We had so much fun in our first day of K5! I especially loved the Bible study. We learned about heaven, how to get there, and about the role that Christ plays in it all. I thought it was a beautiful place to start. A lot of Bible programs I have seen and tried don’t go nearly as deep as these and they usually try to follow either a chronological order or an order based on the books of the Bible. This is fine if all you want to teach are your basic Bible stories, however, I found this refreshing because it teaches a lot more about Jesus and ties every aspect to Him from the get-go. He was ready for a little more meat, and this lesson gave him exactly that!
These lessons have detailed pictures to illustrate each new topic of study. The plans also included worship songs which both our children loved engaging in. Raspberry Bug is a little young to pay attention all the way through a lesson still, but she loves to dance and sing along to the songs. It gives both children the enthusiasm and mini breaks that they need to keep our Bible time running longer and smoother.
It also helps Red that we do Bible Time in the mornings during breakfast. This will change as they get older and can hold attention longer on one thing, but for now, it works well this way. Our breakfasts may last longer, but so do our Bible studies!
Blueberry Ball was very intrigued as we went through the lesson which described in detail some things that wouldn’t and some things that would be in heaven. He began to feel very sad when I first explained that there would be no church buildings in heaven- then happy when I told him that heaven is better than any church we could ever have on earth because we see God face to face, not just long for his presence. He again became sad because I explained that there would be no need for lamps or flashlights or even the sun or moon in heaven- then he became happy again when I explained why: “The face of Jesus illuminates everything in heaven. It is a bigger,brighter, and more beautiful light than we could ever experience here on earth”. It was surprisingly an emotional roller coaster for him.
He even got a deeper understanding for what sin is and why we all need Jesus in our hearts and in our lives. The Bible lesson truly was the highlight of my day.
After breakfast, he was pretty excited to start on his calendar and weather activities. He placed the “September” card at the top and the number fifteen where it belongs. Then, we looked up what the temperature was outside and Blue got to mark it on the chart using a dry erase marker. I placed all of the morning routine activities in sheet protectors, and laminated the smaller pieces. This makes it so that they are not only protected, but also gives them a dry erase capability.
After I we were ready to get the academics started, Blue had a bit of a melt down. He hadn’t even really seen what there was to do yet, he just knew he didn’t like the curriculum I’d had earlier in the year, and was afraid he wouldn’t like it this time around. I sent him to his room to cool down.
He was in his room for about ten minutes before I went in to speak with him. I reminded him of our Bible study and how it spoke of sin. Then I asked him if he thought he might be sinning by not doing what Mommy and Daddy expects of him. And it worked! I often relate Bible lessons to things he does wrong (because I don’t want our Bible time to be a negative experience), but something had to change here. He had just simply refused without any justification. But when I brought up the fact that it may be a sin by not “honoring his father and mother” , I think his exact words were, “Okay Mommy, I’m ready to try.” =)
We finished everything by ten o’ clock! That includes Bible, calendar, an unscheduled melt down, letters and sounds, numbers skills, reading, art, and God’s World (Don’t you just love the name “God’s World” for science?). I’d scheduled the extracurricular activities for him to complete, but I wasn’t expecting us to necessarily have time for everything. I always try to add extra to our day for the “just in case” scenario.
I am amazed at how well it held his attention, and kept him motivated to do more. I thought that since a lot of the first few lessons reviews what he already knows, he would become bored, but I was very surprised at how many easy and practical solutions there were to both keep his attention and to cater to his need to move. It was nice to have our first week of Abeka here at Grandma’s house, but I can also see it working smoothly enough on our boat (there will be more on how everything is organized next week). We broke up the entire day with Simon Says here and there. We also frequently changed positions from sitting in our chairs, to standing, to sitting cross-legged on the floor. He had a blast with Simon Says and I think we will be doing more of that in future lessons- whether it’s scheduled or not.
I think I will be removing the color lessons, as he is way too familiar with his colors to have any interest. However, they will be a nice addition to Raspberry Bug’s schooling.
In addition to reviewing the color red, we also did some from a sight word printable pack. I is the letter Blue is working on right now, so we worked on sight words that start with the letter “I” (like it, is, I, in…). I have some sight words flashcards I’ve laminated for Red so she can use her dry erase marker on them. We went over how to say each word first, then I let her work with the markers. It worked pretty well. It was an independent activity that she could work on without taking much attention away from Blue. She would also join us in saying our “I” phonics chant as it came along.
We also had a sight word printable pack planned for each day. I was only able to print a few of the pages offered in the packs because of her age and skill level, but she loved it! You can find the packs here:
We have a bunch of clip cards, flashcards, file folder games and more that are left over from Blue’s previous school days. I spent the last couple of weeks laminating everything so that she could grab whatever looked good to her. I will keep these accessible to me and visible to her throughout the school year. This will keep the mess- and hopefully they destruction- down. We also ended up counting her dry erase markers. She can only count up to about four right now, but she is only two years old. =) Her activities are way less structured, but they are intentional nonetheless.
She did the planned art activity and God’s World with us. God’s World is merely a reading and discussion activity, so while she may not fully understand yet, it is a great exercise for attention and learning to love reading time. Our art lesson was learning to draw a house. They then Got to decorate with cotton ball clouds and flower stickers. Red can’t draw quite yet, so she got to do a house coloring sheet. Beautiful!
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I can’t wait to see what the following days and weeks have in store for us! Have you used or are you using Abeka? How do you adapt to your child’s needs? Is space a problem in your home as well? I would love to hear your comments!