01-20-2015

Preschool Day by Day | Day 4

Did you think I forgot about this challenge?

Well, I didn’t :)

Last Thursday (1/15) we went to a play group that was at the same time as school, and then we had lunch, nap and did chores until it was time to go to my grandparent’s house to celebrate my grandpa’s birthday. In other words; school didn’t happen.

Which was fine, because we can make it up on Friday, right? Unless Sydney wakes up throwing up and you spend the day tending to a sick child. And then school doesn’t happen again.

That’s okay, we’ll make it up on Monday.

Unless it’s a holiday in which your husband is home and you have maternity pictures, decide to have a family swim day and then take Audrey to gymnastics.

So TODAY (Tuesday) is the first day we’ve had school in almost a week. Time for some serious catch-up! No worries though, seriously. We’ve got this.

First things first, finish up our N packet. We did this by starting with our magnet page. This is one of my kid’s favorite activities, they have a ton of fun with this one.

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Following this we did some tracing practice. I tried to do formal handwriting practice with Audrey during preschool and it was AWFUL. Poor thing was so frustrated and it often resulted in tears. So we nixed that and we just do a handwriting tracing page once a week, it goes much smoother and Audrey loves it. Most of it is shapes and different lines, with only two letters, but I figure it’s helping her with those fine motor skills required to have nice penmanship later. :)

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Next we did a Do A Dot activity, which is another favorite. Audrey loves to play with the markers. In fact she spent about 10 minutes having the markers chase each other around the table in a very exciting battle. I had to remind her to get back on task. When Sydney was in preschool I had to make the rule that it was required that they use each color at least once. Because otherwise we’d have 26 pink only letters. The other colors get jealous. 😉

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And lastly we did a cut and paste activity. Audrey cut out a nest and 3 eggs and glued them to the paper. I’m really amazed at her scissor skills and how much she enjoys these projects! She had it all planned out on how she wanted her nest to go.

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And with that we finished off the last of the N activities. Thursdays and Fridays are typically our light days, they are kind of built in catch-up days for when we need them. Tomorrow we will have to get done several activities for the letter O to catch completely up, but with preschool this is fairly simple. It’s a little harder in say 2nd grade, just ask Sydney 😉

After she finished up the Letter N, Audrey read a Bob Book. I’ve said it a few times but I’m so grateful when I have good ideas to help my children learn and grow. Taking a step back and working on reading skills that are considered “easy” has been a huge help to Audrey. Next week when we go back to All About Reading I feel like it will go a lot smoother.

01-15-2015

Preschool Day by Day | Day 3

Wednesday was even shorter than normal as this is the day that Sydney has her piano lessons and dance class along with Zachary’s dance class. So basically we live at the dance studio on Wednesdays.

So Audrey gets to tag along and while she complains about how long it takes we remind her that everyone waits for her on gymnastics day.

This post will also be shorter because Audrey requested I put down my camera and pay attention to her. I gladly obliged. 😀

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Preschool, for me, is just a giant juggling act between easy and difficult (or time consuming) tasks. We always try to pair an easier task with a harder one. Today we sorted our nests by size, Audrey pretty much as this one finished before I get it all the way out of the bag. She’s good at it, and it’s a favorite!

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I paired this one with a scissor activity. These usually take a little longer, and Audrey is usually frustrated half way because cutting paper is HARD. Especially since school is pretty much the only time we let the kids use scissors and making them do what you want is hard work. Lately she’s been doing great with the curved lines and is excited to try.

After this picture was taken she requested that I stop taking pictures of her. We continued with out Bob Books review today. Unlike Monday (where we read 3) and Tuesday (where we read 2) today we only read one of the Bob Books, they are getting more difficult and she’s no longer breezing through, rather she’s taking her time and becoming frustrated again. But she’s still making excellent progress and becoming a more confident reader.

One thing we often do with school work is that we make Monday and Tuesday our heavy days. Wednesday is lighter, and Thursday and Friday are short. We do this to make catch-up days easier and to make our weeks less stressful on the days we have things planned. Which is why today’s activities only took about 10 minutes total. :)

01-14-2015

Preschool Day by Day | Day 2

Ready for our Tuesday?

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We started off with the lacing activity. This is great for those fine motor skills and hand eye cordination. It’s also good at testing Audrey’s patience. 😉

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Letter sorting is probably one of Audrey’s favorite activites each week! She loves sorting through the pile of capital and lower case letters and then putting them where they belong.

