Monday, September 12, 2011

Our first day of Kindergarten!

Yay! We made it through day one of homeschooling! It sounds funny, but it feels pretty good to have one day under my belt!

Actually, to tell you the truth it wasn't that different a day than any other day in our home.  Kindergarten schoolwork really does not take that much time.  We started at around 8:45am after we tidied up breakfast and we "ended" lessons at about 10:30am!  The rest of the day was spent reading stories about the topics we learned about and enjoying some fresh air at the park and in our backyard.

Our first subject was the Bible and we read the creation story.  The two older girls enjoyed this and were fascinated about how God made Eve from Adam's rib (they literally had their mouths wide open...hopefully my explanation wasn't too graphic!!).

Next, we did math.  For Kindergarten we are using Horizons Math and are enjoying it so far.  Sofia is on lesson 19 and today we learned how to tell time on an analog and digital clock. She is also reviewing counting, writing numbers, shapes, and ordering of the days of the week.  Maya entertained herself nicely with the busy bags!

Actually, it was harder to keep Sofia from playing with the busy bags herself than it was to occupy Maya during school time!

For handwriting, we are using Handwriting without Tears.  It was developed by an occupational therapist and is a great way of teaching children to print using different strategies that really engage the student.  For instance to learn a letter you trace it in the air, build it from wood pieces, draw it big on a slate and write it in a notebook.  Writing that all down sounded more complicated than it is.  Really, it is a no preparation, easy way to teach neat handwriting.

Here is Sofia building the letter N with her workbook open to the page.  After finishing the workbook page, she loves coloring in the pictures in the book!

This is the slate that comes with the package.  I had to cover the wood edges in duct tape because it splintered so badly.  Aside from that, it works very well.  It is a great way to teach size and proportions of letters.  The small pieces of chalk are easy for Sofia to hold and makes her letters a lot neater than if we use a large pencil.

For language arts, we are also using Sonlight with Grade 1 readers.  I'm not sure I love this program, it is very very simple right now and Sofia flies through the lesson.  We are also using Explode the Code Book 3 and she is doing well with it.  It is also an easy workbook for her to do independent work when I have to attend to the other kids!

Wondering what Emmy was up to this morning during school?  She mostly played in the family room with blocks and her exersaucer and took her regular morning nap.  When she woke up she stayed on my lap until she found a dry erase crayon on the floor and went to town!

For the Sonlight part of the day we read aloud from the Boxcar Children and a Mother Goose nursery rhyme book.  For history we learned about dinosaurs and were able to visit websites provided by the internet linked children's encyclopedia.  Finally, for science we learned about the planet Earth!

The kids really enjoyed reading about the dinosaurs and they were asking me questions that I didn't know the answers to to the library we went and got out a ton of books on the subject.  Sofia actually chose one to read for her bedtime story...lets see how often she wakes up with nightmares tonight!

The day was relaxed and fun.  I didn't plan any crafts or songs or activities to go along with this weeks lessons..I really just wanted to be able to get through them comfortably before I add the bells and whistles.  Here's hoping tomorrow is just as much fun!


  1. This is a wonderful post! It's like I was there! I am so happy we chose this route! You are doing an amazing job!

  2. Glad your first day of school went well. It doesn't surprise me at all that it felt not much different from other days, and not just because early programs are so relaxed. Homeschooling is a way of life that encourages us to learn all the time, so there isn't nearly as much separation between school and the rest of life [smile].

    I'm sorry to hear that Sonlight's Language Arts isn't thrilling you right now. Please keep us updated on how that's going. We do appreciate feedback!

    Thanks for sharing this glimpse into your first day. May you have many more joyful days learning together [smile].


  3. Congratulations on what sounds like a wonderful first day!!!! Your daughter's smile under the kindergarten sign is just beautiful. It really shows how happy she is, and that makes it all worth it!

    May God continue to bless our homeschools! :-)

  4. So neat reading this..we are on the fence about homeschooling next year. Looks like so much fun!