Friday, August 24, 2012

We're Going on a Bear Hunt - Week 2

Before Five in a Row:

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

This week we continued our bear/forest theme by "rowing" the book, We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Roxenbury.  The boys thoroughly enjoyed reading this book every day.

Things we talked about from the book: Family and the importance of following those you love and trust (This tied in nicely with Blueberries for Sal), things you find in a forest, and caves.

Our Activities:

As usual painting was the big hit:

Eric painted this scene (sun (beautiful day), grass, river, & mud)) while retelling me the story.  He just started doing this recently with his Sunday School stories and others.  It is really adorable...even if it ends up being a gigantic brown blob at the end of the story.  

Luke wanted to "fingerpaint" the squilch, squelch of the mud.

Animals and their Footprints puzzles

Number Sequence Puzzles:
I discovered that while Luke does not care for printables....he loves gluing and pasting.  Therefore I'm going to be using this a lot working on numbers.  He can count but number identification eludes him (which I find odd since he can identify both Upper and Lowercase letters and their sounds (there's 52 of those but only 9 numbers!)  For Eric he's really working on those cutting skills w/out frustration!

Eric sorted the plants and animals found in the forest. (though he insisted an acorn was neither a plant or an animal...and refused to put it on.)

We made Bear Masks:

 ....and then rolled the dice and fed our bears that number of Blueberries!

The Best Part .......We went on our own BEAR HUNT!

Boys on a Bear Hunt Mission into the deep dark forest:

Going through the mud: Squilch, Squelch and through the river (or slightly trickling stream): splash, splosh:

 Investigating the sights and sounds:

The big tree won (snapped his walking stick right in half)

When Eric went to check this flower out closer, a Bumblebee flew right out into his face.  He didn't check out any more flowers after that.  He found moss more to his liking.

Taking a cookie break and checking out where we are on the map.  (This was Eric's first intro to a map and he was completely fascinated on finding out where we were on my map and the trail maps posted along the way.)

Shhh!  Tiptoe Tiptoe, is there a bear inside the cave?

Nope!  No bear today!
This was our first Nature Walk outside of the neighborhood and park.  The boys loved checking things out, using their "explorer" glasses, climbing on logs, and of course splashing in the mud.  I hope that we will be able to do this a few times a month.

Eric also worked on:
We're Going on a Bear Hunt Preschool Pac from Homeschool Creations and
We're Going on a Bear Hunt Lapbook from Homeschool Share

All About Reading:

Eric continues to enjoy the All About Reading Pre-1.  This week we covered letters D and E. (We do it slightly different by doing an Uppercase one day, the lowercase the next and then the sound...instead of doing all uppercase letters, then all lowercase letters, etc).  We do follow the language exercises in order.  This week our language exercises continued with rhyming words and we've started work on understanding sentences. (they are made up of individual words grouped together and they can be long or short).  He really struggled with this orally. The next lesson uses some concrete objects to identify words - hopefully it will be much clearer to him.  Having "Ziggy" the Zebra do the lessons takes some of the frustration out of it for him.

Choosing the pictures that start with a /d/
Making a "D"

We review the phoneme cards daily both encoding and decoding. (I say the sound(s) and he finds the letter that makes the sound or I show him the letter and he says the sound(s).)  Since he knows he initial sounds well,  we've been learning all the sounds for each letter. A-short a, long a, and /ah/.  We're gradually working on handwriting, doing "air writing", tracing on paint bags, and I introduced a salt box this week.

We extended our rhyming exercises by finding the rhymes in our book of poems for this month: A Whiff of Pine, A Hint of Skunk: A Forest of Poems. (I'm really enjoying this book!)

My First Piano Adventure:

This week we started piano lessons with My First Piano Adventure Book A.  I know I've only used it for a week, but after perusing the books, I have to say that I really, really love them. Eric was a bit apprehensive starting "formal" lessons (that didn't involve just banging around on the piano).  However, after the first day, the first thing he asks when he wakes up is "Are we doing piano lessons today?"

 Things we learned/practiced this week:  Proper posture, developing rhythm, loud and soft sounds (though he already had the loud down), short and long sounds, proper hand formation, and developing strength in individual fingers.  I know that sounds really boring, but it is done in a fun and interactive way.


We reviewed both boys lessons from their Sunday School classes.  Eric's was on David the Shepherd, which feet in with our "following" theme and we talked about how Jesus is our Good Shepherd.  The boys also learned about Jesus calling the disciples in Jr. Church (another perfect fit about following - and they made footprints!) We reviewed their classes memory verses and worked on "D- Delight thyself also in the Lord. -Psalms 37:4.

At the Children's Museum

The children's museum was having a free we couldn't pass that up.
 Playing doctor on the life size "Operation" Board

Dressing up as 2 Mr. Incredibles!

Exploring the gigantic water table.

