Today was our official first day of homeschooling: Kindergarten for M and Preschool for C. I was surprised by how excited M was to be in “kindergarten”, even without having a school to go to. She kept talking about it all day! Today was the first day that I have ever put any emphasis on our homeschooling. And C wanted to be in kindergarten too!
First, I posted a daily schedule for the girls. They really loved knowing/seeing what the plan for the day was. I have planned a daily subject (started easy with Arts/Crafts for today) and kept enough flexibility in the calendar that I shouldn’t rebel too much.
We did our daily reading in our current chapter book (we finished the second book of the My Father’s Dragon trilogy). After breakfast and getting dressed, and some meltdowns about headbands, we went outside for a photo shoot of the first day. M held a letter K for kindergarten, and C held a letter P for preschool (which she insisted on holding upside-down). The baby also stood in the photo shoot without my insistence (I guess she is trained for photos) but walked away by the end to explore the yard. Then we came inside to fill out a questionnaire. I hope to keep these traditions yearly.
After completing the first-day questionnaire, the girls created an art craft by gluing their letters onto cardstock and decorating with glitter glue and sequins. (Since today was Arts & Crafts Day, I was so tempted to call it done, instead of doing the project I had planned for that afternoon. But I didn’t; both girls love art and are frequently seen at their art table drawing, cutting, or gluing.) M also decided to make her own questionnaire; she wrote Kindergarten on top of a paper, and then itemized 5 lines: 1) her name 2) her favorite word to spell 3) her age 4) her favorite color and 5) her favorite letter. So cute!
Then we piled in the car, with the dog, and went for a mini nature hike. We collected items for our Prickly-Tickly Book. The girls had a lot of fun finding and feeling the different textures (smooth, rough, soft, fuzzy, etc). We do lots of hiking as a family, but this was the first time we’ve focused on a particular sense. Lots of fun!
We came home for lunch and the baby’s nap. We read picture books while eating lunch (my new trick to get more reading in!). Then the girls ran off to play until it was time to leave for speech class. On the way to speech, we made a quick stop at the library to pick up a book on hold. On the drive home from speech we listened to an interview on NPR about feathers, learning that recently discovered Therapod fossils in China have feathers, and that the first feathers were for decoration/color and later evolved into aerodynamic flight feathers. After a snack, we had an impromptu dance party. Then we did an art exploration with Blow-Art Painting.
One caveat to this project was the inevitable “sucking-in instead of blowing” that my sensory C did. At least I expected and was prepared for it!
After that, we printed out some paper dolls to color (inspired by the paper doll M colored in her speech class) as well as some unicorn coloring pages. And now it’s more free playtime until Daddy comes home for dinner.
It was a great day, and I hope I stay inspired. I have a long list of activities, organized by subject, in my Evernote (FYI, I highly recommend Evernote…I use it to organize my recipes, homeschooling ideas, etc.!), so it should be easy for me to maintain the schedule. And the girls are just enthusiastic about everything I throw at them, and we spend a lot of time learning about their specific interests too. I think it is a great balance between unschooling and providing some structure. Only time will tell if it works well for our family. I definitely want to experiment a lot during kindergarten year so I have a better idea of our needs when we become official homeschoolers next year.