Monday, November 30, 2009

Our Trip to the Spider Museum

We are currently doing a unit study on Spider's.
Last Monday we went to our local museum to see their spider exhibit (and much more). It was so exciting for both Treyton and I! That morning before I left I asked him if he wanted to pack his notebook, he said "yes" so I said that I would put it in the diaper bag. He insisted that I let him pack and bring his own back pack. I said he could so he set about packing a few spider books, his notebook, pencils and some crayons... he was so excited!!

The museum had a lot of hands-on things for him to try. Here he is at the museum testing his fear of spiders... he did pretty well (better than mom).

 Here is Treyton testing his spider knowledge - he had to take the bug magnets and categorize them as either a spider or bug - he did great!

They had a magnifying glass with bug samples that he could look at. He didn't totally get it, but he did try.

Here is Treyton and his friend Sam moving the spiders and bugs, illustration how spiders capture their prey.

This picture (one of my favorites) is of Treyton taking notes

We also looked at the rest of the museum and got to see some really cool "old world Wisconsin" items.

Here are the boys with an old car. 
Treyton and Sam
and then.... Dad and Mr. Jason

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tot School: What it Looks Like for Us

I have begun to find and give Lexie some simple tot school activities - to be completely honest, Alexa likes to do whatever Treyton and I are doing more than any activity that I have found for her, but she does really enjoy her straw holder that I made (and idea I found at delightful learning) and can spend a good 10 minutes putting them in her holder.
Here is Lexie doing a puzzle. She is still learning how to do puzzles, but she amazes herself more and more when she gets one in there!!
Over all Lexie loves to color the most. We have finally managed to teach her NOT to eat the colors. Anytime Lexie sees Treyton and I take out our school stuff she runs to her chair and starts to climb in so that she can do it to!!


This is Alexa playing with Spaghetti noodles during a school time activity that Treyton was doing - she ate more than anything else, but certainly got some textile motor skill exercise in.

Here she is scribbling on a dinosaur counting sheet that Treyton didn't get to use :~)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Letter Dd

Letter Learning & Activities

The second half of our week was spent working on the Letter Dd. This was another fun letter with lots of ideas to sort through.
In finishing this letter we also finished Book B of Get set of the Code - something that Treyton was more excited about this time than with Book A.

Obviously our struggle with this letter is the similarity with the letter Bb, when writing and even reading the lower case letter, but overall he does pretty well, this is just something I think he will learn more thoroughly in time.

To go along with our letter Dd we printed off the Dinosaur letter matching game from 1+1+1=1 (upper and lower case) and played it.

Fun Activities & Crafts
Dd is for Dots
I drew the letter Dd on white construction paper and then had Treyton add some dots. He was very proud of his work here, I think because I was so impressed with his choice of colors, he took additional pride in his work.

Dog Card
We did this craft last year when we worked on the letter Dd and I loved it then and it was something I remembered doing and I knew Treyton didn't so I decided to add it in again this time around.
It was pretty easy - just some folding and drawing on the face.
1. We folded a piece of construction paper in a long triangle (to make a square) and cut off the extra piece
2. We kept the paper folded in a triangle and folded down both sides (for the ears)
3. We then drew on the puppy dog face
Dinosaur Stamps
I picked up some dinosaur stamps at hobby lobby a couple weeks ago for a couple of bucks - Here is Treyton using them.

Dog House
Last week we moved Lexie into her big girl room. We ordered new furniture, including a new dresser, which came in a nice big box. Tim wanted to have the furniture store cut the box off when we picked it up so he wouldn't have to deal with cutting up and recycling more cardboard, but I begged him to keep it so we could make a Dog House to go with this weeks letters!
It was perfect.

Notice the bottom of the house is held together by duct tape (or "man tape" as Treyton calls it). When I pulled out the duct tape he said "Thank goodness I am here, I'm a man, I can help you."

Alexa and Treyton both had a blast with this - we even went as far to eat like dogs. Alexa had a hard time but she did the best she could. Treyton was a natural dog, even bringing toys into his house with only his mouth.

Playing Drums 
We have a drum set in the basement that Treyton loves to play with - I made sure to set up some special time that Treyton could play on the drums!

Books We Used this Week 
Hound from the Pound

Go, Dog, Go
Clifford (an assortment of Clifford books) 
A Variety of Dinosaur Pebble Books 
Get Set for the Code 
Handwriting without Tears 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Letter Hh

Once again this week we split the week in half and did two letters. We were actually able to finish the Get Set for the Code (book B) before our Thanksgiving break which was my goal for us. Our next goal was to finish book C before the end of the year and then start book 1 at the beginning of the year as well as a more structured phonics plan (which I have yet to plan or think about), but I just looked at book C today and it is actually bigger (has more letters) than the first two books so it will take us longer than I originally expected. But that's fine because this week we have stumbled upon our first ever unit study which we have decided to implement into our school week as well... so instead of jumping into phonics I think we're going to keep doing the letters and their sounds and then incoorporate a unit study every couple of weeks. I am writing a separate post regarding our Spider Unit study which I cannot WAIT to tell you all about!!

