Sunday, September 14, 2008

THE FIRST DAY of school.

{our transformed school room}

{I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to have this space designated for school. It has made it easier for me to mentally let go of the house stuff and focus on Drew's time. We pulled all the furniture from around the house to fill in for storage space. Drew's little desk was a *steal* off the side of the road. I wanted to paint the walls a nice bright color, but we ran out of time. And I can't decide on a color. A project for another time.}

{Drew wore his authentic Italian soccer jersey on his first day}
{Drew's desk. We do most stuff on the floor area, but this is where he'll sit for *focus* time. The art is from the Met from our trip last weekend}
{we went exploring the first day and picked a bouquet from around the yard. it actually matches the Monet piece of art that is hanging above his desk. Those wood colored pencils are so chunky and earthy. They look like they were picked right from a tree. Could you imagine...a tree that grows it's own color}

{This is our THEME}

{Drew picked out his school folder. We used stickers to spell out his name}

{I found this HUGE board book. You won't believe me but I paid $1.25 for it! We were at a Borders that was closing and I snatched the last one on the mega clearance table. }

{I am using the
Five in a Row book. You take one book per week, read the chosen book every day of the week and draw out different aspects of it each day. The "text book" gives you springboard ideas from divisions of art, geography, relationships, literature, science, math, etc. This week was "The Story About Ping." So we looked up the Yangtze River in China, learned about peking ducks, the importance of making wise decisions, acceptin responsibility, painted a duck with watercolor, and even did a shadow puppet performance for daddy & Jack.

{using pom-poms to count out pings family: 1 mother, 1 father, 2 sisters, 3 brothers, 11 aunts, 7 uncles and 42 cousins---we skipped the 42 cousins}

{Drew's watercolor of Ping. He did this ALL by himself, with only verbal instruction and explanation from me. I showed him how to wet the paper first when painting the background with watercolors. Then how to make long horizontal strokes to make water.

{I purchased the KUMON books for writing for this term. I love the colorful illustrations and how it starts out *non-threatening* No solid or dotted lines yet}

{I stole this idea from Steph. It was fun to do and see his answers. My favorite part is "WHEN I GROW UP I WANT TO BE "an artist and go to Berkshire Life to work." This is what John does--though he mostly works at home and occasionally goes into Berk. Life. This made, made, made John's day---to say the least}

{Now with the great structure I can hardly keep this little *pod* out of the school room! He LOVES to "daw" (i.e. draw). We have our kids start "holding the pencil like an artist" from the very beginning, as Jack is modeling for us here (thanks, buddy). It's just one of our (many) quirks}

{Jack is a pro at "dot, dot, dot." Look at how cute he is. He even placed his cap up so it doesn't roll off---just like mommy showed him}

{what Jack did the 1st day of school. The boys each got a gift on the 1st day of school...a neiner tradition in the keeping. So Jack played with his first set of Playmobil contentedly in his highchair for an hour and a half!!! I'm thinking this was an exception. Though one time when Drew was counting something out loud, Jack piped in: "TWOO, FREE, FOHR, FIGH" He can almost count to 10 on his own}

{he also had some quiet play time in his pack n play during school time. Mommy is still trying to figure it all out}

{the teacher. wow. a lot goes into that word. this is something I was not educated for, nor really have any experience in. honestly, it was always that *thing* I never thought I would have to do. But thankfully the Lord has been preparing my heart for some years now and has brought many amazing homeschooling moms across my path and expert-teachers Steph & sis.-in-law Amber who always amuse me with my never ending questions and are always full of great ideas, lots of encouragement and loads of direction. And, of course, THE LORD: Who loadeth me with benefits and grace for this high calling. And I'm thankful it's only one day, one week, one kid at a time right now. I'm easing in. And after the first day, I thought, "Wow, that was great. That was just great!"

I know Drew had a great week also, but it did crack me up on the second day when I announced, "OK, time for school!!" and his reply came with a half smile, half furrowed brow, "Mom. How many days am I going to be doing this?"

Oh, Drew. If you only knew!

{My little desk. Every teacher needs her own space}



Anonymous said...

I've really enjoyed reading this post. I began homeschooling my own little preschooler a week and a half ago and you've already given me more good ideas. What a beautiful space you've created! I'm looking forward to hearing more of what you're doing with Drew (and Jack!... I have a 22 month old to keep busy as well!) Please compliment Drew on his beautiful watercolor for me.

Kristi Brodwater Henson

Bobbi said...

I just started homeshooling the girls this year. It has been so nice. We got into a co-op at our church. The girls each take 2 classes and I get to go to a Bible study and then help in a class. We use Abeka at home. I love what your doing for preschool. Enjoy this journey it's so worth it.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading about your first day of school. I became nostalgic about our beginning homeschool days - 19 years ago with Ben! Wow! I can't believe it was that long ago... Ahem! Well, anyway, I really smiled and chuckled at your last few lines when you wrote about telling Drew it was time for school on day two and his response was priceless! I'm still smiling! :)


loraena said...

Wow. I really like your school room and the boys are both so cute! You'll be an awesome home school mom, I can tell (I was a homeschooler, you know...) =)

Leah (Parrish) Millan said...

Girl... great job on the room, on the teaching, but most of all on going forth in spite of fears. I admire that!

The Stamper Story said...

This space is perfect! Your ideas are great and YOU are going to be the perfect teacher for Drew. You know him inside and out better than anyone. Every mom is a teacher and you've been preparing for this "formal" teaching for 4 years night and day. That's a lot more schooling than any ed major gets! Thanks for sharing everything. (I only wish I could click on the pics to enlarge them. I wanted to see every details!)

Stephanie (Wolynes) Steinbart said...

Bravo! I tried to call to shower you with praise, but to no avail! Fabulous job on your space. I just love it. So many wonderful details, both artistic and educational (hand in hand, you know!) Many wonderful memories will be made there. I love the 5 in a row idea and would really like to incorporate that into my year...Wonderful job on incorporating your letter L, great great great! Best of luck these first few weeks. I know I am a bit late with your schedule you requested. I have been in and out of internet, more out than in, for over a week. I did email you tonight though...
And what a great painting, Drew! Very creative and you show how well you listened and watched the pictures!

Ben and Carissa said...

I love it! What an adventure you are embarking on!! I bet he is loving all the special attention from you - lucky boy!

skB said...

oh wow! What a wonderful, terrific post!!! I cannot believe Drew's water-color! How beautiful! I'm sure that will be framed! ;)

Happy Fall to you, friend!