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.

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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.