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Our first day of school…

Just wanted to report and document our FIRST day of homeschool! I didn’t sleep a WINK Sunday night…tossing and turning…wondering if THIS was the best thing for our kids this year. EVERY year, we always reevaluate–and beyond a shadow of a doubt Rico Suave and I felt the Lord leading us to homeschool our children. As he traveled to meet different clients during our time of praying about this last winter and spring, it was quite amusing how almost every dinner and meeting he had with clients–the subject was brought up by HIS clients and how their families were homeschooling and how AMAZING it was. So, Rico Suave was on board long before Mama Young. But I’m there now–and this week marked the first day of what we have been researching and preparing for months on end!

I have two babies of course that I know will be the most challenging aspect to our learning…BUT they will also be our entertainment and provide us lots of laughter. Because the babies like to sleep in–we decided to rise early…and I woke up the kids around 7:30am when my alarm went off. (LOVE that my kids get to get more sleep…I’m quite the nerd when it comes to education and back in my teaching days I went to a weekend on learning and the brain. Most kids need WAY more sleep than they actually get. SO, I love that they can get more sleep when they need to now! But boy were they ready to get going once they got up!

We’ve been at an AMAZING private Christian school the last two years–but they get to go at their own pace now…and also be challenged at their own pace too. Lou whizzed through K math on day 1–so we’ll probably keep reviewing for a few weeks and move her on up to P’s 1st grade math. As a former teacher, I just love being able to move on to the next thing and really challenge the kids so they don’t get bored. My favorite line of Laney’s on Monday was, “Homeschool is way harder than school mom. My brain hurts.” And then Parker said like any boy would, “But Lane, we get to go get a snack and drink when ever we want!” So funny:)

Here is Loo working hard on math…

I wish I had video of how we start our day! We start with a devotional (Read through the Bible with Betty Lukens felt) and it was SO COOL to start with creation and let them all put the pieces on the board as I tell the story so they are a part of it. Then we will learn a hymn that goes along with our unit. So right now we are learning about creation in science and history–so we are learning St Francis Assisi’s hymn “All Creatures of the God and King”. (I told them a funny story about St Francis Assisi’s love of birds which they thought was pretty funny too!) AND THEN…the babies invaded.

I got the babies engaged in the train table so we could work on history. We introduced history talking about OUR history. We called all the grandparents and great-grandparents the night before to interview them. THEN we made books about our history to document what we learned about their past…essentially OUR HISTORY! (Can I just say I LOOOOVE The Story of our World curriculum already! It ROCKS!) Working on our books…

For those who have already gone to be with Jesus in our history, momma shared about their lives and we talked about what we did know–which led to discuss how we are able to know things about their past (stories passed down from us, letters, pictures, etc) and this is how we know history!!

I *thought* they could complete the entire workbook on everyone in a day–but I forgot it takes little kindergarden hands much longer to write. SO, we’ll complete this throughout the week! MEANWHILE…the babies had crawled upstairs and got VERY quiet. I debated whether to take advantage of the quiet and continue teaching or run upstairs to see WHY the quiet. I ran upstairs…and discovered they had tag-teamed to get the pantry doors opened and gotten out Trader Jo’s JoJo cookies. NICE. (You know they are SO good…they just couldn’t resist…the little stinkers!)

It was definitely time to engage the babies…so it was time for SCIENCE! We introduced our text from Apologia which will cover Astronomy. We talked about what astronomers do–and how astronauts and scientists discover things…so we “became” astronauts for a bit! We turned off all the lights and I opened up the “window” of our spaceship (aka “Solar Walk” app on laptop). The kids WERE amazed!!! They could not BELIEVE the wonders that God created!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE GOD CREATED THIS!? Oh if I could have had this lesson taped for my heart to hear over and over…the talk of what heaven must look like…how BIG God is…how amazing and creative He is.

Our spaceship began to approach Earth, and we identified all the places we knew…and they thought it was really cool how you could even see how it was day in the Americas but night time in China and Africa:)…

THEN…they went to each and every planet, explored space rocks and Oo-ed and Ah-ed over the craters on the moon, the rings rings and the radiance of the sun.

