We’ve Begun

Today was our first “official” day of “unofficial” school. We started right on time, at 9:30 AM. Our first activity was a felt calendar, which I have been working on for about a week. It is a dark blue piece of felt with 1/4″ stripes of white felt sewn across, to guide the placement of the number squares. The number squares were tricky. I couldn’t get a marker to write clearly on the felt. But we had some fabric markers, so I glued solid green fabric on the white felt squares and used the fabric marker to draw the numbers for the dates on the solid fabric. I did the same thing for the days of the week and the months of the year. Now, the girls can pick out the correct month and put it at the top of the calendar, then they can put the days in the correct order and line the dates up underneath. We used this to talk about what day is today, tomorrow, yesterday, etc. I asked them some simple questions about the calendar, such as “what will the date be on Friday” and “what day of the week is the 18th”. I think they enjoyed working with the calendar and it will be a good tool to use for many of our activities.

The next activity, a printable booklet from Enchanted Learning (which I joined last night, in a fit of nervous desperation), was called “Where I Live”. This coloring-book-style booklet took the kids from where they live in their physical house all the way to their spot on the third planet from the sun. It had a place for the kids to write their name, which Sam wrote right away: SAM. Then she decided to write “SAMMY”, except she spelled it SAME. Very clever, but she now knows that it’s SAMMY, and was very insistent on rewriting it correctly at the top of the page.  Liv wrote some of the letters in her name, but not in the correct order. But it was a fantastic first effort. Both kids had no trouble picking out and coloring in Ohio on the USA map, and then enjoyed coloring in the USA on the North America map and North America on the continents map. They also liked seeing Earth and the sun along with the other planets. This printable really kept them talking and I’m sure Enchanted Learning printouts will be another often-used resource for our school.

Speaking of school, Sam wanted to know why we didn’t ride on a school bus if we were at school. I thought that was a fair question; her friend across the street rides the bus to get to his school. We have a school bus toy (two of them, actually). And we always see school buses when we’re out on the town. So we scrapped the original craft idea for today and made a school bus instead, using a produce basket and construction paper. We glued yellow paper on the outside of the basket (a square box, really) and made black wheels by tracing an old applesauce cup. Sam made a door and lights, and wrote BUS on the back. Liv drew windows. Then we made a Sam and Liv to go inside the bus. Each girl drew her own face on a circle of white construction paper. We glued those to empty toilet-paper rolls. Sam made arms for her ‘Sam’. Liv drew clothes on hers. Now, our Sam and Liv can ride the bus to go to school whenever they want!

Sam and Liv

The orange stuff on “Liv” is supposed to be hair:

Liv

I hope “Sam”‘s blue hair is not a portent of things to come:
Sam

Here you can see the taillights on the bus:

Finishing the bus

And we’re ready for school!
Sam and Liv on the Bus

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