Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Still here!

Here we are!  Thanksgiving was a lot of fun, but took us away from blogging, though we did get some homeschooling in.  We have been studying the letter 'M,' music, and wrapping up our Thanksgiving studies and moving onto Christmas.  With that being said, I should remind you that at the start of this school year (our first!), I decided that instead of a long, twelve-week summer break that typical school students get, we would work yearlong, with larger breaks around the major holidays.  (This was at the suggestion of a renowned educational therapist in Atlanta, Randi St. Denis, founder of Home Educators Encouragement Alliance (HEEA), who, herself, has homeschooled her own seven children, and happens to be a great mentor to me!) This means that until after the new year, you will see less on the blog.  We'll be doing our letter work, but we'll be focusing a lot of our time on Christmas crafts, cooking, and gift-making.  I will post it all, but we will work less hard so that we can enjoy less stress during the holidays.  Here are some photos of our activities over the past week, as well as my usual lengthy list of activities to follow.  (This post's list is quite long, but only because it is a few days' worth.)  Enjoy, and as always, thanks for reading!

Putting together her 'Maggie' puzzle (during our letter 'M' study) ...
Adding dirt to a cup for our sprouted bean in our 'Bean Germination' project ...
One of our beans, with his primary root ...
 Planting it ...
 And adding water ...
 Within just a couple of days, it grew so tall!
 And started to shed it's skin ...
 It's a regular beanstalk!
 And, our amaryllis plant is large, too!  We can't wait for it to bloom!
 Working on her Thanksgiving placemats ...
Here she is on Thanksgiving Day, with the flowers Daddy brought her.  (Grandpop is in the background!)
 Our Thanksgiving table!
 With Maggie's place cards, napkin rings, and placemats!
 Picking out a Christmas tree with Daddy on Black Friday ...
 With our tree's star ...
 Decorating the tree ...
 After dinner, the doorbell ring, and this was on the doorstep (her Elf on the Shelf)!
 Eyeing her elf, who she named Pippin ...
 Our tree!
The 'M' page of her letter book ...
 This is when we were working out of the book, Can You Hear It? by William Lach.  I recommend this to everyone!  It is a book of famous paintings, paired with popular classical music, which challenges you to
hear the events of the paintings in the sounds of the instruments!  It is really a special book.
 Here, she is listening to The Flight of the Bumblebee while imagining the bee in the painting, Chrysanthemums, in flight.
 Listening to An American in Paris by Gershwin while viewing Avenue du Bois.
 Listening to The Carnival of the Animals: The Aquarium while viewing Ocean Life.
 Later, we made music using glasses with different levels of water, as the boy did in the book, Rainy-day Music, that we read.  (I added food coloring to the glasses to make it more fun.)
 First, tapping the glasses with spoons to hear the high and low notes ...
 Then, we used our fingertips to rub the rims to hear the sounds made that way.
 Later, we made instruments with everyday household objects.
 A tissue box and rubber band guitar!
 A kazoo made from a toilet paper tube!
 Salt shakers ...
 And, putting the top on our shakers made of navy beans in aluminum pie plates ...

And, some video of our water music play ...

