Thursday, August 22, 2013

Homeschool: Pre-K: Day 1

This Monday was an exciting day for us. We started "Pre-K"! Not long after Bridget was born, I decided that I was going to be a homeschool mom. I have no experience with homeschool whatsoever. I attended a public elementary school, a private (Catholic) junior high + two years of senior high, and two years of public high school. But I knew that this was wanted to do with Bridget. I gave it a lot of thought, crammed my lesson plans in at the last minute, and the first day of school came too soon.
Side note: According to North Carolina law, Bridget would not be starting kindergarten until she's almost 6 years old (so Pre-K when she's almost 5). She was born at the very end of September and just missed the cutoff. However, I'm choosing to start her structured learning now because I feel that she is ready. As far as the testing the state requires in elementary school, we'll deal with that when it happens. If she has to take the tests a year later than I would like, then so be it. But I'm not going to waste precious time because the state thinks she's not ready.
I wanted Bridget to feel extra special on her big day, so I bought her a new backpack (with matching lunchbox) filled with new school supplies (crayons, markers, puzzles, pencils, and books). Bridget is a huge fan of Princess Sofia so I thought she would love to have the princess on her backpack. (She does!)

Next, Bridget did her morning chores (ate breakfast, made her bed, got dressed, brushed her hair and teeth, and went potty) and we were "off to school"! So that she doesn't feel left out of having the first day of school pictures taken, I gave her a little sign to hold and snapped away.
Showing off her new backpack:

Then we were off to school! Our homeschool area is the breakfast nook in our kitchen. We eat our meals at the dining table in the dining room, and I've chosen not to have two eating tables in my house because that's just... silly. So, we were able to free up a lot of square footage in our kitchen to accommodate our new learning environment.

For our first week of school, I decided to really see where Bridget's at with her learning. Obviously I have been teaching her random things throughout her life, but I wanted to know how much she really remembered.

After our morning prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance (I insist that she learn this... I hear they're not doing it in schools very much these days), and Article of Faith, we started off with science class. I felt the weather would be excellent to start off with. We discussed what the weather was, what it looked like outside that day (cloudy), we talked about the things we do and the things we wear according to what the weather is. She caught on very quickly and was able to circle all the correct items on the worksheets about the things you see on a snowy day, a sunny day, and a rainy day.

Then we colored a picture about the weather. I wanted George to be included so he got a picture to color too.

After science, we learned a scripture story. I figured since this is the beginning of homeschool, we'd start off with the beginning of the Old Testament. We learned about the pre-existence and the war in heaven. After I told them (yes, them... George was there too) the story, we discussed it more and then watched a short video found on the church website. They both love to watch anything on my kindle, so this was a big hit!

Next, we had a snack and I put George down for his nap. Then it was time for some one-on-one learning. First we did some work on letters. I made flashcards of both upper case and lower case letters. She knows all of her upper case letters but I felt it'd be good to still practice those. She knew most of her lower case letters but would still get mixed up on "h" and "n", "a" and "u", and "b" and "d". After going through the flashcards a couple of times, she was getting much better.

Then was writing. I don't know if you noticed in one of the pictures above, but Bridget holds her pen with a fist. I've tried to correct her on this in the past but kept letting it go. Not this time. Here she is properly holding her pen as she practices some pre-writing skills:

It takes her a little bit to get the pen in her hand correctly before she starts writing, but just on the first day there was so much improvement. She did very well drawing her lines. I had worksheets for vertical, horizontal, diagonal, and curvy lines and circles. I was very impressed with her doing all of them especially with the new way she was holding her pen!

That was the end of our first day of school. She didn't want it to stop! But I didn't have anything else ready to teach her and didn't want her to be too overwhelmed and not want to do it again on Tuesday. So we left our classroom and had lunch. I am so glad that things went well for us!
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