Tuesday, September 6, 2011

'...in the morning, I'm making waffles!' -- Donkey

Our first day of Pre-K is now under our belts, and it was so good to be back in the swing of things!  This summer was busy, with the sale of our house and moving and setting up in a new place, but we are now settled and ready to tackle a great year!

If I haven't said it enough already, thank you for all of your support.  Every time you check in with us, it gives me more steam to keep doing what we do, and I appreciate it greatly.  When I started this blog over a year ago, I was hoping it would be a good way to show my long-distance parents that homeschooling really was a good choice for my daughter.  When I was young, homeschooling was a lot less mainstream than it is now, and I think all the stigmas that come along with it worried them, so this blog was a way for them to witness our craft projects, our social opportunities, and our learning.  I never dreamed that it would be shared by as many people as it has, or be nominated for blog awards.  I am so flattered and excited by all of your hits and kind words.  Thank you.

So, getting to it, we started our new year with a few new curriculum plans. For one, we are starting a study of the Bible, using a great devotional book called God and Me, which takes a passage from the Bible and explains it to her in a way she can understand.  It also lets her add input about her own feelings.  For example,  today's devotional was about not giving up, but before we read the passage from 2 Chronicles that went with it, it asked her to think about something that she finds difficult to do so that she can pray about it.  Her answer was 'tying my shoes' (cute!).  I think it's a very good book to use for this age group!  On the days that a devotional does not apply to us (for example, there is one coming up about the importance of siblings), I am working out of a children's Bible to read her one of its stories (like the creation story), to which we'll add projects for better understanding.  Stay tuned for a neat light project to illustrate the first day of creation ...

Also this year, we will be starting a journal.  I remember how my second grade teacher made us write, and write, and write, small stories and in journals, and I relished going back and reading my thoughts and seeing how my writing improved over that time.  Each day, until Maggie is reading and writing on her own, I will ask her a question or have her complete a sentence in her own words, which I will then dictate for her onto paper.  Then, I plan on having her draw a picture to go with the same, so she, too, can later go back and look at her work.  For the most part, our journal entries will be applicable to what we're learning, but there may be a few thrown in here and there that are more general and just fun.
Today, we started a month-long study of apples, and will be celebrating Children's Good Manners Month, National Waffle Week (September 4-10), a letter of the week review, starting with Aa, and simple Math concepts (this week, counting).  We already have our first field trip planned -- a trip to Atlanta this Friday with our buddies, Leah and Lucy, to the Center for Puppetry Arts to see The Ugly Duckling on stage, so of course, look to see preparations for that as well.  And as for apples, a fun fact for you: Did you know you shouldn't store your apples near your potatoes?  The gases an apple releases make the potatoes sprout too early.

Some photos from today's work:

Maggie woke up to this surprise on the table!
 She loved her new 3D walking cats ruler the best!
 Putting today's date up on the calendar ...
Waiting for our friends to kick off our 'Back-to-School Waffle Breakfast Bar' ...
 The girls dug right in!  :)
 Leah and Mags!
 Happy National Waffle Week, everyone!
 Making origami pencils ...
 Coloring in her journal ...
 Today's journal question:  'What are you most looking forward to doing this year in homeschool?'
Maggie's response:  'I'm looking forward to coloring things.'
 Completing her alphabetical dot-to-dot apple with her new apples pencil!
 For today's snack, I made an 'Apple Jigsaw Puzzle,' basically, just an apple cut into six pieces.  I put it back together in her bowl, and she enjoyed taking it apart and putting it together again herself.
 We saved the seeds for our next project.
Painting the rim of her 'Paper Plate Apple' slice ...
All done!

Today, for our first day of Pre-K, we:
1.  We enjoyed our new school supplies!
2.  We read School ABC by Amanda Doering.
3.  We made the origami 'Paper Pencils' as seen in Family Fun magazine, July/August 2008, page 100.
4.  We completed our first journal entry in this year's journal.  The question I asked her was, 'What are you most looking forward to doing this year in homeschool?'  Her response? 'I'm looking forward to coloring things!'
Daily (Calendar/Weather):
1.  We sang the 'Days of the Week' song that we learned at the library.
2.  We completed our calendar activities (using our laminated Velcro posters), putting today's date up on the calendar, and discussing the month, what day of the week it is, what date, what season, and what kind of weather we're having.
Bible Study:
1.  We discussed how the Bible is God's special book to tell us about God and His Son, Jesus.
2.  We completed the daily devotion out of our God and Me book, for today's date -- 'Try it Again!' about not giving up.  Then, we read 2 Chronicles 2:13-14 together.
National Waffle Week:
1.  We had a 'First Day of School' waffle breakfast bar, with all the fixings (syrup, cool whip, strawberries, bananas, chocolate chips) and our friends, Leah and Lucy.
1.  We read Eating Apples by Gail Saunders-Smith.
2.  We read From Bud to Blossom by Gail Saunders-Smith.
3.  We made the 'Apple Jigsaw Puzzle' for snack, as seen in our Toddler's Busy Play Book, page 72.
4.  We completed an alphabetical dot-to-dot worksheet of an apple, using our new apple pencils.
5.  We made the 'Paper Plate Apples' as seen on the Columbus Public Library 'Apples N’ Pumpkins' idea sheet.
Children's Good Manners Month:
1.  We looked through Don't Slurp Your Soup! by Lynne Gibbs and discussed the same.
2.  We watched the Table Manners for Kids DVD that we borrowed from the library.
Letter Aa Review:
1.  We read Berenstains' A Book by Stan & Jan Berenstain.
2.  We read My "a" Sound Box by Jane Belk Moncure.
3.  We looked at the Aa letter page that we made last year to review words that start with the a sound.   We looked at our picture dictionary as well, under A.
4.  We read A Was Once an Apple Pie by Suse Macdonald.
5.  We completed a numerical dot-to-dot letter A.
6.  We completed pages 4-5 of our Hooked on Phonics: Learn to Read Pre-K Level Workbook, which required her to color the uppercase A and lowercase a, and identify the pictures that begin with the short a sound.
7.  We got out our letter magnets and spelled out on the fridge, the three words that start with the letter a that she thought up: ant, apple, and ape.
Math Concepts (Counting):
1.  We completed pages 6-7 of our Winnie-the-Pooh’s 1-2-3 Sticker Storybook, which required her to count objects in the pictures, then match the correct number to those objects.
2.  We played Hi Ho! Cherry-O together.

Check back with us tomorrow when we do more things with waffles and do a special swan craft in preparation for our Friday field trip to see The Ugly Duckling puppet show.

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