Monday, January 31, 2011

first day

So what did the first day of a brand-new school year look like in our house?

Well, it started slowly… 


a sleep in (by a boy)

a cuddle with a kitten (by a girl)

and some breakfast.

And then…

the day revved right up. 

With some storywriting by my girl

and illustrations drawn on Paintbrush

and a replica of Mittens the Kitten 
made by my girl with pipecleaners

and many photos taken by my girl for a book she's planning

by which time a slow-waking, book-reading, breakfast munching boy and his very busy sister 
were ready to do some


In the form of Life of Fred for my boy

and chatting about numbers for my girl

as well as a few good rounds of Zeus on the Loose for all of us.

The Maths left the kids a little bit wide-eyed and panicky at first. My boy who'd been learning a'plenty the past two months, thought he'd forgotten EVERYTHING about fractions. 
He (who's nearly done with Life of Fred: Fractions) tried the Bridge, panicked, and put himself back 14 whole chapters to revise. Then he took himself to bed. Then he brought himself back to his desk and wept a little. 

And I said, Hey. I think it's going to be okay. You've had a big break and you're feeling rusty. I totally know what that feels like. Wanna do this together? 

Well, the first couple of questions were like starting an engine which hasn't been turned over in a while.

The next few questions had him going, "Oh, yeah, that's right, I remember!"

And then…he was flying. 
I sat with him and we did two Bridges, to confirm he was running well, no engine trouble—all was checked and okay. At the end, he beamed. 

My girl thought the world was ending, just a little, when I asked about numbers bigger than 170.  But we just talked about them, talked our way up to 300 to see how the numbers traveled and how that felt. And we noticed that numbers bigger than 100 don't actually grow two heads then bite yours off. Kind of a relief! 

Zeus on the Loose was fun. Just that. 

Then it was time for 


and space journals had to get title pages

and stickers on the front.

And we asked ourselves:  What IS Space? 

And the kids wrote their ideas down and we looked through some books and they wrote some more and we discovered that

Space and the Universe are actually just a little bit different. Who'd've thunk it? :)

And then all the delicious space books from the library had to be pored over for a long while!


it was time for lunch 

time to swim.

Because it's super HOT here! Summer has come in with a beautiful bang! 
I love love love summer, even the baking days. 
Everyone else in my family sweats and says, "I can't wait for winter." 
I just take in the heat like a snake on a rock. Try to store it up for the cold months ahead. 

We did laps,

we played,

and my girl ate an apple beside the pool side as my boy and I frolicked.



Well, we went to the library of course!

To research for this week's Fun Writing Challenge 

It was already 3.30 and I said, "Are you sure you want to do this now?"

"YES!" said the kids. "OF COURSE!" said the kids.

The writing challenge is this:

"If you could live anywhere other than Australia, where would you live and why? Do some research and write down some interesting information."

Well, that turned, via my enthusiastic kids, into: 
"I'm going to research Country X, write up my notes in a special notebook that I'll cover and when I'm done with this country, I'm going to do another one!"

Which means "This week's Fun Writing Challenge," may take us an indefinite, glorious, open-ended amount of time. Just as we like it. :)

So we went to the library and I introduced the kids to the Reference Section. The kids picked a country and they bent their heads over their notebooks and they wrote things down, right then and there. My girl is doing the U.K. and my boy, who is addicted to all things Italian, is doing—you guessed it—Italy!

And they were so happy.



you thought we were done?

That's crazytalk! Because


we zipped off to my son's first band practice

where he saw some great friends

and played timpani and the tom-toms 


while my girl and I waited 

there was doodling on the grass with friends

and flying of paper aeroplanes with cats drawn all over them.

AND then,

we went home…

to cuddle kitten and cat, and feed the dog and draw some more, 

and read more and more about space on the couch

and have dinner.

Then a boy and his dad walked the dog  
as the sun set and the crickets and cicadas and buzzy things began to sing

and my girl drew
and I played with a kitten.



It was the end of a first day and an always day. 

A day the kids leapt at with both hands and 

with their whole


A day they could dream about as they slept. 

Good night, all. Happy dreams!


  1. Oh, I'm just crazy about that tiger picture! It's awesome. :)

    Lots of fun going on around there..

    And I love summertime, too! It was hard for me to say goodbye this year.

  2. That sounds like an amazing, great day! We are going to start keeping some notebooks too, and I am VERY EXCITED about it!

  3. What an incredible day!! I want to come do learning with you.

    Have you ever seen Khan Academy? We LOVE it. The guy on there is so awesome explaining all things Math. I have always disliked Math..I try to not let Kei know this because she actually likes it. But I love Math now. I sit with her and work out the problems and feel so good. It has simple Math all the way up to Math I can't even spell. :)

    Kei has a Mac powerbook and I am getting her to download Paintbrush. I think she would love it. Love the painting and the kitten!

    Space..we love space. Did you see that we lived 20 minutes from The Space and Rocket Camp? Wouldn't our kids love to spend a week there? They have a wonderful Space Museum that I wish I could whisk you and your kids to spend the day with us!

  4. I absolutely LOVE days that flow like this.
    Lots of free flowing happy learning! :-)

    My little lovelies have been unwell so its a bit slow going for us at the moment. They have been playing games online against other kids and I was surprised to learn that they were playing a word game this morning along with Draw My thing (pictionary type game). I just suggested that since we were feeling better and all that they might like to do something semi educational and Adem decided he will do some writing. Zak has been drawing a lot the past couple of days and now is eager to go back to the beach.

  5. I had no idea paintbrush was a free download. I just loaded it and Lilah can't wait to try it out. This is just one reason why I love blogging. It adds so much to our homeschooling experience. I love that we are learning from our friends, alongside our children. Very very cool.

    Might have new pictures of more snow and ice soon. The storm that is affecting 27 states just began with a light snow and a very dark sky......

  6. Stephanie, I'm so glad you liked the Tiger pic! I do too, so much :) We ARE having a lot of fun…and doing a LOT of swimming!

    Deb, I can't wait to hear about your notebook adventures! I wonder what they'll have in them…? Delicious words, delicious ideas…yum.

    Karen, I think Kei will love Paintbrush; it's so much fun. I'll check out Khan Academy; it sounds great, thank you! AND yes, I looked up the space camp earlier; it looks AWESOME. And I agree, I wish you could whisk us there!

    Karisma, I'm glad to hear your boys are feeling better. I'd love to hear about the writing Adem did/is doing. I'm glad drawing and writing and beaching is back for you guys!

    And Jessica, I'm so glad your kids are checking out Paintbrush—and YES, blogging opens up the whole wide world, I think. I get so inspired. (Can't wait to see the new snow pics. Hope you guys do okay and can still see out the window afterwards!)

    Thank you guys, for your comments! I love it when I find you here!


I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.