What to do…

I know it’s not the end of week 4, but I just felt like writing. So it’s Tuesday, and normally this is not a school day for us. Things are just not going according to plan this week. Normally on Monday’s, we go to visit Nanny and Poppy, and Uncle Chad for a few hours in the morning. (That’s my dad’s parents and brother.) While the boys visit, I tend to use those two hours to get everything together for school for the week. If I need to go to Hobby Lobby to get supplies, or to the Dollar Tree to get supplies, or I need to print things out, or get things cut out, I do that while the kids are out. Then we get home, Wyatt takes a nap, Cole gets one hour of iPad time, then Cole and I work on his worksheets. After Wyatt gets up, we work on our craft, Bible story, and science time.

Well, on Monday, I had breakfast with a wonderful group of ladies from the church. It was a great time and I’m so glad we get together once a month. But I wasn’t able to get to Hobby Lobby and get our supplies. So I figured Wyatt would sleep for a couple of hours, we could go and get the supplies, and still do school when we got home. Well, Wyatt didn’t wake up until almost 5:00. He was a tired puppy! Then we didn’t get home till almost 6. It was time for dinner and cleaning up the toys from the day, then bed. So no school on Monday. Not a big problem, I figured we would just have school on Tuesday and I could find some stuff for Wyatt to do while Cole did his sheets.

My sister has invited me to walk around their neighborhood with them, when we can. She had another friend, a new mom, who wanted to walk as well, and was going over on Tuesday morning to walk. So my sister invited us as well. No big deal. We could walk, then come home and still do school before lunch. No such luck. We didn’t get home until almost lunch time. We had lunch and now Wyatt is sleeping.

It makes me think about the Lord’s timing. We are trying to put our condo on the market, so we can get a house with a backyard, in a nice neighborhood, with a fence and more room. I have been trying to get the condo on the market since the beginning of July. Well, that didn’t happen in my time either. I’m hoping this will happen next week. We are also working on a contemporary Christian worship service on Saturday nights at our church. This has also been a struggle as we’ve waited on the Lord to move us in His time. I won’t say that the Lord is teaching me patience, because I definitely haven’t been praying for that, but He is teaching me to wait on Him in everything. And it’s ok if things don’t get done when I think they need to be done. If we don’t get to school today, it’s ok. We still have the rest of the week. If I don’t get a load of laundry done today, it’s ok. IF there are still dishes in the sink when I go to bed, it’s ok. The laundry will still be there tomorrow, the dishes will still be in the sink, my boys will know that I love them and my Lord still sits on His throne.

Preschool – Week 3

This has been an interesting week. It seemed like the boys really wanted to do school, but they really didn’t want to do school. Thankfully, we had some really cool and fun activities this week. I think that I have the perfect arrangement. We do worksheets first, to get those out of the way, then we move on to crafts and activities. Save the fun stuff for last. I can also use the fun things as encouragement – let’s finish these sheets, then we can do our projects! Works, for the most part!

We concentrated on the letter C this past week. Cole did his normal sheets, while Wyatt and I tried some new things. We colored a caterpillar in the shape of a C. I drew a cactus on a green sheet of paper, and the boys drew C’s as the spines on the cactus. Wyatt and I also made a cat with circles and triangles.

We had a lot of fun with our numbers this week to. On Friday, we made exploding numbers. Cole did really well following directions. Wyatt, on the other hand, just wanted to make a mess, which is fine. It’s all about learning about different things and experiencing different things.

After trying twice this week to do our Passport to Imagination craft from Michaels, we decided that these crafts are a little too old for the boys. So I have been looking up different crafts for us to do, using things I already have around the house. Things like empty bottles, clothes pins, pom poms, q-tips, etc. We have a lot of different things we are going to be doing. Stay tuned!

IMG_20130820_094532For our Bible time this week, we talked about Issac and Rebekah, Jacob and Esau, and Jacob, Leah, and Rachael. We had fun playing pin the tail on the camel. Cole had no problem wearing the blindfold, but if you remember, Wyatt couldn’t handle it, so he didn’t want to play. But Cole did well with it, to the point that he figured out how to cheat! He’s too smart. We would spin him around twice, then send him towards the front door. He would feel to see if he was close to the corner or close to the couch, then move over where he needed to go. Like I said, too smart! We also created tambourines to celebrate Jacob and Leah, and Jacob and Rachael’s weddings. We used two paper plates, that the boys colored, and stapled them together, adding popcorn kernels to make the noise. They had so much fun making noise. (Thankfully, mommy had a full bottle of Advil nearby.)

