Sunday, September 25, 2011

Preschool - Letter B!

Well, we've finished our second week of school! We focused on the letter B this week, and we had a great time. Zachary seemed to enjoy the activities I had picked, and we managed to fit them all in, even though we were finishing our handwriting worksheet on Sunday afternoon... :)

We did Circle Time this week again, using our Circle Time Center, and I wanted to show that I actually got the gumption to put up our calendar, and we used it during circle time this week as well.

Our verse was Exodus 20:2-3 about not putting anything else before God, and our song was No Other God, from the Summer Celebration CD (website here). I loved studying this, and I had the song stuck in my head several times throughout the week! :) Our Bible story was about the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, since the song refers to it. We used the story from Egermeier's Bible Story Book.

Zachary dot-painted a sheet about the letter B (from Homeschool Creations).

I gave Natalie a letter B from the A-Z Collage Sheets over at Confessions of a Homeschooler, and let her use it for crafts this week. First, she dot-painted on it.

And of course she had to put the cap on & take it off over & over... :)

Zachary used COAH's Blend Ladders along with magnetic letters to make some words this week - he really enjoyed this, and it gave us a lot of good opportunities to talk about short vowel sounds, which he struggles with.

We made the word bin together.
And then he made the word band on his own!

We discovered that the door from the schoolroom to the mudroom is metal & therefore magnets stick to it, so the kids played with magnetic letters on the door!

We used COAH's Alphabet Builders (I made these out of craft foam), and we made a big B and a small b.

We did a Beginning Sounds worksheet from - a great site for free preschool worksheets! Z enjoys identifying the pictures & he did a great job drawing circles around the ones that start with B!

Zachary used a #2 handwriting worksheet to practice writing the #2. He got a little frustrated because I was trying to get him to hold the marker the way I would typically hold a pencil- I would be interested in hearing how others of you have handled handwriting and teaching a preschooler to hold a pencil!

He colored the B page in an A-Z coloring book that I have, I think this is by Priddy books.

He colored in the lines and even traced the words on the page, which were bee & butterfly!

Our science theme this week was on bees and beehives, so we watched a couple of Youtube videos about bees - this one from Sesame Street, and this one about bees dancing to show other bees where the food is.

We also made a bee out of a letter B, this craft is from I didn't get any pictures of us making this craft, but Z enjoyed gluing it all together.

While we were making the bee, Natalie was fingerpainting with yellow paint on her B - here's her final result, I didn't get any pictures of her in the process either. :(

We did a letter hunt worksheet (while Natalie colored in the background - she mostly just put the crayons in & out of the box). :) Zachary had a hard time drawing circles around each letter B, so he pointed to them and I drew the circles.

Here's Natalie 'coloring'. :)

Zachary did a size sort with butterflies (from COAH).

We also played a Missing Numbers game, where you fill in the blanks with which numbers come next in numerical order. He did a great job with this, but didn't want to play very long. I put it in our binder with this week's work, maybe he'll play it again. :)

He also did a letter B handwriting worksheet, and again struggled with holding the marker. He did a good job, though.
I thought that last small b was especially excellent - I was very proud! :)

He LOVED these M&M themed color-matching puzzles that I made for him! You can find them in the letter M section of Confessions of a Homeschooler's Letter of the Week curriculum.

As far as 'Life School', we played played soccer in the yard, and discovered two really cool inchworms, and the kids also helped me make lasagna one day! They got to sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on each layer, and Z helped me lay out the noodles on the layers. :)

I am always so amazed at how God blesses us through a little local thrift store - their clothes (kids & adults) are $1 a bag, so we get a lot of clothes there, and their toys and books are free! So we get a LOT of books there, and occasionally some nice toys. We visited the store this week, came away with some great kids clothes, and a bunch of books, and as we were getting ready to walk out the door, they put out a big bag of Little Tikes waffle blocks!!! I had the basic set of these as a child, and we came home with a whole big tub full of them, including a set that makes a spaceship and has all kinds of cool 'space' stuff in it! :) Here's Zachary putting together the cute little alien spaceship:

And, for some eye candy to close with, here's David in his Sunday outfit, almost smiling: (um, he turned TWO MONTHS old this week - where does the time go??? He is smiling more (but not for the camera much), and cooing occasionally, and just getting sweeter & more alert each day. :)

And Natalie, wearing my shoes: (have you ever seen eyes so big and precious???) Zachary has gone golfing with his daddy the last two Monday mornings, and so Natalie and I have had some fun one-on-one time (while Davey naps) each week - it is so fun to be able to focus on just her and play and read together. At twenty-ONE months now, she is talking up a storm, and it is hilarious to watch the new ways she can get across what she wants to communicate - it seems like she says or does something new every day! :)

I'm linking this post to Preschool Corner and Tot School, so head on over to those sites to see what everyone else did for preschool this week! :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Preschool - Letter A!

