Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Stuff this week

Last week and this week, Johnny and Vivie are doing preschooler swimming lessons. It's the same class that Johnny took last summer. I think they're both learning and having fun.

Unfortunately, they have each missed two days. One day Johnny had a fever. Another they both missed because I had a dental appointment that I needed to keep. And Vivie missed a day when she caught whatever germ Johnny had, and took a nap on the swimming pool bleachers. I didn't know she was sick until a few hours later. It was just a fever and then that was it. Good grief.

Anyway, I'm glad I'm not doing the class myself this year. The water is too cold!

We are on unit 4, Apple, with MFWK. I bought 11 varieties of apples and we've been taste-testing them throughout the week. None of us like Braeburn. Texture is just off to us. Johnny thinks Granny Smith is a bit too tart.

We're reading plenty of apple and leaf library books (since I didn't get a chance to get them during the leaf unit, but I figure we can still read about leaves).

Still skipping most of the phonics activities. I tried to get Johnny to sing the "vowel song" with me and he wouldn't do it. Tried teaching him the "I like to eat apples and bananas" song and they laughed, but he wouldn't sing along. Maybe later. How can you not like that song?!

Borrowed two movies about Johnny Appleseed from the library: American Legends and Johnny Appleseed (with Martin Short, lol). The second movie was meh. The kids weren't interested and there were problems with the disk. The first one was ok. Johnny Appleseed sang the song that we're learning in MFWK this week.

Still doing some All About Reading.

And we've added back the "Bible Stories to Color" workbook from Rod & Staff preschool that we forgot about awhile back. There are a few color-by-number pictures and Johnny likes that.

Vivie has chilled out and is letting us do our thing. She will often listen to the stories we read. Today when Johnny and I were doing some worksheets and whatnot, she was playing with Play-Doh and was content with that forever. Yay!

Amelia just kinda hung out near me and did baby things.

Though it's light, I do like the math concepts introduced in MFWK. We made a chart of apples we had, and plotted out some visual representations of apples and colors on a chart work sheet.

The handwriting is only going so-so. He has some bad habits with letter formation, and they are tough to break. I'm going slow and I'm not requiring that he finish the handwriting sheet in one day. Just a few letters, and then more later. We do a lot of practice writing on the carpet. It's good to get the formation, without seeing the "mistakes"

Maybe I'll pull out my Handwriting Without Tears resources that I grumbled about a few posts ago. Hopefully they'll help.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Introducing my field trip site

Earlier this month, I went on a group field trip to a nature center in my area. It was awesome. My kids loved it, I loved it, and it left me craving more.

I wanted to find a field trips website for Indiana, but I couldn't find what I was seeking. So, I made one.

It is Indy Field Trips and I hope to update it with local field trip ideas and also how to maybe create a unit study with them, or book ideas to go along with the trip, or whatever else.

If you live in my area, I'd love to have you follow along or share about your field trip experience!

Here's my post on field trip ideas for My Father's World kindergarten. And here's another about fire station tours.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My Father's World Kindergarten: Unit 2 Moon and part of unit 3 Leaf

We finished Moon last week. I sort of combined with the Sun unit, since that made sense.

Fun activities included making a moon cake (recipe in guide). We made different sized craters in the moon dust and added different ingredients to each crater. Baked it in a pie pan and cut it like the moon gets smaller. The kids loved it, but when it calls for "oil," find something other than the olive oil I had on hand. Gross.

We talked about how in the sun unit, we learned that Jesus is the light of the world, and how the moon reflects the sun. We are like the moon, and we reflect Jesus' light to the world.

A few other activities and crafts, some Magic School Bus episodes (Gravity and Space Rocks) and some library books.

I had intended for us to go to the Children's Museum to view some planetarium shows, but we were sick with a stomach bug. So we'll have to do that another time.

Johnny enjoyed this unit and so did I.


So, if I had been thinking a little more clearly, I would have skipped the leaf unit for a few more weeks. We don't have fresh leaves on the trees at the moment. Some people just use house plants (we only have one living one at the moment) and some go to nurseries or the floral section of a store. The weather was crud plus still recovering from germs, so that didn't happen.

We planted some strawberry seeds and sunflower seeds in a little kit that I got from Target. I hope they grow! And we also put some celery stalks in water with food coloring and watched the color go up.

We'll do the leaf crafts and activities later when we have some to work with.

Next up is Apple. It would be ideal to save this one for the fall, but I dunno. I'm going to look at the activities to see if we can do this one anyway.

I also think I'll do unit 21 Butterfly probably in May. We'll do a butterfly garden from a kit and I'd prefer to release the butterflies in the spring.

Since we're not doing MFWK phonics, I think we can mix this up relatively ok. But I'm not sure about the worksheets and other activities for that unit, if he'll be ready for them. If not, we'll save them for later.

All About Reading level 1: Completed lesson 14

We've been hit-or-miss with doing our AAR lately -- I sorta slowed down a little bit to give Johnny a little more practice with where he's at. And also, I'm not in any hurry anyway.

Today we finished lesson 14 of 49. We learned the sounds for "qu" and "x" and I believe we've hit all the vowel sounds now. Johnny sometimes gets the sound wrong, for example saying "pit" instead of "pet" so I'll point to the vowel and say "the 'e' says...?" and he'll get it.

We forgot a worksheet from lesson 12, so we did that today, too. It was a cute rhyming sorting game. We cut out three monkeys named Ned, Peg, and Dot. We then cut out 15 bananas on one side and words on the other. Johnny had to feed the banana to the monkey with the rhyming name.

Vivie wanted to get in on this activity and so after Johnny was done, I let her do it. She was pretty good!

So a few posts back, I wrote that I ended up buying the letter tiles because I perceived that they were really needed. They are for a really hands-on kid...but we have been skipping them lately. We might add them back, but it's just extra time and hassle to get them out. :/

I can see how they'd be needed for spelling, and for more complicated sound combos.

Instead, I just point to the words in my teacher's manual and he reads them there rather than manipulating the letters.

The stories in the reader have been entertaining and his fluency is definitely improving. He has a good attitude about his work.

It's still a great fit for him and it's getting the job done.