Preschool Years at Home

Laughing, Loving, and Learning Together

Waiting …

on August 1, 2013

Today’s chief lessons? Patience, tolerance, and flexibility.

The girls spent a full third of their waking hours sitting in environments that weren’t exactly kid-friendly and waiting, waiting, waiting while I took care of grown-up business. We kicked off our day at the hospital, where a one-hour glucose test ended up taking 2 1/2 hours. Small waiting rooms aren’t really meant to function as school rooms. But I’d packed a bag full of books (knowing we’d need something to fill the time), and Little Bear proved herself capable of learning anywhere.

For the first hour, we focused on this week’s pond theme. Today’s themed read-alouds included the following:


As we read, both girls enjoyed identifying animals that made their homes in the pond. Little Bear went a step further and distinguished between animals that spent their entire lives in ponds and animals that simply began their lives amid murky waters. We also explored …

  • distinguishing characters of ponds;
  • common differences between lakes and ponds;
  • common pond plants;
  • the importance of algae;
  • identifying characteristics of dragonflies and damselflies.

When Baby Bear’s interest in our theme study waned, I handed her the iPad and did math with Little Bear. Because I wanted to limit the number of books we were toting around, we primarily worked in Mathematical Reasoning Level A. Much of this book reviews concepts Little Bear already understands and had I actually seen a copy before ordering, I probably would have started with a higher level. But Little Bear thoroughly enjoys it — so much so that she’s undaunted by the written work and gets much-needed writing practice while reviewing basic math concepts. Over the course of the ten pages she breezed through this morning, she …

  • practiced correct numeral formation;
  • reviewed even/odd numbers and practiced counting by 2’s;
  • reviewed ordinal numbers;
  • reviewed the concept of number sets and added various number sets;
  • used verbal clues to solve problems.

We also completed the final three logic puzzles in Mind Benders Book 1, much to Little Bear’s delight and consternation. She loves finishing books and danced around as wildly as space would permit in celebration of having finished this one. Suddenly, though, it dawned on her that one of her favorite books was finished.

“Mommy, are there any more books in this series?” she asked.

I assured her that there were, and she resumed her cheering. Then she stopped and asked, “Do we have them?”

“I’m not sure,” I admitted. “I need to look and see.”

“Well, can you check just as soon as we get home?” she pressed. “And if we don’t have them, can you order them today? I can’t wait to start the next one!”

Moving on to phonics, Little Bear completed several pages of Explode the Code 1. Once again, the text focused on short /a/ words. In today’s lesson, she

  • spelled /-at/, /-ad/, and /-am/ words aloud;
  • matched pictures and words;
  • read sentences that included similar short /a/ words and matched each sentence with the picture that best illustrated it.

She finished today’s phonics/reading lesson by reading I Love My New Toy! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) aloud to Baby Bear.

At last, it was time for my second blood draw of the morning. Both girls watched in fascination, then enjoyed a brief explanation of the process along with an up-close look at the tools used in the lab.

After an early lunch, the girls played while I recovered from the effects of 75 mg. of glucose. Play-Doh time followed active play. Finally, we pulled Zoologic off the shelf for a quick mental work-out before we headed off to our second “hurry up and wait appointment of the day.”

Our second errand of the day took us to a local performing arts company, where Baby Bear will be participating in Kindermusik and Little Bear will be taking dance classes during the 2013-2014 school year. I’d been warned that we needed to be there when the doors for registration today if we wanted to get in the classes of our choice. We got 33 minutes early to stand in a stairwell full of people (in 100-degree weather, no less …) and even at that were No. 46 on the registration list.

I’d naively brought books along on this outing as well, but it quickly became apparent that neither the noise level, nor the crowd, nor my need to listen closely for our number would allow Mommy to entertain. So it was SuperWhy and, later, Doc McStuffins to the rescue as half an hour turned into an hour, then two, while my tired cubs attempted to wait patiently.


Waiting …

On the plus side, we did manage to get in our first choice of classes, and we’ve heard great things about both programs. Here’s hoping they prove to be well worth the wait!

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