We started First Grade this week. I’m not going to go over every detail, but here are some of what we’ve done, and some thoughts about it all . . .
This past month, in addition to reading the curriculm, planning the details of our first weeks, and ordering supplies, I also gathered a few special things to give Ella. A few new clothes, some sparkly headbands, a new board book for little brother. The night before, I wrapped them up in a silk and put them at the foot of her bed while she was sleeping – for her First Day of School gift from the Fairies. (She was actually so excited about it that she woke up in the middle of the night and opened it – whoops.)
All planning aside, some things can’t be planned. I’ve been getting back into rising early and had such good intentions – but that night before, both Ella and Gabriel were up several times in the night, so I did not get up and do a first day chalkboard drawing, or make muffins for breakfast. Luckily, these weren’t the essential parts of our day!
I put a flower in a vase for her, and welcomed her to the first day of school – the start of a wonderful journey together! She asked if she could call me Teacher, or Mrs. Lester, and I told her certainly. (Adorable!)
We started a big weather tree, using colored paper leaves to show the weather of the day -each school day we’ll glue one on (yellow for sunny, blue for raining, etc). We’re working on form drawing to prepare for letters, and also just to help bring Ella into her body and center her for her first desk work, so we worked on making forms with our bodies and walking them on a jump rope (we’re doing curves and straight lines these first two weeks). We had circle time (I successful remembered the new songs and intro poem – woo hoo!), and started washing our fleece outside in a big tub. I remembered to light a candle and say a verse before our lesson, which really did help to mark that time as special, and separate.
(photo through the window of them outside washing wool)
There was a lot of time, also, just for playing, both playing games together, and just for them to play in their own pretend worlds, and to be outside. Being outside is one of my main goals, honestly – we all feel so much better when a few hours of the day are spent outside with no agenda, just walking around our land, climbing on rocks and fallen trees, digging in the soil, gathering acorns and pebbles.
We made zucchini corn muffins for snack, and I realized after starting that we had no eggs, or baking powder – so I used some chia seeds and a little baking soda, but forgot to add an acid. I was pretty sure they would be terrible – they did come out flat, but the children gobbled them up. (See, even professional bakers make plenty of flubs!)
I’m really grateful for this gentle start to the year. It can be really hard for me to feel that spending time sitting outside with the children is “doing” enough, but it is so wonderful for all of us. Even just the act of sitting down and drawing with crayons – and specifically *not* trying to make it look like anything, is such a challenging and also freeing exercise.
Hope you’re having a lovely week – the constant drizzle and fog here has lifted at last, and we’re blessed with some sun.