What an insane year for everyone! It is the first time in OUR history where we as a global community are dealing with the same problem. I am hoping and praying that we will all get back to normal sooner than later. But in the meantime, we must ride the tide, so to speak.

My children will be doing 100% remote this year. I thought about homeschooling them completely but to be honest, I didn’t want to do that because I don’t want the funding in our district to be disrupted. So, as family we saw that remote is the best option. We will follow the schools schedule but I will be supplementing as per usual. I usually supplement work, so it is nothing new. But since they are home and we might have some down time – I will be prepared and I hope to be sharing with you all what I will be doing with my kids this year.

My son is starting fifth grade and my daughter is starting 8th grade. The official start date so far is September 10th but to be completely transparent, I am frankly so sad that my kids have been on their devices SO much this summer that we will start our learning activities Monday, August 24th.

The objective for this week is getting my kids into the swing of things. That means, waking up at a set time and having a healthy morning routine, getting back to using their brains for structured learning, and getting into a good exercise routine.

Here is what I planned for the first day:

  • Save Sam Team building Activity
  • Brainstorming Rules and Student Success  – How might we have a successful school year?
  • I Am Amazing Handout
  • Smelling Sensory Activity
  • Celebrating Accomplishments
  • Grade Level Standards and Goal Setting
  • Book Previews

Save Sam Activity

In this activity, a pair of students will work to save Sam who is a worm that had his little boat tipped over.

For each pair of students, you will need:

1 Plastic Clear Cup
1 Gummy Worm
1 Gummy lifesaver
1 cocktail stir
A blue sheet of paper to represent water / or print out
4 paperclips

Set the lifesaver up under the boat, lay the worm on top and add a cocktail stir. Read the directions to the students and give them there handout to fill out. Then have them attempt to save Sam!

Brainstorming Rules

Brainstorming Rules for our home classroom AND coming up with answers to How might we have a successful school year? First started by talking about what a successful homeschool year might look like and we will know we had a successful year come June. Then we talked about what habits we might need and what classroom rules we might need. We created a poster.

I am Amazing

The next activity was based on a display I have at home. I will probably add to the personality traits as I come up with them. I thought what we started was is pretty good. I will use each trait as a lesson throughout the year. We discussed each trait. Then I handed out the I am amazing worksheet and the kids completed that as an individual activity. I also used this as a writing assessment and told them to use their best writing so I can gauge what we need to work on. The traits are general good character traits such as being outgoing, taking your time, being yourself, etc. The kids ranked them in order of importance for themselves, then chose one in which they really excel at and how it helps them and one they need to work on and explain how it will help them to be better versions of themselves.

Smell Matching Break Activity

I really want my kids to have fun while we work together so I thought we would shake up their senses and work on a smelling activity. They were blindfolded and had to match the marker scents with the correct scents color and scent. They had a lot of fun playing this little brain break activity.

How Far We Have Come Celebration

I wanted to take a time to celebrate how long they have come and what they have been working on. We worked on recognizing everything they have been involved in and their interests. I had them write down everything they have been involved in and skills they have developed. Next they highlighted anything that they wanted to continue developing (such as sports, instrument, etc) and then they used another color to write down NEW skills they wanted to gain and things they wanted to try this year.

Overall, we had a great first day of “mommy school.” After a month of being completely off and in charge of their own schedule, I think they found it difficult to feel like doing just “work” but I kept today more introspective and we had a lot of fun with the little games and discussions that we had.

If you would like a copy of the printables I used today, you can get them for free in my resource library.