Over the summer I decided to use Five in a Row combined with Core Knowledge standards to create Sullivan’s K curriculum. So far I think it has been going very well for us. It was my hope that during September I would get a chance to blog more and show all of you what I was doing, but alas life got in the way and this blog was put on the back burner. Below is a summary of our activities for anyone who stumbles here int he future. 🙂 We will spend the next 4 weeks in Asia. Hopefully I can be a better blogger.
The setup is as follows (we work on a 4 day schedule):
Monday- Introduce the book and do corresponding book activities. You’ll notice that I have kept Book activity blank, that is because of copyright issues.
Tuesday- science day
Wednesday- social studies day
Thursday- art/song day
Introduction to the World
The Quiet Way Home by Bonny Becker
Science: balance, ourselves and other objects
Social Studies: relationships
Fine Arts: Primary colors
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
Science: The Magic School Bus Gets Planted (we watched the episode)
The Magic School Bus Goes to Seed (we watched the episode)
LRFO: How a Seed Grows
Social Studies: As the Crow Flies: A First Book of Maps by Gail Hartman
Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton
Science: Weather Patterns
Social Studies: We watched a few episodes of Mighty Machines
Follow that Map
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman
Science: Life cycle of an Apple tree
LRFO: How Do Apples Grow?
Social Studies: Maps and Globes (Reading Rainbow Book) by Jack Knowlton
Fine Art: Apple prints and making apple pies.
Field Trip: Apple Picking at Carter Mountain
The holidays always throw me for a loop. I hope to one day plan properly that we can take the time before Thanksgiving to January 2 off. We have had family come to visit, we have gone out to visit, we are again preparing for holiday visits and of course our time together on Christmas. So to say some of daily goings on have been minimal would be an understatement.
What we have done:
We have finished doing the American Revolution via Time Travelers by Homeschool in the Woods. I will spend some time writing a review on that in the next few weeks.
In Math, we have finished the fractions section in Singapore. He gets it, I’m nervous if he is going to retain in. Time will tell.
Science we finished the light and sound unit. Gilbert found this very interesting and did a lot of experiments on his own.
Latin- he gets this. This year in my area, Latin doesn’t seem to be “in” so there are not any Latin clubs to be found. I wish there was because he could really do with interacting with other Latin Students.
What can you really say about laid back Pre-k? He has can write the upper case letters we have practiced. And his number counting has him getting to 20 without assistance. He takes pre-k classes at our co-op and I think he is slowly understanding classroom situations. I may put him back into Swim and Gym at my Y so he can get more class time.
This week, Sullivan started with Before Five in A Row. Some of the book tie into units that I had pre-planned out (like hygiene and Jesse Bear ), other books I will use as stand alone units.
This week we started with Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear. I combined hygiene mini books and the Jesse Bear helps I found at homeschoolshare.com. Sullivan seemed to have a lot of fun and we were able to start a routine with things like morning clean up and where to put your clothing in the evening. We also took time to talk about healthy food choices and wearing proper clothing depending on the weather.
I will need to come back and update the blog with pictures from the lapbook. Here are the elements of our book:
Jesse Bear cover page (painted in water color)
B Shape Book
Steps to Brushing Teeth
Bare Bear and his warm, winter, and rainy clothes
Taking Care of Me
Healthy Food Choices- I gave Sullivan a supermarket flyer and had him cut out foods that he believed were a healthy choice. We looked at them and then he glued those helthy foods/drinks on his plate.
Ten in the Bed. A nice exercise to practice subtraction. There ten in the bed, and then we subtracted depending on song lyrics.
This was a gentle introduction into Before Five in a Row. Sullivan had a lot of fun, and I had so much fun watching and planning. Next week we will be doing our Thanksgiving unit.
This week we had the opportunity to travel to the State Fair. I decided to build on this and have our books center around a carnival/fair theme.
Our books included:
Our Activities included:
Visiting the State Fair
Having an at-home carnival (which included tossing socks in to a hamper and sack races)
Sullivan also did a few connect the dot activities around some of the animals we saw.
On the fun side. I love, love the fair. I am like a moth to a flame when it comes to Fair food. Loved the deep fried oreos! The kids enjoyed watching a magic show and a dog agility presentation. The one event my husband and Gilbert missed out on was the pig races. This is purely a guilty pleasure of mine, it is wrong but I love it so (*blush*). After checking out the youth competitions, Gilbert has announced that he would like to submit a few items. I am thinking about doing the same but we will see.
