How do you start off your homeschool year? Plunk the math books down and tell the kids to get to work? Take a nature walk? Start right in with an exciting novel?
Lynn Bruce once told a gathering of Ambleside Online parents that there were certain things that needed to be put into place in a school year before you ever thought about getting into the books. One was making sure that your children understood the need to listen perfectly and follow directions (she had them practice this by making cookies AND cleaning up on the first day of school). On the second day of school, she had them go through the schedule and talk about why they were studying certain subjects, how math and science and good handwriting glorify God. On the third day, they talked about good habits, and how the teacher and students could work together to make all those transitions go smoothly, such as having the right supplies and equipment ready when it was time to start the next subject.
THEN they started school.
I don't have very little children, and we are not just starting out, but there is still a great deal of wisdom in what Lynn said all those years ago. So what are we doing tomorrow?
Our opening time: a favourite hymn; the first chapter of Proverbs; and a prayer together.
As Lynn suggested, we will look at the weekly schedule together and talk about some of the things we will be studying and the books we will be using. We will talk about the subjects that will be done independently vs. those that we will read or do together; what the expectations are for free reading; what the expectations are for homework (we don't do much, but I do give a few assignments to be done "out of class"). We will talk about our space and our supplies. What kind of notebooks will work best for which subjects? What kind of fun things like handicrafts can we do?
Since it's Tuesday and our Tuesday schedule says to start with Geography, Shakespeare, and Math, and Copywork, we will do those subjects. But first we're going to start The Hobbit. Dollygirl will be reading this mostly to herself, but I think it's a good way to start out the year together.
And that's it for the first day. The high schoolers get a short day on the first day, so Ponytails will be home early too.
(No cookies this time, but maybe we'll make some treats later.)
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