We only spent one real day on school this week, and the rest of the week was life school.
We started on our Five Senses unit in the McRuffy Books. We worked on smell, and we'll do sight later this morning... I soaked cotton balls in a variety of smelly liquids and Crumpet had to sort them a few different ways - food smells, good and bad smells, etc. He also had to match a few different mystery cotton balls to ones he'd already smelled. During the experiments, he doesn't always seem to "get it", but he talks about the senses a lot so it is sinking in.
We borrowed the "Exploring our Senses" set of books from the library. These are really simple - perfect for 3 year old science.
We made a paper chain like the one in Tired, Need Sleep and talked about patterns. I used the phrase "taking turns" and Crumpet really understood! We worked on several other simple ABAB patterns this week, and the concept has finally clicked! Hurray! (I know, I know, my chain links are huge. I somehow thought they'd be easier to manipulate this way, but this was not the case. It didnt' really matter - Crumpet wouldn't assemble it anyway. I did all the work, but he learned the concept so who cares? My husband made a lot of fun of me for this chain. Sigh, I'm terribly abused around here...)
We reviewed the numbers 1-10. Then I wrote the numbers on pieces of paper and scattered them around the room. I turned on the music and we danced around the numbers. Whenever I stopped the music and shouted out a number, Crumpet had to find that number and jump on it. I thought this would be fun, and it was. But... Crumpet was so excited by the game and the number hunt that he couldn't recognize a single number, even though he knows them all. He was just too hyped up. At least we got some exercise!!
We played "store". Crumpet has been running around the house "shopping" on his own lately, and I saw the idea for a store on Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns here. I set it up so he would run out of money before he bought everything. Again, Crumpet was so excited that he had trouble recognizing the numbers at first, but when he calmed down after a while, he remembered them. He was disgusted when he ran out of money though, and decided that he was a pirate and he stole all the leftover loot!! Yikes, I'm raising a thief! :) Now he won't play store with me anymore, and he keeps talking about how mad it made him. We talk about the realities of money a lot right now! This was a great activity for learning in many ways...
Decorating the tree counts as fine motor, right? Crumpet is so so so excited about Christmas right now!
I found this simple idea in Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready. I made shape stencils from cardboard and had Crumpet color them in. He really doesn't like to finish anything, and I thought this would be a good, defined activity with an obvious completion point. It did frustrate him that I made him fill in the whole circle, and he wouldn't color it with a simple back and forth motion which would have been quicker, but he thought it was neat when we removed the stencil and there was a complete circle on the paper. We'll be doing this again with other shapes.
Crumpet has done a lot of cutting this week and is getting much better at it! The Kumon books have really helped, as well as this new pair of Fiskars scissors. These are much easier for him to hold and work with.
Crumpet made this Rudolph door hanger right before he went on "craft strike". Now he will have nothing to do with making anything.
Crumpet had his first experience with quicksand. Oh, I wish I'd brought my camera. We went on a hike at our new favorite hiking trail. There are several drained fish ponds there. The dog decided to walk through one, and he got stuck. He sank in deep in the mud and could not move. When he tried to move, he sank more. So I went in after him. I freed him, and I got stuck. Fortunately, this was a family hike, so my husband was there. He pulled me out and crawled across the top of the mud to rescue my shoes which had been lost in the muck. Yikes, lesson learned - stay out of drained ponds.
We also went to on the preschooler nature walk at the nature park and had a good time.
I've been playing a couple of computer games with Crumpet each day, and his mouse skills are really improving. Some of our favorite games are on the Sesame Street website - all involve using the mouse and there are lots of good sorting exercises.
We went to a sing-along Christmas concert at the art museum in town. There was a puppet show at the library one evening. We went to our mudpuppies art class and had a playdate. Lots of fun. And the big news is that Crumpet started karate. He was really stressed about going and fought it the whole way. His teacher was amazing though, and by the end of class, he came out of his shell a little and interacted with her, and came home really excited about karate. Hurray, we've found a way to get him to open up! It will be slow going, but the whole family is really energized about it right now!
Here's Crumpet playing pirate. He's in his "escape dinghy" and all that stuff piled on the couch is "pirate stuff".