Saturday, September 18, 2010

Letter B

{Our first day of school picture, taken Aug. 23rd.}
Although Dean's unexpectedly early arrival threw off my preschool plans a bit, this past week I felt ready to get back into it. I had spent countless hours preparing and planning, and both older kids seemed ready for more structure after 2 weeks of none at all. Eventually I will get around to making a blog just for our preschool/homeschool stuff, but for now I'll just put it here. I can't even keep up with one blog right now, so starting another one is just asking for more pressure on myself.

I divided our "curriculum" into one focus letter per week. I did NOT go in alphabetical order. Also for each week I have a BFIAR book that we are semi-delving into, depending on my/the kids' interest. We have a meory scripture for each week, and I have to say I am shocked at how quickly Eva memorized it. By Thursday, she knew the whole thing perfectly, and her Dad is still struggling in a few spots. :) Our "subjects" are reading, arts/crafts, math/fine motor skills, letters, play/large motor skills, and music. Since this week we were still adjusting and I'm still trying to figure out how to have older kid time worked in around Dean's feedings, I'm hoping it will get even better. But for our first week of school, it was pretty good.

Scripture: Joshua 1:9

The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells
Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Bob Barner (the kids liked this one)
Buzz Buzz Buzz by Byron Barton
Birds by Kevin Henkes (I LOVED this book - it was my favorite of the week. Kevin Henkes is one of our top 5 favorite authors around here.)
Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard
Boo Hoo Bird by Jeremy Tankard (these were the kids' favorites, they are adorable books)
Boats by Byron Barton
Row Row Row Your Boat by Penny Dann

-Cotton ball bunny (glued cotton balls on a print-out bunny)
-Colored a big letter B blue and glued blue buttons on it (Our crafts were a little lacking this week due to my lack of motivation. We had planned to do this and this adorable B crafts for our alphabet book we'll be making, but we'll have to save those for a rainy day. If it ever rains here.)

-Kumon Cutting workbook - Eva's scissor skills were far more advanced than I thought. She did what I told her to (6 little straight lines on the dog's whiskers) and then cut out the full dog, curved ears and all. Leighton, on the other hand, ended up cutting lots of snips NOT on the lines and then just started tearing. :)
-Kumon Sticker and Paste workbook - they were so excited about stickers; I think this will be one of their favorite activities of the week.
-Math workbook - p. 7-10
-Butterfly clip cards - Confessions of a Homeschooler is an incredible resource for preschool printables. She even has a whole ABC curriculum for download for free! Amazing. I printed off and laminated the number cards and the kids clipped clothespins onto them. Leighton had a hard time with the clothespins, but Eva did really well. She knew her numbers better than she did 2 months ago, so I was glad to see her recognizing them all.
-Playing with beads - this is Leighton's favorite activity. He pours the beads from cup to cup and digs his hands in them...and eventually threw them all over the place when I was distracted. But Eva is good at helping him clean up, and I think it's worth the mess.

-Big Alphabet workbook - we got this from Costco just for fun a long time ago, along with another one we have, but she did the Letter B pages in there. She really loves and does well with workbooks. We need to get Leighton one because he keeps asking to do his workbook when she does hers.
-Letter practice - I made some big alphabet "flashcards" where Eva can trace the dotted letters for practice. I saw some Kumon cards for $10 and decided I could make my own much cheaper. I printed them on cardstock, 2 letters to a page, and laminated them with my new Scotch laminator. If you want the file, just leave a comment with your email and I'll be happy to send it.
-Butterfly writing practice - this was really easy for Eva but I think it will be a good challenge for Leighton soon. If he can stop throwing markers long enough to focus on something.

Music: (I found 4 Wee Sing CDs on clearance at Borders a while back and have really enjoyed them. Good selection of basic songs.)
-Little Bunny Foo Foo - they fell in love with this song and we listened to it at least 30 times in a row. This was a song I had fond childhood memories with as well, so it was fun to see them hopping around and acting it out.
-The Bear Went Over the Mountain - again, we listened to this several times before they got tired of it. They got their teddy bears and pretended to climb mountains - the stairs and the toy chest.
-Baby Bumblebee
-Two Little Blackbirds

Things I planned to do but didn't (just for the record): Make paper birds; cut out and glue shapes to make a boat, beanbag toss, backwards obstacle course, and play sailboat with a laundry basket

Fun extras: made banana ice cream (actually Andrew made it) - YUM! Especially with Nutella and strawberries; found a bumblebee costume at a consignment sale and watched the kids buzz around.

Eva mastered writing both uppercase and lowercase B, and I think it's starting to sink in that words start with letters and it's not just a guessing game. Both kids love preschool and are already begging to read next week's books. Coming up: the letter L.


Amy said...

Brittani's sister in-law here... we homeschool and this is a wonderful blog. She has so much good info. Check it out...

Mikael Webb said...

SUPER MOM! You would be the best little preschool teacher ever! Keep posting these lesson plans. I could totally take some of these Ideas and use them at work. Love You! p.s. I want to come visit REALLY SOON. call me

Lisa said...

That is so cute, way to go! But who are those kids in the picture- I know it can't be YOUR kids! They are so big!

Chanel said...

AHHH, makes me miss those years. Now I am just a taxi driver instead of fun mom who has all of the cute ideas. Almost makes me want to do it again. Well- never mind, it passed ;) I sure wish I could be there to watch them learn and grow. I am SO missing all of the family right now. Wish I could get some good loves from those darling, smart little cuties!!!

Lily said...

Your ability to be so productive after only a few weeks of giving birth is disgusting! I wish I had a fraction of your motivation... And we only have two right now! Way to go!!! Glad to hear you are all doing well!

leslie said...

i'm totally stealing some of your ideas. allie's in a little joy school, and i'm actually the teacher today. we're making instruments.

also, check out iza trapani's books. i love them. they are all extended nursery rhymes. my favorite is shoe fly and i'm a little teapot. oh, mary had a little lamb is great too!

Elise said...

I LOVE what you are doing! Please keep posting all about your preschool! I'm doing a preschool with two other moms and we're trying to get organized. We actually just discovered the Kumon books and have the Uppercase Letters workbook. A great site that has lots of free stuff is, but you probably already know about that one. I can't wait to read more about what you're doing! You amaze me.

Perry, Christi and Logan said...

I am impressed with all you are doing-that is awesome! I am sure the kids are loving it. Keep posting your ideas bc I want to steal some of them to do with Logan.

Nikki said...

Hi, I'm Ali Flegal's friend and saw her mention of your birth story and my curious mind had to hop over to read it. What an ordeal!! I hope you're recovering okay and adjusting to life. While not as traumatic as yours, my son's birth/recovery from it took awhile for me to come to grips with and I'm still working at it. Best of luck!

But I also just wanted to say that I homeschool too and use/have used/will use a lot of the resources you listed in this post. Mind if I check back to see what else you're doing?

Elise said...

Steph! Will you send me your alphabet tracing cards file that you offered? Thanks!