The rundown:
Letter 'M':
1. We looked at and discussed big letter 'M' and little letter 'm' and words that start with 'M': monkey, melon, milk, Maggie, Mommy, money, movie, morning, monster, moon, medicine, Mickey Mouse, etc.
2. We put together her 'Maggie' puzzle.
3. We found the 'M's in our letter magnets and spelled out words that start with 'M.'
4. We made the 'M' page of our letter book.
5. We practiced writing big letter 'M' and little letter 'm,' both on paper, and in the sugar tray.
6. We read M is for Music by Kathleen Krull.
1. We read A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting.
2. We read Happy Thanksgiving, Gus! by Jacklyn Williams.
3. We read Clifford's Thanksgiving Visit by Norman Bridwell.
4. We sang the 'I'm a Great Big Turkey' song by Jean Warren.
5. We colored Thanksgiving placemats.
6. We watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade together.
7. We enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with Grandma and Grandpop, complete with her placemats, corn place cards and corn napkin rings she made!
Music (General/'Music is Everywhere'/Instruments):
1. We watched the Classical Baby: The Music Show DVD that we borrowed from the library.
2. We watched the Elmo's World: Let’s Play Music DVD that we borrowed from the library.
3. We read Ah, Music! by Aliki.
4. We read Violet's Music by Angela Johnson.
5. We played a variety of music with fast and slow tempos, then moved to the music. We used ribbons to move to the beats.  (We then pulled out all of the instruments that she owns and used them to play along with the music we were hearing.)
6. We discussed how we can make music with our bodies, then did it (foot tapping, hands clapping, tongue clacking, fingers snapping, etc.).
7. We discussed how music is in nature (birds singing, rain tapping, wind howling, etc.).
8. We watched the Sesame Street: Let's Make Music DVD that we borrowed from the library.
9. We read Spongebob Squarepants: The Song That Never Ends by Steven Banks.
10. We read Do Re Mi by Susan L. Roth.
11. We read Farmer Joe and the Music Show by Tony Mitton.
12. We read Can You Hear It? by William Lach.
13. We watched the Sing Along Songs: At Disney's Animal Kingdom DVD that we borrowed from the library.
14. We watched the Baby Einstein: Meet the Orchestra DVD that we borrowed from the library.
15. We read Rainy-day Music by Judith Jensen Hyde.
16. We played music with glasses holding different levels of water, by tapping with a spoon and playing the rim with our fingertips.
17. We read Manuelo the Playing Mantis by Don Freeman.
18. We read Froggy Plays in the Band by Jonathan London.
19. We read Our Marching Band by Lloyd Moss.
20. We read A Day in the Life of a Musician by Linda Hayward.
21. We read Little Rat Makes Music by Monika Bang-Campbell.
22. We read Mole Music by David McPhail.
23. We read Mr. Putter & Tabby Toot the Horn by Cynthia Rylant.
24. We read Banjo Granny by Sarah Martin Busse and Jacqueline Briggs Martin.
25. We read Animal Music by Harriet Ziefert.
26. We made various musical instruments from common, everyday items, including a tissue box guitar, a toilet tube kazoo, and various shakers, using salt, navy beans, and pasta.
1. We went and picked out our Christmas tree, then decorated it and the house!
2. We read The Christmas Story by Jane Werner.
3. We read Mickey & Minnie's Gift of the Magi by Bruce Talkington.
4. We read The Twelve Bots of Christmas by Nathan Hale.
5. We went to Ludy's Christmas Lightshow.
6. We opened our Elf on the Shelf from Santa Clause, named him, then found a spot for him in the house!

Check back with us tomorrow when we start our study of the letter 'N,' and continue our study of music (with a focus on different genres of music) and Christmas, as well as a visit to the library for Preschool Adventures.  See you then!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Weeks 13 and 14 Materials

Here are our books for weeks 13 and 14!  We're starting a new, two-week curriculum on music!  This school year is just moving right along! 

We're back!

I know you've been wondering where we've been.  We did a lot of weekend work that stretched from Friday through yesterday, so here it all is, a few days after my last full post.  We finished up our study of the letter 'L,' and our 'Our Bodies' curriculum, focusing on the last two of our five senses, tasting and touching, with some park projects taken on by Daddy!  Here are some photos:

As of Friday, the beans that we germinated were showing off their primary roots!  (We'll be doing a lot more projects with them today, as they have all taken off since Friday!)
 Getting ready to make her Texture Collage ...
 Maggie's Texture Collage!
 One of the sensory projects I did with her was to take a sock and place in items that she had to use her fingers to try to guess the identity of.  She did quite well, correctly identifying a crayon, candle, block, beads, and a few others.
 Our next sensory project -- finger painting with shaving cream!
 This project was a hit!  She loved how it felt between her fingers!
 We then moved on to some sand play!
 The sensory projects that we did yesterday involved Daddy -- this one required a trip to the park to find items of different textures!
 Looking ...
A find!
 So cute!  (We left him there rather than placing him in our egg carton to bring home, but he would fall under the categories 'bumpy' and 'sticky!')
 Maggie has learned that looking under heavy things is always the best way to find interesting things at the park!
 Some spectators of our madness!
 'How does this feel?'
My wonderful girl! 
 We also did texture rubbings with paper and crayons ...
 Analyzing our finds at home ...
 Project complete!

Over the weekend, we did:
Letter 'L':
1. We practiced writing big letter 'L' and little letter 'l,' both on paper, and in the sugar tray.
Our Bodies/Five Senses/Tasting and Touching:
1. We read My Hands by Lloyd G. Douglas.
2. We read Skin by Casey Lasko.
3. We read Tasting by Henry Pluckrose.
4. We read My Mouth by Lloyd G. Douglas.
5. We created a texture collage with a variety of different materials (foil, lace, paper, cotton balls, sandpaper, string, ribbon, feathers, etc.)
6. We fingerpainted with shaving cream (with a few drops of paint mixed in to add color).
7. We placed items in a small sock (a block, candle, crayon, etc.) and tried to guess what each item was.
8. We enjoyed some sand play.
9. We brought paper and crayons on a nature walk and made rubbings of surfaces with interesting textures.
10. We labeled each cup of an egg carton with a descriptive word, such as 'hard,' 'smooth,' or 'rough,' then went to the park to find things that fit those descriptions.

That about wrapped up our 'Our Bodies' curriculum for now.  (We will do a study later this year on nutrition and staying well.)  This week, because it is Thanksgiving week, we'll be taking it a little slow with the letter 'M,' a music study, and some additional Thanksgiving crafts before we go pick out our Christmas tree this Friday!  I can't wait!