Preschool Years at Home

Laughing, Loving, and Learning Together

Hangin’ On

on July 29, 2013

Today was about survival. No, the kids weren’t sick, tired, or out of sorts, but Mommy most assuredly was. And despite my best efforts to channel Naomi Aldort, I could practically feel Joan Crawford’s Mommie Dearest voice struggling to escape my throat.

So we packed up and left — not for the deserted island (or self-sustaining farm of my dreams), but for the library. The girls enjoyed story time and interaction with other little people, and Mommy got some much-needed down time with someone else in charge for a bit. Then, we headed to our local paragon of bad food coupled with a decent indoor playground for more down time. And when we got home? It was PBS to the rescue for a solid hour and half before Mommy even thought about school.

Okay, to be quite honest, I didn’t really think about school. Little Bear knows that I usually cap screen time at an hour, with an hour and a half being the outside limit. So being my little rule follower, when the third half-hour program ended, she dutifully turned off the iPad, brought it to me, and asked what I wanted them to do next. Baby Bear, meantime, pulled their eeboo Preschool Numbers Memory Game and begged to play it.

“Oh, pease, pease, pease?” she pleaded.

… We spent the next half hour matching number cards. For Baby Bear, number recognition and recall was challenge enough. To make the game a bit more challenging for Little Bear, I had her make more/less comparisons whenever she flipped two numbers that did not match and occasionally challenged her to supply the sum of whatever numbers had just been flipped.

Our Haba Ear Tug Game came off the shelf next, and we moved on to tactile recognition and shape manipulation. Then, Little Bear ran over to the shelves to grab a couple of aging Triazzle Jr. puzzles.

“Mommy, this puzzle has ocean animals on it,” she said. “Don’t you think it would be perfect to do while we’re learning about animals that live in the ocean?”

We supposedly finished our ocean theme study last week, but she presented a good argument. … We sat on the floor and did a sea life puzzle together. Then, she chose to tackle the creepy crawly puzzle herself — “so the bugs and spiders don’t feel left out” — while I put laundry away.

We finally got around to actual school work about 4 p.m. and opted for an abbreviated day. On the phonics front, Little Bear …

For math, we tackled chapters 5 & 6 of Life of Fred: Apples. Today’s lesson included an introduction to algebraic expressions, a review of ordinal numbers, and counting by 10s. Moving beyond the book, Little Bear …

  • practiced counting to 100 by 5’s and 10’s;
  • practiced number recognition (51-100) with flashcards;
  • independently solved five math puzzles in Can You Find Me? K-1;
  • used charts to find the solutions to three puzzles in Mind Benders, Book 1.

For fine motor work today, Little Bear …

  • practiced writing her name on the MagnaDoodle and on paper (with an emphasis on using a capital letter at the beginning and correctly orienting all lowercase letters);
  • drew a recognizable picture of an elephant (as one of today’s Life of Fred lessons challenged her to do)
  • followed a pattern and used plastic mosaic cubes to create the colorful fellow below:


And so ended our very brief day of school. The girls spent the rest of the evening creating an entire family of Potato Heads, acting out scenes from Thomas stories, and playing school with an old set of Peek-a-Block Alphabet Blocks. Then it was time for baths, a string of just-for-fun library books, two more chapters of The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (Great Illustrated Classics), and BED. Whew! Not one of our more productive days, but we survived it. And some days, survival is enough.

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