2017-18 School Year–Week One

The first week of the 2017-18 school year is already behind us! This year, I have two ninth graders, a fifth grader, and a Kindergartener!

We started on Tuesday, so it was a short, four-day week. And the first day of school is always mostly fun…finding out what’s in this year’s schultüte, handing out books and organizing desks, taking lots of pictures, and building a Lego set. The latter took several hours, as it is the largest Lego set (the Lego Ideas Saturn V), that we’ve ever built in school. It was a fun project that everyone got to help with (we intentionally started before Moose’s first day of school so he could participate), and was educational, thanks to the fantastic extra details in the instruction book.

On Wednesday, we had a pretty full day of school, beginning most of our subjects for the year, from high school geometry and biology to fifth grade math, spelling, and vocabulary, all the way down to reading Ramona the Pest out loud and Kindergarten handwriting. But then we took a break from our work on Thursday to go on our first field trip of the school year, to see The Discovery of King Tut at the St. Louis Science Center. It was a fantastic exhibit, full of extremely well done replicas from Tut’s tomb, and was also a great way to kick off our history studies for the year, as everyone is going to be studying ancient history in one way or another.

Today we finished off with another regular school day. The only subject we haven’t started yet is our various literature studies (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to start for Turkey and Bunny, and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe for Ladybug), which we will add to our schedule next week. I’ll close with something new for this year…I chose a Bible verse to be our theme for the year for the first time ever, and I think our chosen verse of Philippians 4:8 is an especially good reminder with all the chaos in the world right now:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Schultüte 2017

I really love finding special little things to put in the children’s schultüte every year. This year, I included some fun tape, stickers, and Lego minifigs. Chickadee also received her first pair of scissors and a pencil sharpener in hers!

The children had fun opening them, and also had a good time trading minifigs. In the end, I think everyone was happy with what he or she ended up with.

I love this tradition, and I always look forward to seeing the looks on the children’s faces as they go through their schultüte each year!

Schultüte 2016

The children’s favorite tradition on the first day of school is receiving their schultüte. Here is what they looked like this year:

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It was a bit of a challenge to get Chickadee to refrain from opening hers before I got a picture!

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When he got home from school, Moose received one, too, and he was just as excited to open it as his siblings were!

First Day of School 2015

Today was our eighth first day of home school!

Before I let everyone into the school room, I stacked a bunch of our books (and a few special surprises) that we’ll be using on the table. Books that we’ll be using this week, anyway…the rest are in our library. The giant stack in the back is my teacher’s manuals!

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My three main students…Chickadee is still just tagging along (and wandering around) at this point:

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As I’ve doing for the last few years, the children had schultüte waiting on top of their stack of workbooks for the year:

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Everyone loves opening them to see what’s inside!

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We also had a new Lego set to build. Since Ladybug’s science curriculum this year focuses on birds, I bought the Lego Ideas Birds set for them. Conveniently, there were exactly three builds, so everyone had their own!

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I don’t think I’ve had Ryan take a picture of me with my students since our very first year of homeschooling…I thought it was time to change that!

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We did get a little work done, too. We started our religion lessons for the year, including reading from The Christian Year of Grace, as well as the mostly-for-fun Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers. We also dove right into math, which is only slightly terrifying given that Turkey and Bunny are learning pre-alegebra this year. The only other subjects we did today were a bit of Language Arts, and the start of one of our literature studies. We’ll add more subjects as the week goes on…the first day is mostly for getting organized for the year, and having fun!

Schultüte 2015

As has been my tradition for the last few years, I have prepared schultüte for the children’s first day of school tomorrow.

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I included standards like crayons and glue, some new pencils, including a few in fun colors, tape, which is always very popular with the children, a Star Wars puzzle eraser, stickers, and some Kit Kat bars. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t have pins to include this year…I had planned to get some at Turner Field when we were on vacation, as a kind of souvenir for them, but sadly, the Braves don’t seem to be into the pins the way our Cardinals are. So I just put in some sticker sheets instead…I hope my children aren’t too old and cool to enjoy them!

Schultüte 2014

This continues one of the most popular “new” traditions I’ve introduced to our school!

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Pretty standard contents: new crayons, pencils, and tape, plus cute little gel pens, Hershey’s kisses, and new pins for everybody’s lanyards, and a few other goodies, as well. Turkey and Bunny even got mini calculators, to be used when their math lessons require them!

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It’s kind of like opening a stocking on Christmas morning when they go through their cones!

As always, Moose did also receive a cone when he got home from his school…he just missed out on the photo opp!

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Schultüte 2013

No kindergartners this year, but we had so much fun with them last year, I decided to make schultüte again! Here’s a look at the contents:

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Some of the items were the same as last year: crayons (regular, and special Crayola color packs), pencils (again, regular, plus an Angry Birds pencil), tape, and candy. I also found some new stuff, like scented markers, and some complementary stuff, like pins to go on last year’s lanyards, and something other than post-it notes for writing on. Such a simple, fun little way to get a new school year off to a great start!

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