Ok, so I hadn't actually planned on starting our year until the 10th, but ladies, I was craving some routine! To be honest, I think my children were too- most specifically Judah! (I plan to do a more in-depth post about our actual daily routine soon, but I want to give it a week or two of testing and refining first) So, this last Tuesday morning, ready or not, we jumped in!
The way MFW first grade is set up you are supposed to start with a short 2-day week for the first week, which should technically be a Thursday/Friday. However, since I knew that the end of our week would be kind of crazy we decided to do Tuesday/Wednesday instead and then be off for a long weekend. I really like how MFW eases the student into the year and doesn't just slam them with a full coarse-load of work from day 1! Next week will be interesting because there will be much more to do, but it still won't be the full load.
Since it was such a light week we were able to get school done fairly quickly, which was good because Roman is very easily distracted. I have created our schedule in such a way that he will have lots of breaks and I will be alternating working with each boy throughout the morning since Judah is doing some pre-k work this year. Roman very much values his alone playtime, so it is the perfect opportunity for him to have that need met while I am working with Judah. It is also good for Judah to be learning how to play quietly without getting into trouble- it's a work in progress. And then there is the matter of working Emmerson into the whole mix! My hope is that she will mostly be napping in the morning but her schedule is still fairly unpredictable, so we utilize the swing a lot and try to remain flexible without completely getting off track and having the whole day go down the tubes!
I think Roman and I are likely going to need to get up and act a lot of things out this year because the just sitting and discussing is simply not engaging enough for him. Our first day we were discussing what scrolls were and as we were talking he kept coming up with very abstract questions, such as, “Oh is dad still here?” because his eyes had wandered out the window and noticed The Carpenter's truck was still in the driveway! Then, when The Carpenter came downstairs in the middle of our lesson and asked Roman what he was learning about, his response was, “I don't know.” We were literally in the middle of our conversation and he couldn't spew out one little morsel of anything we were discussing! At my obvious frustration he said, “Oh, we were talking about Jesus!” NO! We were not! We were talking about scrolls! And the OLD Testament! I tried to calmy guide him back to what we were actually talking about without pulling out all my hair… but yeah, we're going to need to work on that for both of our sakes!
One of the reasons I picked this curriculum, though, is that it is very hands on and has many art components- something Roman thrives on! However, our actual art curriculum doesnt kick in until day 4 and Roman was SO disappointed when he found that out on our first day! So we broke out the water colors and huge sheets of paper and I let both boys have some free painting time when our actual lessons were over. Luckily, there wasn't any huge mess for me to clean up and they were both satisfied with having done some sort of art.
On day 2 we made some clay pots, such as those that scrolls would have been stored in, only on a much smaller scale. I had heard that the clay recipe in the teacher's manual wasn't awesome so we opted for some Crayola air-dry clay that I had on hand from last year. My hands are so full right now that it was nice to not have to prep anything! Roman really enjoyed the project and Judah probably would have if he hadn't decided to chuck his clay across the room and then subsequently have it taken away!
*A little side note here! This year I am using the Artkive app on my iPhone to document all of the boys' art projects from this year. It is a pretty slick little app that allows you to plug in all the information for each kid, such as grade and any notes about the project, take a pictures and then have it all printed into a chronilogical book at the end of the year! You can also email the pictures to friends or family right from the app. It's a great little tool that I highly recommend!
To finish up our first day I attempted to read aloud Peter Pan during lunch, as that was the book Roman had chosen to be our first read-aloud of the year. Have any of you ever tried to read Peter Pan… aloud… without having previously read it? Um, yeah, it went very similarly to how Tom Sawyer did last year. I may as well have been cold reading Shakespeare because it did not go well! I just couldn't make sense of it on the fly! So, we have switched to the next Imagination Station book in the series for read-alouds until mama is able to read Peter Pan to herself so that she can do it more justice and have it make sense to my poor, confused children! (I will say, however, that what I did manage to read to them was done in a brilliant English accent! I got that much right!)
This coming week promises to be much more intense and I am trying to take this weekend to get myself really prepared for it. I have all of our needed library books, I'm going to get the house in order so I simply have to maintain it through the week instead of overhaul it, and I'm even planning on cutting Roman's hair so I can finally take his back-to-school picture! Our first full week is going to be great! I'm determined!