Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"K" - Kangaroos, Kites & Kings

UPDATE: I had meant to post this back in December but I guess I forgot, here it is now (March 2009).

Day 1: Kangaroos

~ We made a kangaroo toilet paper roll craft. This didn't turn out as well as I would have wanted, the pouch wouldn't stay on and it didn't really look like much of a kangaroo. Treyton still had fun doing the craft and didn't really realize it didn't turn out so... it was still time well spent.

~ Treyton was fascinated with the kangaroo pouch, the mama and joey kangaroos.... he loves that type of stuff and kangaroos were no exceptions. We had some really cool kangaroo pictures that showed a teeny tiny baby kangaroo in the pouch and how it lives, what the pouch actually looks like, how the joey eats, etc. Treyton loved that book and we read it several times (the name is slipping me now, sorry).

~ As usual Treyton preferred the real-life books to the cartoon story books, which I think is awesome, but that's just me :)

~ We made a jumping kangaroo from the template and a brad - Treyton liked this craft - not so much the craft but the end product - he spent more time playing with his kangaroo than he did making it - though he did ask why the kangaroo only had one leg --- while the kangaroo had two legs, on the template they were together as one so you didn't see them individually so he thinks he has a one-legged kangaroo.

Unscripted plans

Well, it has been a while since I have posted and that's mostly because I haven't been following my "curriculum" and I felt a little badly about it, but then I realized we were still doing "school" just not the curriculum, so let me fill you in on some of the things we have been doing and learning.

~ For thanksgiving we made pumpkins out of 12*1 inch scrap paper and brads - I posted about it here. Treyton really enjoyed this craft alot and was very proud when I would talk about them on the phone with family.

~ As I also posted on my other blog, we have been working at doing a family devotional daily after dinner. During this time Treyton has learned much more than Tim or I either expected. We have little catechism type questions - the first two that we have worked on was "What is Man's primary purpose?" and the answer is "To glorify God and enjoy Him forever" and the other one is "Who made me?" "God Made Me" is the answer.... Treyton knows both of them and gets excited to answer them.... mom and Treyton usually race to see who can raise their hands up first in order to answer the question.... I don't know how but Treyton ALWAYS wins ;)
~ Treyton is also learning the fruit of the Spirit in sign language which is really cool. We practice it everyday and he usually wants to do it 3-4 times. He is learning so much and having fun doing it - I love that we discovered this method and I think we will stick with it for a while.

~ For "J" we were supposed to be learning about Jesus - and while I never got our stuff out to work on the curriculum part of it, Treyton has learned so much about Jesus and heaven in the last weeks. Sadly, as most of you know our adorable little nephew went home to be with Jesus. This has brought on lots of questions from Treyton - some that I can answer, and some that I can't. But in the process Treyton has learned.
Some of the questions he has asked and things he is learning:
1. Is Trent Happy?
2. Where is Jesus?
3. Where is Trent?
4. Where is God?
5. I told Treyton the other day that Alexa was sick, and because we had explained to Treyton that Trent was sick, and then Trent went to be with Jesus, Treyton's first question after I told him that Alexa was sick was if she was going to die. It broke my heart to try to explain the difference to him, and I don't think I did a very good job at it but it's a process for both of us and as we are grieving so deeply for Trent, and trying to explain to Treyton why we won't see him anymore here, but that we will see him in heaven has been.... scary.... I just pray that I'm doing it properly.
6. We talk about how heaven is the funnest place - so fun we can't even imagine it. Everything good is there (trucks, leaner, paint, movies, etc.) with nothing bad (sickness, pain, crying). So hard for even an adult to imagine.... I'm grateful that children have such faith and that simple answers usually work.
7. Treyton's most popular question "why?" has been asked several times when it has come to Trent.... oh how I wish I could answer him, but this is a question even I do not know the answer to.

There is so much more that I could post, but these are the main points that I wanted to record for our journal for now, I will try to post more later.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Catching Up "H" & "I"

Wow - it's been a while since I posted.... I know I know... we were out of town for a week, then we were catching up from being out of town, and now my mom is in town for a week. So while we have done some school I would like to do a little bit better in the future.

