Monday, August 4, 2008

Our first day of school

1 day down, 169 to go... Having 3 kids in 3 different grades is a challenge. The main thing I had to keep reminding the kids about today is that when I am working with one of the other kids, they need to keep working on their own stuff rather than trying to follow along with what I am doing on the other side of the room. It would be nice if I could combine more subjects, but since there are 2 grade levels between each of the kids that does not work for core subjects like math, reading, writing, etc., which is what makes up the bulk of our school work.

Thankfully, the curriculum I use allows for extra time to get adjusted during the first week, so I am hoping that by the time the "full load" starts next week everyone will be in more of a routine.

In Germany, there is a tradition that on the first day of 1st grade, new students are given a huge "Zuckertüte" by their parents, which is kind of like a horn of plenty filled with toys, candy, and school supplies, to sweeten having to start school and growing up. Siblings that are in other grades get a much smaller version as a consolation prize.

This year, it was Isaac's turn to get the "big dog" since he was starting 1st grade. I made a pirate-themed Zuckertüte for him, and used small generic ones for the other kids. Solomon decorated his in a "superhero-pig" theme, which came out really cute. Weird, but very cute.

Rather than giving them their treats on Monday morning and dealing with the inevitable sugar high, I broke with tradition and the kids got them on Sunday in church. We also had food and ice-cream cake after the service in honor of all kids who are starting school again this fall (homeschooled or not). I think it is nice to have a distinct beginning and ending point to mark each grade, although I know that many homeschooling families work year-round and fare just as well. Personally, I really needed that summer break.

Below are some pictures. They didn't come out as good as I would have liked because the kids were too excited to want to pose.


  1. What a neat tradition. The Zuckertütes are decorated so cute.

  2. Thank you. And you even spelled that crazy word correctly!

  3. AAAAR Matey!....haha. Congratulations, Isaac.

    Glad you it made it through the first day okay. With your schedule, we don't know how you handle it all and wonder how you keep Miriam content.

  4. The schedule is not as bad as it looks, because the kids usually finish up much faster. Miriam has officially taken over John's desk and is busy coloring or playing in the school room during the morning. After lunch, she takes a nap and doesn't wake up until after we are all done.

  5. It was fun when I got my Zuckertute.



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