Letter Learning, Crafts & Activities
Hh was another easy letter for Treyton which was easy to complete. He wrote it well and knew the sound before we even started. I am still amazed at how effective that Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD was in giving Treyton just a little bit more that has made school easier for both of us.
This week was fairly easy to incoorporate fun extras like:
Hot Dogs for lunch (which we also emphasized the "Dd" in seeings as how it was the next letter we were working on for this week) and
Singing the Hokey Pokey (so much fun!!)

Family of Hands
We did these just like the feet - each of us painting our hand and stamping it
Hand Thanksgiving Tree
This craft took a little bit of time, but it is a tradition that we do every year for thanksgiving. This year however, instead of drawing our hands a bunch of times and cutting them out - we painted our hands and stamped them - let them dry - and then cut the painted prints out. We then wrote the things we were thankful for and taped them to the wall along with a tree trunk. Making the most beautiful Thanksgiving Tree we've had yet.
Some of the things that Treyton said he was thankful for this year:
~ That Daddy goes to work for us
~ Mama & Daddy's cooking
~ Special Treats
~ Church
~ Folding Laundry (... yeah I didn't get that one either)
~ That mama is home all the time
~ That I love everyone from my childhood
~ Eddie, Puddle and Doopey (our pet turtle and frogs)

Lexie even got in on it this year - her handprints were red and yellow, Treyton's were orange, brown and green.
Horse Picture
Treyton colored a picture of a horse on cardstock and then attached yarn for added dimension to the tail and mane.
For Math this week Treyton worked on the number 5 (which we started last week a little) and then we spent alot of time reviewing writing numbers 1-5. Treyton doesn't need any work with counting number practice at this point except for writing. He struggles most with the #2, and then with #3, but I've seen a significant amount of improvement on writing #3 this week.

Books We Used this Week

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Welcome to Our Life: The Ladybug

This afternoon during school we had a special visitor. Treyton was immediately taken by her, we spent a couple minutes getting to know our new friend before continuing on without her. As of this posting, she is resting comfortably underneath my laptop (alive and well). She is unable to fly (I think that had something to do with the crunch we heard).

Be sure to turn your volume up because Treyton says some really adorable things, if you can hear him. Hope your day is as full of adventures!!

If you can't understand us... our conversation starts something like this
Me: "I think she is scared of you"
Treyton: "I'm not big, I'm not a really big one"
Me: 'Well, you're kind of big"
Treyton: "I'm not soo big. Get up"
Me: Be gentle
Treyton: I'll help you little one, my finger kind of big
Me: Did you hurt her?
Treyton: I don't think so

Friday, November 13, 2009

Letter Jj & Creation

This week because we did two different letters, I ended up splitting up the posts. This is part 2 (for part 1, letter Nn, go here)


Letter Learning & Activities
The second half of the week we focused on the letter Jj. It took Treyton a little while to get the hang of writing the letter j, but he likes writing the little dot above it.
We did the explode the code workbook which was a little tricky this week because their primary Jj vocabulary word was jack-o-lantern, which Treyton has never really seen or at least realized it if he did. He kept calling it a pumpkin - so after the first day I just let it go and if they had us identify the sound of the picture I let him say /p/.
Treyton loves the new muffin top game from Happy Phonics - he actually played it three times yesterday - twice with me and once with dad.
We also reviewed writing a few of our "older" letters: s, n, f, p and t. Ss is still hard for him but.... I feel like if I push it he will just give up.

Fun Activities & Crafts
Jelly Fish
Treyton was soooo psyched about this craft!! We hang all our crafts up after we do them, and this one has hardly stayed up there. He takes it off all the time to run it around the house. Talking about how it stings and swims and plays.
We saw alot of fun/different ways to make a jelly fish - we chose ours based on the supplies we had on hand!
I took a paper plate and cut it in half, I think took party streamers we had from a left over party and cup a few strips - vertically in half.
We then taped the streamers on the front side of the plate.