 

 

 

IMG_20130821_102205Science was also fun this week. We started talking about weather. On Monday we talked about the sun, so the boys painted sun catchers. Wednesday was all about clouds. I found a cool project called Clouds in a Jar. Using water, shaving cream, and colored water, the kids created these cool things in the jar that represented what happens with clouds when they get too full. It was AWESOME! Friday we talked about rain, and the boys made rain sticks. Friday was a very noisy day in our house!

We’re still learning and working on the best way for us to work and learn. But it’s fun and we are having a great time!

 

Preschool – Week 2

So last week was week 2 in our Homeschool – Preschool Adventure. It went a little better than the first week. With Wyatt, we did more activities to help him learn his letters and numbers. We did the Torn Tissue letter B, just as we did with the letter A. Instead of doing worksheets to help him along, we did more coloring sheets and other activities. We did a B poster with blue and black buttons. (He glued the buttons onto an uppercase and lowercase B.)

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We also made counting sticks 1- 10.  We haven’t used these yet, but they turned out well, and Cole helped with them. I have learned that for some thing, the glue gun is a much better glue than regular Elmer’s glue. I’m also learning how to use my glue gun. I think it’s defective.

Cole stuck to his worksheets and practiced writing B words and writing out the words for the numbers 1 – 5. He is doing so well. On some of the sheets, he needed to just write the word once or twice, but he said that three times was better. Except for the number three, which is longer, that one he only needed to do twice!

We worked on our days of the week and months of the year and seasons as well with Cole this week. I found some cool songs online. For the days of the week, we sing it to the tune of the Adams Family, which both boys love because we clap. I found a cute video on YouTube for the months of the year. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VECiSMV4GX4.  And we listened to a lot of the songs.  This is the one the boys picked.  Cole and I also talked about the seasons.  Over the weekend, I realized that we might have gone a little fast through these things.  It’s all about repetition, and since we only do school three days a week, it’s easy for him to forget what we learned.  So this coming week is going to be review.

Our Bible lessons this week were about Adam and Eve, Noah, and Abraham.  I’m not trying to get the boys to memorize the stories, but again, just repetition, and learning about the major players in the Bible.  For Adam and Eve, we made a snake picture out of Farfalle, or bow tie pasta.  We were going to do Rigatoni snakes, but, mommy forgot to get them at the store.  For Noah, we made cotton ball clouds with yarn rainbows.  Abraham was a little trickier.  We actually did sand art pictures, representing the covenant that God made with Abraham.

IMG_20130814_193456              IMG_20130816_190434

Our passport to imagination took us to Canada this week, where we made hockey sticks from popsicle sticks, origami geese, and are going to finish up our clothespin moose today.  We talked about how Canada is colder, because they are closer to the north pole and we used a whiteboard country map that I found at the dollar tree to point out where the US is and where Canada is.

Science was all about our senses.  This was probably the most fun we had this week.  On Wednesday, I made up a tray of things to smell, feel, and taste.  For the things to smell, I used solo cups and put different things in there.  I used garlic powder, onion powder, chocolate syrup, vanilla extract, coconut extract, lemon extract, cinnamon, pepper, and pumpkin pie spice.  Some people might think it interesting that I used so many baking supplies.  I am a baker, and the boys help me a lot and they love to smell the different components.  So they did really well with those things.  After we smelled everything, I put a blindfold on Cole, then tried to put one on Wyatt.  Cole trusted me completely and had no problem with the blindfold.  Wyatt on the other hand couldn’t stand it.  They boys then tasted different things: grapes, cheese crackers, m & m’s, chocolate chips, and a goldfish.  They did really well guessing.  We also held different things to guess what they were.  Again, the boys did really well.  While they were still blindfolded, we listened to different things around the house.  The water running, the ice machine, pouring a drink, turning on the light over the stove, clapping, and shaking a medicine bottle.  It was a lot of fun and the boys really enjoyed it!

This week is going to be a blast as well, as we look at different elements of weather.  Stay tuned to see our next adventure!

