Monday, July 21, 2008

1st Day of Homeschooling!

Okay, so I have known for a while that we were going to do the homeschooling thing, yet I have had a hard time deciding exactly when to begin! At first, I made up a detailed year-round schedule that would basically be three weeks on, one week off throughout the year. However, once summer got here, things got too busy between Vacation Bible School, swimming lessons, and vacations and my schedule was wrecked! So, then, I decided to wait and just begin when our local homeschool co-op would begin--the week of August 18. I went ahead and planned out our first week of homeschooling and made copies of everything we would need.

Then, Emily Anne began asking about when we would begin homeschooling. One of the things that I originally loved about homeschooling was the flexibility to homeschool when we wanted to, and also the enthusaism for learning that EA was showing. So, since, we had everything ready, I thought, Why not begin Monday? It would keep me from anticipating and getting too nervous or get my expectations hyped for the ideal situation.

Today began with circle time on the floor of the playroom. We said a prayer, and then I read aloud from the first section of The Child's Story Bible: "God Was and Is." Emily Anne thrilled me by making an unsolicited connection; when we were talking about the fact that God loves us even more than our parents do. She said, "Mom, that sounds like that song that we sang in Bible School" and proceeded to sing it--"If you ask me how much God loves me, I'd say, 'deeper than the ocean, wider than the sea!'"
We then sang "My God Is So Big" and "God Made Me" (The lyrics are "God made me, God made me, God made everything, and God made me." It's sung to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell."). We had fun substituting our names, our pets' names, and other nouns for "me."
We then made self-portrait paper-dolls, with the theme of "God Made Me." Will really got into this! I helped him cut out the pieces and drew the eyes and mouth when he got frustrated, but he enjoyed coloring the clothes and taping them on to his figure. Emily Anne did all of hers except the cutting out of the figure. I was really impressed with her cutting skills, especially around the shoes!
Next, we practiced our memory verse for this week: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1. We'll be studying Creation for the rest of the week in Bible time.

The next subject was Math. We completed Lesson 1 of Saxon Math. Will played with foam number puzzles while Emily Anne and I talked about calendars and numbers. The days of the week, months, year, and dates were all review for her; she knew them without my going through the "script" for the lesson at all. She surprised me, too, on the number chart. The lesson called for counting only up to 30, but when I stopped at 30, she continued counting by herself up to 100!

Snack break was next on the agenda (I was able to put clothes in the dryer during this time), and after snack, Emily Anne worked on the first review lesson of handwriting in Level A of A Reason for Handwriting, while Will colored a worksheet. After I went over the form and direction of the letters (EA does need some help in this area; she wants to make the letters her own way), she was able to do a lot of the practice by herself, and I was able to help Will coloring in objects that were the same on his worksheet.

Emily Anne and I then worked on the first lesson in Section 3 (Lesson 29) of The Ordinary Parents' Guide to Reading (We had already been working on these lessons during 4K). After Emily Anne's lesson, we all played with the alphabet letters on the magnetic white board, encouraging Will to pick the correct letter from the board.

We went outside, along with Addie, to have some unstructured play time, and lasted about thirty minutes in the heat. Emily Anne was pulling up weeds and then planting them in pots!

In the time before lunch, I was able to clean the carpet in the playroom.

When Daddy came home for lunch, the kids were extra excited to see him, and the first thing Will did was to take Joel by the hand to the refrigerator and say, "Look, Dad! Will made craft!"

Emily Anne recapped the morning for him, and then later, Will took him by the hand to the white board in the playroom where our schedule was written out. He pointed at Bible and said, "We had Bible," and then pointed out the other words and had Joel say them for him. Apparently, Will was more acclimated to the schedule than I thought!

After lunch, we had some read-aloud time with various books. I would like to have themed books for the week for read alouds, although I'm not sure that I want all our lessons pulled from them. I'll have to check out some FIAR websites and see what's there.

So, all in all, it was a great first day for homeschooling, and I'm glad I didn't have the time to stress out beforehand. We'll see how tomorrow goes . . . .


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Sounds like a busy first day! I admire you for taking on the academic portion of your children's schooling. I did it for one year with one of my children when he was in the 6th grade.

My children attend a local Christian school; one of my sons has a learning disability, so we work every summer, most days, to reinforce and catch him up. What a struggle it's been this summer. I'll be glad for August 11th to roll around, but nothing can replace the time we've spent together.

Thank you for your commitment to your kids. It will reap huge dividends in the end. Hang in there and keep the faith for the process.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Stop by anytime!


BethAnne said...

BUT IT IS STILL SUMMER!!!! Dont start school yet!!!! Please drag it out a little bit longer - it makes me sad that school has already started for some kids....ugh!!!! ;-)I like to squeeze out every last drop of summer!!

I am getting ready to post my heath bar recipe on my blog.....they are really good!!!

jamie in rose cottage said...

Sounds like a great day! We're looking forward to starting this week. We were going to start today but got delayed (today's post is about that!).

Tracy said...

This is the second comment I've tried to post but for some reason it didn't show up. I'll try again...
Kudos to you for homeschooling! My kids are entering 5th and 8th grades in public school and thankfully, so far so good. I don't know how homeschooling moms do it!
Thanks for commenting on my blog today!

boutcrazy said...

Isn't it rewarding to SEE your children learning. I'll never forget when I saw Sally comprend something in Math. We started homeschooling when she was in the 5th grade. Adam was preschool and he was learning right along with her. And when kids love learning...when you do it doesn't matter...summer, winter, day or night. Be flexible. Good for you.

Tracy said...

Hooray...I just added a second photo to my blog and even figured out how to place it where I wanted it to go! Thanks so much for telling me how to do it!


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful first day!! Every bit sounds so preciouse!! I love it. So glad I got to read about your first day! I hope you have been doing well. I hope your first week is a hugh success!

Have a joy filled week, Celly

Jenn said...

It sounds like you had a great first day of school! We will be starting on August 18th. I still have some organizing and paper work to do, but I'm getting there!