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.

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  1. Stopping over from the Preschool Corner linky. We just did Blueberries for Sal also and I WISH we could've gone blueberry picking but no blueberries grow here! :( I'm also doing AAR Pre-1 with my 4.5 year old and he is loving it also. He already knew all this letters and letter sounds, but like you said, I wanted him to work on rhyming and syllables, etc. It has been awesome for both of us. We're currently almost halfway through and I'm excited to move right on to Level 1!

  2. Ahhh...seeing the pics of the easel makes me remember that I really need to pull ours out more!! :)

    1. My boys really love it. Eric painted the story of Jesus calming the storm while retelling it to himself. It ended up being a giant brown blob but it was so fun to see him imagining the scenes as he splashed paint on the paper. Thanks so much for all the great printables, I was so excited to see that The Runaway Bunny was ready!