I clearly remember those weeks right before we started first grade.
I was so nervous had so many questions running through my head.
Can I really do this?
What if I do it wrong?
What if my children don’t learn?
I felt an enormous pressure to have everything perfect for that day.
Can you relate?
I am here to say that I was pleasantly “let down”. There was no one watching me or
taking notes when I missed something. No one was critiquing my “performance”
(except myself!) We really tend to build these things up.
Here are a few tips on helping those first days of homeschool run smoothly.
*Plan as much detail as possible:
The more this is fleshed out the easier it is to glide along week to week in your lessons.
It will save a lot of Sunday evenings “cramming” for the upcoming weeks lessons.
Or save you from feeling lost throughout your week. Get as specific as possible. Down to the
verses and songs for each season’s circle time, bean bag games, and main lesson drawings.
The more work you already have ready = less stress and happy homeschooling mommy.
*Allow space for unknowns:
Big tip here: Don’t schedule every minute of the day or cram in so much great material
you want to cover that it gets overwhelming. Using this great curriculum makes it so easy to want
to bring every story and project to your child. You can’t do it all! Pick what seems to fit with
you and speaks to your little one and go with it. Please read that line again.
Allow room to add things along the year that come into your view. You will see how
this happens it such an organic way, as long as you have a little breathing room.
We want our children to really go deep into this material, not just skim across as many topics as possible.
*Ease into “school time”:
Especially with the younger children, maybe do only 2-3 days that first week. Or perhaps
do a project that goes along with the curriculum. We have done this each year and it has been so much fun.
For Kindy we did “Harvest”. We gathered herbs from our herb garden and did several
projects with them over the week. First grade we did a felted playmat. Second grade
we made hula hoops (I would recommend waiting until third grade for hula hoops
by the way! Hindsight is 20/20) Third grade we made wooden math circles (to string for the times tables).
*Give yourself a day off:
Ever notice how many teacher work days there are? I find it important to insert a
day a few weeks after school starts to gauge how things are going and if there need to
be tweaks to the schedule. You will find out much after things settle in those first 2 weeks.
You may need more review from last year’s math or reading help. By taking time to really
see where your child is, you can better guide them through the curriculum.
*Create a yearly ritual:
I began this way back in kindergarten with my girls and they anticipate it so much now.
We have a fancy breakfast with special cinnamon rolls (oh, the phlegmatic loves the food!)
I also have their new supplies wrapped up or in some special way displayed on the school
table or them to see when school begins, I keep these hidden until the first day. I now give
each a new beeswax candle to light each day during circle time. (They love decorating these,
another great first week project). Then after breakfast, daddy takes them out our garage door
and around to the front door to meet their teacher.
The past 2 years I dressed up in funny clothes as an old school marm or funny old lady and
they absolutely loved it! They ring the bell and I greet them.
There are many things you could do here to give them a sense of “going off to school” or
just to celebrate their first day. Get creative!
I would love to hear your first day stories or ideas below..
Please comment and help share with others