Monday, September 3, 2012

The First Day

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Our whole family has been anxiously anticipating the start of school this year. It is the first year I will be schooling two children at home, and I am so excited—though not nearly as excited as my kiddos!

Sophia is beginning what we are terming “first grade” for simplicity’s sake. In reality it’s a hand-designed curriculum that spans material from late Kindergarten through second grade competency, according to Washington State standards. James will be using the same preschool curriculum I wrote up and used with Sophia two years ago. He will be learning his letters and numerals through 10, as well as exploring many different themes through our Learning Baskets.

Since this is my second time around with the preschool curriculum, I feel ready to share it with y’all and plan to do several posts on this in the coming weeks and months. I may also share tidbits from our First Grade curriculum as I feel ready, but I do like to test drive my methods before recommending them to others! (I wouldn’t share a recipe with y’all before I’d cooked and eaten it, so I definitely won’t be sharing untried parenting or educational advice.)

I will say that our subjects this year include:

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And now I will get to it and leave you all with the words our family prays each year at the start of school:

    Blessed are you, God our Father,
    Maker of the universe:
    You have sent Jesus to be our brother
    and to save us in Your love.

    Bless + us as we begin this year,
    and help us in all we do for You.
    Let Your Holy Spirit give us light,
    and lead us to You
    through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. Thomas Aquinas, patron of students, pray for us!


  1. Oh how fun! I love a home filled with books!

  2. I would love to hear more about your first grade curriculum, as we're doing 1st grade here too, and I am always looking for ideas! We're almost finished with our first term (we started in July and will be slowing down in September when our newest baby arrives!), so I'm starting to blog (on the blog I share with a friend) about our curriculum now that we've had a chance to "live" it a bit. I just posted about our religion studies--we're doing the Old Testament as well this year! I technically have a preschooler too, though I'm not doing anything formal with her yet. :) Looking forward to following along on your education journey.

  3. Fun! God bless your school year!

  4. May God bless your new school year! It's so wonderful to have enthusiastic students, isn't it? I am happy to say that my 8th and 9th graders were still excited to get their new materials and dig in this year. They just don't express it quite the same way as our kindergartner. He's got us all pumped up, and I'm so thankful for the energy he gives us!

    I look forward to seeing more of what you're doing.

  5. I can do all things thru Christ, who strengthens me.

    Phillipians 4:13


  6. So fun to see what you are doing. I love how you have outlined your bible study... gives me some good ideas. I would love to hear how you have got your kids excited about homeschooling. I feel like with my little boy (who will start kindergarten next year) that all his cousins and friends are so excited about getting backpacks, going on the bus and finding out who their teachers are that he is feeling like homeschool isn't "real school" and isn't as fun or exciting. If you have any ideas about how you have gotten your children excited about it that would be great!

  7. Heather, I just wanted to say that my youngest was feeling exactly like your son even though he's been living with three older homeschooled siblings his entire life. I just kept talking about how much we were going to learn together, and talked a lot about the materials I was ordering for him. He got very excited when I decided to order science for him that includes experiments.

    Also, who says he can't get new school stuff?  Let him choose a nice pencil case, colored pencils, other fun craft things, or even a back pack to keep some workbooks or something in, if that gets him excited.

    Talk about how nice it will be to cuddle up with some hot chocolate and read together when it starts to get cold. Show him your own enthusiasm, and he will catch it from you! Hope that helps a little.

    1. Sue, I was writing my response (below) at the same time you were posting. You said it all perfectly!

  8. Heather - I know what you're talking about. Now that Sophia is 5 and some of her little friends are headed off to conventional schools, she has been wanting a lunchbox, backpack, etc. One thing to think about: there's no harm in getting either of those things! Your son can keep his books in his backpack, and when you go out on field trips, he can bring a lunchbox or sacked lunch. You can buy notebooks and pencils at the big sales just like all the other kids. Another great thing (if you can) is to find other homeschooled children in your area (within a couple years of his age, but not necessarily the exact same age) to have play dates with. Be sure to point out when you're having fun at the park at 10AM on a Wednesday that all the other kids are still stuck at school--meanwhile, the world is your classroom!

    Blessings as you go!


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