Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 4

Week 4 saw the rebirth of our printer! I've been eagerly awaiting our printer to work so I could get new stuff up on the walls.

First up: coins! Katie loves to put our change in jars. She sorts them out, counts them, then drops them in. So I figured she should know the names and the worth of each coin as well. Here's what I put up for her to start learning:

I also went ahead and added animals. While Katie knows most of them and their sounds, I wanted to get indepth with them. Each week I'd like to take an animal and learn everything about it. Here's the few I have up currently:

I also put up a new shape chart, but since she knows more than what's on here, I think I may print out a second chart to put beside it.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Imagination Project: Pirate Ship!

Every two weeks, we have a major project that we build for our Imagination Time, which usually spans the length of that week. This began about a month and a half ago, when we began buying our diapers and wipes from an autoship site online. They come in a giant box - big enough for Katie, Will, myself and our small dog to sit inside all at once! Obviously, a box this grand needed something to be turned into instead of just throwing it out.

Our first box was very simple. Katie was obsessed with Puff the Magic Dragon, so we drew Puff on one flap, lyrics on two more, then climbed in and called it our ship to Honalee. It might not look like much, but it was enough to set our Imaginations sailing for that magical land!

The next box, combined with our old Honalee box, was turned into something that took a bit more time and creativity to make. Three hours of building and we had a car, complete with a steering wheel that spun (thanks to the top half of a gallon water jug that was hidden behind a cardboard panel dashboard), bumper stickers, license plate and gas petal that you could push down. Katie and Will spent many hours in it. They even enjoyed their first "drive in movie" in the living room!

The next box arrived yesterday. We said goodbye to the car, which had become a stuffed animal container in the nursery, and decided upon a project that would be our biggest yet - requiring all three of the boxes we had so far. Inspired by our choice to be pirates (and a toddler Tinkerbell) this Halloween, we set forth to make a pirate ship.

Not many people seem to make pirate ships out of cardboard boxes it seems, so all of our ideas came from us only. Two hours later, a box that we'd used to sail to Honalee, a car that we used for drive in movies, and our new box was a mighty pirate ship, complete with a compass, a steering wheel, a pirate flag, waves and portholes.

Once finished, the kids got dressed up and piled in. We researched a lot about pirates: about the parrots on the shoulders, sea monster legends, oceans and flags. We talked about parts of the ship, about the compass and it's directions, and how steering worked. We also turned our small dog into the sea monster, since she kept jumping up on the ship, and had lots of fun trying to "steer" away from the monster or distract the monster for our escape, Katie also enjoyed pretending to be sea sick and throw up overboard!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Wall Addition: Emotions

We added emotions to the preschool wall yesterday. While I knew Katie knew them already (after all, her favorite episode of Blue's Clues for the last year has been "Body Language" in S5, which is all about telling emotions from expression.

However, I think Katie sometimes struggles to tell me what she's feeling accurately, and I know a few fun games for this, so up it went. As I assumed, Katie loves the new addition! She enjoys acting out each emotion on cue!

Since she knows these already, I plan to add more feelings to it in the coming weeks.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Blue Day

Katie has known her colors up, down, backwards and sideways for over a year. It was the first thing I taught her, the first thing she really enjoyed learning. She still loves to discuss colors. So after our standard preschool wall activities, we decided to have color days. Today is Blue Day.

For Blue Day, we scouted all over the house finding anything blue. Toys, papers, purses, movie box covers, food containers, even Will's little blue band aid from his shots...absolutely anything blue. Katie LOVED scouting out everything for any shade of blue!

We stayed in theme through lunch, having Blueberry pancakes, which we ate with blue utensils and her blue juice cup while watching Blue's Clues.

Katie had so much fun with this that I plan to do a new color at least once a week. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday of Week 2

Today we started school again. We didn't do it on Saturday or Sunday, so I wanted to see how much she retained of the wall after a break. She had no trouble doing everything today that she did on Friday.

We took her to a pumpkin patch yesterday, and decided to make a project out of her pumpkin. I opened the top and let her touch all the gooey "pumpkin guts". We talked about the seeds and how to make pumpkins grow. We saved some so we can plant a few in the yard when it stops raining. We'll be baking the rest of the pumpkin insides later.

We decided to make a pumpkin house for Tinkerbell, then drew shapes on the pumpkins (She told me what to do for the door and windows, and then I cut them out)

Of course, since we love getting girly, we added glitter swirls all over it as well.

Then we got really creative and started to imagine all the things that a house would need.

Then we moved in Tinkerbell!

And then moved the whole thing outside...after topping it with a crown!

Lessons Learned:
  • What the inside of a pumpkin looks like
  • What seeds are for and what they do
  • Shapes
  • Imaginative Play and Decorating

Summary of Last Week

Summary of last week's Preschool; how we began:

Last Wednesday, we began to put up the "Preschool Wall" and try to see where Katie is on each category that I put up.

The introductory shapes that they use in Kindergarten, such as rectangles, squares, diamonds, hearts, circles, triangles and octogons, were all instantly recognized and recited as I put them onto the wall. I had no idea she knew all the shapes already (I knew she could say circle and square, but not all of them).

She knew all the alphabet letters, and when I request her to point to a letter, she can pick them all out. I've begun to show her Leapfrog's Talking Word Factory as part of her schooling to help learn the vowels and the letter sounds, along with how to make simle words. We'll continue to build on this all year.

I put up the numbers 1-10, but they were too easy for her. She can recognize each number and count them. She even does a good job of doing it backwards. So I put up 11-20. She can count them, but not backwards and she gets mixed up on which one is 16-18 visually.

We put up thte stoplight colors to play games with. She knows that red means stop, yellow means slow, and green means go.

Katie enjoys the 7 days of the week song, but doesn't know all the names yet as we never worked on them yet. She does know there are 7 days and loves Saturdays. lol

We've been spelling her name - she recognizes her name when it's written and can spell it while looking at it. We're going to start working with her hand writing soon.

She loves the weather. She knows all of them already, but enjoys the daily task of looking outside, declaring what it is, and then putting the correct weather picture up. I plan to start teaching her the types of clouds later this year.

After the wall, she also watches Leapfrog's starter math movie. She begs me for her "numbers movie" often.

We then read aloud - her favorite book to read right now is "If You Were A Penguin". She gets her penguin puppet out and acts out the whole book. We usually go through it three times, pointing out different things about it. At the end, there are a few pages of extra facts about penguins that we go through as well.

We do Latin songs every other day. One song is done each time until she has it down perfectly. She loves to learn through singing!

That's so far the extent of what we've begun. Throughout this week, I'll be continually adding to the wall to see where she is in other subjects.

Katie Starting Preschool

While Katie has been doing Preschool learning for well over a year now, I decided to do a more formal preschool this year. Everything is hands on and fun, full of activities, songs, colors and movement!

We started last week with the basics. Our living room now has a "Preschool Wall", where all of her current daily work is. As I found out while putting each activity up, she already knows all of these things, so we're learning them in different ways. She already knows how to count to at least 25, so now we're learning simple math with small numbers and how to count backwards and by 5's, 10's, etc. She knows her alphabet, so we'll be starting how to sound out words and read small books. She knows all of her standard shapes, so we'll be working with shapes that are more than just rectangles, diamonds, octogons, etc. We're working on spelling and writing her name, the days of the week, and weather, along with reading out loud, imagination time, song school Latin and music time. Our days have been filled with excitement, as Katie so enjoys learning something new.

I've decided to record what she's learning and how far she's getting so I have a clear memory of her progress and what we've gone over already. This year is going to be very entertaining and fun!