Thursday, September 1, 2011

First Day of Homeschool: Review

Well, being realistic, I know that it's going to take time for the boys to recognize, that I am their instructor, and they cannot grin and get away with messing around. So, it was a slow start this morning, because there was a lot of hopping around and excitement. I chose to include a bible verse and instruction in the first part of our morning routine and chose Ephesians 6:1-3

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord. For this is right. Honor your father and mother. This is the first commandment with a promise: so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth."

I explained that one of the reasons we obey our parents, is because it is a way to show respect. God even tells us, that when you obey, things will be good and you will live a long life. I explained this by telling them how I tell them not to play with something sharp, because if they disobeyed and played with it anyway, they could get cut, which would hurt. If they were to consistently disobey, it's possible they wouldn't live for long. For example, if I told them, "Don't play in the road!" and they did anyway, they could get hit and killed by a car.

We did the pledge of allegiance, then it was journal time. This took longer than expected, because they had trouble following the instructions and I made them start over. Then, it was time for lunch and a run outside. We checked on the chickens, and tried to chase down Chloe (the kitty), but she was too busy hunting bugs.

I had stayed up (too late) and printed worksheets with a "first day of school" theme that included coloring pages. This was meant to ease back into working. There was a word search, and decoding a message. Whoever finished first was allowed to read until the other finished.

Next, we had art and music. I found a great site that gives really fun lesson ideas. First, we talked about how music can set a mood or make someone feel an emotion, depending on how the music is played. The example I gave was to play the selection "The Elephant" from "The Carnival of Animals". We talked about what it was about the song that made it about an elephant. Then, I had them get a blank piece of paper divided into four sections and numbered. I played four different pieces a few times over while they thought about what it made them imagine. Then, they drew the picture one of the boxes. When we were done, I played the pieces again, revealing what the composer what trying to help us see in our minds. The music I used was:
When they were done listening for the last time, I had them each explain what their picture was about, while the music played. It was fun to see what the music made them think of.

Next, we went on to another packet that finalized our lesson on "Parts of a Letter" and we talked about writing a friendly letter. It was a short exercise, but helped them learn how to write it neatly.

We then had the final packet, that I photocopied from workbooks. It was a variety packet that had two sided pages of math, spelling, writing, and reading. This is taking longer, because each packet is specific to their ability, so I have to take the time to explain each page.

Finally, I want the day to end with reading. Since Roald Dahl's birthday is coming up mid month, we are going to the library to pick up James and the Giant Peach. At the end of each day, we will read from that and at the end of Roald Dahl's birth week, we will watch the movie James and the Giant Peach. I projected about four hours for the day, and we ended up taking five and a half. Not bad!

I got some really great ideas for the first day/week of school activities and lesson plans, from HotChalk's Lesson Plan Page. Fun resource, and where I got my "draw what you hear" lesson.

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