Thursday, August 13, 2009

The First Day

Every year I scour the internet looking for a way to make our first day special. Most of the books teachers read to their students on the first day of school and many of the activities don't make sense for homeschoolers. (Getting to know you? Learning names?) Anyway, I thought I'd share what we did today in case it helps anyone else.

We started with school pictures BEFORE breakfast. :) I saw that Sprittibee had her kiddos hold up their fingers to indicate what grade they were in and thought that was a great idea. Then it occurred to me that "K" for Kindergarten was sort of a problem, so I came up with this:

I think this will be a new tradition!

I planned to make pancakes this morning. I purposefully did not drink all the milk so I would have enough. Then I realized I was out of pancake mix. Well....thankfully I had a few bucks in my purse so I just didn't mention the pancakes and we did this instead:

Nutritious, no?

The first thing we did was an "All About Me" lapbook. I like to get their weight, height, favorites, handwriting sample, a picture they drew, etc. They are so cute to look back on later! Last year we did a book, but I found this free lapbook at Homeschool Share and liked it. They did 4 or 5 little items for the inside before we moved on. We'll finish it tomorrow. Here they are working hard:

Then I read a book to them called Listen, Buddy. This book was PERFECT because I have a certain older child who might maybe sometimes possibly have trouble listening. Ahem.

To go along with our listening theme, we played Sound Bingo. My friend Carrie dropped it off at my house for me yesterday which just made my day. It was fun and we will probably play it again tomorrow.

Then we broke out our Bible to read and discuss James 1:22.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

We made jingle bell bracelets. That was for the Kindergarten set. Then I split them up a bit and had Sweetheart write a letter to Buddy (from the book) telling him how to listen. Little Bit and I made a fingerprint book about a little bunny. Lastly, I had them play Sound Concentration online.

Then I gave them a play break--it had been about an hour and a half by then--and Little Bit was very disappointed. I told them not to worry, Monday would be a "real" schedule. After the break we took turns looking through their books, talking about what subjects they would be doing this year, and making a cover for their Botany notebooks.

Oh yeah, I had some little memo notebooks--the kind that fit in a front pocket--and had them decorate those. These are the "Good News" notebooks. I can give them stickers to put in them, or write a note about something good they did that day. These will serve as brag books for Dad to look at when he wants to know how they have been doing. Also, hopefully, to reinforce things I want to see more of--"Thank you for reading to your little sister today", "Thank you for being quiet while Sissy did her math lesson" etc.

This day was not about academics or even being on schedule. It was just about waking up our brains after a long slumber and getting back on track. Sweetheart yawned ALL day so I know she needs a few more days to get into the routine before I throw hard work at her.

But most of all, I'm just glad it's over. Now we can get over all the photo ops and get back to real life. :)


  1. your day sounds awesome! I am going to get the Buddy book and I love the letter telling him to listen, Matt and Kate are currently learning about letter writing so that is PERFECT! I shall steall your plan (insert evil laugh here) I might even steal your brag book,,,, hmmm I will have to dwell on it! My personal problems with those types of things is that I have ZERO follow through- yes I know it is a GREAT bad habit to pass on to my kiddoes! I just think we would fill them out for a week and then never have the brag book see the light of day again! Maybe I can just change the concept a little.... hmmm (dwelling)

    Glad the sound bingo worked out!--never was I so relieved to open a box and FIND the cd where it BELONGS!!!

  2. Honestly we will use it more for a sticker book. Little Bit will really like getting stickers. But I'll try to write in them or at least put a smily face if they had a good day.

  3. Well, isn't it my pleasant surprise to come to your place today and see my first day of school all planned out! :) Love what you did with the girls, and so glad you shared!

    Looking forward to hearing more about your school year as time goes by! :)

  4. :) Yes, Karly. I did that just for you.

  5. This looks like it was a fantastic day! Your girls are so cute. And I noticed thier water bottles on the table with them...hooray!

  6. Oh I love it! What a great idea to have them hold up their grade levels for pictures. And I love the All about me lap books too. I will definitely steal that idea! I noticed Little Bits dinosaurs, how cute!

  7. Yes, we bought those with our school supplies. Everyone always wants a drink and I'm always afraid someone is going to spill....but mine had coke in it today. :)

  8. What a wonderful first day. I LOVE THE photos!

  9. Those number cut-outs are super cute. I'm going to have to remember that when my girls start school. :)

  10. Thanks for the idea! We did a giant K, with the date too. I'm going to use it on his art gallery now :)


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)