Today was our first day of school for the 2015-2016 school year! Big Brother is now officially a 3rd grader! Little Brother is officially...a very busy toddler! ;)
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Here is a run down of our day from start to finish:
5:30 a.m. - I am up to nurse Little Brother. By 6 he and I are back in dreamland. Daddy is already gone to work.
7:00 - Big Brother and I get up and get dressed for the day while Little Brother catches a few more Z's.
7:15 - Big Brother puts in his first load of laundry.
7:20 - Breakfast
7:30 - We both grab our Bibles and have our own quiet time with the Lord. I am reading Song of Solomon right now with my Good Morning Girls Group, and Big Brother is currently reading some of Jesus' Parables. Today is the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-37.
7:45 - Exercise! This is something I am trying to include early in our day. I am trying to lose weight right now, and Big Brother needs some movement to aid his concentration. Today we spend almost 15 minutes doing some simple aerobics. Then Big Brother switches out the laundry quickly before school.
8:00 - SCHOOL TIME! We start our school day with prayer followed by what we call "Memory Hour." This is a new addition to our schedule this year, and Big Brother loves it! During this hour I introduce some important facts from each subject that he will be studying this week. We repeat these over several times and practice them with fun games. I introduce the Doxology (Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow) as the hymn we are learning right now, and we sing it a few times. We start learning the first couple lines from a poem called "Little by Little" with hand motions. We are learning the Books of the Bible starting with the Books of Moses (we are singing them and using hand motions). We are currently memorizing Psalm 139:14 & Psalm 33:12 as they go along with what we are studying in science and history respectively. We also do the first exercise in our Oral Language Exercises book and learn some new words in both Spanish and ASL. Everything during this hour is done aloud (no writing), and we include as many games, songs, and motions as possible to help the information stick.
Sometime during this hour Little Brother wakes up and gets a quick diaper change and some breakfast. :)
9:00 - Big Brother starts working on a page in his cursive book. He works diligently but does not finish before his timer beeps. It gets put back in the workbox to be done as homework.
(Note: We have started a new motivational system this year to try to help Big Brother stay on task. He has his own timer and assignment book. He gets a certain amount of time to finish each assignment. If he beats the timer, he gets to place a sticker in his assignment book beside that assignment. If the timer goes off and he is not finished, he does not get a sticker and the assignment must be finished during homework time. For each sticker he earns 5 minutes of screen time for the day. He also earns an extra 10 minutes for completing his laundry chore for the day. Today, cursive was the only assignment that was left for homework. Big Brother earned 55 minutes to spend watching DVDs.)
9:15 - Big Brother begins his spelling lesson for the week by typing his word list on his laptop. I need to get some dishes done, so I give Little Brother a tray, a muffin pan, and a handful of cottonballs. He spends a good while transferring the cottonballs from the tray to the muffin tins and back again.
9:35 - Big Brother starts the first lesson in his 3rd Grade Rod & Staff Bible Reader. The story picks up where his 2nd Grade reader left off at the death of King Saul. He reads part of the story to himself and part of it aloud to Little Brother who has climbed up into his lap while I am finishing up the dishes. :)
10:00 - Little Brother is no longer interested in the cottonballs, so we put them away and I give him a plastic box full of Play-Doh cans. He plays with the cans of Play-Doh while Big Brother and I go over his English lesson. While Big Brother completes the written part of his assignment, Little Brother and I look at a farm picture book together.
10:30 - Break time. Big Brother does another laundry switch-a-roo then we all grab a snack. I check my emails and quickly sweep the kitchen.
10:45 - Now is Big Brother's independent reading time. He has 30 minutes to spend reading a book that interests him. Today he reads the first 2 chapters of Missionary Stories from Around the World. He enjoys reading about Nate Saint and Jim Elliot who were martyred in the 1950's in South America. While he is reading, Little Brother plays with several plastic balls and fits thim into the muffin pan.
