A is for Apple, Again

We had a pretty good first week focusing on apples and the letter A. I followed MBS’s lead, encouraging but not pushing. He didn’t want to do any of the line or letter tracing activities, and he wasn’t too enthused about the counting activities but did do a few with me. I was impressed with how well he did on the size sorting, pattern finishing, and shape matching activities– though he got completely goofy while doing them.

MBS’s favorite activity all week long was cutting and gluing, while doing an “A” craft with me or making his own “creatures”, and I think my favorite part was when we went on a hike at Tolmie State Park on Ryan’s day off. We also ate apples, drank apple juice, made an apple dessert (which he wouldn’t eat), and picked apples in our orchard.

I believe all of the printouts we used this week were from Confessions of a Homeschooler. We did an apple paper plate craft that I’ve seen lots of places, made an Apatosaurus out of a paper plate, made an apple tree, and stacked 10 Apples on Top.

Linking up with Preschool Corner, please visit Jolanthe’s site to see what other preschoolers are doing. Thanks for stopping by.

Rogue Chicken

We were out berry picking when I noticed we were being followed. It was “Rogue Chicken!” One of our hens has decided she doesn’t like living in the coop any more so she has gone rogue. We caught her and put her back with the others but since we let them out to roam our property she just took off again. The only way to stop it would be to trim her wings and keep everyone confined to the coop and chicken yard– but we like our hens to be able to run free (in our completely fenced property) during the day.

I really liked how the photos caught MBS checking to make sure Rogue Chicken is following him. Ha ha, I accidentally typed Rouge Chicken at first and, hey, that works too, she is a Rhode Island Red.

Linking up to Moments to Remember.

Scissor Practice

Mr. Blue Sky had fun using his new scissors. He just wants to cut and cut and cut. I’d tried regular beginner scissors with him before but he couldn’t use them one handed. With these ones he really can cut!

 

I also decided to let him use a roll of tape, that was fun but frustrating for him. And he “earned” a sheet of stickers by picking up after himself– a few times of rewards and he’s really gotten back into doing it on his own without much fuss (mostly– still the occasional meltdown). He’s been making all sorts of monsters and creatures, cut up and taped or stapled together— really being creative and having a blast!

 

New School Year

Wow, last school year I managed a whopping 3 posts! Lets hope I can be a better blogger this year, not necessarily for blog readers but so I can keep a record of how our school year was.

Mr. Blue Sky is now 3 years 8 months old. He knows most of the alphabet letters but not the the sounds, he REFUSES to sing the alphabet song– just not his thing, finally knows most colors (last year everything was “green”), doesn’t count well– right now every number is “6”, he’s really good with shapes, and is a wiz with the iPad!

I still feel that what he really needs at this age is time to play so our “school” will remain pretty casual. Things I want to work on this year:

  • Potty training, please, please, please let him become interested in using the potty chair. I am so sick of diapers!
  • Picking up after himself. He actually used to be better about this but right now he seems to be going through a defiant stage– right now he has out his Legos, Duplos, and trains– even though he’s only supposed to get one out at a time. Plus he has dumped his drawing and music drawer’s contents on the floor (just for the heck of it!). Sigh.
  • Temper, temper. This is for all of us. Sadly we all have bad tempers and need to work on them.
  • Counting, number recognition, grouping, and sorting.
  • Beginning reading, reading readiness–I don’t want to push so I’ll follow his lead. HE really wants to read but on the flip side still doesn’t want to sit and practice letter sounds. I think later in the school year he’ll be more ready.

For our language studies this year we will be doing Letter of the Week activities from Confessions of a Homeschooler, rowing books with Before Five in a Row, and doing thematic units that I make on my own (or scrounge from the web). I had been doing a 5 a day book program and MBS really liked it. I need to get back to doing it but I thing I’ll lower the amount, especially on BFIAR weeks since I’ll already be rereading a book those weeks.

For math I’ve gotten some bug counters and pattern blocks. So far he loves just playing with the bugs– not doing any of MY suggested activities– but he does enjoy doing the pattern block picture cards. I’m hoping to get a bucket scale, geoboards, and cuisenaire rods later in the year.Oh, and don’t forget just learning by playing games. He loves to play chutes and ladders!

For science we’ll continue reading non-fiction books, watching nature movies, and I hope to do a lot of nature walks. He loves reading about animals, digging in the dirt, collecting rocks and pine cones.

Art– he draws all the time. What I need to do is get out the paint and messier projects more often. He loves them, I just cringe about the mess.

I’ve got more ideas and plans for the year but my brain has stopped working so it’s time to stop blogging.

A is for Apple

Tot School

Mr. Blue Sky is 33 months old.

