We started school this week! I did not think I was ready, had not finished organizing the school room (dining room), but finishing up this project was a huge motivator for me to just do it. (I debated waiting a week or two until I was "ready." Well, I figured life will go on no matter what, so we might as well jump in.) We have had a great week so far, so I am glad we did!
Here is how we are starting our day:
This is geared towards Malachi mostly. I started homeschooling when Dylan was in 5K (he is now in 5th grade).
I made a calender for Dylan and Nathan (1st grade at the time) much like the one below:
I made this one on foam poster board (just like the Morning Board below) and added a border that I picked up from Dollar Tree. The apples came from Dollar Tree too ~ I wrote the number on with a thick Sharpie, laminated them and attached them with velcro dots. I made the days of the week and months cards and laminated them too.
We follow the Biblical calender as well, so I included both. On months that we remember the Feast days, we will track the Biblical days on the calender with smaller numbers that I will make. (I'm thinking little worms with numbers on them would be so cute! and then I could place them in the upper right hand corner above the apple). I have until the 10th of next month to figure it out!
I also bought various borders and cards so I could change the calender periodically.
To help learn the days of the week, I sing the "Today Is" song in English, while I point to the day on the calender:
And then I added some Hebrew to the song.:
Today is - Hayom
Yom - day
Etmol - yesterday
Machar - tomorrow
Maybe we will add more Hebrew as we learn some more!
I bought this apple pointer to go along with our apple themed calender. =) I use it to teach Malachi, and then he uses it to show me what he remembers.
The Morning Board:
The idea and inspiration for the Morning Board comes from:
- Homeschool Calendar & Morning Board from Jolanthe @ Homeschool Creations
- Carisa @ 1+1+1=1 Calender page
Check these sites for links to printables!
I added a few of my own elements to the board ~ below the "Days in School" spot, I added plastic cups to hold ones, tens, and hundreds straws (little coffee straws). As soon as he gets to ten, I will add the tens cup. The ones are green, the tens are red and the hundred are blue. (I love the visual of this!)
I added a spot for Character Quality cards that I printed from Sarah's Sweeties (thanks to Jolanthe for the link!). Rather than printing them full size, I printed them 9 to a page. Each day, I let the little ones pick a new character quality. I read the card to them (the card includes the quality, the definition, and a Bible verse) and we talk as a family about how we can display that quality throughout the day.
Eliana does the weather (she checks the sky and then hangs the card while I sing the weather song), and Malachi does the temperature. I decided to not have him fill the thermometer in all the way because dry erase marker does not erase well on the laminated pages.
I also added a "Let's Learn Hebrew" spot and a Telling Time spot. I will add Hebrew vocabulary words once we learn the Hebrew on the Board. I ask Malachi for the time in Hebrew, repeat in English, he looks at the time on the stove, then tells me the time (I say "the time is" in Hebrew ~ hasha'a ~ so he will learn) and then he sets the time on the clock. (He can read digital, but is learning to use an analog clock). We also count by fives to 60 on the clock each day so he will learn.
Then below the Telling Time spot, I have a Signing Time spot labeled with Numbers, Letters, and Words. We are using Signing Time videos and flash cards to learn American Sign Language. We are all learning these.
Below the Calender and Morning Board, I have a rain gutter book shelf that is only for B4FIAR books that we are rowing and any accompanying books.
Next to this (just in case you were wondering), is our All About Spelling white board.
Right after Calender and Morning Board time, Malachi does his 5K work. Then we do B4FIAR while the older boys do their independent work. This works great because the younger two are content to play afterwards while I do school with the boys.
I am not usually a "routine person," but I am loving our morning routine and it has gotten us off to a great start this week.