Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Our first day of school

I had not planned much of anything for my kids' school yet, but was determined that they would be productive. While I was getting dressed and ready for the day, I told them they had to either clean or do school work. It is amazing what they can come up with when you put it that way. Grace and Mandi worked on handwriting without tears and Levi satrted planing a story he wanted to write. Mandi even found one of her old handwritng books and worked with Olivia on making "F".
So after looking at book lists on line, we headed to the library, for each kids to pick out at least 2 books to read. I told them that they had to be a book that I agreed on and one that they were interested in. Then I told them to read while we went to the bank. It was so peaceful in the car. Then I told them to continue to read while I made lunch.

After lunch, we read Bible verses about "work". I think they got the point that God intended for us to work and that it is a good thing. Then I had a long conversation with them about hotels, disney world and our house. Levi made me giggle when he said, "I see where this conversation is going." But, I am thankful that they received what I said well. It doesn't always work like that.

We also prayed like they learned in Children's church last Sunday.

Jesus said to pray this WAY.

Worship--God you are________________

Ask--for forgiveness and provision
God please forgive me for__________
God please provide_____________

Yield--God I will____________________

After Bible time, I went to each child's clean room, ( made them clean them in the morning) and talked with them privately about what they had read and then picked out a portion of it to copy for copy work. While I was doing that, the other kids had to do any schoolwork they wanted. Mandi wanted to do math, so I had Levi print some work for her from mathisfun.com. Mandi said, " You always make it too easy for me." I said, "Talk to Levi about it."
At one point, Levi was correcting Mandi's work and circling all the letters she wrote backwards.

My time with Grace was typical. She chose to read The Witch of Blackbird Pond, which I was thrilled about. She loved it when I read it aloud to them, so she wanted to read it. It is not an easy book to read and Grace struggles with reading, but she was determined. When I walked into the room, she said, with an attitude, " I'll read it but I won't talk about it." I think she was responding to the fear she felt. She reacts like I am expecting her to repeat every single word she read. I don't think she understands the request, so she feels like there is no way she can do it so she will just give up before she starts. I gently asked her questions about the book, which she always knew the answers. She loosened up and by the end of our time, she was feeling much better. I also went over her cursive handwriting with her and she felt good about that. She had completed about 10 pages in HWT.

Mandi chose to read The Chalk Box Kid. She was excited about talking about it and eagerly did her copywork.

Levi chose to read an A to Z Mystery, not exactly my favorite choice, but I know he will read many more books this year. He read half of the book yesterday and had no problem telling me what happened. He quickly did his copy work and was on his way.

I am feeling hopeful. I now have three readers, so anytime I can't work with them, I can tell them to read and they will be quiet and busy. The girls also like handwriting, so they can do that, too. Mandi is begging to start cursive. I feel like I am giving them more ownership of their learning, if that makes sense, and I like that.


chewhi said...

yes it makes sense... I always loved that too.

5Gustos said...

Sounds like you all had a lovely learning day!

ann marie said...

What a great day of school. I like reading what you guys do. You really seem to enjoy it.

Tiffany said...

Your day seems just perfect. You have a gift for doing school without getting caught up in all the stress of it. You are good at keeping it simple but really good. I love the idea of having them pick two books that they will read.

Melissa said...

Great post! Isn't it wonderful to have readers!! Finally, all mine are independant readers.

Julie said...

What a productive day!

GardenofGems said...

I wish I could be more like that. I feel like if I am not having them keep up with a curriculum, they are not learning. But I do feel like we finally found something that Lucas is excited and passionate about. I'll tell you more about that later.