Thursday, January 27, 2011

Preschool Week of 1/28

This was a quiet week, spent mostly at home. It felt good to have nowhere to rush off to.
For reading, we took a break from Progressive Phonics and read some early readers from the library. This was partly because I ran out of printer paper - aaackk!! - and partly to get Crumpet used to reading real books. He complained a lot - he thinks reading books is hard, but I could see the subtle glow of pride when he finished.
We added a teeny bit of writing to our week. I have held off on this because Crumpet was just not ready. Each week, we did mazes and dot-to-dots. I had him trace large letters in order to strengthen his fingers, and teach him the correct way to make the letters. Lately, I've noticed changes though. He always holds writing utensils correctly. He has a firmer, more confident approach to writing and drawing. So, for the first time, I had him write a few letters freehand on the lined side of our white board. He was very proud of his work, and I'm happy to see that he is coming around to the idea of writing. (I'll admit though that writing just may cause me to send him to school - this is NOT going to be an easy process!!)
Science was fun this week. While they were out one day, Crumpet and Crumpet Sr. picked up a fossil excavation kit. It comes as a big block of clay, a pick and a paintbrush, and you have to dig out the dinosaur skeleton.
Crumpet worked with this for much longer than I expected, and at the end, he helped me assemble the skeleton. He's thrilled with it, and shows it to all of our visitors.
We also did McRuffy's unit on mirrors. We pretended we were mirrors of each other, and we searched for hidden pictures using a mirror. We also talked a bit about symmetry.

We've been working on a few more puzzles, and this week, Crumpet put together most of a 24 piece puzzle on his own. Progress!!
The only down side to our week was that our amazing librarian has transferred to a new library. It's a good distance away, but I'm seriously considering making the trek. He was so much fun, and the new storyteller can't keep Crumpet's attention (or anyone else's - story time has turned into a complete zoo...)

Have a great week. For more preschool posts, visit Homeschool Creations!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Preschool Week of 1/21-Nature

I almost didn't write a post this week because it wasn't a very pleasant school week for us. Crumpet wasn't able to focus and didn't want to learn, and I wasn't in the mood for it. We started learning about 2 new topics though, and since this is a record of Crumpet's education...

Science: We did a short lesson on volume. I thought he would love this, because it involved popcorn in various sized containers. Instead, he ate the popcorn as fast as he could and didn't hear a word I said. We used water and measuring cups too, but I still don't think he processed any of it. He did make me laugh though - he told me he already knew what volume is. It's how loud we are allowed to turn up the t.v! Clever boy...
Math: We started using a ruler to measure centimeters. We also used centimeter cubes to do this.
Nature: This week, we mainly focused on nature adventures. We went on a whale watching cruise and also saw an endangered Hawaiian monk seal sleeping on the beach. You can read about that here if you want to. Later in the week, the waves on the North Shore of Oahu reached 20+ feet, so we went up to see them. The power of the sea was amazing to watch...
Afterward, we went to Matsumoto's shave ice for a snack - it's famous so we had to try it... The boys approved!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Practicing Gratitude Gifts 301-325

Many more gifts this week!
301: The Friends of the Library held a winter book sale!
302: I have enough books to keep me reading for months. At least until the summer sale, and probably much longer...
303: Crumpet Sr. is finally over his nasty cold.
304: I think Crumpet and I avoided the worst of the nasty cold.
305: Tasty vitamins for vegetarian children who are going through a horrible phase of eating nothing...
306: A sunny weekend.
307: We went on a whale watching cruise.
308: We saw a LOT of whales, many of them quite close to the boat.
309: While walking on the beach, we came across an endangered Hawaiian monk seal. I SO wanted to see one while we were here, but didn't expect it to happen!
310: Lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Oh, I love that place...
311: I won the random draw in the Pay It Forward game, here.
312: A nice day out shopping with a new friend.
313: Curtains in the guest room.
314: A beautiful beach we just discovered.
315: We have no plans for the next 2 days. Ah, calm.
316: Crumpet Sr. was supposed to deploy again next week, but due to a minor shoulder problem, he doesn't have to!!
317: This 21 day yoga challenge.
318: Sore muscles telling me I did good work at the gym.
319: It's time to start perusing curriculum options for next year. (Ok, it's early, but I love the process...)
320: I think we get to babysit a little dog next month, for a month. Crumpet and I will be so happy. Grumpy Crumpet Sr, not so much...
321: Less than 99% humidity. (It's been a while!)
322: My senses- sight, hearing, etc.
323: Being able to be there for someone new to Navy life. She's having a really hard time with it.
324: Crumpet telling me he loves me.
325: Honeybees.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Preschool Week of 1/14

