Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Jump Start

I'm still going through and answering the questions Jenn asked when I posted my daily routine. She asked about our Jump Start to our day- what the history of the day is and about our geography drill.

First, the name Jump Start comes from my classroom teacher days. I named my warm ups Jump Start. When the kids walked in the room they had to take out paper and answer a few question to get their brains thinking science.

At home, I use the time after our read aloud to arrive down in our school space to get some written work started. We are learning all the time (such a homeschool cliche but oh so true) so the Jump Start isn't really about starting school. It's about changing gears a bit and getting our written work started for the day. Essentially, four items make up our Jump Start with the fourth sometimes being part of math.

  1. History of the Day- every morning we start with This Day in History from E12 usually reads the headlines to us and if we want to hear or learn more we take a little time to check things out and/or to discuss them.
  2. Geography Drill- the geography drills come from our studies with the Trail Guide to US and World Geography. The manual has a format which includes a drill four days a week. There are two questions per level and I usually have I8 do the primary level, R10 do the primary and intermediate, and E12 does both of those and the secondary level.
  3. The Daily Quest- this is when the quest for the day is revealed for the kids. They can choose to work on it right then or finish it later on, but it's due by dinner time.
  4. Math 5-a-Day- these are the five math practice problems the kids do each day. Some days we save these until after our math adventure/lesson for the day.
The Jump Start is just a way for us to gather together at our school table and to begin to focus on the written work for the day.

What are some ways your family begins school for the day?


Tomena said...

I'm still looking for a great way to start everything but I have to say that there is a huge difference between when I do have a "start" and when I just say all right time to get busy. Something that has worked well is when we all come together, read a poem or two discuss it, sing some action songs, talk about the weather, the date, pledge, and or scripture memory verse for the week.

Tracey said...

Heather, this is great! I went to check out and I love it. I spent half an hour just looking around. I wish I had known about it before.

Kisha said...

I love the name Jump Start! We usually start the day with a read-aloud, poetry memorization and a science experiment (or two) with Sonlight's Discover and Do dvds.

Anonymous said...

Heather, great ideas! We have a basket called the 'Breakfast Basket', which contains Bible, all sorts of memory work, poetry, and recently we've added a Calendar Time bulletin board and a Calendar Binder (ideas taken from you Heather, Mama Jenn, Clarissa at 1+1+1=1, etc.) with weather, thermometer reading, Bird of the Month, graphing activities. All this done around the table before/during/after breakfast. LOVE your History and Geography parts.... will add these too! THanks so much for your blog.

Heather said...

Breakfast Basket! Very cool Jenn!

Sounds like you get a lot done around the table in the morning.

Thanks for reading. I'm happy it is helpful to you!