Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Jesus & Doughnuts - The Best Way to Kickstart Another Homeschool Year!

When the topic of homeschooling comes up in conversation with family, friends or strangers, the feedback can be everything from positive and supportive to negative and demeaning.  I wish I had a list of all of the inappropriate things people have said to me over the years, because I think I could laugh at all of it now.  After 7 years of patiently learning to respond intelligently and gracefully to the misinformed narrow-minded opinions of "concerned" individuals, my skin is pretty thick.

And, seeing the fruits of my love and labor over the past few years in the boys' formation, intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and *gasp* socially instills within me a definite confidence and gratitude for our decision to homeschool. I truly feel blessed to begin another adventurous year of learning and discovery with the boys!

I get a little bit nervous, and a little bit excited, each year on the first day of school.  With the classroom decorated and organized, everyone's books and lesson plans in order, we're all energized and ready to go.
{Munchkins awake and ready to roll!}
This year, we have made a firm resolution to go to daily mass as a family before school, which is a reasonable goal now that we are no longer 30 minutes from church, but a mere 3!!
{We made it, praise the Lord!}
It's a beautiful experience to see other young families who are also striving to make the same early morning devotion as our family is.  Older generations are always eager to come up and visit with our family after mass, which is such a pleasure!
After mass this morning, I surprised the boys and took them to the local gas station to get a doughnut.  I had this great plan to talk about how "sweet" is the privilege of receiving an education and "blah, blah, blah" is what they heard.  Once I said doughnut, their little heads were in a sugar vacuum.  I should know by now that it's teach first, treats second.
7 years ago, I'm pretty sure that I served sugar-free, fat-free, gluten-free, taste-free pancakes with a side of scrambled eggs, a glass of fresh squeezed juice and a tower of vitamins for breakfast.  I wanted everything to be perfect, to run smoothly, to be engineered for excellence.  Haaaaaaaa!!!! Who's that girl?? She be gone, honey!!
{George explains why he believes he got the longest long john of the batch}
7 years later, my priorities are finally in line - Jesus and doughnuts for the first day of school. Both are food for the soul!! In my husband's eloquent words: Boo-yah!

{Sometimes watching my baby eat is like looking in the mirror.}
The boys are used to eating so healthy....they literally thanked me 17 times on the way home for their morning treats.  I love that about them. They roll pretty well with my constant "No, you cannot have pop, no you cannot have candy, gatorade is the devil, processed food is not food,  no, no, no...." so, when I finally say yes, to something, it really is such a wonderful treat.  And, they savor every bite with smiles on!
Time to hit the books!! 
We will have a lot of exciting moments to share with you this year, so stay tuned!!

Want to know more about our homeschool life? You can read about why we homeschool in a series of posts I wrote a while back (part 1, part 2, part 3).   Or, check out all of our topics under the "Homeschool" category at the top of the blog.

If you are remembering the feasts of St. Monica and St. Augustine today and tomorrow, enjoy out our celebration idea here!

Have a great day, everyone!!


  1. Loved this post!

    I only wish homeschooling had been on our radar when our older boys started school. They went to a Catholic grade school that we truly loved (it still had nuns, including the principal); but by the time #4 was in 8th grade and the baby was in 3rd grade, the nuns were gone and things had begun to change in a way that made us nervous. So we ended up homeschooling son #5 for five years, from 4th through 8th grade--and it was fantastic!!

    When our youngest started his freshman year at the local Catholic high school, a neighbor asked me if I noticed any "gaps" in his education that had left him unprepared. Luckily for me, I never think of snazzy retorts on the spot, because I'm always thrown for a loop when people say things I'm not expecting. That homeschooled son ended up taking all honors and AP courses, graduating 5th in a class of 170, and going to Notre Dame on a full Army ROTC scholarship. So no, I don't believe there were any gaps!

    Your boys are adorable, and I think it's awesome that you're going to start every day with Mass. How can you go wrong, then? They're lucky boys (and not just because of the doughnuts!).

    Have a great school year! (Oh, and I also love it that you named your school. Ours was "St. Dominic Savio Academy," after a saint my son admired--and whose name he took when he made his Confirmation.)

  2. Hi Susan. My name is Valerie and I'm a fellow Kansan...although from the east side of the state. I discovered you through Team Whitaker. Love Kathryn's blog! And I'm lovin' yours too! I just read through several old posts and really enjoy your musings. I do hope you'll drop by to say hello...and I promise that I make very few grammatical errors...although the occasional typo does slip by me. As a teacher-by-trade, grammar mistakes drive me nuts! ;)

    Anyway, I look forward to reading more and getting to know you better.

    Hugs and blessings,

    P.S. Best wishes on the start of a new homeschool and traditional school year! Actually, I just returned to the classroom myself after being a stay-at-home mom for the past 5 years. Only this time, my return to the classroom finds me as a teacher at my children's Catholic elementary school. Feeling very blessed!

  3. Oh my gosh they are the CUTEST! I love that first picture :)

  4. You are such an amazing Mom (and I'm sure a great teacher!!!). I love that y'all start your morning with Mass - sometimes I think that I would be a really good Catholic because I really like the routine involved! And, booyah for donuts on day 1 - that's how we start the school year, too (with donuts!!).
    How is your oldest son liking public school this year? I hope he is loving it!

  5. Donuts! I wish I would have thought of that! No worries, my boys would be happy to do them 2 weeks into our year (we started earlier this year because we're taking a week off for vacation next month). I've been homeschooling for 6 years now and still haven't developed a thick enough skin.

    Awesome to start the day with Mass, many blessings on the upcoming year!

  6. That sounds awesome! Blessings to you and the boys this school year. What a great way to start the day with Mass.


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