. You know, those things you have plenty of before you have children!