It seems that I go through phases. Each week, we do our usual 3 subjects: reading, math, and science. Then, depending on my mood, we add in one or two other subjects. This week was the week of P.E. and art.
P.E. We were outdoors a lot over the weekend, which is good, because it has rained all week... Saturday, we spent 5 hours hiking and geocaching. Crumpet didn't complain once, but he did tell us a 5 hour long Star Wars story. The whole time we were walking, he was getting bad guys with his stick/light saber... Sunday, we went kayaking and swimming all day with friends. Tuesday, we did a little more geocaching during our Meals On Wheels deliveries. And Thursday, we played at the indoor bouncy castle place at the mall. It was raining, and he needed to move!
Art: We tried a couple of the techniques that Nicole from Tired, Need Sleep talks about here. We drew on paper towels with markers and sprayed them with water to make the colors bleed. Very pretty. We also discovered that you can lay another paper towel on top and make the design transfer.
We swirled glue on paper, covered it in salt, and then used water colors to color the salt. This was a really neat process, and both of us enjoyed it thoroughly! Crumpet chose to paint the whole page after he was done painting the salt lines.
I experimented with drawing actual pictures with the glue:
Reading: We finished the first half of our McRuffy reading book, and took a unit test. I did let Crumpet take the test this time, and he did great. The only question he missed was about punctuation at the end of a sentence. Next week, we move onto the second workbook in the curriculum.
Science: This week's unit was about exploring sound. We had a lot of fun with this. I'm pretty sure my neighbors didn't enjoy it as much...We practiced banging on objects and learned that things make different sounds depending on their size, hardness and whether or not they are empty.
I also showed him that glasses make different sounds depending on how full they are:
And we learned that stringed instruments make different noises depending on the length and tautness of their strings. Crumpet enjoyed using his ukulele for this lesson, and he put on a great 'rock' show for me. He's convinced he will be a famous ukulele star someday...
Math was math, nothing new...

For more preschool posts, visit Homeschool Creations! Have a great week!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Practicing Gratitude Gifts 276-300

276: We met Crumpet's doctor this week, and I like him.
277: Our reason for a doctor visit was just a mild skin problem.
278: I get great joy from watching Crumpet's mind work when we are doing school work. It is fascinating!
279: Sherri at Families are Fun has restarted the Fitness Challenge which I enjoyed so much last year!
280: We had a great weekend enjoying outdoor activities (last weekend - I'm a little behind!!).
281: Crumpet Sr. and I have learned to play Mancala, and I can beat him! I never win games!
282: The smell of baking bread.
283: Cast iron pans.
284: A new cookbook.
285: Art projects Crumpet enjoys.
286: We were able to perform a random act of kindness last week that turned out well.
287: My Meals on Wheels seniors are getting to know me and coming out of their shells a bit.
288: Indoor bouncy castles on rainy days.

289: Another chance to offer breastfeeding support to a friend with a doctor trying to scare her out of it. What is with these doctors???
290: 3 day weekends
291: My doctor has decided to take me off my thyroid meds to see if my body has healed itself. Here's hoping...
292: Thrift store books
293: I have a new yoga teacher and I love her as much as my last one.
294: It's not raining... yet... today!
295: This list - it reminds me to think of the good things when I'm not exactly staying positive!
296: Fridge magnets from around the world.
297: Weekend plans.
298: A huge new pack of pens. Seriously - we lose them constantly, and never being able to find one was making me crazy. Now there are jars of pens in every room...
299: Lists. I love lists. If only I could learn to keep them where I could find them...
300: Dinners together.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Preschool Week of January 7, 2011

This was our first full week of school for 2011. It went very well, and Crumpet was very focused and interested, which meant that we completed all of our work in about half an hour a day. Some days, the same amount of work can take 3 hours. The break was a good thing!
It was pretty much the same ole same ole stuff this week.
Phonics: Reading is going well. I have decided not to ask Crumpet to memorize the McRuffy spelling words for now. They are getting difficult, and I think he's too young. We do the games with the words - making up rhymes, changing a letter here and there, etc., but I think we'll use a real spelling program in a year or two.
Science: This week's McRuffy science unit was about the seasons. There wasn't a lot of detail, so we had a thorough discussion about seasons while we were driving somewhere, and called it good!
Math: Much of math was review this week. It was interesting to see which things Crumpet knew well, and which things he needed help with. It was the absolute opposite of what I would have expected. Good thing I didn't skip any units as I had planned to! We did get to do a lesson on weight, which Crumpet was excited about. I bought a scale for school when it was on sale, and Crumpet has been desperate to use it. We spent quite a bit of time weighing Star Wars figures and comparing heavy vs. light objects... (yes, it was early and he looks like he needs coffee in this picture!)
We also spent some time working on puzzles this week. Crumpet still has no idea of how to go about putting a puzzle together. I do it very logically, so the fact that he doesn't even look at the piece before he starts trying to squash it into place drives me crazy. The idea of 'edge piece' seems to be completely beyond him. So... I think we'll be doing more puzzles in the weeks to come. :)

We visited the zoo and the beach this week. But the big news is that there has been a magical transformation in Crumpet this week. Playing with other kids has always been difficult for him. Most play dates end in tears or angry words. This week, though, he has spent many hours on the playground, playing with big gangs of boys, and there has been no trouble. He has spent many hours at the neighbor's house, and my neighbor swears he has behaved well, and there have been no arguments. I have no idea how long this will last, and I spend all of my time wondering what to do with myself while he is at his friend's house, but for now it is wonderful...

Have a great week! For more preschool posts, visit Homeschool Creations!