The girls and I did a lot of playing while learning this week. Friday was Malawi’s independence day and we went to town. Boo and Kooks caught a glimpse of the president while she and her cavalcade drove by.
Literacy and Language Arts:
Our nursery rhyme this week was Jack be Nimble and this is the first week that I’ve really spent any time looking at the activities suggested by Webbing Into Literacy. I wish I’d read them earlier. They have a lot of great ideas for teaching what rhyming is. This week we played a game where the girls had their backs to me and I had three different instruments (a xylophone, castanets, and a jingle stick). I played two sounds at a time and the girls had to guess if the sounds I made were the same or different. Webbing Into Literacy’s Rhyme a Week instructions also explained the tradition of jumping over a lit candle. If you can jump over a lit candle without blowing it out you will have a year of good luck. We enjoyed acting this out but only pretended our candle was lit. We also used the downloadable picture cards that featured words that rhyme with quick and stick.
We have gotten into the habit of reviewing our letter walls regularly. I point to the letter and Boo says the sound. Even though I’ve been gearing our homeschooling activities towards Boo, I’m surprised at how often Kooks also knows a letter’s sound.
Cognitive Skills and Math:
The Imagination Tree had a great post about making play dough mats. I used a lot of their ideas but made our mats a little differently by pasting shapes cut out of construction paper onto white paper and then laminating them. We practiced our math skills counting the spots on the ladybug, the stripes on the bumble bee, the apples on the tree, and the candles on the cake. We also compared the longest snake to the shortest snake and planned to make play dough snakes the same size but Boo decided she wanted to give them spots to count as well.
We played another sorting game with our cookie cutters. I don’t understand quite why but my girls love playing with the cookie cutters and are always asking for them. This time we drew circles with colored sidewalk chalk and the girls sorted the cookie cutters by color. Once they were sorted we counted each pile and I wrote the number in the center of the circle. Boo then traced the number. For other fun ideas for playing and learning with sidewalk chalk take a look at this post on JDaniel4′s Mom.
Science and Nature Studies:
We drew pictures of the warthogs that visited our waterhole and then got some practice cutting and pasting while we added them to our nature journal. I really love the nature journaling because it is all about the process. The girls go crazy creating with their markers (a favorite medium second only to paint) and then cut and tear and paste. I don’t worry about the end result. We only had two warthogs at the waterhole but there are many, many more in a wide range of colors and sizes pasted into the journals.
Our neighbors came for a visit this week and the girls had so much fun playing with their friends. We don’t get an awful lot of visitors and it was really nice to see them sharing their toys and having fun with their peers.
It was also a week of dressing up and playing princess!
I’m really enjoying developing our plan as we go this year without any structure or pressure other than the list of goals I set up before we started. However, I do think that I will need a reading curriculum to guide me through the next step after Boo has learned all of her letters and their sounds. Looking into reading curriculums is a bit daunting, there is so much out there to choose from. At the moment Go Phonics and All About Reading are at the top of my list. If you have used either of these programs or know of another secular program that you think is terrific, I would love to hear your thoughts.