Ok, so I figured out what to do with the first day. Rather than begin with the Old Testament Creation, I told a Native American creation story. It was the story of Sky Woman who fell through a hole in the sky into the watery world below and was caught by two swans and lowered onto turtle's back. It had some similar elements to the Old Testament Story (first all was darkness, then came light, land formed and waters were separated, things began to grow, new animals and people came to this new earth world). I found that this story (and other Native American creation and flood stories that I will also tell) had a similar element to stories we worked with in 2nd grade (animal tales and fables) and will allow me to flow naturally into the Old Testament stories a little later on.
We began our school day as we always do with a verse and some movement to wake us up. Next we discussed what third grade will be like and how it will be similar to second grade in some ways but also different and a bit more difficult. Violin practice came next (I like to take care of this during our school time - otherwise I sometimes forget!). At the end of this little period, I told our story for the day and then we put out the candle and took a short break. Next we did some written work, some mental math and a calendar to review (days of the week, months of the year, how to write the date). I also introduced the Garden and Nature Journal and asked Rowan to write the date and the temperature on the first page. After another short break we had our Monday painting time, painting an image from our story. Later we will work with reading from an easy reader about a farm and math practice before we head off to play with friends.