Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Day of Kindergarten

I have a Kindergartner.

And as you all know, we chose to homeschool. So, today was our first day of school and my first day of teaching! To say we both were nervous would be accurate. But, I was so happy with how well it went. In total, everything took about 3 hours, but we took frequent breaks for various things.

This post is a look at what our homeschool looks like and what my Kindergartner learned her first day.


8:15AM - Breakfast, Get Dressed

9:30AM - Bible

I read the story of How the World Was Made from Egermeier's Bible Story Book. Then we recited Romans 3:23 and listened to the track on this verse from Sing the Word: From A to Z to help with memorization.

9:30AM - Morning Recess

It was a beautiful morning and it's really difficult to try to do school with an active 1-year-old, so I tried to stick to only doing school during my toddler's nap times. I was reminded this morning, the very reason for why we chose to homeschool, when I captured this moment pictured below. It totally melts my heart.

10:30AM - Snack, Nap Time for Toddler

10:45AM - History/Geography

We read all about Dinosaurs from The Usborne Children's Encyclopedia and then went to several links online to do fun games, like "What Dinosaur Are You?"

This lesson took a bit longer than anticipated, because my DD really got into it and wanted to keep learning more and more. We probably could've spent all day just on dinosaurs, if it were up to her. The great thing about homeschool is that I could spend a bit more time on this with her. If it's something she's interested in, I don't want to move on and squelch that enthusiasm. I wanted to embrace it; who knows, maybe she'll be a Paleontologist one day!

I remembered that in our play room we had my DH's old dinosaurs and we had a book on our bookshelf titled, "100 Dinosaurs from A to Z." I pulled them out for our later free play time, so she could continue to explore the world of dinosaurs in a hands-on activity, if she wanted to. This wasn't part of my Sonlight curriculum, but that's the great thing about homeschool; you can supplement where you need to and cut things out when you don't.

11:15AM - Life Skills: Create-A-Calendar

My DD got to create her very own calendar. We said the days of the week, talked about events happening this week, counted the days until they happen and she colored in events that were happening. She wrote the days of the month on the September calendar boxes, reviewed the months of the year, discussed the number of days in September and added in holidays for the month.

This was a self-directed activity, so I started making lunch as she worked on it and helped out when she got stuck.

12:30PM - Lunch and wake up Toddler

1:00PM - Toddler Activity

I wanted to include some toddler curriculum in our day, so I took out a large pot with lid and a small pot with lid. The Kindergartner and I showed the Toddler how to put the lids on and take them off. Then we tried to trick her to see if she knew which lid went to which pot. She did. So, we hid a toy in the pots with the lids on and mixed them up, to see if she could follow where the hidden toy was. She knew. Smarty pants.

1:15PM-2:15PM - Free Play and TV Time

The rugrats had fun playing with the pots and pans, and with the dinosaurs, too. The Kindergartner is allowed to watch 2 cartoons per day, so when she got bored, I let her watch her cartoons. Plus, I had a phone appointment with my Dr at 2:20 and needed to keep her occupied during that time.

2:20PM - Nap Time for Toddler, Phone Appointment for Mom

2:45PM - Math

This is the subject we were both most nervous about. I am terrible at Math and unfortunately, hearing me talk about this caused my Kindergartner to be scared of the subject, too. Luckily, after watching Lesson One on the Primer DVD from Math-U-See, playing with the manipulative blocks and then circling the right answers in her workbook, she declared, "Math is my favorite subject!" She loved it so much, and caught on so quickly, that she would've done an entire week's worth of work in one day!

3:15PM - Chiropractor Appointments

4:30PM -  Phonics/Spelling

DD is a bit ahead of game in the phonics department. She's already reading. But, I purposely picked a curriculum that would be a bit of review for her, so that she wouldn't get frustrated right away in the school year and so that she can master what she's already learned. So, one of the activities was to make an "Ff" letter sheet, but she already did that last year in preschool. So, we just reviewed her letter sheet. Then we learned about how a dictionary is organized and browed through the "F" pages of My First Picture Dictionary.

Next, we started on Notebook Activities and Copywork. DD practiced writing her name, circled the letters she thought she did pretty perfect and learned about capital letters.

4:45PM - Handwriting

We will be using a program called Handwriting without Tears, which uses large wooden pieces to build capital letters. Today, we just got acquainted with those wooden pieces and learned what to call each piece.

4:50PM - Science

We read all about planet Earth in the Children's Encyclopedia again, did a few worksheets to test our knowledge of what we just read and then DD got to tool around on the internet watching a video about Earth and then building her own satellite.

Before Bed - Read Aloud's & Vocabulary

We've always read out loud to our kids before bedtime. So, we just decided to incorporate the read aloud stories from our curriculum as our before bed stories. Vocabulary is woven into the stories, learning what new words are as they come across them. In order to include Dad into the homeschooling process, he does the Read Aloud's and Vocabulary at night, now. Tonight, he read from The Llama Who Had No Pajama and The Boxcar Children. DD learned, "orphan" and "children's home" as her vocabulary words today.

I can't wait to see what we learn tomorrow!