Preschool Years at Home

Laughing, Loving, and Learning Together

Routine? What routine?

on July 23, 2013

This week seems bound and determined to demolish any sense of routine we’d established during our first three weeks of kindergarten. Today’s challenge was an at 8 a.m. doctor’s appointment on the other side of town. We needed to be out the door by 7:30 a.m., so I packed our busy bag, filled sippy cups, and set kid clothes last night. We succeeded in getting both girls dressed, semi-fed, and buckled into car seats by 7:29 — success! And sometimes those little successes make a big difference in how the day goes.

Once we arrived and signed in, Little Bear and I immediately sat down to do yesterday and today’s Daily Math Practice, Grade 1. Both problem sets put together took no more than 5 minutes to complete, but helped get us back on schedule after yesterday’s missed math practice. Then, we all three sat down to read A Fish Out of Water (much to the delight of both girls and another little person who happened to be in the waiting area). Just as we finished, my name was called — perfect timing!

The girls watched an episode of Go, Diego, Go — Puffin’s Fishing Adventure — that correlated with our ocean theme study while my perinatologist confirmed that all was well with Little Guy.

Since we were already out and about, we took time to stop by a restaurant with a play area for brunch and some active fun. The girls quickly made friends with a couple of other little tikes and played hard for an hour and a half.

Then, we headed home to begin our school day … except within minutes of arrival, it become abundantly clear that Baby Bear needed a nap. All three of us watched some calming underwater video footage of a coral reef while Baby Bear settled. But soothing music and serene imagery nearly put Mommy to sleep as well. So I handed the iPad over to Little Bear and let her watch Popular Mechanics For Kids: Ocean Adventures, do several dot-to-dots, and play an addition game while I “helped” Baby Bear nap.

Finally, Little Bear and I sat down for actual book work. Since we never got around to math yesterday, we chose to begin with math today. Today’s work was based onĀ Mathematical Reasoning Level A and included …

  • practice writing numerals 7, 8, and 9.
  • drilling number bonds to 6, using C-rods to create fact families, and reviewing the commutative power of addition.
  • reviewing the concepts of same, fewer, or more.
  • identifying even and odd numbers.

Next, we tackled the first four pages of First Time Analogies, and Little Bear embraced the challenge of finding which object did not belong in 16 sets of similar objects. We worked through this book about a year ago, but it’s a good one, and I have yet to find an age-appropriate sequel. It was interesting today to see how much her reasoning skills and her ability to express her reasoning have progressed over the course of a year. We wrapped up our math/logic time with a couple of games of ThinkFun Math Dice Jr.. Little Bear handily won the second one after rolling a 1 as her target number, then creating the 5-step number sentence 5-4-1+3-2=1 to reach her target and advance five spaces on the game board.

Moving on to phonics, we spent most of our time today on Primary Phonics. I like the phonics readers that accompany this curriculum, but am finding that the writing/coloring-intensive workbook taxes both Little Bear’s motor abilities and her patience. So we’re adapting accordingly. Today, Little Bear …

  • used alphabet blocks to spell short /a/ words in the workbook.
  • practiced using in/on correctly in sentences.
  • unscrambled word tiles to form sentences.
  • reviewed Mac and Tab (Storybook 1) and completed assessment pages.
  • previewed The Tin Man (Storybook 2).
  • practiced writing lowercase a and copying short /a/ words in Explode the Code 1.

With Baby Bear still sleeping, we turned our attention to fine motor work. Today, Little Bear …

  • cut out six rectangular puzzle pieces, arranged them, and glued them to a sheet of construction paper.
  • completed two coloring pages and two mazes in the Kumon workbook My Book of Coloring: At the Zoo.
  • used a pencil and crossover grip to do two alphabet dot-to-dot pages.
  • used Do A Dot Art Markers to paint a beach scene.

When Baby Bear finally awoke, we paused for a late lunch, then sat down together to enjoy today’s ocean read-alouds:


We wrapped up today’s read-aloud time with several ocean-themed poems including Edward Lear’s “The Owl and the Pussycat” (a favorite!) and Lewis Carroll’s “The Walrus and the Carpenter” (which outraged Little Bear).

With the day drawing to a close, we once again assembled our world map puzzle and identified each of the oceans and continents. Our science experiments of the day took place in the bathtub where the girls observed the fluid nature of water and saw how it conformed to the shape of any container we put it in. We also built on yesterday’s surface current experiment and today used bubble tea straws to create surface currents strong enough to propel various bath toys the length of the tub.

Last but not least, at Little Bear’s pleading, I dug out a Great Illustrated Classics version of The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe and read the first three chapters as tonight’s bedtime story. Whew! European colonization, piracy, slavery, and cannibalism in the first 50 pages … I’ve read the unabridged version of the book at least three times over, but it’s amazing how many more objectionable elements you notice when reading to a 5-year-old. I think we may have inadvertently stumbled onto our next series of social studies lessons!


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