Preschool – Week 1

Monday afternoon marked day 1 of our homeschool preschool. I decided to try to do one letter a week, one number (or set of numbers for Cole) a week, a color and shape, a craft project, a Bible story and a science lesson per class. Obviously, for the letter, I started with A. I found this cool idea, that I tweaked, for using torn tissue paper and a letter template. I cut up the tissue paper and we put a line of glue through the letter. The boys could then put tissue paper pieces on the letter templates.
Cole's Torn Tissue A

Cole concentrated on the numbers 1-5 and Wyatt concentrated on the numbers 1-2. I wanted Wyatt to be able to do the craft projects we were doing do on Monday we waited for him to wake up from his nap before we did our project. (Courtesy of Michael’s Passport to Imagination. I copied all of the projects off of their site and did them at home, rather than going to Michaels to do them. Since we are only doing about three of these a week, instead of three a day, we are able to keep the projects going. They are set up by continent and country. Three projects a day, for three days, for seven weeks, means I have 63 days worth of projects or about 21 weeks. AWESOME!)

Wyatt worked on the color red and the square shape. Cole worked on various opposites, including inside/outside, on/off, and happy/sad. Our first bible lesson lasted all week, and went along with our project the first day and our science lessons. Do you remember in grade school having to do a diorama? I do. I think I waited until the last minute to do it, and made my mom mad, but I remember using a shoe box and dirt and grass. I don’t remember what it was for, but I do remember a couple of things. This is basically what we did with the boys. We made a creation diorama. On Monday, we learned what God made on days 1, 2, and 3. We then added these elements to the diorama. (It’s very 2-dimentional!) On Wednesday, we learned what God made on days 4, 5, and 6, and again added these elements to the diorama. On Friday, we talked about God resting! So our science lesson was about rest and motion and how objects need a reaction to create motion. Here’s a picture of Wyatt’s finished diorama.
Wyatt's diorama

So what did I learn this week? I don’t know where Cole learned his numbers, letters, and other various things, or when he learned them. I don’t know why Wyatt doesn’t know them. I think I thought that Wyatt was just as advanced as Cole was. I was wrong. Wyatt is his own person with his own way of doing things. He isn’t going to be able to trace a word, or number, or even a letter on his own. He isn’t going to recognize a number right away. He doesn’t know his colors or shapes, let alone what the letter B looks like. So we need a different approach. Wyatt will do more activities to learn things, like flash cards and sorting. Cole loves the worksheets and does well with them. So until he tells me he’s bored, we’ll stick with that for Cole.

Next week should be interesting. The passport crafts this week were for North America and the United States. We made a Bald Eagle from a wooden spoon and the liberty bell. Bald Eagles Liberty Bells
Next week, we concentrate on Canada.

Preschool – The Beginning

IMG_20130730_133654About a month ago, I decided that I would try preschool at home with my two boys, Cole who is 4 and Wyatt who is 2. So I did research on curriculums and lesson plans for preschool. Couldn’t find anything that really spoke to me. So I tried to find something that would tell me what is typically taught in preschool. Not a whole lot there either. Which I find amazing, because there is a TON of information on EVERYTHING, more information than a person could possibly need on anything, but I couldn’t find what I was looking for. So I just made something up. I figured that I wanted them to know their letters, numbers, colors and shapes for Wyatt, basic concepts for Cole, a Bible story, basic Science, a foundation to get them started, with some crafty things thrown in for good measure.

I also decided that three days a week for right now was good enough. Then I remembered that Monday mornings aren’t good. The boys normally hang out for a couple of hours with my dad’s parents. It is the highlight of everyone’s week, and Wyatt still takes naps – thank God! Perfect solution, Wyatt will do his preschool Wednesday and Friday and Cole can do his preschool Monday afternoon while Wyatt naps, and then also Wednesday and Friday mornings, with Wyatt.

So we started this week. Boy did I learn a lot in three days. For those who know me, I just recently had my gall bladder taken out, and I still have to take it easy as I can get tired pretty quickly. That should go away in a couple of weeks, according to the doctor. Cole works really well with minimal instruction. He seemed to learn his numbers and letters, and how to spell his name, without my help and overnight. Same with colors and shapes. I guess I assumed Wyatt (who is 2, remember) would be on the same level as Cole (who, as you know, is 4). Not so much. Wyatt isn’t able to trace things very well yet, he doesn’t know colors and shapes yet and doodling is how he writes his name. So after this week, I decided I would take a different approach to helping Wyatt. Instead of printable that he can color and try to trace and generally just frustrate me and him, we are going to work on fine and gross motor skills, use flash cards to learn things like colors and shapes, work on sorting, etc.

As for this first week, read the next post to see what we did and learned. I hope you enjoy these posts as they will probably be funny and informative.