Sunday, April 29, 2012

Homeschool Preschool Week in Review

L and E are 33 months old.  My workload has slowed down and we were able to get a good week in full of learning and playing.  Here are some highlights of the activities we did this week...


Structured math work was a bit light this week since the girls didn't show a lot of interest.  We did some easy addition using manipulatives, a lesson or two from RightStart Math A, and practicing some basic math skills using rhymes that I made up.  Most of the math this week has been the spontaneous kind - like asking the girls "How many people in our family?  How many adults/children?  How many chairs would we need to all sit down?", etc..


Learning word families and Hooked on Phonics wasn't going that great (kids were learning some words, but not really grasping how to read words they don't know by trying to sound them out), so we're switching gears.  We're still practicing the 50 or so sight words they know, and I'm reading the girls a lot of books and pointing out the words they are familiar with.  A lot of times (if it doesn't interfere with the flow of the story), I ask the girls to use their "Pointing Sticks" (plastic stir sticks or pointy finger erasers on a pencil) to find specific words in the text or read the word that I'm pointing to.  However, my focus has shifted back to working with the girls on phonemic awareness (what letter words start/begin with, syllables, putting sounds together to make a word).  The girls are moving through the Get Ready for the Code workbooks (a primer to the Explode the Code series).  Identifying uppercase and lowercase numbers is really easy for them, but I think they enjoy the reinforcement since the activities let them practice pre-writing skills as well.  The pages where they have to circle the objects that start with a certain letter are still a challenge unless I work directly with them, so that's good that we have a specific area for improvement.


I bought the girls ergonomic writing grips so they learn to hold pencils in the correct position and with the correct grip.  They really love using these for drawing (I put them on colored watercolor pencils):

L is also practicing writing letters (E is not interested).  There is an improvement, but she insists on doing it all by herself without any help from me, so ends up rushing more than she should and not always paying attention to where she needs to start:

She can write a pretty good L, however, and always 'writes her name' on her artwork.


We're spending more time outside, and science has been more based on exploration than specific experiments.  We talk about things like seasons, differences/similarities between plants and animals, identify types of flowers, observe insects, etc..

Art and Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills practice and art has been a favorite activity this week.  Here is some tissue paper flower art we made:

(First one is mine, second photo is the girls' artwork)

We've also been working on using scissors to cut more precisely:

And lots of painting and free-form artwork, of course:

Each girl has her own drawing pad, which they ask for almost daily.  L has been drawing wonderful portraits of family members lately:

I absolutely adore these!  E has been making many creative pieces of art, as well.  Here is her family portrait:

I'm really impressed that she's trying to draw real objects, since she usually makes more modern art exploring space and color:

The kids are definitely guiding the activities we do more than I am, and often ask for specific things to do.  A favorite at our house (I think I've blogged about this before) is painting and washing their plastic toy animals:

Other stuff:

The girls have been playing on the deck a lot with their water and sand tables.  We've also been going to playground and indoor play-places, as well.  I'm trying to get the girls to socialize more.  They play so nicely with each other always making up creative games and really interacting at a fairly sophisticated level, but when they get around other kids they refuse to talk to them. Usually they'll stare at other kids, and occasionally run away from them.  I think as I take them out more, sign them up for classes, and give them opportunities to be exposed to other kids, they'll get better at the socialization.

Moment of the week:

The girls were painting with glitter glue, and I gave them a small cup with a bit of water to dip their paintbrushes in.  E wanted to pour the water on her plate, and when I told her it was only for their paintbrushes, she said "Mommy, you go work now!" and pointed at my computer.  Apparently when Mommy is working (and not paying attention), E knows she can get away with doing whatever she wants like pouring water all over the place!  Smart girl is right...

Tot School

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