11:15 - Big Brother reads a few pages in his science textbook, and I quiz him orally over what he has read. He is learning about the nervous system. He is fascinated to learn that the right side of his brain controls the left side of his body and vice versa.
12:00 noon - Lunch! I heat up leftover pizza for all of us, and Big Brother and I continue discussing what he learned in science. After eating his pizza, Little Brother is ready to nap. I let him nurse a little, then I put him in his crib and turn on a CD. Soon he is napping, and he sleeps until school is over.
Meanwhile, Big Brother finishes eating, cleans up the table, finishes up his laundry chores, and plays in his room for a few minutes.
12:30 p.m. - Big Brother and I sit down together to do a history lesson. This is Big Brother's favorite subject. Today we learn about timelines and begin reading about the life of Christopher Columbus. Big Brother is making a history notebook this year, so he cuts out a picture of Columbus I had found online and pastes it onto the timeline in his notebook. We spend some time finding important continents and countries in his Children's Atlas of God's World as we read. When the reading assignment is done, I give him a quick oral quiz just to double check his comprehension. He still has some time leftover, so he spends it browsing his new history textbook.
1:15 - This is Big Brother's piano practice time. Today he works on some simple finger exercises, Doxology, and Ode to Joy. While he plays, I straighten up the living room and prepare materials for his math lesson.
1:30 - We learned late in the school year last year that Big Brother somehow does better if we save math for the end of the school day. He is excited to see a textbook and notebook instead of math workbooks this year. We start off math class with a 2 minute flashcard drill of 0-10 addition facts. Big Brother does great! He has definitely not lost his math skills over the summer. I take a few minutes to show him how to set up his notebook page and how to copy down the problems from his textbook lesson. Then I assign him 1 1/2 pages in his textbook to complete. He works diligently and finishes with time to spare. I call out the answers and he scores his work. No mistakes today! :)
2:30 - This is homework time today. Big Brother finishes his cursive workbook page from earlier. I give him a few pointers on how to write the cursive "b." He finishes the page quickly, and school is officially over for the day!
2:45 - Big Brother decides he is ready for his screen time now, so we set his timer for 55 minutes. I watch a short Chip & Dale cartoon with him. Then I leave him to enjoy his reward while I take time to mark off today's assignments and reload his workboxes for tomorrow.
3:30 - Daddy is home!! About this time Little Brother wakes up and is very glad to see his daddy!! My husband has offered to grill steaks for supper this evening to celebrate our first day back to school. I am very thankful since I am pretty tired after our full day. He gets the grill fired up while I set the table, make quick salads, wash some fruit, and let Little Brother go ahead and start eating some chopped up cucumbers.
4:15 - Suppertime! Yummy! :) Big Brother enjoys telling Daddy about his day.
4:45 - I clean up the dishes and sweep the kitchen while Daddy tends to Little Brother's dirty diaper. (Have I ever mentioned that I have an exceptionally awesome husband?) Big Brother is now dressed in his cowboy attire and ready to play! He and Little Brother spend the next good while romping about the living room. I love my noisy, messy boys! :)
6:45 - We start getting shoes on to go outside for a while. Meanwhile Daddy cuts up a watermelon and puts the pieces in the fridge for later. (Little Brother sneaks a few bites.)
7:00 - We all head outside for some fun and exercise. Tonight we just walk up and down our street several times. Then both boys enjoy roaming around and playing in the backyard.
8:15 - I come in for a shower. Daddy and the boys stay out little longer.
8:40 - The guys come in and we enjoy some watermelon together. Then the guys take turns getting cleaned up and we all start getting ready for bed.
10:00 p.m. - We finally have everyone clean and in bed! We like to be in bed ealier than this, but that doesn't always happen. I take a few minutes to finish up this post and read some emails and news before I go on to sleep.
This has been a great first day of school! I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into our lives today! I am still looking for ways to keep Little Brother busy while I work with Big Brother. Any suggestions for me?? Please feel free to leave your ideas for keeping a 1 1/2 year old boy busy in the comments section!
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