Thursday, September 23, 2010

Preschool Week of 9/24

This was another fun filled, educational, nearly academics -free week, it seems.

Social Studies (is that still what it's called?):We started the week by going to vote in the primaries. I think it's really important for children to see their parents participate in the political process, and we talked a lot about what voting is, and how important it is.

Science/Nature: We went kayaking for the first time. Crumpet LOVED this. It drizzled, and it was sunny. A typical Hawaii day...

We went to the Waikiki Aquarium. (You can read my Field Trip Friday post about the aqauarium here.) When I told Crumpet where we were headed, he shouted "Oh, I've always wanted to go there!" And he truly loved it.
I was amazed at how much he already knew about the animals at the aquarium, and here he is listening to the audio tour so he could teach me even more:
Theatre: We have several wonderful theatres here that put on great children's plays. This week, we saw an adaptation of the book Tiqri the Little Snow Fox. It snowed in the theatre, and the kids all got to wear bear masks and act like bears during parts of the show. Lots of fun. The theatre is in Chinatown, so afterward, we went out and tried some Chinese baked goods. Yummy cultural experience!

Socialization/P.E.: We went swimming at the pool with some new friends and Crumpet learned to SWIM! Hurray - I was really hoping he'd learn while we were out here because he'll be able to snorkel with us, and enjoy the beach even more!

Co-op Preschool: Crumpet is slowly starting to feel comfortable enough to play with some of the other kids, and to participate in class activities. He is also feeling comfortable enough to make a huge scene when I do something that doesn't please him. Sigh...

As for academics:
Reading is going very well. We finished another Progressive Phonics book and moved on to the soft vowel "O".
Math: We're working with the geoboard for McRuffy math right now, and Crumpet is finding some of the designs pretty complicated. I think it's starting to make sense to him though. I love that this curriculum goes in a spiral format, so we'll leave this subject soon and come back to it in a while after it's had time to marinate in Crumpet's brain. I think he'll do better next time.
Science: We finished our McRuffy colors unit. I'm still not sure that Crumpet could tell you what primary colors to mix in order to make secondary colors, even though we've worked on this topic many times. When I ask, he says "Let's just see" and goes ahead and mixes the colors. He's the same way about making a hypothesis for any subject - he doesn't like to be wrong about something so he just won't hazard a guess... We did do a really fun color wheel art project that I found at the great art blog Deep Space Sparkle here.

We found out yesterday that my husband leaves for a few months on deployment next week. So right now, we're spending time together, and trying to get everything prepped for his absence. We're unlikely to do much school over the next week, but we'll have lots of time for that during the next few months...
For more preschool posts, head on over to Homeschool Creations! Have a great week!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Preschool Week of 9/17

This was a pretty boring school week. We continue to work through our regular curriculum, and it's all going pretty well. We finished the Progressive Phonics book on the short vowel "e". Crumpet's reading is starting to get a bit smoother, and he's starting to get the concept of sight words which we memorize because they can't be sounded out. He tries to read everything, everywhere.
I tried using puppets to work on our Spanish, thinking that maybe he'd be more willing to speak Spanish if we were pretending the frog was doing it. I got the idea from My Bilingual Boys. He went along with this for about 10 seconds, and then puppets and tantrums were thrown... Here are the "Before Breakdown" pictures:

Crumpet was sick again for much of the week, so our only outing came at the end of the week. We went to visit the Honolulu Zoo with some old friends from England who are now stationed here. It's a smallish zoo, with beautiful landscaping, and we enjoyed it.
Here's Crumpet showing off a gum tree. I love the colors!
Riding an elephant statue. I think kids like zoo statues better than real zoo animals:
'Inside' the koi pond. This was a pretty neat exhibit - the kids could go in and be surrounded by the gigantic fish.
Riding the giant giraffe statue:
That's it for this week! For more preschool posts, visit Homeschool Creations!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Preschool Week of 9/10

So in the end, I didn't unplug for very long...But I did manage to get a lot done, and I spent lots of time with Crumpet. He ended up getting very sick - alternating between a horrible cold and all night vomiting sessions - for the week, so we were forced to stay home. That helped get everything reorganized around here. And, incredibly, we did get a lot of school work done.

Reading: We finished the first beginner book in Progressive Phonics and started the next. I tried video taping Crumpet while he reads, but it makes him panic, and suddenly, he can't remember his letter sounds, or starts adding letters to words... So Grammy doesn't get to see him read yet.. Maybe soon. Or maybe she'll visit?
Spanish: We are starting very slowly with our Spanish program. We're just doing one new topic a week, and I repeat it often during the week. We can say "Hello, what's your name?" And "My name is ___" And we can count to ten. And the big miracle is that Crumpet will say the numbers with the CD! He won't do it for me, but he'll do it for the lady on the computer... So I know he's learning.
We spent all of Labor Day weekend outdoors, which was wonderful. There is a beach on the north shore which is known for its sea turtle population. We stop by whenever we're up there, and we always see a turtle or two. This time, they were packed 2 or 3 deep all the way down the beach. Crumpet's dad took him out swimming with them, and the boys were surrounded by turtles.
The 'rock' in the middle of the picture below is a turtle.
We also went hiking out to a lighthouse and spent some time geocaching on the way. Geocaching is becoming an obsession of Crumpet's and mine, and I'll write a post about it soon.
Crumpet chose the book Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss while we were at the library. Of course, we had to make Oobleck!
That stuff is weird! Crumpet touched it once and decided that it was too gross and I could play with it myself. So he became photographer:
Crumpet saw someone growing seeds on a paper towel on PBS. We've done that before, and he asked to repeat the project. I just so happen to have bought a 'root viewer' at Cracker Barrel in Georgia, and I was waiting for the right time to use it.
We filled it up with dirt and planted a few seeds.
And they sprouted overnight. Seriously. Talk about gratification for a 4 year old!

We broke out some of the new supplies I bought at the education store. It was the first time I've seen Crumpet interested in crafting in ages. We got this cool set of textured paint stamps:
And made sea scenes:
And we made paper dolls:
It was a great week, despite all the illness around here. For more preschool posts, go to Homeschool Creations.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


We had a wild and crazy, wonderful long weekend. It involved water parks, theater, snorkeling, sea turtle encounters, and hiking. Now, I'm looking at a messy house, no school prepared for at all, and an exhausted little boy. I am finding that I tell him too often "One more minute" while I type blogs or read blogs, or e-mail, or check Facebook, etc etc., when I really need to be playing with him. I find that when I am playing with him, I'm thinking of all the other things I should be doing, and all the blog posts I could be writing. It's not okay. So, I'm taking a week or two of NO computer time, and I plan to spend it just loving Crumpet. (And maybe cleaning...) I'll take lots of pictures and I'll be back soon...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I found PAINT!!

Crumpet's preschool teacher suggested I visit the nearby teacher supply store to find a product I was looking for. I didn't find what I was looking for, but I DID find an entire wall of tempera paint. Every color I could ask for. More than one bottle of each! So exciting. They sell tons of kid craft supplies, as well as amazing teaching tools. A teacher's dream. A nightmare for my bank account...Oh happy days!
(For anyone having trouble finding these things in Hawaii, run immediately to Education Works!)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Preschool Week of 9/3

I'm feeling kind of 'eh' about things this week. I don't feel well, Crumpet was very unmotivated about learning this week, and really, there's very little new to say. Whine whine... Anyway, reading is chugging along; math too. Science didn't happen, despite my best intentions.
We did finally receive our Spanish curriculum in the mail. I had to order it on e-bay from Australia so it took a while to arrive! What is it about me and oddball curricula that no one else uses? Anyway, I love it - lots of songs and activities, and I've wanted to learn Spanish forever. Crumpet, on the other hand, will not say or repeat a single word, as usual. I'm holding out hope, because we've made some progress with memorizing nursery rhymes, and he will occasionally come out with Spanish words, or memorized information, when he's talking to someone who is not me.
We also did an itty bitty music unit. We read the book Zin Zin Zin A Violin, which introduced many of the different instruments in an orchestra. We talked about the different families of instruments and played a couple of music games on They really have a great selection. If you go to their website and enter "musical instruments" in the search box, 5 pages of options pop up. We played the musical matching game. There are pictures of families of instruments and you can hear clips of what each instrument sounds like. Then, it plays a clip and you have to guess which instrument you are listening to. Crumpet loved this, but we were both terrible at it!! We also played pentatonic scales. This is a little keyboard that records a song that you create.
And that was our week... We're hoping to get out and about a lot over the next few days because Hubby has a 4 day weekend, so hopefully I'll have some fun pictures next week, at the very least!
For more preschool posts, visit Homeschool Creations!