Aug 18, 2008

First Day of School

So. The long awaited, much anticipated, first day of School! They were so excited they could hardly go to sleep last night. And while today was not exactly the pinnacle of excitement they had dreamed of, it went surprisingly well. At least, from their perspective!
Apparently, around bloggy-land, the appropriate first day back to school breakfast is pancakes, but, since I am not a cooker-of-breakfast-foods for breakfast, we went for a special treat sort of breakfast, and had pop tarts. With pink icing. !
You can probably tell from this picture who woke up on their own and who I had to get out of bed. :)

Then they waited patiently,

or not so patiently,

for me to finish the morning housework so that school could begin. Forget the dishes, laundry and vacuuming! Our education is on the line here!

Just as an aside, Abbie snatched this book from her brother's pile while he wasn't looking, then went and hid so she could read it in peace. :)

We started the morning with pictures, weighing and measuring. I meant to have them write books, but then we got busy and forgot all about it! We will get to it sometime this week, probably.

Kaytie, 1st grade

Nate, Kindergarten

Daniel, PreSchool/Totschool

Abbie, Totschool

(Alex and Lizzie arrived late and didn't make the pictures.)

We started our school day with Circle Time. (which will be another post) This picture is taken right at the beginning, when we were saying our pledges and everyone was still focused. They actually did well with Circle Time this morning. Nate participated, which is highly unusual. Daniel paid attention 99% of the time. Kaytie didn't take over, and Abbie was enthralled with the singing. She even provided dancing!

Oh yes, we are saying the Pledge to the Flag, they believe they have their hands over their hearts. No one has a tummy-ache.

After Circle Time, the morning got a little hectic. (I say that with clenched teeth and a smile plastered on my face) I had discussed with the "big" kids that the morning was PreK time, and their school would come later. I set them up at their little table with wipe off books to practice handwriting while I focused on the little kids. But it didn't seem to penetrate their brains. They still kept calling for me to come and check their work, asking for help, and generally not getting that they were not the focus of my attention.

It was the first day of school for the teenager, too, so she had questions I needed to answer. She at least waited patiently, though. :P

I gave the PreKers apple shapes, bits of red paper, cups of glue and paintbrushes. Daniel was thrilled with this game. He spent a lot of time gluing on his paper, kept asking for more pieces and kept saying, "Look Mom! I did it all by myself!" He was very proud of himself and the end result. After two years of watching the other kids get to do school, he is ecstatic to be allowed to do it himself!

Alex did his apple very seriously and with meticulous care. I kept encouraging him to put them all over the apple, and not just in a big pile. :)

For Abbie, this was a lesson in not eating glue, :) and a lesson on which end of the paintbrush we should use. She did get a lot of pieces of paper glued on her apple, though!

Then the boys matched apples to to baskets by color. Daniel found this rather boring. He knew what to do, but he would only do a few. I think he was just irritated because he couldn't actually put them into the baskets. I guess I should cut slits into it?

Alex enjoyed this game as well. He did all the apples, then did it again.

Finally, I gave them a coloring sheet that I had made on the computer. The point was to introduce the letter A and the number 1. Daniel surprised me by correctly naming the capital letter. He didn't know the lower case though, and he had trouble with the number as well. He and Alex enjoyed coloring this sheet. For Abbie, coloring meant: take out all the crayons, roll them, taste them, stick them back in the box and say, "A' done!"

For our active play, we played Ring Around the Rosie. To represent circles, which is our shape for the week.

And everybody fell down! Or clapped. As they felt so moved.

We went outside and blew bubbles. (circles, again) There really are bubbles that Kaytie is trying to pop, you just can't see them against the sky.

Finally, Alex and Daniel put together alphabet puzzles. Being such good friends, they "helped" each other, and had a very good time.

While the boys did their alphabet puzzles, I gave Abbie these foam letters and a bowl. She had a BLAST. She put them in and took them out of the bowl, she squeezed them, she showed them to me for me to tell her what letter it was. I showed her to stack them, and she enjoyed trying, but every time, she would knock the stack down. In this picture, she is saying, "Uh oh!" and trying to pick the stack back up again.

We also played with apples, and I cut one up for them to look at and then eat. But I didn't take any pictures of this exercise because I was NOT ABOUT to put my knife down! They were most impressed with the seeds, and the star pattern. Daniel learned what the stem is called, and talked about it for quite awhile. (he also pointed it out again the next day)

After lunch, everyone went down for a nap, while I rested and re-grouped. After an hour, I got the big kids up for their school-time. They were delighted to find and explore their school boxes. Their favorite item was the for-fun "reading" glasses they found!

We did math, reading, Science and Music. It was a breeze having only two kids to deal with! And they were on their best behaviour, so it went very well. Other than Nate asking, every 2 seconds, if he could go play on his Blog. We went a little long, but I think as I adjust to the materials we will be using, it will flow more smoothly.

So our first day of school was considered a success by all. Kaytie says she is smarter than she was yesterday, and that it was "just like public school, only better". (don't ask me how she knows?!?) I know it will not always go so well, but at least we have a good beginning to look back on.


Carisa said...

Too cute, I love the shot of Abbie reading the book she stole!!!

I am so glad you had a good first day!!


Julie said...

Oh, it looks like a great first day! I love the breakfast pic, I am sooo with you about not cooking breakfast lol. And the pledge pic was too cute. I hope you are having an equally great week.

Mama Teaching 2 said...

LOVE IT all! Enjoy the year!


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