Friday, March 12, 2010

1, 2, 3!

Sunshine has begun working in his new "school book," Counting With Numbers, part of Rod & Staff's preschool series.

He had been working through the 1st book in the series for about 2 years now and FINALLY finished that one.  He has an attention span at least a year behind his age, likely because his family age is only about 2 1/2, and prior to now he had not been interested in academic work of any kind.

Which is fine by me.  I've never been a preschool-pusher.  Ok, yes, I was when RoseBud was little, but that was because I didn't know any better.  I learned my lesson with her.

Anyway, he has finished the 1st book, Adventures with Books and is now in the counting book.  And surprisingly, he's working very well!  The first two pages had him tracing the numeral 1 and counting one object.  He could already count, with one-to-one correspondence up to four objects reliably and sometimes 5.  And he could make a reasonably straight line, so this first section, learning "one" was easy for him.

The second page spread jumped right into the number "two" and this was a little trickier, but he persevered through it and even began writing some 2's on his own (without having to trace them!).

I brought out my old preschool-standby favorite, "Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills, Preschool" which I've always picked up at Sam's or Costco for $5.95 and found him the corresponding numeral pages.  He did some more practice with ones and twos.

And now he's up to 3.  "Around the tree, around the tree, this is how we make a 3," is the rhyme in Counting with Numbers and he's making lovely little 3's!

He astonished me the other day in the car by counting up to 11 correctly!

And this boy just LOVES books!  I'd forgotten how much fun it was to read to a preschooler.  Banana Boy has never been a book boy.  Sing to him, yes!  Read to him, not interested.

Sunshine has worn out our voices reading all the My First Little House books about "Lawla and Mary."  He has them all memorized and if you change a word, he'll let you know.

His latest passion is Richard Scarry.  We began with Richard Scarry's Mother Goose, which he called his "kitty book" because of the big cat on the cover.  Now he has discovered that we own almost every Richard Scarry book ever known to man and we are reading through them.  Needless to say, he really enjoyed Cars and Trucks and Things That Go (one of my very favorite books from MY childhood.  We are on our 3rd copy in this house.  Sadly, they don't seem to hold up well)  Can YOU find Goldbug on every spread?

We do our reading before naptime.  It seems to be the only dedicated time I can carve out EVERY day to read to him without interruptions.  We try to read one storybook, one poetry book (focusing on Mother Goose right now) and the Bible.

We are reading the Rhyme Bible For Toddlers together and are going through it for the second time.

And for science, he obsessively watches Sid the Science Kid.

There you have it: my accidental preschool curriculum.  All my past planning was wasted time.  It just goes to show that no two kids are the same.  I don't think I've done anything even remotely similar for any two of my five kids. 

Live and learn...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Beginning to Plan for Next Year

Starting to lay out plans for next fall.  Daisy will be in 6th grade, Pepper in 4th and Banana Boy in 2nd.  Sunshine will go to public school kindergarten and Rose Bud will be a Freshman in PS.

For Daisy and Pepper:  Sonlight Core 5

I'm excited to go through this core again.  It was fun and interesting to read about so many cultures so "foreign" to us.  We'll be studying countries in the 10/40 Window such as the South Pacific, Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Russia, India, the Middle East and in Africa.

For Banana Boy, I think I'm going to use a combination of Mission Friends country packets and Voice of the Martyrs Bold Believers series.  Both sets are available as free downloads and will provide a nice framework for a simple country study from a Christian perspective.

(in case the Mission Friends link doesn't work, Google "Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Mission Friends" and you should bring the correct page right up.)

If anyone knows of any other similar resources, I'd love to know about them!

Daisy will also be doing:
Teaching Textbooks 7 for math
Sonlight LA 4 grammar and writing (yes, we're a year behind)
Spanish for Children and
Rosetta Stone Spanish
Sonlight Science 5
Piano lessons
Art class
AWANA and working through Luther's Small Catechism

Pepper will do:
Singapore Math 4
Sonlight LA 4 grammar
6-Trait Daily Writing grade 3 (or maybe 4)
Let's Learn Spanish grades 2, 3 & 4 (depending how far we get) and
KidSpeak Spanish and
Hola Amigos Spanish
Art at home
Science....ah science.  Yuck,  I hate teaching it.  The kids love it.  Maybe will find something for Pepper and BB to do together.

Banana Boy will be in:
Singapore Math 2 and
Miquon Math (probably Blue & Green)
6-Trait Daily Writing grade 2
KidSpeak Spanish  and
Hola Amigos Spanish
Art at home
Science--see Pepper

My goal:  Keeping it SIMPLE!  (never has happened yet!)

New Math

Daisy has finished Singapore 6 and begun Teaching Textbooks 7.  We got a good deal on it from a friend who was finished with it.

So far, so good.  She likes working on the computer and does her computations on scratch paper before entering the answers into the computer.  She looked over the topics and pronounced them easy-looking, which is good.  She's only in 5th grade and this is 7th grade math, so easy will be ok.  She can use the review before hitting Algebra.  And if it takes her a little longer, that will be all right, too.

Beginning, Middle and End

Today Banana Boy's writing assignment was to write a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. (the focus of this is organizing a story).

Here is his story, more remarkable for what happens in the story (which is true, btw) than for his writing prowess...

"I was chewing my flaverful gum.  I was playing with it.  I got it stuck in my hair.  Daisy had to cut the gum."

A testament to Daisy's ability to think on her feet, since I was not home at the time (ran Sunshine to preschool).