We started doing schoolwork again this week! Crumpet saw me unpacking the boxes and started begging to 'do school'. He has been really difficult lately, and I was hoping that having a schedule and a routine would help calm him down. 4 mornings a week, we will get up, drink coffee (ok, just me for the coffee) and then start school. I decided to try using workboxes again. They haven't worked well for us in the past, but I want Crumpet to begin to understand that school is important and needs to be completed each day, even if it is just Mom teaching him. I also want him to learn to finish what he starts. So, each day we had 4 to 6 boxes with projects in them. I tried to go in order from 1 to 6, but that didn't go over well. I let him choose the box order, but I did insist that we do all boxes each day. He struggled a little with it, but mostly accepted it. At the end of each school day, we play with special toy or educational game that he doesn't usually have access to, so that helped convince him to do all the work! Here are the boxes, all lined up and ready to go on the kitchen counter:
Language: Crumpet recognizes the letters of the alphabet, and he knows the sounds they make, but he still doesn't know the alphabet itself. He has always refused to sing songs with me (never once has he played patty cake with me :( . or sung twinkle twinkle little star. ), and he won't repeat things when asked, so it has been hard to help him memorize the alphabet. I decided to work hard on that until we finally get it. We started the week with flashcards, matching lowercase and capital letters. Then we put the cards in alphabetical order. We tossed a beanbag back and forth, taking turns saying letters til we got to Z. His favorite activity was "walking the alphabet". I laid out the letters in order, and Crumpet had to walk the trail, saying the letters out loud. I have plans to expand on that next week.
We also used playdoh to make a few letters:
We spent some time working with the phonemic awareness box below. I found these boxes at Lakeshore Learning and they are really fun. Each box has 50 cards with questions designed to expand language knowledge. The phonics box asks kids to think of rhymes for words, or to answer questions related to letter sounds, etc. I bought these after reading Michael Gurian's book The Minds of Boys. He writes a lot about the fact that language skills in boys are often behind those of girls, and how important it is to work on that. I thought these would be a fun way to work on language.
We made envelopes with our names on them and called them mailboxes. Then, I wrote Crumpet's name and my name on some cards. We wrote each other letters on the correct cards and "mailed" them in the mailboxes. I saw this activity in Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready, and it it helps with word recognition. I was surprised that Crumpet knew what M-O-M said before I told him.
Nature: Crumpet saw something on t.v. about making a nature journal and entering pictures of leaves in it, so he wanted to make a nature journal (sometimes t.v. is wonderful!). We went out and picked some interesting leaves. Then 'we' traced them and drew in the veins. We also did leaf rubbings. Crumpet was really surprised when he picked up the paper afterward and discovered that he had not colored the leaf blue along with his paper. Aren't their minds interesting?
Math: I flipped through our McRuffy Math curriculum, just to see if we were ready to start it. I got to lesson 50, and we've already covered most of the topics. Anything we haven't worked on seems like information Crumpet can understand. So, we started kindergarten math this week!
Crumpet counted to 25 by himself this week. He was just sitting on the stairs by himself and he started counting! Of course, he can't do it if I ask him to...
Just for fun, we made some of the numbers using spaghetti (another Slow and Steady idea).
History and Culture: I went to a fabulous used book sale put on by the library system here, and I found a few good books about Hawaii written for kids. This week, we read Peter Panini's Children's Guide to the Hawaiin Islands, by Stacey Kaopuiki. It mentions each of the islands, and gives a few facts about history, and lists a few things to do for fun on each island. I thought it was very well done, and great for Crumpet's age. I found a few things I'd like to see on the other islands. But for some reason, Crumpet hated this book! We only read a few pages a day, and it was a battle every time. I have noticed him repeating facts from the book though, so at least he learned something...
Art: Crumpet finally has art supplies!! He is so excited. Me, too! He decided he'd like to create a museum, so we dedicated a wall to his artwork, and called it a museum.
Here he is, playing with playdoh. This is one of his after school prizes.
And just so you know that my game shelf isn't quite as pitiful as it looked before:
I'm still having trouble with our new computer system - commenting and creating links just don't work well all the time. So forgive me if my links don't work - I'm trying! I tried to link this blog to my new travel blog and can't seem to make it happen... Hopefully I'll figure it out soon.