Our First Day of School

Our schoolroom last night, all ready for Kindergarten to begin!

A while ago, I set August 7th as our first day of school.  So, though I am still trying to settle into our house and clean up from our camping trip, I decided that I would go ahead and start school today.  In the midst of the piles of dirty laundry that has not been started and boxes of kitchen utensils and staples that have not yet been unpacked from the weekend, we had our first day of school!  X-man has been very excited about Kindergarten since we started talking about it a few weeks ago.  We purchased new pencil boxes and binders for the occasion.  They have also been watching half of our garage slowly transform into a schoolroom!

Puzzle time

First, I read a book of nursery rhymes to Z-urchin to make sure he had plenty of attention and snuggle time.  Then the kids had fun putting together puzzles while I did the dishes (they were anxious to get into the schoolroom, so I had to be quick!).  Then we read Genesis 1 together as a family and we had a discussion about Saul being transformed by God and his name changing to Paul.  Does this seem unrelated to you?  It did to me too!  (I believe this was one of the stories they heard at VBS last week.)  At first I was very focused on getting back to the story at hand, but upon reflection, I am glad I took the time to discuss what was on their hearts.  This is why I am homeschooling, after all.  So I can be present for many of these opportunities and teachable moments with my kids.

Charting the weather. I have a feeling “sunny” will be filled up this month and there probably won’t be too many stickers in the “rainy” category.

After this, we finally went out to the schoolroom in the garage.  We did calendar time, which included discussing the days of the week, the weather, saying our verse, singing our hymn and the ABC song, practicing our address, discussing our theme for the year, month, and week, skip counting with jumping jacks, and reading an Aesop’s Fable. The kids have definitely not mastered remaining seated for the whole time and I did have to save the alphabet flashcards from the toddler tornado a few times, but hey, it is a work in progress and they had fun.

We then did our phonics lesson together.  They got a sticker in their Treasure Chest chart when they could recite the “A” poem.  When their Treasure Chest chart is filled up, they will receive a prize from the treasure box!

Toddler Tornado is contained for the moment.

Then we headed back to the house so I could strap Z-urchin to his chair… er… I mean… give the kids a snack while we did math together.  The older two did a great job with practicing quantities of 2 and 3, and it was only a little chaotic trying to get them to stay focused.  X-man liked to climb on the table and not sit still at all.  But he seemed to be with  me, and then when he copied exactly what I had been doing for his sister, I knew he truly was paying attention.  Cool!  They got another sticker for their chart and then I sent them outside for some “recess.”

I used the oranges for snack and the fishy puzzle pieces as manipulatives today. They were within arm’s reach.

After lunch, I put the baby and the toddler down for a nap and we headed back to the schoolroom.  I showed them the world map and we located our “Compassion friends” on the map.  (We recently added two children to our lives via Compassion, a 5 year old boy whom X-man chose and a 4 year old girl whom Princess K chose.)  X-man and Princess K drew pictures for their friends and dictated letters for me to write to them.  Then we decorated our binders to look like suitcases (these are where we will store our “keepsakes” from our “trip around the world”).  I read from the Kingfisher First Picture Atlas about maps and the world and then we read Sleeping Beauty together.  Later on today we will read All the Places to Love.  

Our binder suitcases where we will stick flag stickers for each country we visit and store our keepsakes inside from our adventures in learning around the world!

There you have it- our first day of school.  I had to be super flexible (not a trait that comes naturally to me, just ask my mom) with our schedule and the kids and with my great desire to have everything perfect before we embark on such an endeavor as this.  This was good practice for me, I’m sure.  There will be many imperfect days.  Homeschool is a way of life and life is definitely not perfect.  It was fun, though!  I hope tomorrow goes as well!

We are a serious bunch when it is reading time.

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