Last week we did something we have never done before. We had a Back to Homeschool Celebration to kick off Year 3 of the kids homeschooling.
YEAR 3 . . . how did that happen?
Of all the reasons I am MOST grateful we moved to Costa Rica, homeschooling my kids is probably #2. Me learning who I am and what I believe is #1 and I honestly believe that we needed Costa Rica to achieve both.
We held our big celebration on Monday night for FHE and made Tuesday, August 1, 2017 our official 1st day of this homeschool year. What this new year will bring is hopefully new gifts and talents, new levels of understanding more who each of us truly are, and new opportunities to stretch and grow into who we need to be in the future. I wanted to emphasize the importance of gourmet learning, so I did all I could to make it a gourmet night.
After a DELICIOUS and GOURMET meal of Beef Stroganoff made with fresh mushrooms (yum for Mom, not so yum for the fresh mushroom haters), steamed green peas, a french baguette loaf with creamy butter, we allowed Dad to open up our newest homeschool tradition . . .
~ Our Yearly Homeschool Plates ~
Since it is a new tradition, the kids and I decided to catch up and do Years 1 and 2 at the same time.
They just so happened to have a Color Me Mine in Escazu, so we spent a morning painting these plates together. It was no easy task. It actually was quite frustrating figuring out how we were going to work together and take turns, but we eventually did and the plates turned out WONDERFUL!
The kids were SUPER proud of their hard work. Here is a break down of who painted what on geometric looking plate that is called Year 1:
- El Gringo painted his impossible triangle and signature with his favorite colors in the designs that he loves most.
- Ginger Snap painted flowers in all of her favorite colors on the background of one of her favorite colors.
- Joy Boy painted a sunset colored rainbow (it is actually my favorite “after” reveal of all 5 designs).
- Curly Cook painted her favorite horse Pacito on her favorite color of blue.
- And Mom painted her favorite color and made swirls of each of the kids favorite colors.
I told the kids that the plate had a song to go with it. They all looked at me puzzled, so I explained. Starting with Curly Cook’s horse you say (in a funny voice), “Pacito, Flower Power, Geometry Dash, Somewhere over the Rainbow, and You Spin Me Right Round Baby Right Round. . .”
Thankfully the kids laughed and had me do it over again and again, as I spun the plate in my hands. This plate symbolized how we each had to do our part to make homeschool work. We needed to work together but allow each of us to be who we truly are.
Our Year 2 plate is first made of a border with each of our favorite colors:
- El Gringo = orange
- Ginger Snap = green
- Joy Boy = red
- Curly Cook = blue
- Mom = purple
- Dad = white (or the great divide)
Then the middle of the plate we have Mom’s thumb print in yellow at the center of each flower that is made up of each child’s favorite color with their thumb prints. The middle flower is all 4 kids making one flower together. This plate symbolized how we each are our own individuals, growing at our own pace, but together we can make something that is unique and never before created.
After the plates were admired we enjoyed our GOURMET dessert of homemade Angel Food Cake parfaits with berries and cream. They were truly delectable. The Angel Food Cake accidentally baked an extra 5 minutes, making it a bit more dense than normal, but this made the perfect squares for this parfait. We want to do it again it was so delightful.
Then it was time to get down to business. With full tummies, 2 new plates to enjoy and a bit of sugar in our system, Mom interviewed each child, asking them how they feel about homeschooling, what they have learned that they never thought they could learn and what they hope to learn this year. Mom was included in this interview and then Dad got thrown in for fun too. It was a wonderful experience to hear each other share our thoughts and feelings and to see how we all have helped each other to do things that we feel have blessed our lives substantially.
Then Paul gave each child a Father’s Blessing for the new Homeschool Year and gave Mom a Special Blessing too. The night was truly magical and just what I felt we needed, to call an end to “summer break” and to put a serious tone on what we each feel we need to learn this year, Mom and Dad included.
I do want to end with my testimony that homeschooling is so much more than “playing school” in your house. It is a unique gift that any mother can access, if she feels she should. A mother knows her children best and children love and want to respect their mother more than any other woman on this earth. It is a bond that isn’t without weakness but it is perfect in that it truly is powerful and life changing. I have seen my kids do things I only hoped they would do. I have also seen my children struggle and face temptations or challenges, only to conquer them or face them head on. I am so honored to be able to offer this experience to my children. No, it isn’t for everyone and each family is unique in their own way. So I encourage you to celebrate what makes your family divinely unique and to share it, for you just might inspire someone to do something incredible with their family too!
Thanks for listening,