Sunday, March 24, 2013

Homeschool Preschool - Weeks 29 & 30

L and E are 3.5 years old.  If you follow this blog and have been wondering what has happened to my plan of doing a book-related activity every day in March, well we've actually been sticking to it.  However, my kids have been doing so great with our Homeschool Preschool sessions lately (2-3 times a day for about an hour each session), that I've kept the book activities pretty simple.  Sometimes we read a book and then watch a YouTube movie about the subject, or complete a puzzle on the theme, etc.. nothing that would be interesting enough to blog about.  Here's a little glimpse of what we've been working on in preschool over the past two weeks..

We're still using All About Reading Level 1.  I've been having the girls go back through the fluency pages for the lessons we've already completed, and this week we also started some new activities using the "th" sound.

I've been making up other exercises to work on diagraphs and blends as well, like the one pictured above using $1 flashcards from Target.  Sometimes I make a sound and the kids point to the correct card, and sometimes I hold up the card and they make the sound.  Then we try to come up with as many words as we can that use the diagraph/blend on the card.  This part can be challenging for them, so we play a game where I give them little hints: "What is in your mouth that ends with 'th'?", "Another way for a large boat is sh___", etc..  It ends up being a really fun way for using all types of cognitive skills.

When the twins were 2.5, I started Hooked on Phonics Kindergarten 1 with them, but we hadn't started sounding out words with letter sounds yet, so they were looking at hat/cat/bat as separate words to memorize instead of understanding that the ending is the same so they just need to change the first sound.  This week I reintroduced the Hooked on Phonics videos and readers, and the girls immediately recognized the concept of word families and were calling out the words on the screen in no time.  I added some of my own activities for reinforcement.  Baby H (18 months) has been watching the Meet the Sightwords videos from the Preschool Prep company, so as I bring out the sight word flashcards to work with H (believe me, this is one of his favorite games!), the twins have been practicing their sight words as well.  I think that the combination of phonics, word families, and sight words will result in the reading fluency that they are currently struggling with.  Both girls (but especially L) have a strong desire to read.  L was 'reading' Brown Bear to her stuffed animals and kept asking me "Mommy, am I really reading?".

The girls really need more practice with writing letters, and I need to remind myself to let them practice writing their names every day.

One of the absolute favorite activities this week (which the kids have asked for over and over) is watching sand-timers.  They flip them over two an a time and identify which one finishes first, and then when the tournament is over,  they put them in order of speed.  We try to get different timers to finish at the same time by giving one a head start (first we count the difference between the end times for each one and then use that value to determine how much of a head start is needed).  This is very exciting for the kids, and it's great for mathematical reasoning skills.

I bring out a variety of different activities that the twins can work on independently while I play with their little brother.  I've started asking them to use words to describe what is in the cards when they finish putting together the sequences or go-togethers.

We're on a big puzzle kick right now - the girls usually do two or more puzzles every day ranging from 24 to 48 pieces.  They're getting good at the puzzles we own, so I bought them some new puzzles to try out and they did surprisingly well with puzzles they were not familiar with. 

I'm also trying to make old games new by making up new ways to play.  For example, the robot building game has different mix and match robot parts, resulting in hundreds of different combinations.  I made a couple robots and photocopied them so the kids could find the right parts to duplicate the designs.  Since the photocopies are black and white and many of the pieces look similar, they really needed t use their powers of observation to accomplish this task.


Building with Kid K'nex has been really popular this week.  The girls saw an activity about building ramps for cars in an old Highlights High Five magazine which inspired them to try all sorts of physics experiments with inclined planes.

 Finally, I want to share this lovely decorative leash that L made for her puppy!  The girls are always so creative.

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1 comment:

  1. I love using YouTube! Actually, I love using anything Free lol! We are also working on learning to read with our son. I just bought these card puzzles from Wal-Mart. They are made from Schoolzone. Anyways, they are like a puzzle. For example, a Pic of a Cat and each card has one of the letters of the word "cat". when the picture is put together correctly, it spells the word correctly too. My son likes to play with them :) He also likes playing learning games on the internet. His favorite is the ones from LGFK

    Isn't Pre-school Fun?! Great Blog :)



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