Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Preschool Update

Nate is officially doing preschool.  We are focusing on learning the letters and the sounds that go a long with it.  We have done the letter of the week letter crafts.  We have lots of fun with it. 

Here are some links to places where I find my crafts to do with Nate.  Homeschool Creations is the site where I find my jumping off site.  She has a great list of alphabet activities.  Crystal and Co. is a place that has templates for the alphabet crafts.  They are cute and fun and simple.  We also get some templates from Miss Marens Monkeys.  I don’t think that she has the complete alphabet at her site but the ones she has are very cute and easy to use. I have also visited The Measured Mom to get some free letter books.  She includes lots of neat songs and finger plays.  I also visit Homeschool Share that has many free letter lapbooks.  I often don’t use everything in the lapbooks but I do pick and choose what I think that Nate will like.

E is for EagleLetter F

Other activities that we do are playing with his letter puzzle.  It is a wood puzzle that we bought from the Farmer’s Market.  We have so much fun.  We started at first learning where they go in the puzzle.  He has now able to pick up a letter, name it and tell me what animal starts with that letter and find where it goes.  He is correct about 95% of the time.  We also have alphabet magnets that we play with. 

So in short we do lots of play with letters and he is learning them.  I love to hear him tell random people that H is for Hippo and F is for Fox.  He loves to show off his skills. 

We are also trying out abcmouse.com.  So far it is not a hit.  So I think that we will try pbskids.org for some of those games. 

computer work

Nate also gets involved with the science projects that we do with Mickey.  He loves to learn and he even has the names of the planets down. 

Helping with Science

We are also trying to make regular trips to the library during their storytime.  Nate loves books and the puppet show, but I think his favorite activity is the hokey pokey. 

Hokey Pokey

Monday, September 1, 2014

Trail Guide To Learning–Unit 1 Review

As I have written we have changed curriculums this year to Trail Guide To Learning. We are using Paths of Exploration books this year.  Our first unit was focused on Christopher Columbus for six weeks.  We incorporate reading, copy work, word study, grammar, science, history, geography and art.

I had a few concerns when we started because reading and copy work are areas that Mickey needed to work on but she also complained greatly by having to read so much or write all the time. Now that we have finished up our first 6 weeks Mickey tells me that her favorite parts are reading and copy work.  She has greatly improved in both of these areas. 

We had a lot of very hands on activities which is just what I was looking for.  In the first week of our unit we studied about Bazaars where people bought food and clothing.  It is very much like our Farmer’s Market that she attends weekly.  So we made a special trip to a night Farmer’s Market where Mickey took a photo journey and added it to an album that she would use in her end of unit presentation.  She LOVED this. 

Mickey Farmer's Market

Mickey Farmer's Market2

We also had a lot of hands on science activities.  We used Trail Guide for Learning and also our Astronomy book that we use from Real Science 4 Kids.  I was so thrilled how the 2 correlated in our learning.  We studied planets and put together a solar system model.  The end product is now hanging in my daughter’s room.  She is very excited. 

planets

Mickey Planets

We also studied constellations.  The kids enjoyed learning the stories and finding the constellations on their own board. 

 

Mickey Stars

We also learned about the weather.  I think that one of the fun things we did was learn about clouds and rain while we had a thunderstorm going on outside.  It really made the lesson come to life. 

Nate Cloud

Nate is feeling the heat from the water.  I don’t know why is has the sock but it made him happy. 

Mickey Cloud

Mickey being fascinated about how the “clouds” were releasing the rain.

We also tried our hand at making a sundial.  There is a lot more that goes into a sundial than I ever knew.  It was fun creating art and science at the same time.

Nate SundialMickey Sundial

One of my greatest joys taking this journey is the excitement my child had while reading about Christopher Columbus.  She couldn’t wait to read on and learn what else was going to happen.  She didn’t fuss about reading her book because she knew that I was also going to read to her from my book.  Her reading improved and she enjoyed reading.  How great is that??  Her writing has also greatly improved.  She looks forward to the copy work and likes to see how neat her writing can be.  She enjoys working in her lapbook and likes to cut and paste.  This program has been a huge blessing to our family.