Friday, September 19, 2008

Day of Contrasts

Corrie's day began like this:

And ended like this:

She was actually fine this morning, but I think was trying to gain some sympathy and attention. I did enjoy the SOS written on the magna doodle, though. This evening, however, she was able to attend a party at her violin teacher's home, because she was one of four student winners of the "Violin Olympics." This was a competition invented by her teacher in order to motivate students to practice violin over the summer months. As I am the one who practices with her daily, I felt that I should also receive a gold medal and a fairy diary, but instead I settled for a night out with my husband and boys. We ate some fantastic food at a new Himilayan restaurant, took a drive over the new 35W bridge and went to one of our favorite local establishments to end the evening with coffee. And so, in spite of the shaky start, the day ended well for all.

Monday, September 01, 2008

First Day Fun

Though we have been practicing our reading and writing over the summer, we chose today as the official kick-off to Corrie's Kindergarten year. I decided that we needed some fun and festivity to mark the occasion, and so Joel and I came up with a few ideas that we hope will become traditional first-day-of-school activities.

First, we set a nice table and made chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. We also set out new lunch totes for each of the kids, with a letter from Mom and Dad about what we hope to accomplish and enjoy with them in the upcoming school year.

Next, Corrie and I sat down for some lesson time, and I had her complete a questionnaire about some of her favorite things as a 5 year old. I am planning on having her answer the same questions each year, so that we can see how she grows and changes. We also measured each of them, marking their heights on our basement wall, and took pictures on the front porch.

Finally, we decided that the first day of home school should always involve a field trip. We might as well celebrate our flexible schedule, no? And so, we headed off to the Saint Paul Cathedral, a destination that has always intrigued our little ones because of their association of the building with the cathedral in Mary Poppins. The outing did not disappoint. The building was beautiful, and we were able to hear an organ demonstration as we strolled through the church. As an added bonus, we got an up close and personal viewing of protesters and riot police surrounding the location of the Republican National Convention. The educational opportunities abounded! We also took the opportunity to have a tasty lunch at El Burrito Mercado before heading home for rest and pool play time.

All in all, an excellent first day of school for all concerned.