Preschool: J is for Joy

Whenever I change the bulletin board at the end of the week, Gwen gets excited about what’s up next.  She saw the letter J and chanted “J is for Josiah, Jesus and jam.”  Hehe.  I’ve been busily working on projects in-between school stuff with the kiddos – knitting a pillow for my sister which I stayed up late one night to complete, trying some new recipes and experimenting with natural sugar, putting together some Christmas gifts and getting just a tad stressed about how busy the upcoming weeks will be. 

We’ve been using 100 Bible Stories, 100 Bible Songs for the scripture part of our curriculum, but this week’s story wasn’t  in there.  I vividly remember the story of Gideon on the Superbook VHS tapes growing up – how God chose him, whittled his army down to very few men, how they smashed jars and lit torches and blew their horns to win the battle against the Midianites.  I found a children’s Bible lesson online and read them the simple story, after which we made trumpets.  The kiddos were positively tickled pink with their trumpets and they walked around “playing” them and making “music.” 

Since I also wanted to capitalize on the jars and torches, I cut out some pictures, pasted them onto construction paper, and the kiddos helped me decorate them.  Torn-up pieces of construction paper symbolized the broken jars, red and yellow tissue paper were the flames, and aluminum foil made the trumpets shiny. 

Another day I decided to break into the stash of toilet paper rolls I’ve been collecting, covered them with foil, and stuffed tissue paper inside to make torches.  The kiddos resumed their rompous blowing their horns and waving their torches. *grin*


Our memory verse for the week was short and sweet and went along nicely with the story – Judges 6:12 The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.

Our theme of the week was feelings and emotions – a good thing for little kids to talk about!  Oftentimes Gwen gets upset and has a hard time vocalizing her underlying feelings; it can be easier talking about these feelings in third-person, especially in the form of stories.  

I put together a feelings lapbook using some resources from 1+1+1=1’s Feelings Tot Book and 2 Teaching Mommies’ My Feelings Unit.  Some of the elements are too simple for Gwen – she already knows her colors, for instance – or just too repetitious.  This is one of the neat things about working your own curriculum – you can pick and choose what works best for you! 


We read the feelings minibook, played the emotions matching game…

used the emotion faces and story prompts to figure out how someone might be feeling in a given situation (I even had Gwen create some scenarios)…

cut out faces and matched them with colors that symbolized specific emotions (eg blue=sad, red-mad), and made shape faces. 


As always, there were a few ideas that fell by the wayside.  I wanted to look at photo albums and identify emotions in pictures, make paper plate emotions and use a blank face template for Gwen to draw some faces.  One of the feelings units actually came with a round face that Gwen used to draw her current emotion; I think I’m beginning to rub off on her.

J is for joy!  I told Gwen that JOY stands for how we should place our priorities: “Jesus. Others. Yourself.”  I think it went over her head, but you never know what sinks in! 

We did our Do-A-Dot page

some workbook pages…

our letter poster (strawberry jam J!)…

letter hunt page…

cut ‘n’ paste…

and “j is for jellyfish” craft.


Oftentimes I find myself off-schedule, putting off starting school work because the kiddos are having so much fun playing.  Sometimes this bothers me because I’m not getting things crossed off my To Do list, but most of the time I remind myself that this is one of the benefits of educating children at home – having the freedom to learn and explore through creative play, not bound by academics. 

They make an excellent team – at times – and work together putting the train tracks together.

And when Daddy’s home, forget it – they’d rather be outside working on projects with him.  They’re becoming little homesteaders!

After lunch Gwen and I do her school trays, have computer time (we always start with Starfall) and read some stories before her nap/quiet time.  Sometimes it takes a while cleaning up and getting Josiah down, however, so I often set her up with an activity she can do by herself – like her Highlights hidden pictures magazine or a puzzle.

I don’t remember to focus on it each week, but every so often I remember her name activity and we work on the letters in her name.  After Gwen finished the alphabet puzzle she had to find and identify the letters that spell her first name, in order.  Since she usually writes “Gwen” when I ask her to write her name, it’s somewhat of a challenge to spell the whole thing – but she’s doing really well!     

I think this was the only week we actually didn’t get around to coloring the number 9 poster, though we did do a lot of dry erase, workbook pages, and stories.

Gwen’s favorite color – or what she’s been told should be her favorite color – is pink, of course.  She colored with crayons and markers and we read some Pinkalicious books.

“The world is so full of a number of things I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.”  Aint that the truth. 

We haven’t been as consistent with the Starfall calendar, but we do talk about the days of the week.  We’ve also been doing Gwen’s chore chart and weather jars.  The Prayer Pail has become our new dinnertime ritual.

Bulletin Board

Book Basket
My Many Colored Days
Yesterday I Had the BLUES
Birdy’s Smile Book
The Way I Feel

My “J” Book
Sheep in a Jeep
Jack and the Box: a toon book
Jimmy’s Boa and the Bungee Jump Slam Dunk
Jeremy Draws a Monster
Skippyjon Jones and the Big Bones
Julius – The Baby of the World

Nine Ducks Nine

Paddington’s Colors
Pinkalicious – Pink around the Rink
Pinkalicious and the Pink Drink

DK Eyewitness – Jungle
Cedarmont Kids

I’m so glad next week is a review week, which means I don’t have to plan any new material.  What with the kiddos’ birthdays, Thanksgiving, and the official birthday party, I’m feeling a little swamped.  I will get to try some new recipes, however!  A few things from my Pinterest boards: vegan chocolate avocado cake with coconut cream frosting for the kiddos’ birthday cupcakes and crock pot mashed potatoes and cranberry curd bars for Thanksgiving.  And I’m sure we’ll have time for some Thanksgiving crafts; I’m really looking forward to making Thanksgiving Story Bracelets with the kiddos. 

Linking Up…

Tot School   

Gwen is 3 years old (47 months) and Josiah is 1 (23 months).


4 thoughts on “Preschool: J is for Joy

  1. Beth says:

    I love your feelings lapbook – that looks like fun! And your torches are way cute! Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Have a GREAT Thanksgiving & see you next week,
    Beth =-)

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