School is back in session at our house!! Zachary wasn't entirely sure if he was excited for the school year to start, and I wasn't exactly sure how we were going to fit our schoolwork into our already busy days! But this first week has been fun (due to a family trip early last week, we stretched the first week of school into two weeks and did two days of school each week, so it was a little bit spread out, which helped ease us into the school year, too, I think). We usually 'do school' in the morning - typically after we have breakfast & I clean up the kitchen while they play. Of course now this depends on David's schedule, and one day we didn't start school until noon because David was fussy & eating after I had the kitchen clean.

Anyhow, once we do get started, our school time starts with Circle time, then Bible time, which we all do together, and then we move on to any worksheets or seatwork that Zachary has for the day, and then I usually try to end with some kind of educational game (like a file folder game or puzzle) as the treat that we look forward to, just in case the seatwork doesn't thrill him. :) So far, Natalie has been working alongside Zachary, as you'll see, and other than one puzzle-shelf-dumping incident, it hasn't been working too bad. So here are some pictures of what we did this week!

We have this amazing Circle Time board from Lakeshore Learning - a gift from a wonderful teacher friend, and such a blessing! :) We start school each day by interacting with each part of the Circle Time board, talking about the date, day of the week, and weather, and then Zachary's favorite part of Circle Time, counting the gumballs! We always count to the same number as the day's date.

I am going to put up an actual monthly calendar on the wall so that we can interact with that at circle time as well, by crossing off each day, but I haven't gotten around to that yet. :)

After we finish circle time (which takes 10-15 minutes), we move on to Bible time with our Bible time board. Our verses and songs for each week focus on the Ten Commandments, at least for the first 13 weeks of the year. I picked out a verse and a Bible story to go along with each song on a CD we recently received from our pastor's wife - her son was a part of the group that recorded the CD, and each song teaches about one of the commandments - I loved the lyrics so much that I wrote the rest of our Bible curriculum to go along with it. The CD unfortunately has not been released yet, so it can't be purchased, but I did find this website, which has some of the songs lyrics & motions on it for you to see & hear.

As you can see, our verse this week was Mark 12:30 - Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. We did some fun motions & had fun memorizing the verse along with the music. Our Bible story was about God giving the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai, from Egermeier's Bible Story Book.

Zachary did his first handwriting page this week! I kept his seatwork for the week organized by putting it all in a binder, each page in a separate plastic page protector. This way we can use a wipe off marker to write on the worksheets, and then keep them and use them again. Here's Zachary writing a letter A! and a letter a! :)

Pretty good for the first time, I thought! :) We did a #1 handwriting worksheet, too, but I didn't get any pictures of that.

We did this apple patterning activity from the LOTW curriculum (from Confessions of a Homeschooler). Zachary hasn't done much patterning before, but he seemed to kind of get the hang of it, and brought it up a couple other times during the week, saying, "Mommy, is that a pattern?" :)
We made an alligator A out of construction paper - I got the idea from No Time for Flashcards. Here's Natalie coloring a scrap piece of paper.

And Zachary coloring on our alligator A.

We added some googly eyes & teeth, and here's our alligator! Super cute! :)

We dot-painted a letter A - again from the LOTW curriculum. I made Natalie her own of these, and she enjoyed it. :)

Here's Zachary dot-painting his A!

Natalie decided she needed to work on fine motor skills by taking the cap off of the dot painter & putting it back on repeatedly. :)

Zachary found all the letter A's in his Letter Hunt worksheet - he really enjoyed this! :)

So much that we did two of them! Here's the finished one - you can't tell really which letters are circled because we were using a light green wipe off marker, but all the a's are circled. :)

We did a worksheet about which vowel sound is in the middle of the word, and he got them all right on the first try except one.

Another dot-painting sheet for Zachary! He really enjoyed this one, and I think these sheets are very well done. The dots are not too big for the bingo daubers as some of the other sheets I've used are. You can find this set at Homeschool Creations.

Natalie worked some more on her letter A from the first day. :)

And on her fine motor skills with that cap.... :)

And this is after she was putting the marker in her mouth so I had to close it up & take it away....not happy! :(

We played the Paint Brush Color Match game this week, and Zachary enjoyed it, and did a great job matching the colors!

Natalie enjoyed playing with the little brushes & wanted to try putting some in, too!

She got one in!

Pretty happy with herself... :)

We did an apple cutting page, which Zachary was kind of hurrying through because it was Saturday morning and I had told him when he finished his work we would watch the Bob the Builder movie we borrowed from the library....anyway, this was the result:

He did pretty well, though, just ripped it a little more than usual since he was hurrying. :)

We played with our Melissa & Doug fishing puzzle this week - since all the puzzles were out after Natalie decided she wanted to play with a puzzle and accidentally pulled down the entire puzzle shelf.... :)

And I found Zachary reading this Little Red Riding Hood book to himself! I love when I hear or find him reading by himself. :)

And here's Zachary playing 'tent' with little David - who will be 8 weeks old tomorrow - hard to believe!!! Zachary loves to play with him, and Davey's getting more able to respond, so it's really fun for both of them. :) Natalie loves to play, too! :) And I love watching my 3 little blessings interact! :)

I'm linking this post to Preschool Corner and Tot School - go check out what others are doing with their preschool age kids & tots! :)