Monday, May 30, 2011
Tot School - Letter Z!
Well, we have finished the letter Z! We are done with school for the year - woo hoo! Originally, I had scheduled two review weeks, and have the verses & songs to go along with those weeks, so we will see if we have some rainy days these next couple of weeks, we may pull one of those out at some point! And of course the learning won't stop - we'll be playing outside a lot, reading many books, being involved in summer camp, having a new baby, and doing some of our favorite learning activities at our own pace as we have time & the desire to. :) At the end of our letter Z post, I'll be sharing my plans for Z's fall curriculum, which I am getting very excited about and possibly a little bit obsessed with planning before the baby comes (8 weeks till my due date!) :)
So, we studied the letter Z! Here is our morning board. Our Bible story for the week was, Surprise- Zaccheus! :) Z loved singing the traditional "Zaccheus was a wee little man" song along with the song I chose for the week, and he learned his verse really well! He also took the Bible story to heart, about how Jesus loves sinners & helps them to change - one night as he was getting ready for bed, he asked me, "Why was Zaccheus a naughty wee little man?" :)
Here is Zachary asking me to read the words of our song - Jesus, What a Friend for Sinners. He loves following along with words as I'm reading & recognizes quite a few in books & on signs that we see when we're out!
We made a Zebra Stripe Z collage, which I was very happy with. Here he is spreading the glue stick all over the Z.
I cut out some long skinny triangles of black construction paper, and Z stuck them on our Z. :)
He was about done at this point, but I think it was fun. :)
Natalie thankfully can not get the glue stick open...
Our finished Zebra stripe Z! I really love how this turned out! Notice I added more triangles after Z got bored with it. :) (he said I could)
And here is our (almost) finished alphabet on the wall of our schoolroom!!! We still need to re-make our G since it got so greasy & ruined from the Goldfish crackers!!
When we finished, Z found some leftover string from our Yarn Y & was making it into U's. :) I don't know why, but I'm glad he made the connection & knows what a U looks like. :)
Another day, Zachary colored a Zoey page with markers & Natalie joined in, too, with her own coloring page.
Zachary's page was a maze, and he did very well at it. :)
We used our consonant cards to play hide-and-seek again, one of Z's favorite activities. Do you see the card 'hiding' on the window sill?
He found it! :)
We also matched the letter cards with the pictures for a few minutes, until it was naptime.
We played with playdough, and also used Pick-up-sticks to make our Z. Zachary did a good job, and I loved how creative he was, using the same blue stick for the bottoms of both the big & small Z's. :)
Natalie enjoying her favorite activity - putting the sticks in the container & taking them back out. She LOVES containers & putting things in, and taking them out, over and over and over. It is so funny. :)
We finished our school year with one of Zachary's favorite activities - dot painting! He did a Z is for Zebra page from www.makinglearningfun.com. Since the dot paints are NOT washable, Natalie is pretending to dot paint with the cap on. :)
Apparently she is still having fun. :)
And this is why I'm excited to be done with school for the summer - how can I make them stay in & do school work when the weather is like this??? We played at the camp's pond beach this week, and had a great time. :)
They worked together to fill up this bucket with sand, it was SO much fun to watch! :)
I'd like to share just a tiny bit of what I have planned for Zachary's preschool curriculum for the fall, and hopefully this writing it out (again) will help me think through it better, too. :) Zachary will be turning 4 in December, and is ready for a little more structured preschool time rather than the Tot School we finished this year, I think.
I shared last time about our new Circle Time board, so I am really excited to use that for circle time this fall (and summer, too!). Along with that, we will be using the morning board from this year - I plan to use the Active Exercise Cards again, and continue with the sight words we haven't mastered yet. For our Bible curriculum (memory verses and songs), I plan to use the Songs for Saplings CD & corresponding printables from Totally Tots. Click on any of the things I've mentioned to be linked to the activities or supplies I'm using. I like to use a weekly Bible story, too, that goes along with the verse, but I haven't found any ready made things like this available for the Songs for Saplings curriculum - does anybody know of any stories to go along with the weekly verses, or do I need to think of my own?
As far as our reading & math curriculum, I am taking most of the activities I'll be using this year from Confessions of a Homeschooler. She has a full preschool curriculum available, designed in the Letter of the Week format - called, appropriately, the Letter of the Week curriculum. I am going to use many activities from her Letter of the Week posts/printables section, and also several (almost all, really) of the activities from her NEW K4 expansion supplement to the LOTW curriculum. Zachary seems to be a little more ready for some seatwork at this point, he likes to go over to the table and 'do an activity' after we have circle time, which he was not ready to do six months or a year ago. So I have many worksheets that I hope to use with him along with learning games and manipulatives such as these M&M Color Matching Puzzles and this adorable dice game. A couple of other activities I am planning to use are these dot painting pages from Homeschool Creations, and several activities from www.beginningreading.com.
We are going to focus a lot on handwriting and tracing, since we didn't really start on that much at all this year. Just one more activity that I'm really excited to use with Z are the Alphabet Builders - I think it will be really good for him to start understanding how letters are put together using this tool!
As far as Natalie, she will be doing Tot School activities this fall, alongside Zachary - I won't be doing anything too structured with her since she will turn two in December, just playing learning games & exposing her to books & letters as I did for Zachary when he was two. No organized 'seatwork' for her, except coloring & painting along with her 'Bubba'. :)
Looking back on the last year, and where Zachary was learning-wise when I started planning for the school year, I am amazed at how far he's come! He is like a sponge that just soaks up learning & reading & just loves it. He would read books 24 hours a day if I was able to sit & read with him every minute. :) He is also becoming slightly more independent, finally willing to do some things for himself and by himself, so I am very thankful for that, especially with another very dependent one on the way! :)
Check out what everyone else is doing for Tot School this week over at 1+1+1=1!