Monday, April 29, 2013

Homeschool Preschool - April

The twins are 3.5 years old.  I hope some readers have stuck around through my blogging hiatus this month.  We're moving (again) so April involved a lot of sorting through all the kids' toys and homeschool activities and organizing/packing everything.  We still do Homeschool Preschool twice a day, but the packing has drained my creativity so we've stuck with activities that are already on hand.  Here are some highlights..

This month we focused on visual spatial skills.  We have a lot of wonderful manipulatives for making patterns and the girls are really catching on.

ABAB sequencing is second-nature to the kids now.  I'm trying to encourage them to complete and create more complex patterns now (still working on it).

I've noticed that they sort and create patterns with their toys all on their own, even when we're not 'doing school'.

Most of our learning activities are ad-hoc things I put together using games we already have around the house like this matching activity using Mahjong tiles.  Stay tuned for a separate blog post I'm planning on Mahjong learning activities..

 I think I may have mentioned in a previous blog post that I scored a lot of 25 new Highlights Hidden Pictures Playground magazines for an insanely low price ($0.50 per issue, when they retail for $5+).  They have so many wonderful activities, and the girls are getting really good at scanning the scenes for the hidden pictures.  They also provide a great opportunity to make up stories about what they see on the pages.

The girls are finally starting to understand the strategy behind tic-tac-toe.  We have a couple of different games and also play on paper occasionally.  They're getting the concept of playing defensively (blocking their opponent from winning), which was difficult for them to grasp at first.  The checkers game I made is packed away, but after we move, I'll have to bring it out and see if they can play Checkers now better than they did when I first introduced it to them a couple month ago.

The girls have been enjoying their puzzles lately (mostly 24 piece puzzles), which are also great for visual-spatial and problem solving skills.  One day I had the idea of 'surprising Daddy' by doing lots of puzzles at once.  I think the girls spent well over an hour working on the puzzles.

The kids ask for these letter tracing cards ($1 from Target) almost daily.  They enjoy tracing the letters (and their pen control skills have improved), but I absolutely love the little drawings they make to go with each letter!


The girls have been doing a lot of drawing lately.  Their artistic skills have really improved and I love the little stories that they always make up to go along with their drawings (I need to remind myself to start writing some of them down).

Painting is always a popular activity at our house, as well.

This is one of my favorite pictures of the month.  My kiddos are always cooking up imaginative play activities (excuse the pun).  Overall, even with the stress of the move, we've been having a lot of fun.  I'm planning on continuing our homeschooling throughout the summer, so there's no rush to finish up any specific curriculum.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the biggest milestone this month - my 3.5 year olds are reading!  About 2 weeks ago something finally clicked and they are really reading stories, not just sounding out individual words.  The girls are having so much fun reading stories to each other, to their stuffed animals, to their little brother, etc..  I promise to write another blog post about early reading and the specific things we're doing to improve their skills and keep them interested.

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