Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Will Your School Year Be Like a Diego Rivera Mural?

Diego Rivera's mural at the Diego Rivera Theater in San Francisco.
Yesterday was our official first day of school.

In preparation, I spent the weekend pouring over lesson manuals and teacher guides, jotting down notes, reorganizing the school cabinet, sharpening pencils, stacking paper, and making a list of supplies that I still needed.

But I also spent some time in the last few weeks pondering how we were going to make this day special. I think it is really important for us as families to make our own traditions and celebrate milestones – even if they are just mini-celebrations.

So yesterday morning, after I was awakened by an excited pair of eyes and some (not so) smothered giggles, I got up and made one of her favorites: homemade French toast. Then she ran upstairs to pick out a nice outfit so that we could take her picture for her school album.

And just before we officially started school, I presented her with a little gift for her first day. Just a new backpack and a few school supplies that included a color-it-yourself pencil bag.

Nothing exceptionally fancy, but enough of a celebration for us to kick off the school year on a good note. A small fiesta for her to remember once she is grown.

I want the idea of starting school to be exciting, not burdensome. The coming year for us is like an enormous chalkboard that is sitting quietly just waiting for someone to walk by and pick up one of the colorful pieces of chalk sitting in a nearby bucket. We are embarking on a fantastic journey of discovery and growth. And just like one of Diego Rivera’s incredible murals, I want our chalkboard to be filled from top to bottom and side to side with bold, beautiful strokes depicting all the things we have seen and learned.

There will be times when Frustration and Impatience rear their ugly little heads, but I hope that for the most part our year will be exciting, fun, and productive. I’m going to work harder to incorporate more activities to engage my little learner and am working out our schedule to include three new extra-curricular activities: music class, sports, and 4-H. Hopefully we won’t over do things, but my main goal is to remain flexible, so if we do, we’ll just re-evaluate and change whatever needs changing.

¿Y tú? How are you celebrating the beginning of a school year? Whether you homeschool or not, how do you get your kids to look forward to school?

Did you enjoy this article? Are you thinking about homeschooling your child? Let me help! My book - The Latino Family's Guide to Homeschooling - covers everything you see here and more. 


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