"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Monday, September 9, 2013

First Day, Second Time

It was our annual First Day celebration today! Our first official day of semi-structured home learning....sorta-school. You may remember last year, our first big recognition of the occasion.

I want the boys to feel special, for learning to be ardently celebrated and yet to avoid the pale, cheesy, chasing after "normal," pretend about making a xerox-of-a-public-school here in the living room. Walking that line. I was going for warm tradition capped with a little buzz and hoping to avoid wanna-be mimicry. We had warm apple dumplings for breakfast...apples because they are a modern symbol of teaching and dumplings because they are a once a year treat that goes down delightfully sweet and fallish. Each boy came down to a special congratulatory sign on his plate, welcoming him to his new grade level. And then I put a candle in each boy's dumpling and A and I sang to them "Happy First Day to you, Happy First Day to you, Happy First Day, happy first day of schoooool, Happy First Day to you!" So fun to see big sparkling eyes and happy grins, over the top of the flickering flames.

Then we hopped in the van for our 2nd annual drive around the block to the street in front of the neighborhood school where we hooted and hollered and honked the horn and then wheeled back around and took Daddy A to the train station for work. Once we were home we had a big dance party in the kitchen and commenced the formal learnin'.

Mondays we will studying My Place In This World which is a self-composed course about micro-geography. Our street, our neighborhood, our city, and eventually our state and then a sketch of how that connects to the country and the world. Right now we are going to focus small and work from the concrete things they can easily grasp: What is an address? Where are N S E W in relation to my front door? What is a neighborhood? And move outward.

Tuesdays we will be studying Science, right we will be talking about Fungi, Molds and Their Kin. Lots of hikes and experiments in our future. Hopefully a lot of mushroom picking!

Wednesday will be Art day. We'll be mixing together some big art projects (weaving! beading! drawing in perspective!) and sometimes field trips or artist studies with our new basic piano instruction plan. I am not a piano professional but this a bite sized nobler book about beginner theory on reading and counting music and even I can hack it.

Thursday we will have another mama-hatched ideas, a Social Skills class. This will be like a modern manners course mixed with Life Skills for kids: how to make a friend, how to tell a joke smoothly, how to read body language, cultivating empathy, good listening tips, appropriate greetings, how to read expressively etc. Am excited about this concept and about the many field trips required to make sure my boys get a lot of practice building these skills into instincts.

And we 'll round out the week.with History. We are still going to be in the ancient world moving on past the Mesopotamians, Sumerians and Baylonians to Greece, Egypt and Rome. So much good stuff to read, experiment with and go see together! Very exciting.

Reading, writing and math all happen every day in addition to the daily topic.

Here's to the next learning season! Happy First Day, y'all! Photobucket

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