Tuesday, September 06, 2005

First Day of School

The following is a log of our activities on the first day of lessons. Don't worry, I won't do a blow-by-blow blog everyday!!

Today I got up at 6 a.m., because I only needed to do my 15 minute T-Tapp workout. We breakfasted at 6:30, then did our morning chores and devotions.

We started school at 8:00 a.m. with the first Bible lesson in Bible Study Guide for All Ages. We discussed some basic facts about the Bible and began to learn the four divisions in the New Testament (Gospels, History, Letters and Prophecy). Using a card with picture illustrations, I gave the kids a brief overview of the book of Genesis. The kids began reading about Joseph today out of the NIV. I was very pleased to hear how well they read aloud...Sophie more slowly, but surely. The kids illustrated the story with stick figures on one page for the beginning of their own "Joseph books." We played "Happy Man" (a more pleasant version of hangman); if they answered a question correctly, they could choose a letter to fill-in the blanks of a word. Of course, we spent longer on this than I intended (1 hr.), but the kids liked it.

I am so thankful for a laptop! I brought it upstairs to Evan's desk so that he and Matthew could take turns doing multiplication drills with Quartermile Math (a computer program with a horse or car race) while I did some math with Sophie. I could also knock some heads together (almost literally, but not) when the bickering broke out . Sophie whined about having to do math at first, saying she didn't want to be in first grade. By the time we were done with the lesson and she had completed 2 workbook exercises, though, she was saying, "I want to do more first grade!" (She meant math, specifically, and I had to tell her to wait till tomorrow!) While the boys did their workbook exercises, Sophie did a Rainbow Rock computer program which is companion software to the math program.

Sophie chose the phonogram game for the day: phonogram basketball. She rounded up an old LARGE stockpot and we found a plastic ball. Each time they identified a phonogram correctly, they earned a try at making a "basket." The ball made a satisfying "Clang!" in the pot each time they made a shot.

The kids spent some time polishing their cursive skills with a handwriting practice page. They're not quite back to square one since the summer, but the skill is definitely rusty.

Since the kids were ravenously hungry by 11:30, we broke for lunch. Leftovers from Old Chicago made prep a snap (We ate at O.C. yesterday using the free pizza coupons the kids earned through the summer library reading program.) When they finished lunch, the kids played around on the front porch for a little while. I posted the previous entry during my lunch break.

At 12:30, the kids all took a spelling diagnostic test to let me know where to start them in the spelling list. I can still keep Evan and Matthew together for spelling because they both scored at 4th grade level.

The kids took turns practicing piano and reading while the others practiced. Sophie turned her practice session into an ordeal for herself with a bad attitude . By the end of her time, though, I had persuaded her that a cheerful spirit makes learning a lot easier. She was more pleasant during the last five minutes and actually made some progress

Matthew read The Matchlock Gun from start to finish! Evan read in The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare. Sophie read Mouse TV which Shannon loaned to us, saying that it was Michael's favorite book (the book's lesson is actually about how much fun can be had when the TV is turned off.)

To finish "lessons", I read a chemistry lesson to the boys while Sophie read an Usborne book called Things Outdoors. I intended to try some beginner Latin lessons today, but it was definitely time to quit before we got to that!

Sophie ended the day quite enamored with "first grade!"

This afternoon, Matthew spot cleaned the guinea pig cage, while Evan cleaned their bathroom. They rode bikes for awhile; ate a quick supper; and now are off to soccer at a local Baptist church.

All in all it was a good day!

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