We made a jack in the box out of shapes. I found the idea for this craft at Homeschool Creations (thanks Jolanthe)Math
For Math this week Treyton did some workbook sheets working on writing the numbers 3 & 4. He has struggled with both 2 & 3 so I considered giving up on the number writing for now (and to be honest we have given up on it for a while) but then when we started working on the number 4 it seemed to click for him and he was very excited and motivated. I think it's the curvy lines that he struggles with and so he gives up a little faster.
We also did a number line with the numbers 1-30, Treyton did much better at this than I expected and didn't get discouraged once we got into the 20s (numbers that he just learned). ~Disclosure: we did print this off from somewhere but I don't have it in front of me just now, I will try to remember to upload the link a little later.
This is obviously a new area for us so we've just been grazing the surface, mostly working on recognizing and sounding out the "at" family. For now I have stopped doing the "Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons" I really think we will pick it up again at some point for now it just wasn't what I was looking for.
We just got the first set of Bob Books in today so I am excited to have him read his first book when that time comes.
The new phonics game we played today I made myself in word.
I had printed some "at" word pictures (mat, cat, sat, pat, rat, etc.) and then printed off letters to start the word and a work sheet with a place for him to place the picture and the first letter so that he would spell the words.
He would turn over a picture - place it on the worksheet, and then select the letter that made the word. There is a game on starfall that is the same concept that he enjoyed as well.
If you're interested in printing this game for yourself (along with the "an" family) go here

Bible - Creation
This week for Bible we did the creation story which he just so happened to do in Sunday school as well. I made a poster board divided into 6 sections (for the 6 days that God created) I then covered them up with construction paper and had Treyton take the pages off as we talked about what was made each day.
We now have the chart hanging in the dining room and periodically I will ask Treyton about a certain day and he will go to the chart and tell me. In time, I hope that he will begin to remember them on his own (though I'll be honest, this is something that I myself do not even know).

We are still working on reading through "The Secret Garden" we're about halfway through. I am surprised that Treyton will actually ask to read it, I don't think he is understanding all of it but he is still sitting through it. At the end of each chapter I usually try to "recap it for him" and I think that helps.
Next I plan on reading "Charlotte's Web".

Books We Used this Week

Phonics Game for "at" and "an" families

This is a phonics game that I made for Treyton to learn some "at" and "an" words.

Cut the boxes out of the pictures and letters.
I also cut the "at" and "an" page into two strips so that Treyton wasn't looking at both of them at the same time.
Turn over the picture pieces and display the letters.
Have your child select a picture piece at random and then select the letter that makes that word.

~ Side note: for some reasons the boxes I created for the pictures and letters did not download right, you will have to use your best judgment in cutting them out. (Sorry)
Phonics Families "at" and "an"

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Letter Nn

This week we are doing two letters so I decided to break it down into two posts to keep it organized (for my journal).

Letter Learning & Activities
The first letter we worked on this week was letter Nn. Treyton has now gotten to where it takes him two days to do the pages for one letter in his explode the code workbook. He still loves doing them, so I hate to tell him to slow down... so we're speeding up!
Treyton is quickly learning his letters and sounds now. He now knows 20/26 of his letters (he doesn't know u, v, c, d, l, and i.) Just doing the alphabet chart in the daily binder has helped him remember his letters better.

Some of the games that we are playing in school right now are:
~ Muffin Top Game - from Happy Phonics - where we match upper case letters with lower case letters
~ Alphabet Puzzle - a caterpillar puzzle that has the upper case letters on the board and has you match with the lower case puzzles
~ Consonant Sound Cards - from Homeschool Creations - where we match pictures with the letters that they start with
~ A to Z Go Fish - from Sonlight - this one we started to play this week but haven't gotten into much yet and didn't even finish it the first time due to Alexa interruptions. You play go fish with an upper and lower case letters.
Treyton loves games and it seems to be a great way to not only learn but have fun too - for BOTH of us!
~ Letter Magnets - Treyton was never as interested in the alphabet magnets as I had hoped, but it was also nothing that I pushed either. The past couple of weeks though, Treyton started to take a real interest in the Leap Frog Letter magnets we have on the fridge. On Tuesday he took all the magnets and put them in order. This is something I hope to encourage because I think it was great practice for him, and something that he took the initiative to do on his own.

Fun Activities & Crafts
We didn't have as many crafts for the letter Nn, mostly because I couldn't find that many that would work for us, but also because we've spent more time doing games and activities than crafts this week.

Paper Nest
We were lucky enough to find a really awesome nest this summer that has saved well until now, so we were able to actually look at it, touch it and discuss nests. It helped Treyton to make his own nest out of paper.
It was pretty simple, I just cut out strips for him to glue and design his own nest.
He also attached a blue piece of construction paper for the sky and drew on a brown tree brancj for our nest to sit on.
Phone Numbers
I printed off two phone sheets from DLTK one for our phone number and one for Daddy's work number. I then put the numbers on flash cards and we started practicing the phone number, eventually we want to turn over numbers one at a time until he has the entire phone number memorized.
I decided to have him memorize Tim's work number first and then our home number because we are able to practice using it more which is especially fun for Treyton.
We have gone ahead and added this to our daily binder and we plan on practicing it on a regular basis.