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Our First Day of First Grade...(homeschooling blog)

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I was inspired to blog our day based on the weekly spotlights that members are posting.

Today we got started with our "formal" homeschooling for the year. We are holistic educators and are using the Christopherus 1st Grade Syllabus. My ideas are ever evolving as I read the Enki Homeschool Teacher's Guide and add many Enki ideas to our lives.

We started by getting up at 6:45, which will probably be our normal waking time now that summer is over. I find that the boys need to get up by 6:45 a.m. to be tired enough to go to bed at 8:00 p.m. We got dressed right away, which is a change I am reinstituting; otherwise DS#2 would be happy to stay in his pajamas (or naked!) all day. Which causes problems when we want to go somewhere!

Breakfast was toast for the 3 boys (did I mention I have my nephew all week?), fresh bread for the adults, and fresh-squeezed OJ for everyone (I cheated and squeezed it last night to get a jump on our day). I asked everyone to bring their cups and plates to the kitchen sink rather than leaving them on the table.

I checked my email really quickly, then we all brushed our teeth and put on shoes. We leashed the dog and headed out for a walk around the block. While we were walking we observed the plants, flowers, and trees in our neighborhood, and also looked for straight and curved lines.

After our morning walk we plan to do circle time, but I am still waiting on some resources and I feel self-conscious in front of my nephew, so we'll probably start next week. The boys played for half an hour, then had a snack of watermelon and graham crackers.

We headed out front to walk, run, stomp, skip, etc. in straight and curved lines. Our neighbor interrupted us, so we talked to him for a few minutes, but it was hard to get the boys motivated again. We grabbed our sidewalk chalk and went out on the carport to draw curved and straight lines. The boys really got into it and I can see that they are going to have fun with the form drawing block.

Monday is baking day, so we had an "organic" math lesson as we measured and mixed banana muffin batter. I asked more questions than I usually do when we bake, and the boys did surprisingly well. We were doubling the recipe so they had to do some work.

The boys played outside while the muffins were baking, then came in and had their snack. Then they pulled out some games and puzzles and played inside. We scrambled around a bit looking for a rubberband for the Mousetrap game.

Lunch was easy; my nephew and DS#2 had peanut butter sandwiches, while DS#1 had a veggie dog. I've started offering this option as he doesn't really like traditional sandwiches. Again I had them clear their plates from the table. DH and I ate after the boys; rice and beans for me, a tomato and Tofurkey sandwich for him.

Next up for the flow of our day was quiet time, but with my nephew here it just wasn't going to happen (which is too bad, because they probably needed it even more). We need to buy a CD player for the boys' room so they can listen to quiet music or story CDs (which we also need to buy). I did lie down for about 30 minutes while the boys played.

Next up was music time. First we sang the six songs that we are working on for the next few weeks. The second time through DS#2 got pouty and decided if my nephew didn't have to sing then he didn't either. I asked him to stay with us while we sang. After singing we started some clapping games, practicing rhythm and listening by echoing each other. Finally DS#2 came around and joined us. After lots of clapping we switched to tambourines, and then other rhythm instruments. We tried stomping, but our house is old and all the furniture in the room started moving, so we stopped.

After that the boys played outside while I exercised. I really don't enjoy it and haven't been doing it, but it has been built into the rhythm of our day and I decided to dust off the bike and put in 20 minutes. I plan to work up to 45 minutes over the next month.

Around 3:30 I reviewed our dinner menu so I could start any early dinner preparation. Tonight we’re having a later dinner, as the boys have basketball, so I’ll need to provide a good snack around 5:00 p.m. Dinner will be grilled wild salmon, steamed red potatoes, corn on the cob, and a green salad. There wasn’t much I could do in advance. I did add water to the hot pot, so that the water would be boiling for tea time.

The boys were so excited to start up our tea time again; we did it all last school year but took a break for the summer. I made a big pot of decaf chai and read them three books: Choo Choo by Virginia Lee Burton, How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman, and Harvest by Kris Waldherr. The boys drank their tea and munched on crackers and kettle corn. Then everyone took his plate and mug to the sink.

We went right into our handwork block. We started with a verse and several fingerplays that we learned doing kindergarten, to warm up the fingers. Then I read them Pelle's New Suit by Elsa Beskow. I had planned to talk about sheep and wool, but decided to let the story sit with them overnight before doing so. I am really excited about this block, and ordered a fleece today off eBay so we can clean, card, and dye the wool.

