Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First day of School 2011!

We're up and rolling for the 2011-2012 school year, and off to a good start. This week we are beginning by reading "Papa Piccolo," a story about an Italian cat in Venice who adopts 2 wayward kittens, so naturally we're starting out by learning lots of fun stuff about Italy. Meaning, ITALIAN FOOD! Today we started lapbooks for our book-of-the-week, then created a map of Italy and the girls drew pictures of themselves in a gondola. Then we made Pizza, which included great lessons related to the science of making dough and identification and use of simple common fractions (1/2, 1/4, 1/8), as well as learning the difference between "teaspoon", "tablespoon" and "cup". For the remainder of the week we'll be learning new vocabulary (like "gondola," "canal," and "barge"), becoming familiar with a few simple italian words, making spaghetti, and learning about perserverance (a trait highlighted in the story) with related bible verses. The kids also started their reading and mathematics lessons, and I was excited to see how much they recalled from last year.

On the down side, I've already noted a few challenges to our beginning year...

For one, I've got to figure out how to keep our school time short enough so that everyone also gets time outside to play and Caleb can have the attention he needs during and after school time.

Also, I'm noticing the kids are going to have to learn patience and waiting skills, as today was pretty much a free for all of interrupting, "mommy can you ____?" and "MY TURN!"

And lastly, to be honest, my patience level is going to need a major overhaul. I notice I get so easily overloaded when everyone is talking (loudly), calling out for me or whatever is needed, and demanding my attention. I know regular teachers deal well with up to 30 kids at a time, so I figure 3 IS do-able, but I've got to just persistantly pray for more patience and a longer fuse :)

All in all, though, it was a positive first day of kindergarten for the girls, and even Caleb had some fun times helping to make pizza, coloring with us during lapbook time, and listening (a little) to the story. I'm excited to see what the rest of the year brings!

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