Last week of preschool was a review of weeks five, six, seven and eight so I didn’t have to stress about printing out or working on new material unless I wanted to. I try to use the review to accomplish some things that we didn’t get to before or perhaps cover familiar, favorite ground.
Since I like to be organized, I printed up one of my planning sheets for the week with something from each of the previous weeks to work on each day, but we ended up jumping around and going with the flow.
I started each morning with a review of one of the Bible stories and memory verses, asking Gwen what happened, what came next – Noah’s ark, Joseph and his coat of many colors, baby Moses, and Moses and the Red Sea. For some of the Bible stories I have sequencing cards or story books, so we used those in conjunction. I finally got “The Prince of Egypt” from the library so we’ll be watching that this Friday during our homemade-pizza-and-a-movie picnic.
We broke out the seasons lapbook and talked about different kinds of weather; Gwen did the matching cards and puzzles.
Since it was in the same pile, I got out the color-matching game for Gwen; it’s really too easy for her but she enjoys putting the bees on the correct flowers. Since there are two colors per piece that he has to match, it’s slightly more advanced than matching a single color.
There are days when I seriously don’t know how my children and I survive, putting up with their constant whining and bickering. But all that melts away when I watch them playing nicely and cooperatively together, working on some joint effort, collaborating on a project. At those same times, it occurs to me – they will gang up on me when they’re older.
One evening they were playing grocery store in our small kitchen where I was trying to make dinner; it was so cute I didn’t want to discourage it. Josiah lined up his food on the counter, Gwen got the cash register, they each had their own stool, and Josiah proceeded to “buy” groceries. I kept smiling as Gwen said things like, “You can’t buy strawberries when they’re thirteen sixteen!”
One of the things I started putting together for our week of the letter E was “E” eggs (oh – and the wooden Es with popsicle sticks). I unearthed a few plastic Easter eggs and filled them with small items that begin with the letter E (elephant, elastics, earrings, erasers, a tiny envelope and mini birds’ eggs). I could have made it more complicated by adding items that didn’t begin with the letter E so Gwen could sort them but I just kept it simple. She and Josiah both enjoyed going through the eggs.
During our week about the moon, we colored and cut the moon and star shapes for a mobile but never actually strung them up. We picked a branch from the back yard, I punched holes in the pieces, and Gwen told me in which order she wanted them hung. The moon-and-stars mobile decorates the mirror above her dresser.
Coming up with alphabet projects is always easy – I particulary love the Now I Know My ABCs crafts from Totally Tots – but coming up with math activities can be more of a challenge. Each week we’ve been making up an index card with the number for the week and the corresponding amount of stickers; Gwen has to write the number and count the stickers. I took these out and she put them in order. I also broke out the foam number puzzles and toy tool sets again and the kiddos and I hammered the foam pieces back in after counting the pieces and matching the correct number.
During our F week we did a fish craft and this week we got around to Kiboomu’s “F is for flower” craft I had bookmarked. We used green pipe cleaners for stems and leaves, two cupcake liners layered for each flower, and a few pom poms for the middle. The kiddos enjoyed this one and the finished flowers adorn the fridge. Gwen also went fishing again with her felt fish, which she has enjoyed immensely… until the magnet at the end of the fishing pole fell off and got lost in the depths of her room. Arrrgh.
On Saturday, Gwen got very upset when I told her we weren’t doing school (I’m quite certain she was just trying to avoid her nap, but whatever). Since she seemed so enthusiastic I gave in and let her do some of her dry erase workbooks, which she enjoys. I also remembered her name activity, which I still hadn’t done for the week. Previously I had written down her name and had her place matching letters underneath, but this time I put scrabble tiles with the letters of her name on the table and had her put them in correct order. She did it all by herself!
We kept some of the books from the previous weeks in the book basket and I put a few favorite completed crafts and activities on the bulletin board. I’m surprised how much we’ve covered in just a few weeks! I was just telling Phil the other day how, not too long ago, I was thinking she could use some help recognizing her letters and so forth. Now, she has a firm grasp on her letters and the sounds they make, even quizzing Josiah on them! Leapfrog Letter Factory has become a favorite; she and Josiah will sing the song and make the sounds. My two little babies are growing up! *sniff sniff*