I have to admit that I was a little bit afraid Julia had built school up so much in her mind that the reality of it couldn't possibly live up to her expectations, and that she'd be terribly disappointed when we got started. But on Friday when I asked her how she liked her first week of school, she gave me a big hug and said she loved it "too much."
We took a "first day of school" picture, of course, in a special outfit Julia chose (and then changed out of within a few hours). We talked about the weather and the seasons and when we plant and grow and harvest, and walked in the garden to see hour our plants are growing. (Then Julia drew a picture in her lesson book.) We played math games: many, many games of Mancala, and also sorted beads by color and by size, and counted with clothespins. We did an art lesson together from the Home Art Studio DVD. We talked about babies—the first lesson in the new Oak Meadow health curriculum, and aided by our time with my friend Grace's baby, who stays with us on Thursdays and Fridays while her mother is at work. We chose a special tree in our neighborhood that we will visit often, to see how it changes throughout the year; Julia took photos of it and made a drawing of it in her lesson book. And we talked quite a lot about the letter A, and on Friday afternoon we made tasty bread As as a snack.
The spaces in between we filled with everyday things: the children made a nest on the sofa (every single day) and colored in the little books George's aunt sent up for them. They made crowns from construction paper, and Julia, not quite feeling the math games on Tuesday morning, made a whole construction-paper guitar, strings and strap and all. We watched a Monarch butterfly as she flitted between the coneflowers and the milkweed in our garden; she stayed quite a while and we're hoping we might find a caterpillar or two soon.
By all accounts, the first week of school was a smashing success. Julia, ever curious and eager to know everything, is so glad to "finally" be a real Kindergartener. And I'm so grateful to be able to be here with them and to guide them on this new journey.