First Week of School 2012-2013

We started our first week of homeschool this week. We had our wonderful moments where everyone was excited to learn and so excited to be playing together and sitting and listening, and we had our moments of craziness and chaos. I love making these memories with my children. I am so overjoyed that this is my ministry. It's not everyone's calling and that's okay. My calling might change and that's okay. My homeschooling might look totally different than someone else's and that's okay. But, for this school year, I feel we are where we are supposed to be and learning the way my kids need. 
We talked about whole body listening this week. We read a really awesome book called Howard B. Wigglebottom learns to listen to reinforce that, as well as made a few projects and hung a few visuals (see here, here, and here). 
I am really glad we made a clip-chart for discipline. It has been another motivator for getting through our school day with happy hearts. It's really hard to balance school discipline and obeying me as a teacher vs obeying me as a parent. Overall I think that it's good for my kids to obey no matter what, but at such a young age that can be tricky to add schooling in the mix. This chart helps alleviate some of that, so I can encourage sitting still and doing writing through a chart and not hitting brother through a spanking or timeouts.  If the boys get to the top at the end of the day there is a special prize (sticker, computer time, ...)
 I introduced the kids to the calendar as well this week. Every day we started off with the calendar and reading books (related to our subject of the week) on the rug. (We are attending the library story program every week as well and I get a chance to pick up books there.)

Interactive Classroom Calendar; no. MTB800
We made a calendar book to show different things happening throughout the months of the year. I used this printout and my own stickers, cutouts, and stencils. We sang songs about the different months of the year (a printout from here).
An accordion calendar from here.
We cut out PlayDoh numbers and put them on the right day of the month.
We played with a magnet calendar someone generously gave me.
We made a calendar out of painted hands (idea from here).
Grandpa got the kids these cool things for Christmas last year. They are boards you can slip a worksheet into and then write on with expo markers. Then, you can wipe off and re-use the worksheet. We did a calendar journal everyday to circle the day of the week, write our name, circle the month, draw the weather...
I colored some water and had my son use a dropper to put the water on... the 12th... or the 27th... or all of the Mondays...
Nehemiah's favorite thing in life is technology so we watched several youtube videos on the months of the year and days of the week and went over our zoophonics animals.
We did several worksheets from a workbook all related to the subject of school or about the calendar.
 We did name and sight word practice as well as fine motor skills. We cut out some little books (Elijah is all of a sudden being able to use scissors now!) I wrote the kids name in pencil and they traced it in glue and then poured glitter on top.
We spelled with Cheeze-its letters (food is always a motivator with my kids...you spell it, then you eat it..for Elijah he just had to tell me what the letter was).
 Magnet spelling (Isaiah kept attacking the magnets and throwing them on the floor):
Using bottle caps with letters to arrange in ABC order:
And, per Daddy's request of favorite thing he did in elementary school, we did shaving cream writing. It was one of the chaotic moments of the week.

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