Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Thing 1 and Thing 2~

I have never been a Dr. Seuss fan but kids LOVE it and our kids are no different. We reread The Cat in the Hat again to focus on Thing 1 and Thing 2. I found a Pinterest idea of making Thing glove puppets but simplified to be mitt puppets~
 Hoping for a puppet show tomorrow!

I used Cat and the Hat stickers to help the boys practice counting. They had circles with numerals and dots in which they put a sticker for each. Once complete we counted together and they both did pretty well~
I also pulled out dot painters for the first time with Payne and it was a big hit as well!

SJ has really become a great reader using Bob Readers and today her book was called Who? I asked if she would like to make her own book along the same story line. She found magazine photos and filled in some of the words. After it was complete, I videoed her reading... just look at that smile as she watched herself~
That does a mom's heart major GOOD!  

Monday, February 25, 2013

Dr. Seuss Week~

We are celebrating Read Across America Week anticipating Dr. Seuss' birthday on Saturday. We read The Cat in the Hat and made our own version of ourselves as the cat. They all loved adding yarn hair~
 We did a little cleanup and I asked them...
What IF The Cat in the Hat knocked on our door? Would we let him in?
 I pulled out a very long piece of bubble wrap out of the corner and divided it 5 ways, rolled up the rugs, and put on the Freeze!!!
We cranked up the music loud loud and jumped our hearts out popping bubbles~ SO FUN!!!

I decided it was time to up the responsibility each day during school. Up until now {since this was our first real home school year}, I have guided pretty much every thing the girls have been doing. A friend of mine noticed our rainbow drawers (work boxes) and helped me think through making them more independent. I also gave EK to privilege of working at the desk and I think you can see she loved it!
 I have a teacher basket on top of the drawers that holds all the materials needed for group activities such as calendar, bible story, and FIAR activities. The rainbow drawers house the girls' materials for handwriting, writing journals, language, reading, explode the code, math/ss/science. Today we added velcro dots with foam animals to front of drawers... I had the girls work independently through their drawers asking for help when they needed it. When complete, the foam animal came off the drawer and dropped in basket on top. Worked like a charm! They felt very important being in charge of the pace they worked. 
Because they worked so well, I was able to set up some 'Have to' trays for the boys and they worked SO hard too! All in all it was a great first day of Dr. Seuss Week!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Sweet Teaching Moment~

This morning EK was reading Henry and Mudge. Henry's parents were getting ready for a Valentine dance and Henry imagined Mudge waltzing to The Blue Danube.
 I grabbed the IPad and googled The Blue Danube to find a YouTube video featuring Johann Strass II. I clicked for us to listen and a Sweet Teaching Moment happened... EK had the loveliest look on her face... then said, "Mom, that's the Cinderella song!" I asked if they knew what the waltz was and SJ jumped right up, grabbed WP, and began to dance with him~
Cinderella and Prince Charming!

Payne and Evie loved working with pattern blocks today~
 I used an empty lemonade container, cut a hole in the top, and gave Evie buttons to work with~
 She loved it~

I also used an egg carton, foam stars, and a programed die for the boys to practice color recognition~
 WP worked hard and wasn't long before Payne wanted in on the action. Later I will add numbers/letters for them to practice. 
A Sweet School Day for sure!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Learning Together~

We spend a lot of time on the floor and these little lap trays from Michael's come in super handy~
EK couldn't think of anything to write about herself in her journal today so we found a kid friendly video online to watch about Abraham Lincoln. She gathered facts, wrote them down, and illustrated~
She attracted a little audience that learned right along side her!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy President's Day~

We read books and watched videos about Abraham Lincoln before making our very own~
Honest Abe!

I purchased a balance scale for our math time. 
 It will be used in many ways but this week we are making the date with it by counting ex) 18 into the bins and deciding if the number is odd or even. They gathered that when the scale balances, the number is even. 
Pretty awesome observation.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saturday School~

What would spur such excitement to do school on a Saturday?
A big Amazon box full of new things to explore and enjoy.
Saturday was free exploration and this week we are putting these things into our learning day.
Saturday School... SO fun!  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day~

A Very FUN and FULL day...
Tried to get a group photo with 'their' choice of red, pink, or white outfits... SJ chose to wear all three~ :)
EK has been reading our Bible study each morning.
We read Valentine stories and started on an art activity~  
 We made LOVE butterflies and I painted everyone's hands to create a new art display wall. PC has had his hand painted before but EC was in complete awe of every step~
 Each one made a list of people and things they love on a big heart and then we were off to the kitchen for playdough making and cookie decorating~
 We had a LOVEly Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Game and a Kiss~

WP has been home for about 13 months now and he gets frustrated to communicate so we can understand him. I spoke with our ped and we have decided to have his speech evaluated for therapy. 

Along with this frustration, he has had some difficulty learning colors, counting, and letters (all abstract concepts to an extent). I am concerned and have begun to be a little more intentional in working with him on a daily basis with these skills. Today I looked around to see what we could work with and I pulled:
A write on die
Frog counters
Elbow pipe
Container to drop counters

Frog Slide
I wrote dots 1-3 on the die and had WP roll.
When he rolled 1 dot, he placed one frog on the dot and said 1.
Did the same with 2 and 3.
Once he placed the frogs, I had him count them as he slid them through the slide (pipe) into the pool (container). BIG smile.
He loved it so much fun he didn't even know he was practicing his counting skills.  We celebrated BIG every time he counted correctly! You can imagine how excited it made Payne to watch and it wasn't long before both boys were playing... WP trying to explain and Payne watching to learn~
 I can't wait to see them go at it tomorrow!

We read Arthur's Valentine today and at the end there was a candy kiss surprise. I just happened to have a kiss art project...
  We traced, cut, glued, and stuck stickers to make kisses for the ones we love. Evie LOVED gluing SO much! They can't wait to give them away.

Update: Aunt Susan came over tonight and WP counted to 3 and then to 5 by himself! We yelled and screamed and jumped up and down! It is a BIG deal!!! Yay!!! 

Monday, February 4, 2013

We're Back~ {Katy No Pocket}

I am super fortunate that my mom, a retired teacher, was able to keep school up and running while we were away in China. We took last week off to allow everyone time to adjust and bond.

Today I had thought we might spend the morning playing and during nap I would school EK and SJ but after breakfast decided to give it a go with everyone. It went great... really nothing different that having 25 K to take care of. :)

I began calendar and Bible with EK and SJ and the others came over to see what we were doing. For the most part they kept busy with whatever they chose off their shelf like~
   Magnets, reading, and drawing.

We are reading Katy No Pocket this week and made aprons with pockets which we will fill with animals tomorrow~
Payne really worked hard learning to cut and Evie LOVED sticking paper she tore to stick to glue I squirted for her. Art was fun for all.

It was so awesome to spend time listening to the girls read and enjoy the progress/growth they had made~
Evie really loved the noodle bin too.
All in all it was a great first day back with 5 school children.
Already looking forward to tomorrow.