Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Lost Treasure

   I have been cleaning out and arranging what will eventually be our family "Study" this week.  My husband's assistant works from our home and had a corner set up for her but the rest of the room was a total wreck.  This room started out last January as my scrapbook room and office, over the summer it transformed into the homeschool room and office and then in December, it officially became the office.  Well, it was a mess and while Gabe has been gone, we've been busy working.  On Tuesday I put together the desk that we had ordered months ago for Ms. Karen and I've been busy cleaning up and out ever since.  Well, today I cleaned out a box and found some really neat summer ideas for preschool/kindergarten aged children.  I have no idea where this came from or even who wrote it so I apologize in advance for not issuing credit where credit is due.  There may even be several pages missing.

                                                 Pre-K/Kindergarten Summer Activities

Midline Activities
1.  Practice tying shoes.
2.  Crossing arms above the head and below the waist.
3.  Zipping and buttoning.
4.  Building with blocks and balancing with 2 hands. 
5.  Crawling.
6.  Tearing/cutting paper.
7.  Holding a bowl with one hand and stirring with the other hand.

Oral Motor Activities
1.  Blowing bubbles/pinwheels/harmonicas/kazoos.
2.  Using a straw to drink with or blow things.
3.  Peanut butter on lips and use tongue lick it off.

Listening Games
1.  Simon Says.
2.  Freeze game- play music, turn it off, freeze in spot and repeat.
3.  Listening outside- sitting outside and naming all the different things you hear.

Phonemic and Phonological Awareness Activities
1.  Rhyming games with their name or making up words that rhyme.
2.  Nursery rhymes and books with rhyming text.
3.  Silly Mistakes- Examples: "Jack and Jill went up the pickle", "The first little pig built a straw of house."
4.  Letter hunt- find letters everywhere.
5.  Alphabet hopscotch- naming letters as they jump on them.
6.  I Spy: Letters, numbers, colors, patterns or even sounds.
7.  Tongue Twisters: Examples below or create your own.
      *Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
      *My mommy makes marvelous, munchy meatballs.
      *She sells seashells down by the seashore.
      *Justin's jeep just jumped, joggled and jiggled
8.  Beginning and ending sound games- I am thinking of a word that begins with "b" sound or ends with a certain sound.  (Be careful not to put the "u" sound after the letter sounds.)
9.  Clapping/tapping syllables in words.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It's our Summer Break!!!!

Yep, that's right.  We were too stressed out and since we were finished with Kindergarten work, we've called it a year.  Last week was very laid back and this week is our first official week off.  We began painting the classroom on Friday night and hopefully tonight Gabe will get the trim painted so that I can begin putting it back together tomorrow.  I read some great reviews on Homeschool Tracker last week and decided to try it out.  I bought a 30 day trial and have put most of our lessons in for June and some for July even.  It schedules them and allows you to bump them forward when life happens.  I am loving it so far. 

We plan to start back to school in June but have a trip planned for one week.  We are going to go with Dad to a Pastor's Conference type thing in California.  While out there, we hope to visit the Monterrey Bay Aquarium and King's Canyon National Park.  These are a few of the places Gabe and I visited when we were there in 2001 and I know the boys will love them.  I'm counting these as field trips and will be including those days in our attendance.  That's the great thing about homeschool, family vacations count as attendance in school! 

Last week the boys decided that since they don't get report cards to get money for good grades, they need a prize for finishing the school year.  They don't choose a little prize either.  They are both on us for a NOOK!  They tried to sell us on the idea by telling us about the school work that they can do on it (educational aps) and the great books that they can read while traveling this summer.  A few days later, Levi decides to finally tell us that he just wants it so that he can watch Netflix movies and play Angry Birds.  Anyways, I have no idea if they are going to get their wish or not but I know that I've been wanting a NOOK for about 2 years now so maybe for Mother's Day I will finally get one.  I've been saving up B&N gift cards to buy one and almost have enough, but if I got one as a gift, I'd have lots to spend on books.  I'm such a dork!  The reality of it is that none of us are very likely to get our own NOOK but we may get a family one for us to share.  I can see where this would be a great asset to our school. 

One last thing that I am looking forward to this month is the Scholastic Book Fair.  I got the flyer yesterday along with a few coupons too.  I am a total Scholastic junky and at the book fair, all of the books are supposed to be half off.  We are far from deprived in our personal library but we always need new books.  We are really into non-fiction type books right now and I love that I can add the paper back books to our work boxes so easily. 

Once I get our classroom back together, I plan to post pictures of our shelves and classroom.  We've stepped away from Montessori but there are still many hands-on lessons on our shelves.  We've moved to a few textbooks but we use the workboxes, puzzles and manipulatives as suppliments to the text.  I believe that this makes the material more interesting and personal for the child.  So far, it is working well with my boys.  They both love learning and get excited about so much.  I am excited about our break and getting back into the classroom in June.  Year 1 was wonderful but I know that Year 2 is going to be even better!!!!!!!!