I’m going to try and revive my blog with a post about the first day of first grade. Atticus has been asking about starting our homeschool year for the past month or so and after one false attempt (we originally had scheduled for this past Monday but I was just not ready), we decided September 1st was a good day to start. As we did last year, we read “A Time of Wonder” by Robert McCloskey and presented Atticus with his first grade gift: a set of block and stick crayons in a crayon roll. These will be his main “tools” during his first grade year. These were not the only new things we acquired for first grade – he has a desk from Grandma and Granddad Smith which belonged to his cousin Tyler and lots of new school supplies, including his current favorite – a scooter board. After Luke left for work, we went for a very short walk and came home to do some movement work. Our movement work this year includes an awakening (basically something active to wake up our bodies), movements to help Atticus work on crossing his midlines (just google midline crossing to find out why this is important), academic verses (kinesthetic learning), proprioceptive and vestibular movement to work on these base senses and fingerplays (which help with fine motor skills).
After movement, we read our first story for first grade – “Little Falcon.” Atticus lit the storyteller candle (he was excited to do this and proud that he was old enough this year 😉 and then sat enraptured as he listened. He clearly was ready to start the many stories that we will be reading this year. One of my favorite things was the way that he started reciting the verse that flows throughout the story the second time he heard it:
Golden oak gates rise up through the ground,
Guiding the child where gifts can be found.
Alone in the mountains soon magic may grow,
Back through mighty gates the child will go.
– copyright, Enki Education
After the story he asked to draw a picture (with his new crayons, of course) of the golden gates in the story in one of his new “good books” – a huge 14×17 inch drawing pad which we will use for most of our written and drawing work. Then, it was immediately on to “practice” work. Enki Education alternates blocks of Language Arts and Math throughout first grade and when you are doing Language Arts, as we are this first block, you generally do math practice. For this first block he gets to choose whether he wants to play with tangrams, pattern blocks, cuisinaire rods or origami. He choose the origami, but then he couldn’t find the instructions, so he asked for the pattern blocks. At first, he was monumentally unimpressed – he kept trying to build up – making towers – and the blocks fell down. I sat beside him quietly working on a pattern of a flower and finally he caught on and after making his own pattern said “these are really cool.”
He is so happy to have started and so am I! Hopefully I will be able to post a picture later – Luke took one with his camera phone as my camera’s battery went dead!