March 19, 2014

Preschool: Checking in with Baby Britches

I thought it was time to check in and share with you the things that Baby Britches has been working on over the last few months. I can honestly say that I have NOT been consistent with his schooling nor deliberate. I had planned to methodically go through the ABC's with one each week to focus on...but honestly, it was a lot of work to get it all printed out and ready to go...AND he actually got rather bored with it. So we have been schooling side by side with Little Britches...he observes all online programs whether science, math, foreign language, or music and just absorbs what he sees and hears. 

We have worked through an ABC workbook (the kind you find at the $ store) with ease...he gets bored with those too. We do a lot of reading aloud...but mostly we just do this and that.

So I wanted to share our "this and that" preschool adventure that we've been enjoying thus far...

We are mostly focused on a few areas---ABC's, Color Identification, and Number Identification

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ABC's



One of the new things that we have done with ABC's is to use the ABC spoon match up game I made. I bought white spoons and clear spoons. I wrote the capital letters on the back of the white spoons and the lowercase letters on the back of the clear spoons. I made sure to write them so that when you stacked the spoons together, both the capital and lowercase of each letter is side by side. It's a frugal way to create a matching game and he REALLY enjoyed doing it. We play this game once a week and he needs little to no help.
One of the few online sites that I let the boys visit is Starfall.com. Baby Britches enjoys doing the ABC's. He can navigate the page on his own and it teaches him not just the letters, but the sounds that each letter makes, words that begin with the sounds/letters and he does matching puzzles, letter sort puzzles and more! It's one of his most favorite things to do on the computer.
We are working on letter formation too. Worksheets like this one are ideal; however, I thought this would take him awhile...nope. He whipped through them like they were the easiest thing ever. Needless to say I had him trace it in multiple colors. I can't remember where this worksheet comes from...I think it's part of the Raising Rockstars Preschool Letter G unit by 1+1+1=1.

This is a GREAT puzzle that I bought for $2 at Wal*Mart. I found it in their little educational resource section. They are thicker pieces that don't bend which is ideal for a lot of handling. I always spread the letters out for him and he picks one to search for....

,,,and then matches them together saying the letter and the name of the items on each piece. He does this VERY well, though needs a bit of help just to make sure n and u are right-side-up or if a puzzle is being "tricky" as he likes to tell me.

Baby Britches has also started using a Trace n Learn program on my new Kindle Fire. It's the one that a lot of my friends are using with THEIR preschooler. He loves doing it and I hear him saying the little tips I give him. "Start at top and go down. Then make curve."

Color Identification

One of the other areas that we are working on as part of our schooling this year is color identification. Here are some of the ways that we are working on that.
I have a set of little squishy pokey balls in 5 colors. I give him some plastic cups to use with them and he creates his own fun. We ask questions like "Where is the orange one?" or I give him directions like "put the orange, red and blue balls in the same cup."

These are from the Zoomin Moving Alphabet by Royal Baloo. Each one has a color word on it. I read the color word and he finds the crayon and colors it in. This is one of the ones he gets bored with, so we only do it every now and then.

We use the Guidecraft Feel and Find set to match colors and shapes. He can do this very quickly now but it's still good for him to do it regularly.
Little Britches needed to use these clear disks for math, but they were all mixed up in the bag. I started sorting them myself when it hit me that it would be a great thing for Baby Britches to do. So I got him all the little containers and once I explained what I wanted, he went to town! He loved sorting these and sat doing it for about 25 minutes. When he got them all done, he put the lids on and stacked them up for me to take a picture. It was a win-win for us all! 

Number Identification

I don't really have any photos of what we are doing to work on this right now, but we have some puzzles, a trace n learn app for numbers AND Baby Britches is using CTC Math as part of the review that I'm doing. I wasn't going to originally include him in it, but decided to give him a try on the Kindergarten level. Since we started using it he can now easily count 1 to 10 without any mistakes AND correctly identify all the numbers in written form. Right now we are working on identifying the number words...

Miscellaneous

Baby Britches loves puzzles of any kind...I give him these simple letter puzzles to work on from his little letter bags I made him. They are part of the Zoomin Moving Alphabet.

Snip Snip! Some days I let him practice with his scissors cutting up scraps. It makes a mess, but as it keeps him occupied for 15+ minutes straight, it's well worth it!

Last but none the least...I have started giving him stickers at the completion of an activity. We are collecting them on these little papers and he gets to show them to daddy each week and tell him about the activities he did to earn the stickers. He enjoys picking his stickers very much.

As I mentioned at the start, he's also observing/participating with Little Britches on other subjects like English (he can nearly chant the whole preposition list with us), Science (he participates in the experiments we do each week), Music (he gets to do KinderBach) and foreign language (he observes and repeats the Spanish words he hears).

I don't feel bad anymore about straying from the plan I had for him. He's learning so much with this eclectic style we are using that I think we will just keep on with it. We will soon be adding Art back in as we were chosen to review the preschool book by ARTistic Pursuits which I am VERY excited about. He's going to love it.

I think I'm going to try him out on the Blue Manor Education curriculum that I reviewed last year when he was still in speech therapy. I think he'll do VERY well on it and it will give a bit more in the areas I want to focus on.

Well I hope you enjoyed this little catch-up post on what we are doing in preschool right now. I've been trying to think ahead to this fall and I think that we will be using the Before Five-in-a-Row program. I think he will enjoy making the lapbooks--no I KNOW he will enjoy it. And I won't have to do so much printing. We can continue our usual read-aloud times, but this time make it match with a learning opportunity. 

I just want to encourage those of you who AREN'T doing any real formal studies with your preschoolers. I know that sometimes talking with other homeschooling moms or reading homeschooling blogs can make you discouraged that you aren't doing "enough". I totally go through that same guilt. But just remember that ANYTHING you do as part of a preschool education, is above and beyond what is "expected". So whether you are structured and focused using a program or if you are more eclectic like me, YOU ARE DOING GREAT! 

If you do preschool with your child...are you more of a eclectic style that is "unscheduled" or do you prefer to have it all lined out for you?
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