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Manners Matter

We are firm believers in teaching manners at an early age and Vera has really picked up on saying things like thank you, sorry, and excuse me. This week we focused on please. It paid off because she now says please for everything! It honestly makes it hard to say no when she says “mommy eat ice cream please?” Ummmmm not right now? “Pleeeeeease?” Aw man……
She even woke up this morning and said “mommy light on please?” 🙂
Our imaginative play was a new tea set and we had many polite tea parties every day. We also sang songs about manners like the please thank you song from Yo Gabba Gabba and the magic wordssong from Signing Time. We also worked on signs for please, thank you, and share.
Another focus this week has been counting. As in actually counting instead of always counting to 5 or 10. We checked out the I Like Bugs book again and count the bugs on each page. We counted blocks in towers (or as V likes to call them CASTLES!!) and counted our neighbors chickens! This was her favorite thing to count and she actually got it right! 1, 2, 3 chickens!
A fun craft/activity we did was lacing cards! I was pretty excited about these because I have a special love for yarn and sewing. I made these cards on sturdy card stock (you could also use recycled cardboard from an empty cereal box). I drew different shapes on each card and then used a thick sharp needle to poke holes in the card along the lines of the shape. Then we threaded a large eye plastic child safe needle and I let V go to town! We worked on these for a min until V decided she really only wanted to take the needle off of the yarn and hide it someplace… I still have not found it :/.
Today we will be making pictures using simple shapes. Then maybe we will get around to having that ice cream she so politely asked for ;). Happy teaching!!!

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Our first week

The first week of preschool flew by! We had so much fun each day. Mostly we played and made crafts:)
Some of the activities we did this week included a vegetable collage and reading books about vegetables. We also learned some signs for vegetables like carrot and corn.
We made a homemade sunshine clay that consist of flour, salt, oil and water then used the clay to make a volcano! Once our volcano was dry we set it off with baking soda and vinegar. Vera loved this! Even long after it was done she kept talking about the bubbles:).
Vera played some educational games on our tablets and had some touch screen practice with a stylus. We read TONS of books and talked about each storyWhat is happening on each page?Where is this? What color is that?
Building blocks, coloring, play dough and story time took up most of our days. The weather was off and on sunny but due to an outbreak of ensephylites in our area we chose to stay indoors most days. I hate using bug spray on her but I feel it’s necessary for her health right now but those Mosquitos seem to still find her:( .
Next week is our weather week! I already checked out multiple books from the library all about weather and seasons. I plan on making a “what’s the weather?” Sign to hang near our kitchen window. We can then start our days choosing the picture that best matches the current weather outside. I will keep you all posted on our other activities for next week as we do them. Getting excited to start week 2!

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First Day of PreK

Today was our first official day of homeschool preschool! We started the morning off with waffles and blueberries in the shape of our letter of the week V. Then we sang the alphabet song a couple times and found the letter V on our foam alphabet puzzle. Next we danced our wiggles out! After lots of dancing ( we have a lot of wiggles) we moved on to reading books about the letter V.
Sesame Street has a board book for each letter of the alphabet. These books are great! We currently only own the V book about Ernie and the Vacuum salesman but I will be on the look out for more at our local thrift shops and used book stores.
Next we had fun with play dough! We used yellow and purple dough to make big and little V’s and traced them with our fingers. We also had imaginative fun and free play with our play dough. Vera made a microphone and sang in it:) it was so sweet! I’m really proud of her huge imagination and I encourage it as much as possible!
After play dough we cleaned up and started our letter craft. We made a V vase with violets in it. Vera was a big fan of the glue stick! Next we had more imaginative play with a toy phone and then it was time for lunch.
We finished lunch and worked on same and different by matching socks. This was fun and silly. Vera kept dancing with the socks each time we made a pair. It was nice having a helper with the laundry too;) we ended with singing more songs and some coloring.
It was a smooth and fun day with lots of laughs and learning. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

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36 weeks of Themes for Learning

I May end up changing my mind as the year rolls on but as of right now these are my ideas for each week.

Everyday we will practice writing/ scribbles :), dance/movement, sing songs and recite rhymes, color/draw/paint or do some type of crafting, read books, free play/ imaginative play, and when the weather allows it we will venture outside! Once a week we will have experiments and visit our local library for story time or a local nature center for hikes and special events. I also plan on taking “field trips” to museums and science centers around town every once in awhile. My mother in law is teaching preschool lessons to my 4 year old niece and we plan to get together often and do joint learning activities.

 

We work with sign language and I hope to incorporate as much of that into the daily routines as possible. I have been very excited searching for ideas and coming up with plans for this school year. Right now I am only sharing my ideas for themes for each week and I will go into detail later and let you know what we have done and how it went.

Week 1

“V” is for Vera

Week 2

“W” is for Weather

Week 3

Opposites with “O” and “X”

Week 4

“R” is for Rapunzel

Week 5

“I” like Bugs/ Insects

Week 6

“E” Eating Healthy

Week 7

“D” is for Dinosaur

Week 8

“A” is for Art

Week 9

“M” Manners Matter

Week 10

“B” Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?

Week 11

“C” is for Corn. Farm Week

Week 12

“H” Happy Healthy Hygiene

Week 13

Halloween “J” is for Jack-o-lantern

Week 14

“Z” is for Zoo!

