Here's a review of some of the fun activities the kids and I did this week as part of our Homeschool Preschool Curriculum (I don't really know what to call it because the twins are a bit younger than preschool age, but totally embracing the curriculum I've put together which mostly includes materials for Kindergarten age).
Sr. Seuss Week
This was the first time I've been able to stick to a single theme for (almost) an entire week. The Dr. Seuss Activities we did this week included:
Art / Sensory
As always, we did lots of art projects. The highlight of the week was Sensory Play with Tapioca:
It turned out really neat!
We've completed DVD 1 of the Kinderbach program. The kids know the difference between quarter notes and half notes, can locate the groups of 2 black keys and 3 black keys on the keyboard, identify the difference between low/high notes and loud/quiet sounds, and also know whether three notes are being played on the same key or an increasing interval.
Overall it's been a lot of fun. We like dancing to the music and shaking our rhythm instruments. E doesn't like the 'teaching' parts and keeps asking for more music so she can dance. Both the girls enjoy doing the activity worksheets, which I put into our Crayola Dry-Erase Activity Centers so we can re-use them.
We're still enjoying and learning with RightStart Math Level A, and the girls have really improved in their mathematical understanding. I summarized the types of things we're doing in my post on Preschool Math Games and Activities, so there's not a lot to add without repeating myself.
We discovered Reading Eggs this week, and the kids absolutely love it! It's an online program that, through fun activities and lots of repetition, teaches kids phonics skills and early reading skills. The girls really know their letter sounds and a lot of sight words already, so the lessons have mostly been reinforcing the skills they already know, but they will touch more new concepts as we move along. I was amazed at how easily both girls figured out how to use a computer mouse and can click as well as drag-and-drop with ease. We've been doing a little bit every day, and so far we've gotten through Lessons 1-5.
We also recently started Hooked on Phonics Kindergarten 1. We're currently working on the first unit which includes word families -AT, -AN, and -AP. A couple times a week, I'll play the DVD for them (which is basically just flashcards on the screen), then we'll listen to a phonics song (on the Extras feature of the DVD). I let the kids practice the words we just learned by making up various games for them using manipulatives like the Velco Phonics Game or this magnet board game:
We play 2 ways: I start with the ending already put together (like -AT), and then say a word (like CAT). Then one of the kids will select the correct letter (C) to put at the beginning of the word. This is fairly easy for them since they've become pretty good with beginning letter sounds. The second way we play is I put together the word and ask them to read it. They can sound out each letter individually, but are still struggling with blending them together (for example, they will sound out H-A-T, but when I ask them what it says, they say 'MAT'). They're both getting better at this, though, especially with lots of repetition.
Another thing we do to practice the word families is through the Starfall website's free games and online books. They seem to go right along with the same words that Hooked on Phonics is covering, so we can play games specifically for practicing -AT and -AN words, for example. The girls really enjoy these, but I like Reading Eggs better in terms of keeping the kids' attention. When I asked L if she wanted to read 'Zack the Rat' (from Starfall), she said 'We already did it. Remember, Mommy?' (we hadn't done it for a week, but these kids really crave variety).
After we practice the words, the kids take turns reading from the Hooked on Phonics beginning reader books. The biggest problem I have is that the girls already know their sight words ('the', 'in', 'a', etc...) and know how proper sentences should sound, so it frustrates them when the book says 'Cat sat' instead of 'The cat sat'.
We didn't do a formal science lesson this week because I was a bit too busy with work (and organizing other kid activities) to set anything up. The plan is to keep going with Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding - I'd like to do the lessons on states of matter and also on materials, since the kids have shown an interest in those topics. I'd also love to take a walk outside and investigate for signs of spring if the weather warms up this week. I'll post what we end up doing in separate blogs.
That's the overview of this week - I'm not sure it's all that interesting to anyone else, but I like being able to use my blog as a way of keeping track of what we've been up to and how the kids are progressing.
Disclosure: I loved Reading Eggs so much, that I joined their affiliate program. If you click on any of the Reading Eggs links in this blog post and end up purchasing their product, I will get a commission.
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