We started off our new school year on the autumnal equinox, September 23rd, which was a Friday this year, so already our first week was going to be more than a week. Then we kind of dragged out the books and activities so we ended up spending much longer on A than I had meant. As mentioned in a previous post on our first day we made an alphabet apple tree and MBS matched up his magnetic alphabet letters to the apples and we walked in our orchard and picked some apples.

We read books about apples and about Johnny Appleseed (his birthday is Sep. 26th). I also had 2 videos about Johnny Appleseed from the library, one a live action  was a huge flop with MBS, but the Disney’s Johnny Appleseed cartoon (on The Reluctant Dragon dvd) was a hit. He also liked all the other cartoons on that dvd.

All the books I had out about Johnny Appleseed were not well received, not that the books were bad, just that they were a little too wordy for MBS. Of the apple books we had out MBS’s favorites were the Little Apple Goat by Caroline Jayne Church and Apple Pie ABC by Alison Murray.

MBS colored pictures of things that started with A and then he glued them on to a sheet of paper. We actually colored many more things than got glued down onto our A (he glued the extras on scrap paper), next time I’ll print out smaller pictures! I did the cutting but MBS used a glue stick for the first time.

 

A is for...

MBS is very imaginative and it is so much fun watching him play and make up stories. One day he came running to get me and dragged me into his room to show me that he was “feeding” his stuffed animals. He had gotten out our craft sticks and piled them for the animals to eat.

Feeding the animals.

He LOVES to play with our iPads!

MBS LOVES the iPad!

To see what other tots are doing please visit Tot School.

Not Such a Little Guy Anymore

No, not talking about MBS. Our pup Worf isn’t such a little puppy anymore. He’s almost 6 months old and dwarfs our other dogs.

Not chewing on all these tempting stuffies! Good Dog Worf!

He’s turned out to be a wonderful dog for MBS, and MBS makes sure everyone knows that Worf is “his” dog. They truly love each other. Worf is still a pup but he’s housebroken, only chews on his toys (and has learned to leave MBS toys alone!), and just has a wonderful temperament. He gets along with our older dogs, though he definitely gets on their nerves with his puppy energy and enthusiasm. He does dig holes all over the yard, uses his tail as a weapon, and needs a lot of training but all in all he’s turned out to be a good dog.

New School Year!

When I was a kid I remember that school started the week after Labor Day weekend. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, but I like the idea of knowing when school would start up again. We plan on homeschooling year round, with breaks as we need them but for records we need a school year start and end time. We decided to set our school start date as the autumnal equinox, I like that our homeschool goes with the seasons. It just feels right to me.

As I’ve said before I’m not big on much “school” at this age. I feel that play is what Mister Blue Sky should be doing. The school work we are doing is more for me, to keep me focused and force me to introduce him to new books and activities instead of just getting, well, lazy, and doing nothing. There’s being a relaxed homeschooler and then there is just being relaxed.

Our theme this first couple of weeks is A is for apple and celebrating Johnny Appleseed’s birthday (September 26th). Today we made an alphabet apple tree and then MBS matched his magnet letters to the apples. He had fun helping me draw the tree and really seemed to enjoy matching the letters.

Alphabet Apple Tree

After that we walked up into our orchard and picked some apples and berries.

I got the apple!

I had planned on us doing some painting after lunch but I got stung by a yellow jacket so we took the afternoon off. Looking forward to a new school year with MBS.

Homeschooling Preschool Article

I enjoyed this article about preschool. I do find it odd that so many parents feel the need to send their kids to preschool. Not that they want to send their kids to preschool for some reason, I can understand wanting to give your toddler more time with other kids and totally understand Mommy wanting a break from all toddler all the time. What I don’t understand is that some parents feel that they need to send their child to preschool, as if their toddler will be ruined if they miss this opportunity. It makes me feel sad that so many parents feel that they aren’t capable of providing the education, especially preschool education, that their children need. (The parents that don’t want to homeschool is a completely different subject.) At this age most of what a child needs to do is PLAY, and be read to, and talked to.

Not that I don’t have doubts about myself as a teacher (especially when MBS is insisting that everything is green!), I think that it is  completely normal to question your abilities, but I truly believe at the preschool age most of what your child needs is your time and attention. And possibly your being tough and saying no to the question of  “watch Toy Story?” and your letting go of the thought of the huge mess and saying yes to the request to paint.

So today we’ve turned the tv off (after one episode of Thomas) and we’ve got the paint out. MBS is having fun painting (and splashing the water everywhere!) and calling every color green.

Painting in pajamas.
Switched from using the brush to his fingers. So much fun!

Why homeschool preschool? Cause I don’t want to miss one bit of this adventure!