Stacking Up the Learning

Stacking Up the Learning Themed 1st Day

As a homeschool family, we enjoy marking the beginning of a new school year in a special way.  We set aside the very first day as a ‘fun day’ with a chosen theme, food, related Scripture, and activities!


Although the theme is typically kept secret from the kids until the morning of the first day, this year they had a little hint.  I requested, a week beforehand, that they each needed to be prepared to arrive to breakfast dressed as a book character of their choice.

Here’s the cast of characters that showed up on our first day of school this year…


Chaya from Jennifer Nielsen’s Resistance, Hermione from Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Cole from Brandon Mull’s The Five Kingdoms series, Sherlock Holmes from The Lock and Key series by Ridley Pearson, and Petra from Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card!

And, the surprise theme was revealed…


Stacking up the Learning!

We began our day with our tradition of first day notes at the table, a Scripture reading, and, of course, cupcakes for breakfast – this time ‘stacked’ pancake cupcakes.



I think these Scriptures are very fitting for the theme.  For, even though each year our children are gaining academic knowledge and skills, it’s even more important to remind ourselves to continue to add to our learning of God’s Word, hiding it in our hearts, applying it, and growing in godly character and Christ-likeness.

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After breakfast, they all completed their yearly Growing in Grace sheets (updated this year) and wrote encouraging notes to their siblings. These were later shared during lunch.

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Next, I had them grab their character’s book and head to a comfy spot.  They took turns drawing a ‘Find the Quote’ card and then they all searched their books for a line that would fit the prompt.  For example…’Find a quote that could be used as step 5 in my evil plan to take over the world.’  Or, ’Find a quote that could be used as a sentence that would sound great if read in a Southern accent.’  It was hilarious and turned out to be a perfect, engaging game for our wide age range of children (ages 17 to 9) this year!

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They then participated in a silly, friendly competition of book balancing.  A few may have got creative on how they chose to balance their books.

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Next, they enjoyed a snack of gummy ‘book’ worms, watched a couple videos on literary elements, and used Jenga blocks to play Story Element Stack.  (This was super easy for my older kids, but they were good sports!)



For lunch, they constructed and ate tortilla sandwich books.



The kids then enjoyed a game of Literature Pictionary!  They took turns selecting a card containing a book title (well known children’s books, middle grade fiction, and some popular young adult titles). On their turn, they used a dry erase board and markers to draw clues for their siblings to guess the book.



Last, I gave them a large, open-ended project that they worked on the rest of the afternoon. They divided into teams and set to work creating a video book review or book trailer for a favorite book or series of books.  They loved scripting, finding props, acting, and filming their videos.  These were later shared with family at the end of the day.



Oh, we also ‘stacked’ chocolate and marshmallows on top of graham crackers – enjoying yummy s’mores over the fire pit.  =)

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A few things I wanted to do, but that we didn’t have time for were…
-Photo Shelfies  (taking photos of each child with their favorite books behind them on a shelf)
-Watching an online tour of book printing and binding
-Creating Watercolor Book & Verse Quote Posters and Book Marks

(Maybe we’ll sneak these in some other time!)


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Here’s to another great year of learning!

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  1. Can I just say….YOU ROCK!!! Thank you so much for sharing all of these wonderful resources. I discovered your website 10 years ago when I began teaching kindergarten. I am now a stay-at-home mom to an amazing 3-year-old and I decided to revisit your site. I had no idea you had an actual curriculum up!!?!?!! I am gathering info now so that I can follow in your footsteps and get started with the preschool curriculum for my little one next school year. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! and my God continue to bless you and your family.

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