Peanut Butter Sandwich: The Start of our Homeschooling Adventure

I love a good peanut butter sandwich. As to creamy or crunchy this needs to be distinguished in our household. My family love the creamy type while I go for the crunchy kind. Funny as I think about this as I am a texture-sensitive gal and would normally choose the chewy chocolate chip cookie or a fudge brownie…sidenote: my mentor Dr. David Taylor bakes THE BEST fudge brownie!

Going back to the yumminess of a peanut butter sandwich — the best part is the memory it brings to me as a child. Those were the days when you were allowed to bring in a PB & J sandwich in school. Nowadays, most schools are nut free. Oh yeah, you asked grape or strawberry jelly? Strawberry. Most days I prefer to have just peanut butter with white bread just like the good old days. If I am adhering to my “clean eating” habits more, then brown bread.

Our home school materials have arrived in the mail yesterday. I got serious doubts if I can implement. This morning, I was able to summon the courage to open up the box, complete the inventory of its contents and finally send by postal mail the Notice of Intent for Home Instruction (NOI) to the Division Superintendent of the Public School System we fall under. It is getting real. I never home schooled my munchkin, I did not even teach her during pre-kindergarten even if I was the one managing the centers. I am an educator, I enjoy and love teaching young children. In fact, as a new military spouse (many moons ago!), the field of Early Childhood Education was my entry point to the workforce.

Much like in choosing how I want my peanut butter sandwich prepared - as an Adult Education and Training Specialist, I can list down at least 40 steps to prepare it. On the other hand, I could also break it down into 10. This time, I opted for three steps when my hubby and I made the ultimate decision to home school munchkin. FACT: Being relocated here in the Washington DC Metro area is only for 12 months.

Step 1: Munchkin repeated Kindergarten this school year (a story for another time). She is familiar with the concepts already and we have seen a huge improvement after summer 2017. Even her Kindergarten Teacher, Ms. Castner agreed that she is more prepared when she came back to class in September 2017. Too many transitions for this little one in a short period of time. If we opt to let her attend a new school during the middle of a school year, she would have to adjust in a new environment, make new friends…and teaching style of the new teacher. All these changes for 11 months with the same school? Hmmm, nope.

Step 2: This is D.C., baby! People come here to immerse themselves with America’s history. Museums, monuments, historic towns, and even a vibrant culinary atmosphere. It would be fun to take this opportunity to enjoy what D.C. has to offer, better yet, at our own pace — no rush. For us, parents and munchkin to explore and learn together…this is a dream come true!

Step 3: Choosing the home school curriculum. Easy part, I laid out the criteria that will work for us. Ha, just like grabbing two bottles of peanut butter from the grocery store: creamy and crunchy. We opted for the accredited curriculum that comes with a complete kit and a video streaming lesson guide. This way, #doitscared 2 for me that we jumped in to home school but putting emphasis on how much I could handle as the Primary Facilitator of Learning (PFL) for munchkin, given that I have “work commitments” as well. One of which is finishing up the second book I have been contracted to deliver. To be a PFL minus the ginormous task of lesson plan writing…I am laughing now because I once asked preschool teachers to recreate lesson plans for an entire school year. Less prep time but quality educational content, you got my vote! Autopilot mode.

Pretty much those are the three steps that sealed our fate to commit to this methodology of learning. Aside from the freedom of being able to enjoy spending more time with munchkin — gone are the crazy, chaotic mornings of rushing out the door and seeing her sad face being the last kid to be picked up from the after school care facility ; teaching her life skills such as entrepreneurship, and even attempting to add “jelly” to make her peanut butter sandwich by testing her linguistic abilities to learn Bahasa Indonesia and Tagalog.The latter, I am guilty of not following through. We shall see between the two languages if she will favor one from the other or embrace both.

Very ambitious undertaking… I agree. For now, let me just sip my cup of tea, finish my sandwich, put my feet up and enjoy this moment where I feel I got this adventure in the bag.