Week 15

“Q”

Week 16

“T” Travel and Thanksgiving

Week 17

“Y” is for Yarn

Week 18

Christmas activities

Week 19

Christmas activities

Week 20

“K” Kaleidoscopes and Kites

Week 21

Music Week

Week 22

History Week

Week 23

Cooking with Kids

Week 24

Rain forest Week

Week 25

“L” is for Love Valentines

Week 26

“P” is for Presidents day and Primary Colors

Week 27

Dr Seuss week 1

Week 28

Dr Seuss week 2 with “S”

Week 29

“F” is for Flowers

Week 30

Green Week with “G”/ St. Patrick’s

Week 31

Camping and Outdoors

Week 32

C-A-Ts and D-O-Gs

Week 33

Easter activities

Week 34

“N” is for Nature

Week 35

Rainbow Week

Week 36

” U” Under the Sea week!

 

Im really looking forward to this fun and exciting first year of preschool!

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Is it too early for early literacy?

Well….is it?
I say NO WAY! It’s EARLY Literacy! Getting started on teaching and helping your child to read is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. There are several steps you can take to help your child become an early reader. We have been doing many of these things since our child was born and are getting ready to take the extra steps to help bring her even closer to letter recognition and early reading!

Read Read READ
I don’t think anyone can stress enough about the importance of reading to your child on a daily basis. Get them started with an early love for books. Make reading FUN! We try to read at least 20 mins every day to our child. I also have this personal rule that any time a child ask me to read to them I never say no. This has trapped me reading for hours to one of my nieces:) but I loved it just as much as she did! Also read to yourself in front of your child. Show them that you enjoy reading as a pastime.

Introduce letters
You sing the ABC’s all day long but what does it mean? A good place to start is with the first letter of your child’s name! My daughters name starts with V so we point it out every time we see it and say “V for Vera!” This makes V HER letter.
Show your child both uppercase and lowercase letters. You can write their name often and show them how to read it from left to right.

practice writing
Start with X and O. You can use your finger in shaving cream of flour, use a paintbrush or crayon. Really just use whatever tool you have handy and practice writing letters whenever you can. Identify the letters and the sounds they make each time you write them.

label
You can make lables around your house for everyday items. When you child uses these items they will always see the word associated with each thing. Label your toilet , tv, remote, hairbrush. Whatever! Also label bins for specific toys like blocks and puzzles. This is something fun you and your child can do together.
Lastly read read read !!!!!!!and read some more;)
All of these things together will help your child’s reading skills develop at an early age! A skill that will last them a lifetime!

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Preschool

I have preschool on the brain! My child is almost two years old and I want to get a jump start on an early education! Some would say 2 is too early but not I. I’m giddy over the thought of science experiments and craft time! I love teaching my little girl new things and going through the experience with her!
I started researching what preschool curriculum is like and what is required knowledge before kindergarten. I knew I wanted to homeschool for at least preschool age and possibly beyond that. After reading loads of material I came up with a general list of guidelines for teaching preschool to a 2-5year old at home.

Literacy and Language Arts
-Read Read Read! Ask questions during and after a story
-Start learning letters( uppercase, lowercase, sounds)
-Make up stories and create a book.
-Sing songs, rhymes, phonemic awareness
-Practice drawing and writing with numerous tools ( pencils, chalk, sticks, finger, crayon, paintbrush..)

Science and Nature Studies
– learn the difference between living and non living things
-Use experiments to learn about cause and effect
-Plant seeds, watch them grow and identify parts of a plant. What do they need to thrive
-Learn about wildlife with hands on participation in wildlife conservation
-Develop data collection, record keeping, classification skills through nature walks and a nature journal.

Cognitive Skills and Math
– Identify colors, shapes, sizes and weights
-Count! Count everything and put numbers to use everyday
-Recognize numbers and use objects to represent numbers
-Practice grouping, sequencing, complete patterns
-Compare and classify ( more/ less same/ different long/ short)
-Match pictures and objects that are alike, opposite, or go together
-Encourage problem solving skills
– Talk about positions ( inside, outside , top , bottom, under , over, left, right and middle)
-learn about time by making a play clock
Play with puzzles, dot to dots and mazes

Play
-Build with blocks
-Lots of outdoor play for gross motor skills( climbing, balancing, running, jumping)
– arts and crafts for fine motor development ( tracing, cutting, pasting, stringing)
Encourage unstructured imaginative play
-Music, singing, dancing, rhythm, instruments and songs with motions.

Life Skills
Learn about body self care and move towards independence
-Learn to clean up after self
-basic manners
-Learn about emotions and how to deal with them

Computer Skills
Use computer for educational games and learn skills with touch screens and mouse and keyboard

It is a lot of information to consider on a daily basis so I’m developing a 36 week lesson plan guideline to help me incorporate all of these things each week! I’m excited to find experiments to try and crafts for letter and number recognition. I’m also looking for ways to introduce early literacy ! I can’t wait to share my lesson plan with you once I finish it and keep you up to date on our weekly lessons!

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19 months seems like 19 days

I’m watching my little girl sleep and all I can think is how quickly time has gone by! She is 19 months old today ( I swear I will stop counting months once she turns 2) and everyday she is growing up and getting bigger. Her vocabulary is growing and she has even started speaking in short phrases like “What happened?” And “Come here!”.
Her favorite color is purple ( it blows me away that she knows her colors!) favorite movie is Tangled and her favorite food is chicken legs and broccoli.
I wish I could stop time for a little bit and keep her small and innocent a bit longer. Everything about her is sweet and melts my heart ! Her tiny voice and her huge imagination keep me going each day.
We have our moments where we but heads but that is to be expected when communicating with a toddler. If she had her way she would live outside rain or shine and eat chocolate with her broccoli for dinner. She would climb every obstacle and piece of furniture in her way and leap off of steep cliffs near water. The cat would be her best friend and bedtime would be later. She would run everywhere and never ride in the car. Hygiene would be optional but baths would be a must( soap not included).
I fear I will wake up tomorrow and she will be a teenager so I better start keeping track of the memories now.

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