1. Don't expect widespread enthusiasm the first day. After all, the weather is still warm and a 5 year old can imagine endless possibilities of better things to do.
2. A spider the size of your fist will definately show up wandering the living room floor, and both children will SCREAM hysterically until it is killed and vacuumed thoroughly. Even then, they will continue to discuss the spider the remainder of the day. It was definately more interesting than the numbers we were previously writing.
(And maybe it was only the size of a half dollar - but it was GIGANTIC)
3. A spider will then meander on the ceiling, directly above the 5 year old's chair. Mind you this spider is the size of a pencil eraser at most, but all work will cease until the spider is disposed of properly. (What were they doing looking at the ceiling in the first place? Am I really that boring???)
4. The simple mention of tea, cookies, and painting will brighten anyone's day. But attempting to instruct the 5 year old to paint like Monet with dabs instead of lines, will result in long protracted sighs, and comments of "I like lines better!"
5. The first Magic Tree House read-aloud was a raving success, and instead of 2 chapters as scheduled, we read 5 by days end, as well as printed out the Passport. Thanks Celeste!!!
6. A sticker chart that shows what needs to be accomplished for the day is a wonderful incentive.
7. Illustrating poetry, and then memorizing it is considered great fun by 5 year olds. Who knew?
8. A 5 year old is totally and completely able to complete a math worksheet on her own, while mom puts the 2 year old down for a nap. And she even will quietly whisper when she has finished. HURRAY! HURRAY!!
9. After completing a first full day of 1st grade, I cannot fathom how I could ever spend more than 3 hours max teaching her a very full curriculum. And somehow the state of Ohio expects 5 hours a day for 180 days of the year. Are they NUTS!!!