Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Kindergarten - Day 1!

Welcome to our first day of Kindergarten!  (I can't believe we're there already!)  I'm reluctant to admit that I was more excited about today than Maggie was, but she's had a fun summer and she doesn't know all the great things in store for her this year!  We are packing it in, but I plan to have a lot of fun doing it!  This year, unlike the last two, we will be hitting all of our subjects daily (whereas last year, we did more of a Unit Studies approach and focused our learning around themes).  Also, we are adopting a new schedule where we will work for three weeks out of each month, and break for one.  (In the end, our schedule will give us the same number of break days as children in school, with 180 days working.)  So, here it is, our Kindergarten year.  Enjoy!

Probably what is most important to me for Maggie is that she grows up having a close relationship with God.  To ensure that, we will continue our daily Bible studies, but instead of the preschool devotional and little Bible story books we had been working out of, this year, we will be working out of The Book, the Bible itself.  Today's Bible study was all about the importance of the Bible and how God made the world.  We started by reading The Berenstain Bears: Let the Bible Be Your Guide by Stan & Jan Berenstain.
We also had these cute little Bible snacks to eat while I read to her from her new Bible.  I got the idea for the Fig Newton Bible at http://catholicicing.com/2010/08/cute-bible-snack-idea/, and the idea for the little candy Bible at http://www.latter-dayhomeschooling.com/2011/10/memorizing-scriptures.html.  (The directions for both are below as well as on those sites.)
For each candy Bible, you will need two gold Hershey's Nuggets candies, black and white paper, a small piece of red ribbon, scissors and a glue stick.
 First, cut your black paper so that when you place each Nugget on top of it, side by side, it is just a bit larger.  (This will be you Bible's cover and the Nuggets will be the bulk of pages.)  Use your glue stick to adhere the candy in place, being sure the foil properly covers the candy in the back.  (Nobody wants to eat paste!)
 Then, write a Bible verse on your white paper (I typed mine to make it look more authentic), and cut to fit over your Nuggets.  (I chose Genesis 1:1 because we are reading about Creation today.)  Fold your paper in half.  Then, cut your ribbon to fit your Bible, forking the end with your scissors.
 Place the ribbon between the two Nuggets, using just a dab of glue to hold in place, then adhere your white paper to the very top.  Your candy Bible is done!  (So cute!)
Then, for your Fig Newton Bible, you will need Fig Newtons (one for each Bible), a red Fruit Roll-up, and white piping icing or decorating gel.  
 Using kitchen shears, simply cut a small piece of your Fruit Roll-up to resemble a bookmark and poke into the fruit of your Newton, like below.  Then, using your icing or decorating gel, pipe decorations along the cover and spine of your Bible, like I did here.  Another fun snack!
 Maggie was impressed!  :)
This is Maggie's new Bible, the NIV Kids' Study Bible, which I can thank my friend, Hannah, for recommending.  It is the Bible that we will be reading from all year.
After we read today's Bible reading (Genesis 1), we read God Thought of it First by Joan N. Keener ...
... Thank You, God, for Everything by August Gold ...
... and Let the Whole Earth Sing Praise by Tomie de Paola.  All three books give God the glory for all Creation.  Amen!
After our Bible study, we started Math.  Next week, we will start the Singapore Primary Mathematics curriculum, but this week, we are devoting the time to review counting and write our numbers, both in numerical form and in word form.  Here, Maggie is counting to 100 with our "Numbers 1-100" poster. 
Then, we put together our Crayola "Count Me" puzzle.
And before we started our number writing, we read this great "Number Writing Poem” off of a handout we picked up from our library.  (Click on it to see it larger.)  Together, we followed the directions in the poem to write the numbers on paper, and then we read the poem a few more times so she could trace the numbers with her finger before we took to her worksheets.
Maggie knows all her letter and letter sounds, but for the first two weeks of the year, we are doing some review.  We are practicing our writing, covering two letters a day, and afterwards, I decided to have her place that day's letter stickers on this chart I made so we can count the letters in our alphabet.  (We also have other things planned with it later, like circling the vowels in red and using the numbers below each to make codes for her to decipher.  Stay tuned!)  
Today, we also started our study of word families, with the endings -ab, -ack, and -ad.  I got this great idea from Pinterest to help her learn them more easily.  Simply write the letter ending on the right half of a plastic Easter egg with a permanent marker, and write all the possible beginnings for that ending on the left half so that your child can simply turn the egg to see new words!  Such a great idea!
 I used clear plastic egg trays to hold all the word families we'll be learning.  So enticing to grab and play with!
We also grabbed this great Dr. Seuss poster from Oriental Trading Company a while back and used it today, too.
I put together our Science curriculum this year and I have to admit that it is AWESOME!  I have worked on it for months and I am so excited to share it with you!  To start, we sought to answer the question, "What is science?"  We used this book, What Is Science? by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, to get us started.
After we read the book, I asked her to draw what "science" meant to her, and this is what she came up with.  :)
And for our final subject today, Social Studies/Geography, we are using this first week to place ourselves in the world, starting from the largest, our universe, to the smallest, our town.  Today, in our quick study of the universe (we will delve into it more thoroughly soon in science), we started with this book, Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is? by Robert E. Wells.  (It isn't.)  :)
For most of our Science and Social Studies/Geography lessons, we will be using Usborne books, the BEST books for teaching, in my opinion.  They are full of great photos and they have so many interactive books to choose from!  If you care to check them out, you can order from this page, set up by my friend: https://t3458.myubam.com/.  Thanks for checking in!  See you tomorrow!

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