Wednesday, September 8, 2010

MFW First Grade: Week One

August 16-21, 2010

Days 1-6

We had a very fun first week of school!  Here's what we did for each subject, but don't worry, I surely will not be this detailed in the future for weekly school posts.

  1. Bible: We learned about “scrolls” and read the article about them in the World Book Encyclopedia. We made pottery jars from homemade clay and scrolls (brown paper bag cut up, crumpled several times to make it look old, then rolled up). Davin wrote on his scroll: “The Bingo markers arnt my favorite because you cant color with them. I like coloring better.” It's an inside story :) I asked him what a scroll was a few days after learning about them and he said: “A scroll is a book that people used in ancient times. It's made out of really long paper called papyrus and at the end of each there are cylinders with a handle.” I was impressed!  We made a Jewish calendar and I explained the difference between our calendars, how our calendar year starts in January in the winter, but the Jewish calendar year starts in the spring to remind them of the Passover and their new beginning as a nation when God saved them out of Egypt.

    1. We had an introduction to the book of Proverbs and learned how they will help us to become wise. Also, we memorized Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

    2. In The Jesus Storybook Bible we read pages 108-143. I can't say enough how much we love this book!

  1. Reading: I'm not sure yet how we will beef up the reading instruction in MFW 1. Since Davin has been reading for several years now, a year-long course in phonics seems a little redundant. On the other hand, maybe it wouldn't hurt to do the reading portion daily as written. Just because I'm curious, I think we will breeze through week two's Reading portion this weekend and do First Language Lessons and Writing With Ease next week during our “Reading” time.

    1. This week we reviewed letters A-O: the sounds and how to write them. When I asked, “What words start with the /a/ sound?”, Davin said “atom” and “anaconda. For /b/, he said “barracuda” and “bishop”, and “crank” and “collapse” for the /k/ sound. It makes me happy that he doesn't just say “apple”, “boy”, and “cat”, but pushes himself to make the material more challenging! He completed the handwriting sheets that will be taped together to make a scroll when all the letters are done.  For the workbook pages, instead of just writing down the first sound of a letter I dictate, I have him spell the whole word, so for example: If I say "nickel", instead of just writing "n" in the blank as the instructions say, he spells the entire word.  That makes it more challenging for him!

      1. We did Lesson 1, 2, and 3 in First Language Lessons, learning about nouns and memorized the poem, “The Caterpillar” by Christina Rosetti. He also illustrated a picture to go along with the poem.

  1. Math: Each day we have “Calendar Time” and I made a “calendar board” that coincides with this activity, along with a pocket calendar on the wall which the boys put the number in daily. On the calendar board is the # of the Day and 100 chart, which we also complete daily.  Go visit  1+1+1=1 for a great tutorial on making a calendar board similar to mine!This week, the math topic was “Patterns” and after doing almost all of the recommended activities and workbook pages, we are so ready to move on! Here's what we did:

    1. Our Math book basket books we read: Beep Beep, Vroom Vroom! by Stuart J. Murphy and Patterns by Peter Patilla.

    2. Complete Book of Math: pages 4-20

    3. Hands-On Activities:

      1. Made patterns using dinosaur counters from Learning Resources. I made a few patterns by color and then tricked Davin by doing a pattern by species. It is hard to ignore the bright colors, but he eventually figured it out!

      2. Made patterns using crackers during snack time.

      3. Used rubber stamps to make patterns.

      4. Played with wooden pattern blocks and used pattern block cards.

    4. Saxon 1 pages: 34B, 44B, 45B, 47B, and 48B.

  1. Art: I read pages 1-39 in Drawing with Children and need to get a few supplies from the art supply store before we start our drawing lessons. I am so excited to be learning along with Davin, as drawing is something that I find so intimidating. This book is appealing to me, since it teaches you the “visual language” of drawing and teaches you how to train your eyes to see the 5 basic shapes that are in all drawings. I did a preliminary drawing this week, so I will have a base drawing to compare to in the future to note my progress!

    1. For art appreciation, we studied Hans Holbein the Younger's Edward XI as a Child and first read pages 8-9 in Come Look With Me: Enjoying Art with Children. I printed off some additional activities from, such as a word search, ABC order, coloring page, crossword, and worksheet.

  1. Science: This is one area where I am really pleased with My Father's World because of their book list in the index that accompanies each weekly topic. This week our topic was “Close to the Ground” and read pages 16-17 in Usborne's Things Outdoors. I had Davin narrate and illustrate what he learned from this reading and included it in his “science notebook”.For hands-on activities, we weren't able to find any worms outside to observe, but we did soak a piece of bread in honey and set it near an ant hill to see what would happen. After a few hours we went back and looked at how much the ants had eaten and were very surprised at how fast they were at eating the bread! It was cute how the boys used their magnifying glass to get a close look at the ants.

    We read these science books from the library:

    1. Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg. I asked Davin to tell me the moral of the story and he said: “The ants learned that they should always follow their family and not be selfish.”

    2. Mole and Shrew are Two and

    3. Mole and Shrew: All Year Through by Jackie French Koller.

    4. If I Were an Ant by Amy Moses

    5. The Picnic by Ruth Brown

    6. The Ant and the Grasshopper by Amy Lowry Poole-narration in Science notebook.

    7. Mole Music by David McPhail

    8. Thinking About Ants by Barbara Brenner

    9. Are You an Ant? By Judy Allen

  2. Read-Aloud: We started The Chronicles of Narnia, beginning with The Magician's Nephew and read chapters 1-4.

  3. Hymn Study: We are singing Holy, Holy, Holy for the month of August. We read about the hymn in Hymn's for a Kid's Heart,Volume 1.

  4. Poetry: We are working through Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization and are currently on level 1. This week we worked on “After the Party” by William Wise.


  1. Amazing! You are an outstanding teacher! What blessed kids you have!

  2. Thank you so much for the encouragement, it really made my day!!

  3. Can you explain your calendar board? I really like that idea! You are doing an incredible job, your children are truly blessed. I looked for a similar board and couldn't find it.

  4. I'm so sorry for the late response, but thank you so much for your comment! You know, I totally meant to link to Carissa's calendar board post on 1+1+1=1 because I made mine very similar to her's!! I'll try and do a post of my own soon with some tips on how to make it, but I think she explains it really well! Here's the link:

  5. Thanks so much! No problem on the late response we all get so busy! Blessings!