I believe we left off with "G" (but now I can't remember).
When we got back from vacation we started with "H"

We worked on HANDS:
~ We made several hand crafts including a hand print thanksgiving tree. Treyton and I traced his hands onto construction paper and then cut them out - he then listed the things he was thankful for and I wrote them onto the "leaves" we stuck a cardboard tree trunk to the wall and then Treyton taped his "thanksgiving leaves" on the tree. It was really cute - some of the first things he was thankful for included: "Paint" "Home" "Daddy's Work" "Trucks" "Movies" and from there we moved through some family members.... I was really proud of the things that he came up with on his own though!
~ We also made a painted hand tree - we painted his hand and arm brown and put it on a piece of paper - we then too green, yellow and red paint and fingerprinted on some fall leaves.
~ While the crafts were fun my emphasis was actually on washing our hands and being clean. We sang the song "this is the way we wash our hands" while we washed and Treyton thought that that was great fun. We talked about how it is important to use warm water, to wash the backs of our hands and also in between our fingers.
~ I had made a picture instructional chart and we put it up in the bathroom for Treyton to see and follow as he washes his hands. I love it because when he washed his hands now, he will point to which part of the chart he is on and he tells me what he's doing.

This week we worked on "I"
~ The week after vacation we went on a tour of an ice cream parlor - we saw how they made their ice cream, how they decorated an ice cream cake and then the kids got to "make their own" ice cream. It was really neat and Treyton still talks about the big cow that came out to see us while we ate our ice cream!
~ We only did one craft for this theme. I made some circles and numbered them 1-5. Treyton put the number in order on a piece of paper and we included a triangle at the bottom to make our 5-scoop ice cream cone
~ We read a couple books on how ice cream was made - and Treyton liked this - though I think he is still more interested in the fact that cows eat corn and make milk than he is that the milk becomes ice cream. It's interesting though how he is tying in with this that mom makes milk too ---- oh the joys of breastfeeding :)
~ After we did our number craft we worked on some number activities to strengthen Treyton's counting. This is an area of stress for me because I am feeling a little lost. Treyton knows 1-5 pretty well.

If I say to him - give me three marbles, he will give me three, if I ask for four I get four. However if I ask him to count how many marbles are in front of him and there are three - he ALWAYS says four. When he counts he says "1, 2, 4, 8, 9, 10" I have no idea what happened to 3, 5, 6, or 7 --- which by the way it used to be "1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10.....
I count with him and will say "1, 2, 3 ...... 1, 2, 3 - okay Treyton you say it" He says "1...... 2................ 4!!!" When I ask him how old he is he holds up 3 fingers and says 4.... but if he holds up 4 fingers he also says 4!
I'm not really sure - he counts in order with his fingers, he knows how many 3 is, and how many 4 is, and he can say three, because IF I say it he will say it, he just doesn't count it on his own - he almost acts like he forgets, even if I have told him seconds earlier.
If anyone has any suggestions PLEASE feel free to send me your ideas!

Treyton LOVED this day - he loves bugs - so we actually spent a couple days doing this one
~ We made a caterpillar out of circles on a piece of paper - drawing antennas and a smiling face
~ Treyton ripped up green paper and made some red circles - glued them to white construction paper for ladybugs and grass!
~ When his cousin Shayla was here we cut out egg cartons and painted them - we them hot glued them on cardstock and attached pipe cleaners to make egg carton caterpillars
~ Treyton and I also watched a glowworm section of a discovery channel planet earth episode - and while I know this is not an insect, Treyton had remembered it when we had watched it (we love our educational shows around here) and had asked to watch it so I said "why, not?" It's extremely interesting and Treyton asked to rewind it 2 times.
~ We read several insect books and while I had gotten some fact books with real-life pictures I also got some bug story books. Treyton MUCH more preffered the fact books and looking at the real life pictures of bugs than he did the story books.

Well, I've shortened it up to some extent but this is what school has looked like for us in the last few weeks.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Preschool Pictures

I wanted to attach a few pictures while I had the chance. I have been getting a lot of responses to my preschool activity box which I explained a little more about here. I am attaching a picture of what my box looks like. If you would like more details or information regarding "the box" just let me know and I will give you a little more detail (I hope to make another post about it on my humble reflections website, but until then....).
Our preschool crafts are attached above - we have crafts from A, D, E & F up there. These were some of mom's favorites.
Here is "The Box" I took out one of my baggies so that you could have a better look at what one of the bags might look like.

