The Caskey Family

First Day of School!
September 2, 2008, 1:15 am
Filed under: Elijah, Merry, Pictures | Tags: , , ,

Today was our first day of homeschool (officially – we have been playing school this year a little here and there) and we had a BLAST!

We started with circle time, which included prayer, three songs, introduction of two catechism questions, from the Young Children’s Catechism by Chris Schlect and Bible verse review, calendar, weather, counting, shapes, colors and a short read-aloud session. Merry participated very well with Elijah and they both seemed to really enjoy it (score!) Merry could also answer the first catechism question “GOD!” after a few tries. . . very cute! She has no idea what she’s saying, I don’t think, but Elijah was doing it, and made it look fun and Mommy clapped!

Here is our school wall in our kitchen. . .our calendar that we do counting and calendar skill on, and the Hooked on Phonics progress poster on the right of the calendar.

After circle time (took a little more than half an hour, including the read-aloud time) Elijah worked on a little art project and we talked about our catechism questions as we made the little posters to go with them. I put them in page protectors so that we can easily keep them clean and collect them into a review binder as the year progresses. Merry sat by and put stickers on her own little scrap of paper so she felt included.

This is our entire sound/letters wall, minus the last few letters, I still need to put up – this was what we “played” with so far this year with school – each letter has an object starting with the particular sound glued in the shape of the letter.

After we had a snack, Elijah completed a small section in his Hooked on Phonics Workbook, did two pages in a preschool workbook (covers all subjects, he LOVES this book!) we reviewed our numbers and worked on some counting, and ended with him playing on his own with a letter sounds bingo game from Hooked on Phonics.

Total time in school today: about 2-2.5 hours with breaks and interruptions, probably only about an hour and fifteen minutes of actual instruction.

In the afternoon while the children napped and had quiet time, I worked on our year-long goals for each area/subject and outlined our daily routine after seeing how it worked today. Lesson outlines (weekly and monthly) combined to be logs of work completion (so I don’t have to do more than check a box and we can see at a glance what we have covered or missed) still need to be completed. We will use our goals and objectives for the year as our end-of-the year evaluation or progress report, checking off achieved goals throughout the year as we go along and documenting general dates as appropriate. We will also use our year goals and objectives to plan for next year when the time comes to do that.

It feels good to be a teacher again. . .but this time with only two students and NO pressure to accomplish anything yet, except have fun, wear them out a little, and maybe learn something along the way. Who could ask for a better teaching job?


10 Comments so far
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Looks awesome!!! Fun! Fun! Fun! It’s gonna’ be a wonderful school year (:
Today I told Caroline that we were going to go see friends (John’s folks) and she beamed, “Mimi! Mimi! Mimi!” Over and over again. I just think it is sweet that Caroline considers “friends” synonamous with Mimi… They really are kindred spirits like Anne and Diane from “Anne of Green Gables.”

Comment by Mary

Sometimes I wish I had taken classes to be a teacher. You sound so on top of it! Congrats on your first day accomplished. I will officially start Wednesday with both kids. Tomorrow is playgroup day, so just lessons for Sydney in the afternoon. Keep up your awesome work!

Comment by Joy

i am so happy for you! you are the kind of mommy i aspire to be.

Comment by nerwinski

i was excited that there was a new post already! IT sounds like you are doing a wonderful job with preschool. Let me know if there is any way i can help you with that. Even if its just to take elijah to the playground for some “gym” time. I would be more then happy to help up until the first week in november!

Comment by Jennifer

I am very excited about all of the school plans and have went over your syllabus with great interest, if not a little perplexity. Will Elijah be able to do all of that this year? If so, we should start applying to colleges before it’s too late. Just kidding! Everything looks great, babe. I am very thankful for how diligent you are in challenging the children, even at such a young age, and how much of a propensity and willingness they have to learn. I look forward to and pray that we never have some of the problems you had to face as a teacher of a large class, in gearing the pace to the slowest child. Thanks for getting a jump on this. It’s equally exciting to hear how much the kids enjoy this structured learning, and ask to continue, even when you are done. Kudos.

Comment by Jeremy

Thank you for all the compliments. Starting school this early has been out of necessity – my children NEED the structure and we all do better under it. I am blessed to have been able to be a teacher before, but I must say that my mother was a terrific teacher and didn’t go to a day of college herself, and didn’t teach in a traditional classroom one day of her life, so experience or education doesn’t determine success as a homeschool mommy. Hard work, your love for your children and a calling from God to do it are what determine that, I think. It is hard work no matter what. Jeremy to answer your question, yes I do believe Elijah will be able to accomplish all those goals I set out in our year plan. It came from a Kindergarten list, so I felt very free to pick and choose things that I thought were feasible this first year of homeschooling. Many of those things he has actually already accomplished, so we are on our way! We are very blessed with creative and inquisitive children, not to mention energetic, so though they are hard to corral, sometimes, if their energy is channeled, they can be very productive. By the grace of God, they will be. No, no applying to colleges yet. This is just day two of pre-K!

Comment by Adina

Wow!!! Can my children come to your school????? Your soooo fun!!! Great job and may the Lord give grace for each day. Any names for baby yet? A lot of great boy names to pick from,huh? Keep up the wonderful work and tell those student good job too!!

Comment by Cindy Morris

How fun! I am sure Elijah and Merry are enjoying school…………..and their teacher 🙂

How are you feeling?

Comment by rachel

Hey, I enjoyed reading about your school! Let’s totally share ideas!

Comment by Deb Campbell

Hi Adina:

Our morning has been spent getting ideas for a home-based online family business. My daughter Stephanie wanted to visit the Ahlgren Kids website. Let your husband know he and your brother did a great job.

Congratulations on your little “Merry.” As I read your blog about how she sat in the corner eating popcorn like your Mom did, I got a little emotional (and still am) as I remembered your Mom. She was a wonderful example of a Godly wife, mom and homeschool teacher. God bless you for your obedience to the Lord’s calling to teach your children. Ever plan on coming to visit Guam. If you ever do, let us know so you can be a guest speaker for GHSA. You can see how far your Mom’s work (and the work of Anne Stinnette and other families) has come, allby God’s grace!
Adios, Liz in Guam

Comment by Liz Perez

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