Last year, we started with a little dude who seriously needed some recovery time.
School had been a disaster. Stress and anxiety had won. Bullies had won. I brought my son home so he could recover and start learning again, so he could be supported in his adventure and find that he was, actually, smart and competent and and lovable. He curled into a fetal ball under my desk and screamed when I showed him a math problem or a vocabulary word.
This year, we started with half-days, as Joey's school was also starting with a week of half-days. I wondered how far we would get, as summer had been a bit here, a bit there.
Our first day out, we did a few science observations, learning to use magnifiers and microscopes. We got into a discussion of how cells break apart and re-assemble proteins. We did some writing in his journal.
Our second day out, we did some experiments with vinegar, wrote the experiments up in his journal, did a short lesson on Sumerians (because we stumbled on a video about them while looking for something else), did a lesson on nouns and adjectives, and wrote five sentences pairing up nouns and adjectives (which I will be using to expand into adverbs, then verbs, and build into stronger sentences and writing by the end of the year). Oh, and we did some educational games during the breaks.
Then I reminded him that this was a half day.
Yep. It really is that different. So if you're just getting started, and you still are in the screaming puddle of reluctant child stage? Hang in there.
They re-discover the wonder if you give them the time they need.