Aug 30, 2009

First Day of School

Today was our first day of school. Except for the camera giving me fits and the batteries running out and then refusing to recharge, and except for getting up half-an-hour late and having to hustle through our chores like chickens with their heads chopped off, and except for realizing off and on all day long that there were little things I had forgotten to do: like cutting out the paper dolls that I was so proud of having printed, and looking all over the room for the control sheet to the landmark cards and finally finding it in my binder, right where it was supposed to be... except for all of these things, school went very, very well. Our first days are always our best days, because everyone is eager and excited and discipline is entirely unnecessary. (ok, so the part about discipline is stretching a bit, but they are extraordinarily well-behaved on the first day)
We started the day off on the right foot, with donuts for breakfast. We got right on our chores, and found the first crimp in my plan, because I have their "morning routine" cards done, but I haven't quite finished their chore cards. And I meant to start them on those this morning.
After that, things got rocky for awhile. We rushed outside to take our Official First Day of School Pictures, and my batteries died. I improvised for a while, having the kids run to the front yard to count to 25, jump to the bedroom to sing the ABC's, do jumping-jacks in the living room... while I struggled with the batteries. I finally had to give up, call my niece to bring her camera so I could borrow her batteries (which I just realized I forgot to return) and started school. The kids marched into the schoolroom to find welcoming posters at the table. They were pleased with these, but were just really ready to get on with it already.
So we jumped into Circle Time. It went smoothly and took up just the amount of time I was hoping it would. And I only had to remind the big kids twice not to answer questions because it is the little kids' turn in the morning.
The rest of the morning also went well, with only a few minor bumps. The little kids remembered their Shelf Procedures and needed only a few reminders about making sure everything got put back on the shelf and to take stuff to their mats before examining it. The big kids took turns nicely and churned out their work in record time. We worked only an hour and half (including occasional mini-breaks) before lunch overtook us and that was plenty of time for the big kids to work through all of my morning plans. So on the days that we actually start on time, they will have plenty of time for fun stuff like playing on our Squidoo lens (you can find it on the sidebar).
Due to time constraints, we skipped a formal PE and they just ran around the yard while I hurriedly fixed lunch.
While the little kids napped, the big kids returned to the schoolroom for Afternoon School. It also went well. They had fun with the art project, listened well to the History and Science read-alouds and were sad when I made them stop so that I could go fix supper. Afternoon School went long, mostly due to the fact that the little kids appeared about an hour before I was ready for them, so we had to slip juggling the little boys around and bathroom assistance for the little girl in between reading and coloring and chatting. It can get kind of hectic around our house sometimes.
At any rate, school was declared an unqualified hit! (Kaytie even enjoyed math, she said.) And we are eager for tomorrow. Well, as long as that "we" doesn't include an exhausted mommy. Eagerness takes too much energy right now.
So I am off to bed, leaving you with these few pictures we managed to get. (The few good pictures I took of them doing actual work I am saving for my wrap-up posts at the end of the week.)

Alex didn't have a sign as I didn't really expect to have him today. But it is just as well, because, as you can see from his expression, he truly believes us all to be one step away from an invitation to an extended stay at the mental institution and usually rejects things like holding a sign to get your picture taken.

I don't know exactly what Lizzie and the Dad were doing behind my back, but it obviously amused some and inspired others.


joelle said...

I'm glad you had a great first day of school. That must be definitely encouraging.

One More Equals Four said...

Wow! You even took pictures..I am in awe!

Sounds like a great first day. We had a better day yesterday, although we still aren't getting everything done! I really do need to email you...maybe I'll go do that right now!


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