Tuesday, September 3, 2013

First Day of School Tomorrow

Well, looking at the clock, really, it is today.

The summer has flown so quickly.  I'm sitting here and the breeze coming through the window has some very chilly fall undertones to it. 

But still, when I looked at the calendar this morning, I couldn't help saying WHAT THE WHAT????

How can it be September already?

And tonight I find myself awake with anticipation over tomorrow.

Tomorrow we fully immerse ourselves in a new way of learning and family life and I'm so excited, I can't sleep. 

I'm hoping the routines and rhythms we create together will help us to connect again, feel relaxed again, and most of all, have fun again! We've started some and I have noticed a marked change in our day to day interactions already.

So here is a basic outline of what we'll be doing in the coming weeks.

Wake, eat, dress, walk dog, all the nitty gritty that happens every morning.

Next up, morning circle.  This is where stories will be told, songs will be sung, games will be played, and it will be the basis of the main lesson work that comes next.

At each circle, stories and songs will focus on specific topics. Tomorrow we'll be starting with phonics for my little lady, and I have created a story that I will share while drawing pictures at the same time that incorporate the letter a and words that being with that sound.  The next day we'll stay with the a theme, read a story called Mouse and the Great Big Apple, and focus on math by talking about, and using a real apple, sharing an apple.  For Anna we will focus on the number one (each person gets one piece) for Alex I'll focus on beginning to learn times tables through grouping. Then the next day we'll go back to A and the next we'll do math again. Right now we are only going to be doing circles four days a week.

After our morning circle, we move on to working on our main lesson book.  This is the extent to our table work this year, will be short and sweet and focus on what was discussed during our circle.  Tomorrow, Anna and I will draw things that start with Aa and practice writing the letter. Alexander will work on "a" word patterns, drawing pictures and spelling the words beside them. 

Alexander will also be doing JUMP math, because he was sad to have completed his math workbook and not have something to continue.  And he will also read aloud each day from a reader of his choice.

We'll also have time to continue our project work.  Each of us currently has a project we are working on that we focus on for a period of time each day.  These are things we chose, and are available for us to work on whenever and however long we want.  Alexander right now is working on knitting, Anna is making a robot out of recyclables as well as making puppets out of felt with me and I try to write when I get a chance (but really, any time one is working on a project, I take that time to keep the house from looking like a bomb exploded.)

Geography we'll do through History which will be told through stories.  Right now we are reading Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, as well as looking through the History of Canada and how European's settled and lived when they first came to Canada. Later this month we'll be visiting Crawford Lake Conservation Park and see a longhouse and learn about First Nations heritage.

For science we'll mostly be working on observing the natural environment and study what the kids show an interest in.  This will happen more incidentally, but will also make it's way in to morning circles. 

But most importantly, what we'll be doing is singing.  My kids love to sing.  They love to hear me create songs on the fly, silly poems about mundane things.  They love finger plays and nursery rhymes and we'll be doing a lot of those all day long. 

I'm excited!  And I really should be getting to sleep so I don't feel like a zombie tomorrow...

Happy first day of school, how ever you plan to celebrate it!


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