the first week

This is part two of two of the series on our homeschool commencement. This post is more than 2 years old, but I wanted to share what Kindergarten at home looked like for us.

We’re almost a month in, and I haven’t had time to finish my report on the FIRST WEEK. Augh! So I thought I’d hit this up in a photo collage, then catch up in other ways. So much has happened! Weddings! Plays! All sorts of stuff! TIGERS! (I am not kidding, tigers were involved in our weekend).


Tuesday, Verity learned how to sort the silverware — a chore that we’ve added to her (small) list. She’s still not big enough to handle the heavy dishes that go up high, but this is perfect for her. We also hit up the local library and got her a card of her own. She even got to write VERITY on the back–she loves that thing.

I decided to try letting her do some of her work on the iPad — wasn’t sure if that would be my best idea, but it turned out all right. I snagged a trial of a French vocabulary app and she loved playing with that. We also opened up Penultimate (my favorite notebooking app) and I drew a letter in gray, and she’d trace it in black.

Thursday was a crazy. 9 AM rehearsal for the launch of our church’s new family fun/comedy/music/drama night, FX. After that, we went with our video producer friends from Millwork Films, LLC., to Piccadilly Parlor Victorian Tea Room to discuss the documentary we’re working on. Well. V didn’t go to discuss the documentary — she went to dress up. In fact, she didn’t even eat, she just got to be a little girl the whole time!

We hit up the school supply store for my friend Amy of Sweet Peripety, and snagged some awesome glitter glue, which we used to create the Eiffel Tower on Friday.

ART PROJECT (Madeline):

I drew the Eiffel Tower using her verbal instructions (square there! A dome on top of that box! Xes all the way down!). Then (with a little squeezing-the-bottle help from me) she traced over the pencil markings with the glitter glue.

We discussed why the Eiffel Tower is gray, and looked up information about steel, and how it’s stronger than iron, glass, and other materials.


first day of (home) school

This post is from my old blog and is more than 2 years old now, but I thought it might be helpful for new homeschoolers to get an idea of what that first day of homeschooling looks like.

We started school on August 29th.

I originally planned to do my Week One We Made It OH WOW post that first weekend, that weekend was packed. And the following week was filled with holiday (Labor Day), then increasing illness that led to a sick day on Friday. So here we are!

V usually gets up at about 7:30, so I was terribly amused when 9 AM rolled around and I went upstairs to find her like THAT —–>

She’s been totally psyched to start school, though, so once I lured her out of bed (I got her pink stuffed kitten Sharity to say SHE was going to have breakfast with me and do school instead of her) and she was dressed, her bed made, the dog cared for and breakfast eaten, we headed up to the library-turned-schoolroom.

We started the day off with calendar time. I’d snagged this puzzle at Target for a buck, and she LOVES using it.

After we settled in, we took a look at Philippians 4:12:

“Do all things without murmurings or disputings.”

We discussed what murmurings were–complaints, whining, unkind things said quietly–and that to dispute meant to argue. We talked about what kinds of murmurings and disputings happened around the house, and she lit up.

“Mom!” she said. “When I was in bed last night, God told me not to fight about school!”

My mouth kinda dropped open and all I could think was, Thank you, God! Later in the week she’d tell me she didn’t hear His voice with her ears, but it was kind of rumbly. 🙂 I guess Hollywood got that one right.

We prayed together to have good attitudes, and that Uncle Joe, who was starting grad school that day, too, would have a good first day. Then we moved onto Language Arts.

The Five in a Row curriculum had been suggested to me as a foundation for the first years, and my dear friend Amy from Sweet Peripety lent me her books to look over. The curriculum is based on (mostly) award-winning picture books and covers Social Studies, Arts, and Language in unique ways. It also includes some Science and Math, but it’s pretty light on those things, so I thought with supplements in those areas:

A) I would love it


B) She would love it

Which is all I needed to give it a shot. The problem (and it’s a very large problem, actually) with Five in a Row is that many of the books are extremely rare. For example, we have a field trip with a local homeschool group coming up to visit the Underground Railroad sites in Salem, so I would love to do Who Owns the Sun? by Stacy Chbosky…but it’s retail on Amazon for $129.


Yeah, I can’t do that. So I’m thinking about using a book like Henry’s Freedom Box instead.

I did already have several of the others, and snagged a few at the Friends of the Library bookstore. One of these was Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans. And since V’s been interested in France since her first viewing of Ratatouille, I figured it’d be a fun jumping off spot for us.

With Five in a Row, you read the story aloud one time every day for a week. As the student gets to really know the text and pictures, you have conversations about different parts of the text. From the ivy that covers the house (biology) to the “twelve little girls in two straight lines” (math – counting by twos and art – symmetry), you’re using an interesting and fun book to begin to explore the world.

V wasn’t reading full pages when we started on Monday.

By Thursday, she got annoyed when I tried to help her. She lost steam about halfway through, but she was sight reading and sounding out the first half.

On Friday, I read the book to her and asked her to listen for the rhymes. Then we went back through it and I had her point out the rhyming words. Some were on the same page, some were on the opposite, others on the other side of the pages. Some were easy “vines / lines” and some were more difficult “DAN-TON-ten-six / appendix.” But she caught on well, and it was cool to hear her figuring out the cadence of the spoken text.

This post is getting LENGTHY so I’m gonna cut it short and recap the rest of the (awesome!) week later. To end: here’s V and Daddy on Wednesday — the first time she’s reading through it herself. Remember we’d only read it twice before this.