Monday, August 27, 2007

Home School: First Day of School by A First Time Teacher--UPDATE

Like everyone else in Texas, school started today, except we didn't get up at 6:00 a.m. (7:30) and we didn't get on a big, hot, un-air-conditioned, yellow bus. We walked to the kitchen, had breakfast, cleaned up, and started with our studies.

I was nervous. There seemed to be so much material and I really wanted to finish in three hours as positive reinforcement for the kids. See? It won't be as long as school. You'll get to go swimming for gym time! The day did extend longer than I expected but they took an hour break in the morning to watch Sesame Street with little brother. That won't happen again. When they take a long break, the momentum is lost. Lesson learned.

The curriculum integrates language, phonics, Bible, history and geography. So today we covered, no joke, Genesis 1 and the creation week, the location of Mesopotamia and believed location of Eden, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and modern-day Iraq. We prayed for the Iraqis and for our Troops. We discussed the notion of pre-history and imagined the world without fire. We also reviewed the continents and oceans. (They knew both. Montessori has a good geography program.) Spelling, hand-writing, math and reading were straight-forward affairs. The math and Latin curriculum are in the mail. Today, we worked on multiplication memorization drills. The kids also learned the proper usage of a/an. And they finished their day by calling a couple grandmas to do an "interview" for a future essay.

Sounds like a ton of work and I guess it was a ton of work. We just didn't have the business of getting up from desks and sitting down, walking to a class, going to the bathroom, recess and whatnot. So while I fretted about the TV watching, they probably waste at least that much time in class in the morning.

We didn't do art, music, or science. They will have to practice piano. They will have dance and drama. In the spring semester, we may join a theater group. I didn't buy a science curriculum. Maybe I will. If things go as I think they might, we may have Friday's free to do extra art and science projects.

The negatives: Bickering. Fidgeting. Irritating extraneous outbursts. Little brother braying like a donkey being branded to get attention. Perhaps this last issue concerns me most. Little Toot is not easy to entertain at this age. If sister and brother are here he wants them to play. I think this is a stage we'll have to endure.

All in all, not too bad. Perhaps it's the first love effect. It very well could be. From what I hear, there are highs and lows and good and bad days, sometimes weeks. That's to be expected, I guess. We are all learning the drill.

UPDATE: I forgot their read a-loud and their chapter books. They have two stories going--one about capturing family memories (thus the grandma interviews), the other focuses on the Island of Capri and is pleasure reading. They do a lot of reading out loud. They also have a memory verse set to music.

1 comment:

Heidi said...

What curriculum are you using? It sounds like a pretty good day. I think I could do it again if I put my little attention grabber in pre-school all week! Enjoy this special time with them!