The "Fantastic Amazing Machine" as Eric called it

Put your ball of yarn in
Watch it sail through the the tubes

Catch it as it comes flying out!  

The Music Room


We found the Bear!

(Which Luke stalked for the rest of the day)

 To see what others are doing please visit:
Preschool (& Kindergarten) Corner and Homeschool Creations 
Mama to 3 Blessings

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Our 2012 -2013 Homeschool Plans

Eric will be 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 years old
Luke will be 2 3/4 to 3 3/4 years old

Not Back to School Blog Hop


Language Arts:                   All About Reading Pre-Level 1 followed by AAR Level 1
                                          Handwriting Without Tears Pre-K   

Math:                                 Rightstart Mathematics Level A (planning on doing 1 to 2 lessons a week)                                       

Piano:                                 My First Piano Adventures


Literature/Activities:            Before Five in A Row

Readiness Skills:                 BFIAR printables from Homeschool Creations, other printables from Confessions of a Homeschooler, 2 Teaching Mommies, 1+1+1=1, etc

Science:                              Exploring Science from Elemental Science using the Science Play! book.

Our Schedule:

This is not a set in stone schedule: just more of a flow of things routine.

8:30 - 9:00     Breakfast and Bible Time
9:00 -  9:15    BFIAR and supplemental reading
9:15 - 9:30    BFIAR printables and/or activities
9:30 - 10:15  Tot Trays/games and snack
10:15 - 10:30  Eric - AAR w/ Mom;  Luke - Tot Trays
10:30 - 10:45  Eric - HWOT w/Mom; Luke - Tot Trays
10:45 -11:00   Eric- Tot Trays, Luke - LOTW activities w/ Mom
11:00 -1:00     Outside Play, and/or Nature Walk, Baking, or BFIAR actvity
1:00 - 1:45      Lunch, Read Aloud and Chores
1:30 - 3:00      Boys Quiet Time/Naps
3:00 - 3:15     Eric- Math with Mom, Luke - Free play with puzzles, math manipulatives
3:15 - 3:45     Alternating BFIAR art project and exploring science
3:45 - 4:00     Eric - Piano w/ Mom, Luke - Signing Time

Friday, August 10, 2012

Week One -Blueberries for Sal

This is our first week back to school after a six week break and my first blog in a year! This year I am starting some more formal curriculum with Eric who is his Pre-K year. Luke will be tagging along as he is interested. Our time will still consist of mostly "tot trays" and free art activities.

We are kicking off with a month long theme of bears and the forest.  We started our first "row" of the Before Five in a Row curriculum with the book Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey. Both boys really enjoyed the story and looked forward to reading it every day. On our 1st day of school, we went blueberry picking on a beautiful and thankfully not too hot day. We ended up with 6 pounds of berries (even after Luke dumped my mostly full pail on the ground.) It was funny to hear the boys saying kerplink, kerplank, kerplunk like Little Sal in the book. Unfortunately, that lasted a little longer than 5 minutes then it was playing hide and seek in the bushes. Eric did notice that the bushes we were picking we're different than those in the book. I tried to explain that the blueberries that Little Sal picked were wild Maine blueberries and these were planted by a farmer. I think he was disappointed he could not sit in the middle of them as ours were 6 feet tall.

The boys enjoyed helping make blueberry muffins and canning them. They practiced measuring and dumping.  Luke especially enjoys this activity. (and continued measuring and dumping flour long after Eric and I moved on to something else - then he loved making handprints in the flour mess). We went over the concepts of less than, more than and equal to with the canning jars and rings, eventually ending up with just the right number of rings to fit on the jars.

 We also used counting bears to work on sorting, more number comparisons, and making patterns. To round out math we played counting number recognition games by counting berries into a pail.

We read books about bears and talked about what they eat, where they live, and how they hibernate. We also watched a Curious George episode where George tries to hibernate for the winter so he wouldn't have to wear a winter coat. Eric worked on the Blueberries for Sal printables from Homeschool Creations, Luke had no interest in doing any.

Eric also started doing All About Reading Pre-level one. So far he is loving the lessons and having fun with Ziggy the Zebra. Both boys have letter recognition and letter sounds down pat. However, I wanted to use this Pre-reading curriculum for its activities such as rhyming, isolating beginning and ending sounds, segmenting words and syllabication to help us with phonics coming up. B/c he doesn't need to learn letters and sounds, we're cruising along at a lesson a day. After a week he is really starting to get the hang of rhyming.  Luke has been sticking around with us during the lessons (I think it's Ziggy love) and so far hasn't been a distraction.  Eric has started doing some beginning "handwriting" by trying to make A's by air writing, on the chalkboard and on paint bags.

The boys have mostly been playing with their "educational toys", doing lots of painting and play-doh creations.  In the next couple of weeks, I'll be slowly adding on Rightstart Math and piano lessons for Eric and Science activities for both.

That's our first week of school.

Helpful Resources: