Thursday, October 21, 2010

Preschool Week of 10/21 - a bit of revamping and some Halloween fun

This was a pretty good week all around.
Parent Participation Preschool provided some interesting insights into Crumpet's mind this week... A few weeks ago, his teacher (the best teacher in the world, I have to say...) told him she was sad that he didn't like school and wanted to know how to improve the experience for him.He told her he needed more vehicles... So every day when we arrive, there are more cars and more learning centers involving cars. I know she gets very little money to run this class, and I can't believe what she has done for my little man. It seems to be working. He did incredibly well last week. He was participating in class more, and interacting with the other children. On Monday this week, he was line leader, which he loves. And, we arrived to find 100 toy cars in a box. All of the other kids have counted to 100 for the teacher, and earned a math award. Crumpet won't go work one on one with her, so no award. She has been racking her brains, trying to find a way to get him to do it. She sat down with these 100 cars, and got him to start counting. But that's where it gets interesting. I know he should be able to get to 100, because he knows all the groups of 10's but I've never managed to keep his attention past 50. While counting for the teacher, he made it to 80, but by the end, he was exhausted. He was talking slow, breathing hard, and yawning. He was physically exhausted by the effort. I think it was a combination of having to focus for so long, and also the stress of interacting with a person he still doesn't know that well. Miss Elizabeth has done a lot of research into children's learning patterns, and she was pretty fascinated by him...
Then on Wednesday, it was school picture day. I had warned him, and he was excited, but when it actually happened, he freaked out because of the change in the school routine. He stormed off, yelling "I'm outta here!" and insisting he would never come back to school. Luckily, I could bribe him into class with the cars, and we just don't have a school picture of Crumpet. (Interestingly, I always hated pictures too, and there are no school pictures of me either...) Hopefully, school will get better again next week.

At home, we had lots of fun getting ready for Halloween. I bought this pumpkin decorating set at Target, and Crumpet was so excited that we had to use it right away. Isn't it adorable? (Do wait til closer to Halloween if you decide to use this set - this pumpkin already rotted, and we'll have to replace it. It's too warm here!)
We also made gingerbread cookies and decorated them as skeletons. I saw the idea in Family Fun magazine.
We did some book work, too, and I decided to change a few things.
McRuffy Reading: Each week, we begin a new reader. There are 5 days worth of lessons for each reader, and by the 3rd day, Crumpet is really annoyed to see the same book. He does NOT like repetition... The work involves some worksheets, reading comprehension questions, creative writing, handwriting, and spelling. I've decided to condense each section into 2 days, and it was totally doable this week. We don't bother with handwriting yet. For spelling, I ask him to spell the words at the beginning of the week. So far, he has been getting them all right. If I keep working on it during the week, he starts making mistakes because he's tired of the same words, and won't focus. So, if he gets them right at the beginning of the week, I won't be testing him again. Also, this week, we had our first unit reading'test'. I skimmed through this with him, but didn't make him answer all the questions. I know what he knows, and did I mention, he hates worksheets and repetition?
Progressive Phonics: Crumpet is zooming through the blends. I'm noticing that he forgets some of what he learned in previous weeks, though, because he won't reread the books. I'm going to have to insist on a little repetition in this area, I guess. I really think we could rely on Progressive Phonics as our sole reading curriculum. Crumpet is already far ahead of the lessons in McRuffy. However, I do like the reading comprehension and other extras in McRuffy, so we'll keep using both for now.
Science: We made our own fossils this week! I'll post more about that for Science Sunday.
McRuffy Math: We revisited number rods and place values, and this time around, Crumpet seemed to understand the idea. Getting him to focus and work with me is a nightmare, but I've explained that I will only have him answer half of the questions, if he pays attention and answers them all right. That's usually enough motivation for him to concentrate...

For fun, we went to the Honolulu Discovery Center (children's museum). This was a great place to spend a morning. They have a pretty good exhibit on the human body.
We also went to the water park, and we went geocaching with a friend who brought along a metal detector. Crumpet was fascinated! He now has a lovely collection of bottle caps...

For more preschool posts, visit Homeschool Creations.


  1. I can't wait to see your science post. I love making fossils.

    So glad to hear he's enjoying the reading (other than the repetition).

  2. I am glad that Crumpet enjoys Progressive Phonics. In many ways he does sound like Anna. She doesn't like worksheets, repetition and "doing school" either. I completely dropped the idea of worksheets at home, but it's easy for me to do since we are not homeschooling, and she gets plenty of worksheets in school. Crumpet's teacher sounds awesome, it's nice that she is trying so hard to get through to him. I am a bit surprised that his preschool is counting to 100, I think Anna's class is still working on up to 10.

  3. It sounds like Crumpet is a lot like Matthew in that they both thrive on novelty - Matthew wants something new and interesting to do every day and I just can't keep up with him. Ugh. Crumpet not liking the repetition of the same reader struck me as the same sort of thing.

    What a cute and heartwarming story about the teacher getting all those cars. She is definitely a keeper! I wonder if Crumpet could race them in some area, if the movement involved would keep him engaged in the counting process. He's a mover and a shaker, I'm thinking. ;) He's going to do great things some day, Kim - his personality just shouts it out. I love the "I'm outta here", tee hee, although I'm sure it wasn't funny at the time. :)

    I read something recently (can't remember where) about a mom who would let her son play or run around the room or whatever while she read a book (although she would really have preferred him sitting with her) and it turned out that letting him do that helped him focus on the story and comprehend MORE than he did sitting quietly. I wonder if letting Crumpet march around with his book, or having a different sort of movement each time, would get him interested in reading the same book at least a couple of times??

    So, there you have my completely unsolicited opinion - sorry! :)