Friday, January 31, 2014

M is for Mitten

Some weeks I have no ideas, and some weeks I have no idea how I'm going to fit everything in!  I've been looking forward to M week for a while.  Here's why!

Day 1

We sang of few of Parker's favorite songs and moved right in to the name recognition exercise.  Last week I had him put the letters of his name in the right order.  This week I put his name on the board with a bunch of random letters.  He had to find the letters in his name and put them under the my writing.

Next, we counted to 40 and then did a mitten matching activity.  One mitten has the number and the other has the number in dots.  I laid them all out randomly and he got right to work.  Sometimes he moves his finger a little faster than he's counting, so this was good practice.

(In case you've noticed what he's wearing, it was -30 degrees outside that day, so I told him to just put clothes on over his jammies ;)

After reviewing letters A-L and their verses, we learned letter M, and its verse

"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord." Psalm 100:1

For our intro to letter M, he filled the M's with money.

Then we read

This is probably one of my all-time favorite children's books.  We read several Jan Brett books during J week, so Parker was familiar with her style of writing and illustrating.  I printed off these perfect manipulatives, cut them out and taped the mitten pieces together so he could put the animals inside.  First, we just read the story.  The second time, I introduced the mitten and animals and he put them in as I read the story.  The third time we didn't use the book.  We re-told the story together using the manipulatives.  He probably would have done it several more times, but it was time for lunch.  We had friends over that night and he told them the entire story =)  I love it when he does that!

Day 2

We started out by marching around the house.  Then we came back to our preschool area and reviewed the shape flashcards.  Right now, he knows triangle, square, rectangle, oval, diamond (rhombus), octagon, heart, circle and star.  I brought out some toothpicks and mini marshmallows to make some shapes with.  We talked about how the toothpicks were straight.  Then we went through the cards and decided which ones we could make with straight lines and which ones we couldn't.  We started with the triangle.  We counted the sides and then poked that many marshmallows with toothpicks.  Then I let him play around with them until he figured out how to put them together to make a triangle.  

We started each shape by counting the sides and poking the marshmallows.  For the rectangle, we looked at the length of the sides and I cut one toothpick in half to make the short sides.    For the rhombus, he took the square and squeezed it a little bit to make it fit over the rhombus.  I thought that was pretty smart!  

It just so happened that the toothpicks fit perfectly on top of our flashcards.  
(I pretended I planned it that way ;)

He and Ryan made a big star.  They started by making five triangle shapes and then putting them together.      

Then we read

Again, another one of my favorite children's books.  

We made Danielle Walker's Pumpkin Muffins.  For some reason, whenever I take pictures of food, it never looks appetizing.  Trust me, the babies were delicious!

After Adley woke up, we got out our instrument box, cranked up some kids praise music, and made joyful noises to the Lord!

Day 3

Today, we counted to 40, and then to five in Spanish.  Then we read

and attempted to do the experiments in the book.  
I gathered these random objects and put them in the sensory bin. 

He would place his magnetic wand over an object to see if it was magnetic or not.  He took those ones out of the tub until he was left with all non-magnetic objects.

The book also shows you how to make a compass.  That would've been pretty neat, but we didn't have a strong enough magnet to make it work.  Maybe next year!

Throughout the week we have been listening to this Mozart CD from the library.
We also read


Saturday, January 25, 2014

L is for LegoLand

So, back in September I dropped our Cannon Rebel camera.  One of Ryan's friends just bought a new camera and offered to let us borrow their Rebel short-term.  Unfortunately, our term is up, so I've been using our video camera to take the pictures.  Hence the lack of quality.  Let's just say we are looking in to buying a camera...soon!
Day 1

We started this week with one of Parker's favorite song from BSF, "I'm In the Lord's Army."  Then we counted to 40 and did our name recognition exercise.  This week, I wrote Parker's name and put a random assortment of magnets to the side.  He had to look at a letter and figure out whether it was in his name or not.  

Next, we reviewed the numbers, and then talked about how there are different languages around the world.  I had him repeat numbers 1-10 after me in Spanish.  That was pretty cute.  We reviewed letters and verse flashcards, and learned letter L.  This week's verse is

"Love is patient, love is kind." 1 Corinthians 13:4

For our Intro to Letter L activity, (brace yourself, it's a stretch) Parker covered the little lines with legumes!  Ta da!

Next, I built two towers out of large legos and had him make a matching tower.  Easy peasy.

Then, we talked about lines.  I made the different styles of lines out of pipe cleaners and then had them match them to the paper.  

 I gave him a marker to trace the lines.  He's never done this before.  He did better than I expected!  I cringed at the way he held the marker, but I will correct that next year.

 He really liked doing it, so I gave him more markers and he traced the lines with ever color.

We finished by reading

This book was made for Parker.  It's all about a kid who uses anything he can find to make a line.  Parker called them parades, but he used to make them everyday for about a year.   Come to think of it, I kind of miss those!

We also read

Day 2
We squeezed in preschool during the afternoon today, so we jumped right in to making Danielle Walker's Lemon Macaroons.  Parker loved juicing the lemons.  He LOVES lemon.  When we had all the juice we need, he kept juicing and drinking it straight up.  Crazy kid.  

While they were baking, we did a listening activity.  First, I used Adley's little xylophone to play a high and a low note.  Of course I had him tell me which one was lower.  Then, I used the iPad to play some different sounds.  We started out with animals sounds that he had to guess.  Those were easy.  Then I moved on to instrument sounds.  He doesn't know too many of them so I was basically just introducing the different instruments to him.  He recognized the piano and drums.  Time to check on the macaroons!

They didn't turn out quite right because our coconut shavings were too big, but they were lemony, and that's all that matters during L week ;)

We ate a few and then read 

Before bed, we read

I read and Ryan did the sounds of everything.  He really made the book "come alive." 
Parker and I were cracking up.

Day 3

Adley sleeps in the same room as Parker now, and he has done phenomenal with that.  He's quiet when it's time for him to go to bed, he never wakes up if she cries in the night, and his sleep habits haven't changed a bit.  Praise the Lord!  So, with it being L week, and him being such a good big brother, we decided it was time to take a trip to LegoLand!  (Parker has one set of legos that he plays with almost every day).  We told him Thursday afternoon where we were going.  He was pretty excited. 

That night, I looked online to see what we could expect.  We were thinking it was just a big store with tons of legos, but it's really more like an indoor theme-park that happens to cost $20 per person!  Panic!  We already told him we were going, and there's no way we're spending that kind of money.  I continued looking through the website and I found a link for a "Homeschool Group Discount."  I emailed them, told them I home-schooled our son, we were learning about letter L, and we'd like the discount.  First thing the next morning I had vouchers for $7 tickets.  Boo yah!  We can still go!  

The place was so cool.  It had a jungle room and a star wars room.

There was a little ride where you shoot lasers and save a princess that Parker really liked.  There were lego animals and people everywhere.

He thought this guy was Jesus.  (Funny, I always pictured him a little thinner).

 Where's Adley?

And Parker?

We got to watch some 4-D short films.  He was yelling out loud when things were flying at him.

There's a room with tons of legos to build with.  
He and Ryan made a car and raced it down a little ramp.

He got to build a mini Sears Tower in the Master Builders class, and see how Legos are made in the Lego Factory.  He was happy and excited the whole time.  (So was Adley).  

On the way out, he got to pick a new Lego set.  He chose the 3-in-1 skid loader, excavator and dump truck.  He and Ryan put it together as soon as we got home.  It's really fulfilling watching your kids have fun!

Throughout the week, we also read