This is the season when our activities tend to take on the most "school" like feel of the entire year. There's just something about the anticipation of the children, dressed in their first day finest, with sharpened pencil filled backpacks, slung over their shoulders, skipping past our house to the school bus stops, that can make us all feel a little left behind. These are the days I have a tendency to ask the children again, if they wouldn't rather be going to school. And, these are the only days (pretty well) during the year that they seriously hesitate, before answering - no (phew!).
With that little ritual out of the way, we set off on our adventure for another year. But, not before we spend a few days playing at "real" school. In years past, I've set up desks, complete with name tags, made wall sized September calenders, with little numbered apples to stick on each day, and presented the children with stacks of crisp new workbooks. This year, we settled on an All About Me craft (you know, the sort of little book type thing they might make during the first week of first grade). It's a little young, for the older children, but they're good sports, and so played along.
I started out by having them each choose a favorite color of construction paper. Then we folded them in half, to make cards. After that, I laid them out in the sun, topped with the profile cut outs, I used for the leaf silhouettes we made last week. I also tried to lay out their names in foam letters, but the wind picked up, and I only managed to keep the letters on one of the cards.
When the sun had done it's work, and faded away everything except the profiles, we brought them in, and the kids (except one), glued on their names in foam letters.
Inside the cards, they glued their hand prints and footprints, traced and cut out of notebook paper.
On the footprints, they wrote the date, their names, heights, and weights.
On the hand prints, they drew self portraits.
They really threw themselves into the project. Even the older children, got a kick out of measuring, and weighing themselves. They wrote in cursive, without being asked. And, even complimented each other's silhouettes. It's always amazing how well everyone gets along on the first day of "school".
It's great to be a homeschooler.