As of today, we are officially the proud parents of a transitional kindergartner. For those of you not in California, TK is designed for kids who turn five during the school year, but after the cutoff for school registration. Even though we homeschool, we told our little guy that today was the first day of school for him. He was thrilled.
As part of the first day activities, Annette and I had to attend a park day for the charter school we work with and we took the kids along. After about an hour, Nate appeared disappointed. "I haven't found my class yet," he said. We assumed he knew what homeschooling was since its all his brothers and sisters do, but he was still confused. We let him down gently and explained that he was going to learn at home.
I'm sure many kids entering the traditional classroom setting have anticipated their first day of school with the same excitement as Nate had. They eagerly look forward to meeting their new teacher and making new friends, but the thrill eventually wears off. Our goal as homeschooling parents is to do everything we can to help our little guy maintain the excitement he has for learning. We want it to be something that never stops because he is enjoying it so much he doesn't even know it's happening.
So for now, we'll continue to learn all we can about dinosaurs and dragons. We'll count them, we'll name them, and we may even spell a few (but not pterodactyl yet). Yes, he's in school, but he won't really notice anything different. Even so, he will be learning every day, whether he knows it or not.