This is Treyton learning to cut. As you will notice he does open his mouth when he is concentrating (and who doesn't???) :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Week 5: Letter "F" Frogs & Fish

Day 1: Fish

~This week we learned about fish. We created our own aquairum with a red piece of construction paper and a smaller blue construction paper - I cut out fish shapes in different colors and Treyton glued them on (he's really learning how to work the glue well! but he doesn't like sticky hands :)) We also added a Big Letter F on our aquarium to incorporate the letter of the week.
~ We also made a fish bowl by cutting a big circle out of construction paper and attaching tissue
paper (blue) and foam fish. Treyton really liked teh foam fish this was his favorite part.
~ We had goldfish for our snack
~ We read a few fish books
~ I printed off a sheet of different kinds of fish all shapes and sizes and I had treyton tell me which fish was teh biggest, smallest, skinniest, fattest, most colorful, his favorite one, etc.

Day 2: Frogs

~ We sang one of mom's favorite songs "Five Green and Speckled Frogs" Alexa really liked this part! Treyton really got into this and was dancing all around.
~ we tried to play leap frog this didn't go so well, but Treyton liked it so we will keep trying :)
~ We did two frog crafts - which involved alot of gluing and placement. I stepped back and tried to allow Treyton to create his own type of frog --- it was hard but they once again turned out better than I thought. Treyton is actually much more of a perfetionist and orderly type person than I give him credit for and I seem to forget this alot, probably because his personality is so "not organized" LOL!
~ We read alot of frog books but Treyton liked "Frog Pajama Party" by Michael Dahl the best. We've read that one 5 times in two days!!

Misc. Activities
~ During the summer Treyton and I had started working on educational computer games (he likes the fisher price ones the best) but since Alexa has been born we haven't done any. So today he started playing some more.... He really likes them, and he will repeat everything they say like "T.... Tiger" "M..... Monkey" "Purple Star" it's realy cute when he tries to say the big words!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

New Subscription Method

Hey Guys, I hate to do this but I have had some problems with my feedblitz subscriptions so I have now switched to feedburner. If you were subscribed to receive e-mail updates from feedblitz. Please resubscribe to the feedburner (still on the right hand side). Hopefully I will get all of the kinks worked out this way and we won't have any more problems.

Week 4: Letter E "Elephant & Eggs"

This week was the Letter E

Day 1: Elephant
~ We started by walking on all 4s like elephants and making elephant sounds (which Treyton is really good at)
~ For crafts we painted a picture of an elephant - we used mostly grey - but that got a little boring for Treyton so we had to add in a little extra "fun" color. He was able to pick out the color grey (out of 12 choices) right away which I thought was pretty good because I can't recall ever really working with or talking about the letter grey.
~ Next we made an elephant puppet which Treyton did almost entirely on his own. He did the glue (stick) and placed all the items where they were supposed to go. I did help a little with the arms and trunk because they were only partially glued on. Either way, this is a big step for me because I'm always trying to "help" to make sure that it's perfect (I know silly). Anyhow, it turned out really good - I was surprised by his accuracy and attention to detail.
~ For our next craft we traced Treyton's hand and colored it gray. We cut it out and turned it upside down on a piece of paper, drawing in "elephant details". We added on green paper for grass and yellow for a sun. I thought this craft turned out really cute.
~ We sang the song "The Elephants are Here" with the motions and Treyton really liked that!
~ We made elephant ears using pre-made pie crust, sugar and cinamon. Treyton LOVES cooking, so I think this was his favorite, however, it didn't really turn out that well, though he didn't seem to mind.
~ We read LOTS of elephant books, Treyton didn't really have a favorite.... maybe the Diego one but it was hard to tell. He just made alot of elephant sounds!! :)

Day 2: Eggs
~ We talked about which animals come from eggs, his first answer was "dinosaurs" which I thought was cute. (He LOVES dinosaurs right now and his favorite movie is "The Land Before Time 2" which has "egg nappers" in it). His next answer was duckies. We went through his "Big Book of Animals" and talked about which animals came from eggs (snakes, turtles, birds, etc.)and which didn't. He really enjoyed this and was actually pretty good at it.
~ We threw kix cereal into an egg carton and then counted how many were in each section. He REALLY liked this and I am pretty sure it will be a game we have around for a while.
~ We also tried to number sections in the egg carton and count out the correct number of kix but he wasn't as good at this and didn't really like it at all.... we moved on.
~ We colored eggs on paper. I would draw a design and then he would try to copy it on his page. He did really well with this and wanted to do it "more" and "more"!! He expecially liked the zig zag lines and saying it!
~ Because he liked the lines so much we decided to do some worksheets on lines (zig zag, straight, curvy, left to right, top to bottom) he loved this and we worked on these for about 30 minutes!! (I know, I was surprised too)
~ We read a humpty dumpty poem and discussed it (why did humpty fall? what was he doing? what happened to humpty after he fell?) Treyton traced the egg with his finger and then with a marker.
~ We read some egg books and talked about the animals again....

