Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Preschool Pause

As I mentioned before, I love to spend time each day with my two littler ones. The days pass so quickly, and they can easily be consumed with housework and necessary tasks. I love that we have this little jewel in the midst of our day to slow down and see the world from a knee-high perspective.

My youngest woke up with an awful, croupy cough last night, so I did not know what to anticipate from him today. We took a quick visit outside in the middle of the night and then I rubbed some oil with peppermint and tea tree in it. Amazing stuff. Between the two, he slept fairly soundly the rest of the night. So, he woke up ready to go this morning.

For our preschool pause today we wrote our names in bead letters. Taken from another great book(Games for Learning -- designed for K-3, with a few activities suitable for this younger crowd) that I love to pull off my shelf thanks to the many rich ideas contained in it. As with much homeschooling, the multi-age approach comes to play, as everyone up to my 10 year old ended up joining us for this one, voluntarily.

First, the activity:

I started each child off with a paper that had their word(s) for the project already written on them. We looked at the words (their names), made sure they recognized them, and read each of them, while tracing the letters with our fingers.

Then, they drew circles along the lines to make it look like they were written with a string of beads. Of course, I offered varying degrees of help with this step as well. Brooke, my independent four year old did quite well on hers (she hasn't completely finished and doesn't want her masterpiece exposed before completion . . .)

Lastly, they fill in the circles with colors of their choosing and have a cool looking sign to hang in their room or give to Grandma.

My goals varied for each child. Obviously, although the project is largely similar for both the 2 year old and the 10 year old, the finished project and the lessons learned for each child are tailor made. With Nathan, my main goal is name recognition, so when he lost interest half way through the circles and went to play with the dog, he had accomplished his task. Brooke is working on writing her name with lower case letters (aside from the 'B'), so I wrote hers accordingly. Faith should have mastery of her first and last name, and since she joined us today, I wrote both for her to work with. A simple, fun, educational project, that they will finish up tomorrow.

For geography I let Nathan pick a word from our Geography A to Z book. He chose 'fjord.' That was great. Not a common word. We set up the dining room chairs in two rows and swam through as boats in the middle tooting our horns. Nathan loved both the activity and the new word. He kept saying, "Fjord, fjord."

Another activity, not from today, that I wanted to mention is especially fitting for this time of year as we enjoy getting outside more and more each day. I love simple, inexpensive fun. All you need for this is water and paintbrushes. My kids thoroughly enjoyed 'painting' the sidewalks with all kinds of designs, letters, shapes, and pictures.

Faith drew her ever present butterfly.

Nathan did some doodling also.
Anything with water has his attention for an extended period of time.

I did feel the need to warn them that the drawings would not last (spontaneous conversation on the water cycle and evaporation), so they would not experience too much disappointment when they could not find their drawing a couple hours later. They got creative and combined chalk and water in some great pictures and doodles and had a fun time working together to decorate the world.

Then, back to my world, refreshed in the joy of exploration and learning.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Looks like a fun activity, we will have to try it.