Last week Bella (5), Seth (3) and Noah (6-Down syndrome) all started homeschool Kindergarten. This is year two of kindergarten for Noah, and I’m happy to report academically he is much more ready for typical kindergarten work than he was at this time last year.
We’ve decided to try Weaver Interlock for our curriculum. It’s designed for preschoolers and kindergarteners; directions are given for modifying activities up or down depending on your child’s readiness. How perfect is that for our family! Even more perfect is the fact that I picked this rather pricey curriculum up for $2 at the thrift store several years ago. Let’s hear it for homeschoolers who believe in passing along their used curriculum!!! (And actually, I don’t believe this was even used – it looked brand new when I bought it.)
So last week was a busy week, but we had a blast. Triangles were one of the things we learned about, and on day 1 of triangles, we made these cute little fellows:
I predicted this would be a busy work craft with little value, but I was wrong. The kids were very focused on these triangles once they had their eyes stuck on and listened attentively as I pointed out the three sides, points and angles.
This was a quick craft. One thing I learned at AWANAS last year was that there is no shame in pre-cutting and prepping projects for children. If the point of a craft is more important than the skills practiced from start to finish, go ahead and do some of the work yourself before hand. I had already cut the triangles before the craft, so all my little ones did was glue on the stick and the eyes. Nobody lost interest, and I didn’t lose my mind. That’s the mark of a successful activity around here.
I am liking the Interlock curriculum, but I am surprised by how thorough the lesson plans are. As I glanced over it in preparation, I thought we’d whiz through the different activities in 15 minutes. So I was having a great time on Pinterest looking for ways to supplement the material. Turns out I’m going to have to find another excuse for stalking Pinterest.
Hmmmmm. I’ve picked up machine embroidery again – now that would be a fun Pinterest board search!
A friend told me the other day that her preschoolers were using china markers to trace letters on laminated worksheets.
How brilliant is that? Writing from china markers, a.k.a. grease pencils, has the uncanny ability to stay put until you very purposefully wipe it off.
No more smeared writing, no more dry erase marker all over the side of my children’s hands from resting them on top of their writing.
My only problem was figuring out where to buy china markers. I looked all over Wal-Mart. No luck, but I didn’t want to spend my Saturday Solitude searching all over Austin for a silly china marker. Surely, I thought, I could find something at Wal-Mart that I could substitute in. That’s how I came up with the dry-erase crayons. The fact they come 8 colors to a box was a nice bonus.
In just a few days’ time, we’ve discovered not only do they work well on laminated worksheets; they also work on windows, glass, binders, and just about any plastic surface. Oh, and of course they work brilliantly on white boards! We’re using them to label the spines of our school binders. When we’re finished with the binder, we can wipe off the writing and use it for something else.
Shopping for a new year’s worth of school supplies is so much fun for homeschoolers because we Mommies get to stock up too. What’s new in your stash?
In these days of sensory awareness, I’ve noticed that one medium for learning and sensory experience we often overlook is our taste buds.
Did you know that O tastes salty (olives), and sweet (oranges, Oreos), and mushy (oatmeal) and spicy (onions)?
We worked a bit with food last week while studying the letter O, and we had great fun with olives.
A pretty simple supply list – wooden skewer, styrofoam bowl or Play-Doh, can of whole black olives, and a can of whole Manzanilla (green) olives.
Bella HATES olives, so she wasn’t having any of her taste buds tantalized with these, but I got Noah to at least lick one of the black olives. He wasn’t too impressed, but he was happy to play with them. Olives do have a unique feel to them, slick and wet and easy to crush. We turned this session into patterning practice.
Just take a wooden skewer and poke it through an overturned styrofoam bowl (or you can stick it in a clump of Play-Doh). Then start the pattern off by skewering a green olive followed by a black one and have your child continue the pattern. Change this up with more difficult patterns if your child seems ready.
Ah love this (said in my best Southern drawl)! (Get it – olive this)?