I loved watching their faces…and even Frankie baby participated:)

Love Laney and Parker’s expressions in these…(excuse our darkness…space can be dark!)

LOVED seeing their excitement and JOY of learning!!! We are traveling every day this week in the space rocket I’m sure–they love it! This is a great app for you to have at home if your kiddo is also learning about astronomy!

We did writing, phonics, reading…and we called it a day. AND THAT’S what our days pretty much look like–with Tuesdays being our day for fine arts where we go to classes outside our home. We are going to visit Gigi for lunch tomorrow…and Thursday we have an appointment at an assisted living to meet some of our soon to be VBFFs for the year. We figured we’d share our art and some of our crazy stories with the elderly…and probably learn quite a bit from them while we are at it too!

Sorry I won’t be able to document our daily lessons folks. This momma is doing way to much in our learning day to document it all!!! BUT I’ll definitely share them here and there because I know this year…like the others…I will want to remember forever.

Y’all have a blessed week!


Amanda - August 17, 2011 - 4:56 am

Hello! I am a lurker and decided to come out to ask you a question… I am homeschooling while on the mission field in South Africa. We started on Monday, also. We are doing the Apologia Astronomy and I was wondering what the actual name of the app you are using it? Did you get it from the Apple Apps? I am looking forward to following your new journey! Thanks!

Erin Crenshaw - August 17, 2011 - 6:39 am

What a GREAT day, Andrea!! I loved getting to “see” it!

Rebecca - August 17, 2011 - 7:14 am

Love it. Having the kids learn at their own pace is such an opportunity. I am homeschool preschooling this year. I need to check out the felt Bible stories that you mentioned.

Lara - August 17, 2011 - 9:18 am

I want to be in YOUR homeschool! Hee hee hee. I’m so glad for you that you’re enjoying it.

And Laney’s comment about her brain hurting is any teacher’s best compliment! When I was a teacher, on days kids said stuff like that I knew I was doing something right.

Alison - August 17, 2011 - 1:54 pm

So fun!!! Looks like it was a great day! And I wish that my alarm didn’t go off until 7:30! That would be great??? Ok, I am finally going to have to ask, what is Trader Joe’s??? We don’t have those down here in MS…

polly - August 17, 2011 - 3:12 pm

So glad y’all had a great first day. I told you last year that I knew you would make a wonderful homeschool momma. You have the gifts it requires or at least those gifts make it a bit easier. Can’t wait to keep up with your sweet family through out the school year. We haven’t even started (except my oldest)…. should have started this Monday but just couldn’t happen. Oh well, we’re shooting for next Monday :)PB

niki - August 17, 2011 - 4:29 pm

are you using “the story of our world”. I have searched for it and cannot find it…only “the story of the world” is it the same thing, and if not…where I can check out what you are using?

Dawn - August 17, 2011 - 6:59 pm

LOVE YOUR FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!!! Can’t wait to get started here….chomping at the bit….waiting for this move to be done 🙂 so we can get to it!!!

Great fun!!

marci - August 17, 2011 - 8:56 pm

Such sweetness….you will take them places that will forever change them and far beyond the galaxy of learning.You are courageous and I am so proud of you. Ya’ll google Tom Marshburn…he flew STS 127 for NASA he is Uncle Tom….SIster’s brother in law…one of 7 children…the last of the bunch…Presbyterian Pastor his daddy…SO, Tom is now going to fly in his next Mission with Russia…he is an MD and speaks fluent Russian…Blessings !

Carisa - August 31, 2011 - 9:39 am

I have been meaning to comment forever and finally remembered to jump on the actual blog-I read on my iPad at night in Google Reader ;-). Anyhow, I thought today would be a good day to say hi and “I read your blog!” since I wrote a post about adoption on my homeschooling blog and I mentioned that I “stalk” adoption blogs ;-), thought you’d like to know yours is one of them!!

I also wanted to welcome you to the homeschooling world, I LOVED your post with the denim jumper…cracks me up!!!