Overall this week went well, I got a little frustrated when it came to the counting egg carton thing, because I know he can count but he was refusing to do it. I had to take a step back and just let it go, I could tell I was pressuring him too much. I am learning that he strives on positive feedback and reinforcement so I'm using that approach more and it is working well.

Pictures to go with Week 3

Here are some pictures of Treyton and I "eating like dogs". This was a lot of fun.... Treyton actually took the picture of me totally by himself - he was really proud!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Week 3: Letter D - Dog & Dirt

As you probably noticed we skipped the letter "C" that was because letter C is a week-long plan on Creation and I wanted to save it until later in the year, when I think he may retain more of it. Learning the days of creation is one of my goals this year and I want to give Treyton the best scenario in which he can actually learn the days of creation (plus spring seems like the perfect time to learn about Creation)

Day One: Dirt
We read a couple of books. Treyton's favorite was "Garden Wigglers" which was on earth worms - Treyton loves worms so we spent most of the day learning about worms rather than dirt but that's okay by me. We went outside and turned over some dirt to look for worms and other bugs. Treyton picked out the worms (along with some dirt) and placed them in the back of his dump truck.... don't worry we returned them later (what am I going to do with a bunch of worms?). He spent a long time observing the worms.
Next we mixed together some mud (learning that water and dirt make mud) and made mud paintings. Treyton wanted to do LOTS of this craft (again.... boys and their dirt!)

Day Two: Dogs
We made a dog bone tag - I cut it out of cardboard beforehand and wrote Treyton's name on it. Treyton glued glitter, pom poms, and sequence all over his tag.
We made dog cards by folding paper. I drew on the face and treyton colored it. (including the tongue - which I foolishly forgot :)) He also put on the googly eyes all on his own.
Next we ate and drank like puppies - my goal was to make puppy chow but I didn't get around to it so the next best thing.... store bought chex mix! As you can imagine Treyton LOVED this and I was worried he would want to do it for the rest of the day (all of his meals) but it wasn't a problem... yet :)
We read some books - learning that dogs pant when they are hot, and that dogs hear really well - better than humans.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Week 2: Letter B - Birds & Balls

DAY 1: Birds

We filled our bird feeder outside and waited for birds (they didn't come), Treyton colored a picture of a bird and we glued on bird seed - this was particularly messy and heavy (I'm not sure I would recommend this craft). He did very well on his coloring though! He colored so much that I couldn't even see the bird underneath, this is progress from hardly coloring a page and wanting to move on.

We also made a hatching egg craft with cotton balls, and egg carton section, googly eyes and a paper beak. I enjoyed this craft, but it was a little advanced for Treyton so I did alot of the detail work (he worked the glue, which he didn't seem to mind too much)

Treyton's favorite craft was a bird that we made from a yellow (paper) oval and (his) orange hand cut-outs. His hands were the wings, the oval the "body" of the bird. I cut out some feet and a beak and we drew in the eyes. Treyton couldn't wait to show dad his bird and he insisted that I put it on the door in the kitchen instead of with his other school crafts in the school room.

DAY 2: Balls

Field Trip:

In honor of our "ball" day we decided to go bowling. We went bowling with the other mom's that are using our same preschool curriculum. There were 9 total kids bowling (plus some younger siblings who REALLY wanted to help). The kids did a great job with focusing on the game and everyone finished, which is saying something for 3 and 4 year olds!!
Treyton had a great time and did an awesome job at waiting his turn!
I'm sure that this is something that Treyton will be wanting to do again in the near future - thankfully dad likes to bowl so maybe we'll take a family outing to a bowling alley soon.

At home:

When we worked on this lesson at home we played soccer. Treyton is learning that in soccer there are "no hands, no hands" (as he would say).

We colored pictures of balls. We read a book on all types of balls and during the story he would run over and grab his real ball that went with whichever ball we were reading.

