Cooking Frogs

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Yes, I’m a homeschool mom, but I haven’t really gotten into frogs, cooking or dissecting or otherwise. And though I was a French major and lived in France, and adore French foods, frog legs have never crossed my threshold, or my lips for that matter. Non, merci. (Even if it does taste like chicken.)

But “cooking frogs” is how we’ve begun school the last few years. And it works very well. Let me explain.

You may have heard the theory that you just can’t throw a frog into a pot of boiling water in order to cook it. It will jump right out. Instead if it’s placed in a pot of cool water, it will make itself comfortable and stick around — while you turn up the heat. It gets cooked before it realizes that things were getting a little hot around the collar.

The same is true for la rentree. (That’s the French term for Back-to-School. Literally, it means “reentry” – how appropriate!)

I’ve found that going from the lackadaisacal, carefree days of summer to a 7-hour day of intense schooling can be tough on us all. FishBoys are liable to at least try to jump out of the pot. But, if we go a little slow, they seem to acclimate pretty easily. And so do I.

We had about six weeks off this summer and are getting an early start on the new year. Since we have the flexibility of when to start our school year, we are taking the slow-immersion method of getting back in the swing of things. This week, we’re tackling History, Writing, Reading, Grammar, and Literature. Next week, we’ll work in Math and Spelling. The following week we’ll fold in some Science, Art, and Music. By then, my frogs should be well cooked.

How about you? Whether you “do school” at home or away, what tricks do you have for making the transition easy and painless? Please share them with us!

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  1. lol…that is a great way to describe it!

    I will be starting homeschool for my two boys 5 and 4 next year. So we’ll see how that transition goes for all of us! 🙂

  2. Umm, I stress a lot, go on vacation, stress some more. It’s my first year. I’m a bit anxious, but I like your idea of cooking some frogs. I’ll go cook some. Will that calm me down?… No, I’m excited. I just want to get through the first day to get a feel for it. I think I will be like you and introduce things slowly. I want my daughter to love school. Really, to love reading. That is my goal for this year.

    I’m eager to hear what everyone else is doing… And tips on what you do with your little ones would be soooo welcome!

  3. I agree with your post. We take it slow the first week or two. I hope to start next week with math and reading and doing some review. Then over the couple of weeks after that add in the rest of the subjects.

  4. The slow re-entry never even occurred to me! We’re making it a huge deal around here and kicking it off with a bang next Tuesday. This whole week on my blog is about all the organizing and preparing we’ve been doing.

    Mine are 5 and 4. We pretty much did kindergarten last year just to give me a trial run and the days went so much smoother when we had school. Summer has been difficult! They are extremely excited to get going again, so we’re just jumping in the hot pot so to speak! Loved that analogy!

  5. My only dillemma with starting school early is the interupption of the public schooled kids coming by to play with mine… do you prevent that. My boys are good friends with about 6 kids in our neighborhood who are over here constantly during the summer. The kids all get along well and are well behaved–love having them over..but I think it would be hard to turn them away for play time because we are doing “school”

  6. Just wanted to let you know I recieved my Chtistmas CD today. Thanks. We will listen to it on our way to the mountains to camp this week. I was so excited about winning it that I entered LOTS of the bloggy givaways. Nada. Not one win out of all those entries. At least I know not to waste my time again. Your contest was fun and I so enjoyed Christmas in July. About school. You Rock girl! What a great mom you are. Be sure to take care of yourself so you don’t burn out. By the way, a lot of things are like a frog in the pot. Most temptations are like that arn’t they? It starts with just one tiny thing, then before you know it we don’t even realize we are IN TO DEEP and it is hot. Sorry to sound preachy. Love your blog.

  7. My son goes to public school, and it really can be a shocker when it is time to go back. Our school has the library open 3 days a week for just a few hours a day. We are just 3 weeks away from the big first grade! So, I am taking him to the library twice a week the next few weeks just to get him physically comfortable in the going there again. I taught school before I stayed home with my twin princesses and my big boy. So, we have been doing our version of mini summer school all summer.
    Also, for Donna(mom24boyz), we have some of those foamie door hangers that say “Yes, E**** can play.” Or, Sorry, E**** cannot play right now. Please come back soon!” We hang them on the outside of the door and it really seems to work!

  8. I go slowly also. After schooling for almost 13 years, I have definitely found this is the best way for us!

    As far as the neighborhood kids go, I have the same problem this year. By just doing school for a few hours in the morning, they are still free to play. The other kids don’t come out until the afternoon.

    You could either choose not to fight it and start when the other kids do, or you could try to talk to the parents and maybe work out not having the kids come out until after 11 or something. If that won’t work, I would just go with the flow and let them enjoy their friends!

  9. This has nothing to do with the transition part of your post; it’s about the frog legs: you’re not missing much. I’ve had them served as a kind of appetizer/side dish “French fry” equivalent — they’re way too much work to get the little bit of meat off the bones.

  10. This is my third year homeschooling. I found that I, too, without doing it on purpose, just started to put my five froggies into cool water. At first I thought I would just start next week as I needed “just one more week to get some things done” and prepare myself. I was a bit anxious because last year was hard and I was sick alot. But, the Lord in his quiet way said to me “Are you relying on yourself and your ‘getting things done?'” My answer was yes. So I decided to just do what we could this week, but at least get started and rely on Him instead. Its going fine and its more “painless” for me and the kids.