Friday, July 5, 2013

A New School Year, Part 3 - Pre-First Day of School

 Today's post is the last in our "Back to School Mini Series" here on Family Abounds.  Our topics have included the following:
      Part 1: Organization
      Part 2: Schedules
      Part 3: Pre-First Day of School

The idea for a Pre-First Day of School came from "Managers of Their Schools" by Steve and Teri Maxwell.  I mentioned this and another of their books on home management in yesterday's post on scheduling.

At the beginning of last year I didn't worry about preparing the kids because it was new to all of us.  We needed to jump in, get our feet wet, and start figuring out this whole homeschool thing.  This year, however, we have more to accomplish and everyone is used to the school routine, so I wanted to be able to actually get some work done on our official first day back to school.

The Maxwell's book has a lot of good suggestions for managing your homeschool and one idea that I particularly liked was that of taking a day before the first day of school - hence the Pre-First Day - to walk each child through their schedule, new subjects, and just generally acquaint everyone with this year's expectations.

We had our Pre-First Day of School on Wednesday morning.  Here's what I covered with each of the kids:

          -Go over school schedule
          -Talk about preschool time
          -Look over assignment folder (Abby doesn't actually have assignments, but she does have a packet of workbook pages and a phonics flash card each week.  This makes her feel like she's participating with the "big" kids in school time and it keeps her busy.)
          -Answer questions

    Hannah and Joshua
          -Go over schedule
          -Find supplies
          -Look at assignment folder
          -Walk through assignments
               *Independent Work
               -Writing (Joshua only)
               -Grammar (Joshua only)
          -Answer questions

After going over schedules, supplies, and assignments, I took a photo of each child.  This will be printed out and put on the outside of their 3-ring binders where I will store completed work and other special papers and projects from this year.

The kids also answered a question about what they are most looking forward to in the new school year.  Here's what they said:

Joshua, 6 years old (next week), First Grade
I am excited to do history in first grade.

Hannah, 5 years old (in October), Kindergarten
I am excited to do history and Greek in kindergarten.

Abigail, 3 years old(in September), Preschool
I am excited to do phonics in preschool.

If you're interested in knowing what curriculum and other materials we are using this year, check out this post.

In addition to what is outlined there, I have decided on Abby's preschool work.  We will focus on a toddler Bible curriculum which I wrote a few years back.  She will learn about Creation, The Fall, The Flood, The Patriarchs, The Life of Jesus, and some special units on Christmas and Easter.  Because she is showing many signs of being ready, Abby will also begin a very slow version of the phonics program that Joshua and Hannah used last year.

Our final addition to this year's academics is Koine (Biblical) Greek.  We chose a program called "Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek!" by Karen Mohs.  It starts nice and slow for the kids and progresses over several levels, at which point they can continue their studies with some more challenging programs.  Their first year focuses on teaching the Greek alphabet and the sounds of each letter.  I'm excited to learn along with them!

And that, friends, is our back to school preparation.  The kids have been praying for the beginning of the school year and are all excited to be "moving up" to first grade, kindergarten, and preschool.  And I'm looking forward to joining them in the journey as they continue to learn and grow!

Whether your kids learn at home or go to school, they always need preparation for a new adventure.  How do you prepare your kids for the start of the school year?  New school supplies?  New clothes?  A special breakfast?  Or one last summer outing?

This post is linked up at Mom Tested Homeschool Blog Hop.  Hop on over for more homeschooling inspiration.

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