Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First Day of School

On a whim, we started school today. After I realized that planning was getting overwhelming, I thought that that maybe we should start things a little more slowly instead of jumping in headfirst with all subjects at once. I also haven't gotten all the supplies we need for every subject for the first few weeks, and it might be a while before I can. So, I thought why not start with what we can do?

The kids all agreed, so off we go!

I started Monday evening reading Peter Rabbit to my girls. Then, we did circle time while breakfast was cooking, and I made a grand discovery! I've got a budding singer on my hands. Lily (4) loved doing the rhymes Lucy Locket and Little Miss Muffett. She had the first memorized before the morning was over.

Ginny (3) tried them, too. They both sounded adorable! I had to really watch our candle, which we light at the start of circle time and blow out when it's done. Ginny is still a bit too young to realize that she needs to be careful, but it went all right. A.J (10). even joined us to blow out the candle together.

Ginny, posing while we did our drawing. She's a ham for the camera.

 After breakfast and cleanup, we did the drawing exercise, focusing on the letter A. My drawing was of a garden gate, as in the Oak Meadow Kindergarten Syllabus. Lily seemed a little intimidated by it at first, but I encouraged her, gave her a few tips, about filling up the page and drawing the A in the gate, and told about how the word gate has the long A sound. I love it that she took what I said and still put her own spin on it, filling up the page with A gates. Forget the garden! Well, the point of this exercise is to make the letters real and tangible to them, which her practice was certainly doing. Also, in the evening, we took a walk on our town greenway and looked for As in nature and made As with sticks. She brought home bunches of dry leaves and sticks to add to our yard. It seems we don't have enough :)

My version of the A gate, as a guide.
Lily's completed picture. It's hard to see, but it's covered with yellow A gates.
A.J. and I also began our exploration of Scratch, MIT's free software for kids to teach them computer programming. They have some videos on their web site that help kids get started. A.J. learned how to choose and delete "Sprites," how to change their colors, and how to use effects on them, such as swirl and brighten that are initiated by mouse movement or space bar clicks. He really seemed to enjoy it and had a big grin on his face. The videos really only served as a starting point; once he got the idea, he was off and running.

A.J. getting his first taste of programming.

1 comment:

  1. You did such a great job of documenting your day! Thanks for the peek into your new school year; I look forward to many more of these journal posts.