The boys are drawing on the chalkboard right now. I'll decide if they need muffins before heading to basketball. While they are gone I'll pick up a bit and make dinner. After dinner the boys will clean their room (with help) and have a bath. Then it is jammies and a chapter book, before brushing their teeth and singing to them as they get into bed.

Once they are in bed I'll grind the grain and put on a loaf of bread, then make juice. After that I take my bath and dry my hair, and spend some time reading or talking to DH before heading to bed.
post #2 of 6
Okay, I officially feel like the lamest person!! Is this getting-started-enthusiasm or are you really always this organized?

Im inspired!! Thanks for sharing your day and I loved how peaceful and smooth it seems goes.

By the way http://www.greathall.com/home.html has the most wonderful story disks out there! I/we love them all!!!
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
LOL, reading it over I do seem rather organized. It all flows so nicely that it doesn't feel stiff or regimented, though. If you know Waldorf you know that it is all about rhythm! I really struggled with this, but find that we all do better with a good rhythm. Our meals even follow a weekly rhythm, LOL!

Honestly, I have been working on our daily and weekly rhythms for about a year. I started with a solid bedtime routine, meal routines, added in tea time, and then started adding in circle and "academics" last January. We are out of the house 3 mornings a week so I knew we needed to get the main lesson in early and then have the second and third lessons after lunch. I figured it would be easy to guide them into a lesson after quiet time (which is new for us) and I found that last year we naturally got more done in the late afternoon, so I planned the 3rd lesson for after our tea time.

I started juicing again about 6 weeks ago, and making bread is just really important to me because of the additives in store bought bread. But if I miss a night it isn't the end of the world; we just drink tea or water and I make eggs or something else.

Oh yeah, I bathe at night because I am not a morning person and I realized that I just wasn't going to get up any earlier than I had to, so showering in the morning wouldn't happen. See, it is all about observing your family's natural rhythms and working from there.

Thank's for the story CD link!

post #4 of 6
Very interesting! It sounds like a great day. We're using Christopherus first grade too--we should compare notes as the time passes. :LOL
post #5 of 6
I posted on the K thread, but my youngest dd is really 1st grade. I like reading what others are doing.


We watched an Eastern Painted turtle try to cross a busy highway and almost get run over in a gas station. It was pretty scary/exciting-- this is the first time we saw one in danger like that. And it was painful watching it try to dodge cars. These turtles are a proteced species, and we were pretty sure we knew were it was trying to head so got him/her out of the main gas station area (corner of a busy intersection). This is right near our house, and my dds wanted to sketch him/her. So we did put him in a container with water and a couple of insects for a little while. It was calm, stretching his neck way out of it's shell. Very cool. After that, we put him on the grass near the creek- on the gas station edge, in the same direction he/she had been headed, just out of speeding cars harms way. We watched for a bit and took some pics. We talked about habitat, protected species, human intervention, that fact that we could not keep it (my 6 yr old esp needed to understand this was not a 'pet'. She did name it 'Snappy', even though these turtles do not snap. She said it was a better name than 'Crawly', which is what it dod do-- and pretty quickly, i might add. ) etc. We put the sketches in the nature journals.

There were other things, bit that was the highlight. I printed out a couple of pages of facts on the little creature, but the girls seemed less interested in the scientific classification stuff... Although my oldest dd did add a bit of that info under her stetch.

On that note, I should say our rescued tadoloes are thriving. They are very big now. We like watching them poke their heads out of the water to eat lettuce.
post #6 of 6
I was just playing with you, I think your rhythm is GREAT! Especially that you can maintain it so well with company. Your nephew will be asking his parents for tea time now!!! :-)

We are working on ours still, we just relocated across country and we are trying to find our rhythm here in a completely different place. We do bake our own bread, mainly because to buy the kind we will eat costs a fortune and the home baked is so much more yummy. I do it on Sundays but will start having my middle son help with it, he has a new interest in cooking and wants to wear his apron and help with anything he can. Im trying to get our morning and evening routines together, it seems each day offers such different things, that to have it come together becomes difficult at times. However I think we are beginning to find our mornings. I struggle with rhythm or routine as I have never been "that person" I will flow more with what each day presents to us, however I fully agree with and want the rhythm for my children, it is so important for them to have that security and to have the freedom it actually gives. Im trying, but boy is it hard!!

Reading things like this really helps me!!! Very cool, and inspiring!
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