I found the Day of Discovery idea on Pinterest last year, and really love the concept of taking the first day of school to let the kids explore the new materials, ask questions, and in general get excited!
This year, I hung up some balloons, prepared a pancake breakfast, and waited for the kids to wake up!
When they finally did (why does it take so long for them to wake up when I WANTED them to – other days, they’re up and at ’em by 6:30!!), they tore through the balloons dangling in front of their bedroom door and were thrilled to find more downstairs.
Our “School Day” started at 8:30, and for the first week, I’ve decided to work in the living room, so we can enjoy the couch for reading time without having to travel far from our work table. It’s going well this way.
The boys browsed through the box of picture books from our Sonlight curriculum (we’re doing P4/5 this year). The math manipulatives from Saxon Math (Kindergarten) were a big hit of course – who wouldn’t want to play with some balance scales and teddy bear counters? Not to mention that finger-tempting set of clocks!
We’ll also be going to Classical Conversations this year for our four-year-old, so I had out the tin whistles (yep, had to buy one for each boy, because I’d have never heard the end of it… of course, NOW I am not hearing the end of the whistles unless I can stash them away without them seeing!). Tin whistles = huge hit with preschoolers. Not so much for my eardrums!
After the kids had checked out the school bulletin board I’d made (it needs a few adjustments, but we’ll have our weather station, calendar, Bible verse, and flashcards on this board, which can travel with us around the house), our son desperately wanted to start his first “lessons.” So we began.
Our first day of P4 Home Preschool
For Bible, I’m starting out with Engermeier’s Bible Stories, matched with Rod & Staff Bible Stories to Color book (where possible).
I love the Saxon Math morning meeting book to learn calendar and date skills. We introduced pattern blocks.
Sonlight Curriculum has a host of authentic texts as their reading/literature program, and I am falling in love with old favorites all over again, and finding out some new gems, much like last year! Our first day included Berenstain Bears Science, Mother Goose (the boys LOVE Mother Goose! Who knew!?), and Uncle Wiggily. I was totally unsure on that last title, because the stories/chapters are lengthy with rarely an illustration in the entire book! But the boys sat at their work table coloring but mostly looking at the cover illustration while I read a SEVEN page story!
After our class, we took a much deserved field trip to a local park to play. It was a great day!
Other materials I’ll include in our homeschool preschool program:
Kumon workbooks – we’re still using a lot of last years, and they are for 3/4/5 year olds, so it’s perfect. We’ll likely finish these up by January.
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons – we’ll see!
Signing Time – Preschool 1 DVD set
Writing Workshop – I have some ideas and a great book for using art to teach writing skills for preschoolers. If anything good comes out of it, I’ll share!
Handwriting Without Tears – most likely, but I’m not sure if I’ll use the app or the regular materials, and I’m still browsing other handwriting programs, so this is going to wait for a bit till I figure that out.
I’m curious who else is homeschooling little ones this year, and what materials you’re finding useful!