One thing I have been doing is working on creating hands on activity stations for Sullivan. One such station I created was a pattern block station. With printouts from Prekinders.com Sullivan works on shape recognition, color recognition, and beginner critical thinking skills. If you click on the link you will notice that one file shows the color outline while the sister file just shows object outline. What I did was use white cardstock and print the color image on one side and the black and white image on the other side. That way when he was confident enough he could flip it over without the guidelines. If you have a laminator, you might consider laminating your pages depending on how long you think these cards will be beneficial.
Another thing I did was create homemade sequence cards. They use pattern block shapes and are really great for the 2-4 year old set.
Another product we have been using are Tangoes Jr.
This is a lot like the pattern blocks above but only use 7 shapes to create all sorts of cute images.What I love about the Tangoes is that is that is magnetized so that when Sullivan places a piece it sticks, no slipping, no sliding, no frustrated sighs that the image is ruined. After about a week of ownership, I did end up buying two expansion sets. I wanted him to have a variety so I will be rotating them every few weeks.
At the beginning of this preschool experience Sullivan has just turned 4. He is a young four and as such I expect nothing from him. Lowered expectations? No. I know my son and know that expecting him to do certain things (like sit straight for 30 minutes) is setting us up for disaster. So, we are beginning this process very, very slowly.
What he can do at age 4 years, 2 weeks: He can recognize letters and their phonetic sounds (thank you Leap Frog DVDs). He can recognize certain numbers and count to 10. He knows directions such as up, down, forward and backward.
What I would like him to be able to do at the end of our preschool experience: Write all letters and numbers, count to 30, count backwards from 10, recognize all colors, and start the process of becoming a reader if he exhibits readiness.
I don’t think that is a tall order. If it is, I will readjust based on his needs. I will post our updates weekly and hope that some of the ideas (which I will post the source if there is one) can help others.
Sullivan's first written letter
This was then followed by him writing an O, L and a triangle.
When Gilbert was around the 3, I started to bring him to our local library for Preschool Storytime. We religiously went every week the program was offered, so he could listen to a different story teller and do the craft. I still have a few of the things he did.
Fast forward to a new 3 year old and not a lot has changed. Ms. D still leads story time at our branch. She has such fond stories of Gilbert at this age, of how he listened attentively and tried really hard to complete the tasks she assigned (a lot of glue and color activities). She was pleased to see Sullivan’s name on the list. While Sullivan isn’t a craftster, he is an attentively listener and will do anything for a good story.
Another activity we are doing is Gym and Swim. This is a daytime activity, which means me and Gilbert have to plan our lessons accordingly. Sullivan loves this class, not only does he get to swim but he is learning the basics of a lot of sports like basketball, t-ball, and I think Red Light, Green Light.
I think I am about to admit I am a curriculum junkie. When it comes to Gilbert’s education, I think I have found a lot of things we are comfortable using for grammar stage, although, I’m sure the next stage will start the obsessing again. Books for Sullivan, well that is an entirely different story. I’ve looked at Five in a Row, Peak With Books, Letter of the Week, trying to DIY. I just want to get off on a good start with him and not screw up. I know I am being silly, I’ve done this before with Gilbert but I think I was more arrogant then and I am more humble now. But I digress from what I really want to talk about.
I think I have decided to settle on what Sullivan will do. I am going to use what I have on hand:
The above (and some Kumon books) should be perfect for what I think he needs. We have an excellent library system and I should not want for anything. The things I will focus my $$$ on will be learning toys and extra-curriculers. It sounds like a good plan. Now, I just need to learn to stick with it.
I have been slowly getting into the groove with Sullivan with some simple preschool activities. I will be the first to admit that I find it challenging fitting in preschooler activities when we (Gilbert and I) are talking about things that go over Sully’s head. What I have found is that if we do are activities when Gilbert is doing independent seat work we manage to have a good 15-30 minutes (which is more than enough time) to do an activity one and one.
Here is an example of something we have been doing lately. Sorting colors:
matching pins to the same colored card
I bought the clothes pins and those foam cards at the dollar store. While I use the clothes pins to work on fine motor skills (pinching), I realized they were a simple sorting/matching activity. As the picture shows, place the color to the corresponding colored card. Continue until all pins are matched. After doing the same activity for the last few days, I realized I had foam letters and shapes. This gave me the opportunity to expand our sorting activity to include more colors.
same activity now with more objects
Now along with the clothes pins, Sullivan gets the chance to sort colored letters and shapes. I just want to add that even though the egg carton has many shapes and letters, I separated a total of 5 letter/shapes per color.