While many families were back to school this week, for us it was also the start of an entirely new school year. I always get excited to start afresh in new books with new material to cover, brand new pencils to sharpen, unspoiled new notebooks to write in. But at the same time I always enter this phase of panic where I look at all the new stuff, the new schedule, and wonder how on earth I am going to manage to pull it off. Of course, once I get started it's really not that bad. After all, you really only need to manage doing one thing at a time, and that's not nearly so difficult!
I think the hardest thing this week was getting used to waking up "early." I tried to get everybody on a practice schedule our last week of vacation, but since Daddy was still home from work, nobody wanted to go to bed on time. They all stayed up late snuggling in blankets and watching movies or playing video games. I made sure to get myself in bed at a decent hour though, because if Mama can't get up in the morning it doesn't matter how early the kids get up! Mister E is probably the lest ready to go early in the morning. He was Mr. Grumpy most of the week, but toward the end of the week (as he got used to the new schedule) he did a lot better. He said it himself: "Mom, I wasn't so grumpy today! I think I'm getting used to waking up."
A good portion of our lessons this week centered around the account of Creation in Genesis chapter 1. We read a little each day and talked about the different things God created. Hubby wants to be more involved in our lessons, so we have been reading the scheduled Bible passages the night before and then continuing that lesson first thing in the morning. This allows for some good family discussion time!
We also spent a little time every day preparing for our Sabbath Feast this weekend. Miss M and I found a pair of solid brass candlesticks at the thrift store for 99-cents apiece. They were heavily encrusted with wax and badly tarnished, but some hot water and a little elbow grease soon solved that!
A piece of muslin cloth was transformed into our challah cover with some fabric crayons. Everybody helped! Mister E drew the goblet. Miss M drew the star and candles, and I drew the bread and wrote Sabbath (backwards, of course, because when you iron the image onto the cloth, it comes out in reverse).
We created a beautiful nature themed centerpiece with a glass mixing bowl, some river stones and pebbles, a few twigs from the backyard, water, vegetable oil, and some floating wicks. I got them at Hobby Lobby for just a couple dollars. There were three -- one to represent us parents, and one each for the two children. All three burned oil from the same source representing the Lord.
We started Singapore Math 4A before ending our school year back in November, so we picked up where we left off which was at the start of learning about factors and multiples.
I added in some activities from the Singapore Home Instructors Guide that helped Miss M understand what factors and multiples are all about. She learned some rules of divisibility and had a grand time solving some math riddles. When math makes sense, it is a lot of fun!
Mister E's math is starting out gently with some simple exploration of pattern blocks and Unifix cubes, marking the date on the calendar, and working with numbers 1-4. It was an excellent way to ease into First Grade.
Our science text this year is Jay Wile's Science in the Beginning. This week's lessons were all about light. We "bounced" light with a mirror, learned how light allows us to see, and learned that white light is made up of the colors of the rainbow.
We had our first couple of art lessons, beginning with "A Lesson in Frustration" where we all tried to copy the butterfly by holding our pencils in our mouths! Then we drew lines, plenty of lines.
Our Greek studies have been a hit too! All week long someone or other has been going around singing the Greek Alphabet. "Ah-ah-alpha. Buh-buh-beta.... Oo, oo, upsilon." It's great!
And last of all we spent our Friday and Saturday learning about Jewish history and culture by celebrating the Sabbath. I followed the menu and recipes from our book and everything got rave reviews from the entire family.
We worked together to clean the whole house, prepare the meal, and set a "formal" table. As you can see, my table is so tiny that formal place settings pretty much take the entire table and leave no room for food! I quickly served everybody from the kitchen when we reached that point in the proceedings. Only the bread was actually placed on the table.
Mister E was very pleased with his candlestick salad! He will take any excuse to eat a Maraschino cherry! And pineapple!
Dessert was Brown Sugar Pie found here. I baked it a total of 90 minutes instead of what's listed and it turned out perfectly!
We all had an excellent week and we are looking forward to the coming week. (I have no idea what next week holds since I have not even peeked at the teacher's manual yet. Oops!)