"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised." Psalm 113:3

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Day in the Life...First Grade

I don't know about you, but I think that I am a closet "peeper".  I just love to get a look at what everyone else is doing, using, making in their home schools!  So, in an effort to make myself less guilty about all of the peeping I like to do, I'm giving you an open-door peek into our homeschool days over the next month or so.

Today, I'm going to show you a day in the life of my Bug, who is newly seven and in First Grade this year...

7:00 am:  Bug has been anxiously waiting for the "7" to appear on the front of his clock so that he can come downstairs to start his day.  There's no telling how long he's actually been up (and I'm not telling how behind his clock is set **evil laugh**)

7:01 am:  Bug rushes downstairs to eat breakfast.  I set up a "breakfast bar" each school day morning for my kids before I go for a run, so all of his food is pretty user-friendly by the time he comes down.  He eats and reads, and reads, and eats, and generally takes his sweet old time.  Meal time can truly drag on in our home...

8:00-ish:  Now it's time for "morning jobs".  This week, that includes taking the recycling out to the garage and bringing everyone's folded laundry to their rooms.  He also needs to get dressed and brush his teeth and hair, and then he can start his "alone school".  

This is Bug's checklist.  Today was Day One, and all of the items with ** mean that he and I need to do them together.
9:00-ish:  By now Bug and I are usually both ready to start school together.  The first thing he does is his calendar work.  I've made him a calendar from some free printables online at 1+1, and I also add a page or two from a Dollar Store-type workbook--phonics, mazes, number practice, etc.  He looks at his checklist for the work he can do on his own, and he and I work together on the work he can't do on his own.

On this day, we started with his math activity and worksheet pages.

We then worked through two days of his Community Bible Study work, and then wrote some Thank You notes (for his birthday that was in October.  Oops.)  And my Bug doesn't particularly like to write.


So then we had to take some time to kick a soccer ball.  Of course.

Some spelling words and some storytime wrapped up our "work together" work.

And then he went to Centers.  Ancient Egypt this week.


I've talked about Centers several times on this blog, but have never gone into how we are using them.

Centers originated in our home when my love-to-learn Bug became resistant to anything school.  Knowing that I was blessed with a bright little boy, filled with curiosity and good reading skills, I started to try to find other ways to keep him enjoying school-type activities.  AND in a way that would satisfy my check-off-the-box personality that I keep trying to get rid of and just forever cannot!

Typically, I take a look at what my Firefly will be learning about over the next week or two in her Preparing Hearts for His Glory curriculum, and I try to coincide it with Bug's centers.
The last two centers we've done have focused on Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece.  I know that, more than likely, Bug will be in the same room playing while Firefly and I are reading her living history books.  And, more than likely, Bug will be listening very closely.

I just don't let on that I know this, and we do just fine!

So, while I am reading and discussing these subjects with Firefly (and Bug is listening), Bug is also playing in his center.  Ancient Egypt contained many books about the time and culture, coloring sheets, simple crafts, a DVD, and printable packs like this one, from 3 Dinosaurs.

Please try to ignore the blurry--Bug took these iPhone pics all by himself!
I let Bug explore his Centers independently.  If he completes an activity and I am not close by to show, he takes a picture of it with my phone, to "show off" his work.  So far, there has only been one center that he didn't enjoy spending time in--so I didn't push it.

I'm working with Firefly on her "work with Mom" work, Bug thinks he's playing, and I know Bug is learning.


We've been using Centers now for about six weeks, and it's been working beautifully.  I have to admit that it has been easier to find resources for some topics that for some others, and I am sooooo not creative in order to make my own printable-type fun.  But, so far, so good...

12:00 noon:  We usually stop around this time of day for lunch, which also includes a hefty dose of reading and eating and eating and reading, and so--takes every bit of an hour.  But since I'm reading, too (or blogging, or Facebooking--let's be real), I let it go.

1:00:  Firefly and Bug and I usually take this time to work on our Science together.  On this day we were simply reading from our Science book.  On others, we do our notebooking, or our experiments.

1:30 pm:  The Blessed Quiet Time.  Today Bug spent his room time playing with his cars.  Evidently there is quite a race going on that has taken them all over the world!  New York, Texas, and Egypt were the landmarks today!

3:00 pm:  Snack time, to be had in the car while we ran Turtle up to the local junior high to catch her soccer team bus to another junior high for a game.

I would go on, but schooling for Bug is pretty much over by this point, and the rest of the day (as usual) was a blur of soccer games, carpooling, rushed dinner preparing, rushed dinner eating, bathtime, and bed.

That's just a peek at one of my Bug's school days.  What does school look like for your first grader?

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