We also practiced drawing circles.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Week 1: Letter A, Ants & Apples


Well, we did our first day of preschool today!! It was tons of fun - Treyton loved it. We decided to do it today, while dad was home so that I could totally focus on Treyton while dad could take care of Alexa.
We read the apple books we got from the library, we then talked about how the apple has three parts (the skin, the middle and the core) just like God (the father, son and holy spirit). We then colored a picture of a tree and added finger print apples. We painted out hands and arm brown and made a tree (from his print) and added apples to our tree. We also took apples, cut them and half and made apple prints.
Treyton wanted more... more... more!! However he settled for a Bible Story (adam and eve in the garden of eden - the fall). Then we had our apple snack --- apple mouths (apples for the lips, peanut butter for the gums, and marshmallows for the teeth) YUM!
We really had a good time going over the letter "A" and the color red (and green).... I am so excited for the coming up year, as is Treyton!!

We read our books on ants and did our crafts. THis didn't take vary long so we also worked on writing the letter "A" and drawing circles. He struggled to write "A" (he made the right three lines they just didn't connect). So we backed up and did slanted lines and he said "Too hard, Mama". So we didn't finish the worksheet. However, he was excited to write "T" and wrote several of them on his ant coloring page.
For crafts today I printed the letter "A" on a sheet of paper and had Treyton stamp his finger up the letter, we then drew legs on our "ants". He also colored a picture of an ant and we then put glue at the bottom and sprinkled sand on it. Treyton liked this craft the best... boys and their dirt!! :)
Treyton wanted more and more and more this week so we did Joseph and the coat of many colors this week (reading the story and doing a coffee filter craft) as well as working on some worksheets - drawing horizontal lines (straight and curvy). He also used some of our preschool box activities, and sorted noodles into different containers, and finger painted in his giant "Cars" book.
For a first week I couldn't ask for more. Treyton was enthusiastic and motivated to do more than I could prepare for. I am really looking forward to the coming up "school year"!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Preschool Activity Box

At the beginning of the summer (before I had the baby) I put together a box of fun educational ways to entertain Treyton. I was able to find (on-line) a list of ideas to assist in this endeavor. This box is great to have around when I can't work one-on-one with Treyton, though at this point he isn't able to do some of the stuff on his own he is learning and can do some of it on his own... and it's better than putting him in front of the TV.

The box is actually a filing system which is broken down into ziploc baggies (I use gallon size with the zipper because it's easier for kids to open and close on their own) each baggie contains a different "activity"

Some of the activites included in my box are:
~ Sorting Colors Box: A craft box with a colored bead glued in the bottom of each section. There are also several (5-10) beads of each color to seperate into each section.
~ I have a baggie of 4 different types of noodles and four small bowls for the child to divide out the different noodles into each bowl
~ Numbers & Counting: a bag full of pennies and flash cards - on one side of the flash card is the numerical number (1, 2, 3) on the back side I have round stickers to illustrate the number (for example the number 3 card has three circle stickers on the back and a number "3" on the front). The child puts the card in front of him and counts out the number of pennies the corelates with the number and to double check his work he is able to turn the card over and match the pennies to the circles.
~ Tracing paper and shapes
~ Paper & Safety scissors
~ Bubble Wrap
~ Lacing Shapes (I made myself with shoelaces and card board)

Friday, August 29, 2008

What Our First Year Looks Like: The Beginning

This is our first year homeschooling and while we are not committing to anything, I am fairly certain it won't be our last. As of right now I have the thought and motivation to continue for as long as the Lord has in mind for us.

We are currently focused on "preschool" with our oldest, our son, Treyton. He is 3 years old. I didn't think that any type of formal education would be appropriate so I have written my own "curriculum". It is based on a letter of the week, but staying focused on two primary subjects a week (For Example: Week 1 - Letter A - Ants & Apples). While it is centered around a letter of the week, at this time we are not focusing on writing or learning the letters, rather we are working towards letter recognition (if that).

The "curriculum" is primarily centered on arts & crafts, fun activities, songs, books, snacks and fun. There aren't too many formalities yet (he is only three!) and we don't do too many worksheets (though we do some) and there is no "testing" or requirements that we must reach. I have a few goals (for the year) but even those are flexible. We're just trying to have fun and learn something in the process!!

Our primary goal is to have a Christ-centered home so while education is important to us, our priority (even in our schooling) is to learn about, live for and love God. This for us involves discipleship, discipline and love. We don't have all the answers (or even a few), we're just trying to do what God has called us to do, and for now, that means educating our children at home according to the way that God guides us.... the posts following this is what that looks like (for us).