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I love this cute face of befuddlement when she was looking over her pattern exercise. It was a little trickier this week, but she made it through and figured it out. But initially she wasn’t thrilled with it. Usually the patterns are things like yellow, blue, yellow, blue or yellow, yellow, blue, blue, yellow, etc. This week it was yellow, green, blue, yellow, green blue.

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And lastly we read two Bob Books, which she did awesome at! I’m really glad we are taking this week to go over the Bob Books and help build her confidence. The reading part usually takes up the most time as the other activities are short, sweet, and a lot of fun! Rarely are they challenging, which is exactly how I feel preschool should be. The main learning goal of preschool is for them to get use to sitting down at the table and doing work, as well helping them learn to be patient and it helps me to figure out what it’s going to be like next year when I have two kids I’m teaching!

Also, she asked to pose this way. Promise.

01-13-2015

Preschool Day by Day | Day 1

Two years ago I did Mindy at Grateful for Grace‘s 10 Days in the Life of a Homeschooler challenge.

It was a lot of fun, and I’m very impressed that I completed the entire challenge.

I decided that it would be fun to document Audrey’s preschool journey over the next week (5 school days) and post about them each day.

Unlike the 10 Days of Homeschooling, this will not be an account of my entire day, just the preschool part.

Plus, I just got a new lens for my camera and I need something to keep my mind busy while I wait to go into labor.

Today marks DAY ONE. Ready?

10:00 am- This is our official school time. It works best for our family because sometimes the kids (and the mama) sleep in, and this allows for breakfast and morning chores to happen before school starts. It also means that if we aren’t done by lunch time the littles will take a nap, thus ensuring that school will get completed.

Today we got school started at 10, and it’s the start of a new week! We use Confessions of a Homeschooler’s Letter of the Week Curriculum, and this week we are working on the letter N! We started off with our tracing sheet. We use Expo Vis-a-Vis Wet Erase markers to trace the letter. Audrey’s favorite is the red marker, so we have to make sure we always have that handy! The tracing page is just printed out and then laminated.

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Next up is the puzzle! Each letter has at least one puzzle that we do on our magnetic cookie sheet. I cut out the puzzle, glued it to cardstock, then laminated it, cut it apart with fun scissors and then added a magnet to the back of each piece. Audrey struggled with these puzzles in the beginning of the school year but now she whips them together in no time! (Notice we lost our hat after the tracing page.)

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The last thing we do as part of our Letter of the Week curriculum on Mondays is we do a coloring page. Audrey didn’t seem fond of the coloring page until the last few weeks, she would scribble once or twice and then be done, lately she’s liking it more, and I often ask her if she wants to continue coloring the other days of the week and she’s happy to continue. I’m not a huge fan of coloring either 😉

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We’ve been using All About Reading Level 1 to teach Audrey how to read. I absolutely love how this curriculum is set up, the games the sequence and that I have a manual to help me teach 😉 Big perk in my opinion. Unfortunately I felt that Audrey was lacking in confidence. As soon as she understood something we moved on, it doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for standing still and being impressed with oneself. This might just be the way I was doing the program, but Audrey needed to understand that reading wasn’t always hard. So I thought long and hard about how to help her and finally decided to have her read Bob Books. This week we are starting with the very FIRST Bob Book from set 1, one which is way below her reading level and one that she has read previously. The reason for this is just to boost her confidence, it’s not suppose to be challenging.

Today she read through Mat in a matter of a few minutes, and she was SO excited and happy! She quickly read through the first 3 books with no problems and she understood what was going on in the books. It was definitely a good move to take this week off in regards to All About Reading. Currently she’s a little over half way through AAR level 1.

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Mondays are very easy days when it comes to preschool. The Letter of the Week stuff takes about 10-20 minutes, and the reading lessons another 10-15. Usually we are completely finished in about 30-40 minutes. The reason for this is simple; Mondays are Sydney’s heaviest day, so we alternate who has the most work on which day of the week. Fridays are usually preschool heavy, but elementary school light.

After she is done with preschool Audrey goes off to play with Zachary. During this time Sydney is doing her math worksheet, handwriting exercises or reading a book if she’s finished all her independent work and is waiting on me. So far this is the best method I have found to juggle the education of both my girls. If you aren’t currently working and are waiting for Mama to help you, you aren’t allowed to leave the table you find something else to work on.

Speaking of my table, yes, those are paint stains on it. I call it the mark of budding artists. My poor table gets painted and colored on. But I find that I absolutely love it that way. It’s not being used as a dining room table right now, and I’m loving that our homeschool table shows that it’s been used, loved, and appreciated!