Preschool Years at Home

Laughing, Loving, and Learning Together

Just Because …

on September 10, 2013

After several weeks of just plodding along and covering the essentials (math, phonics, and whatever theme the girls choose), we woke up this morning to glorious cool weather that hinted of summer’s end. Ok, so it wasn’t exactly cool. But it was less than 80 degrees at 9 o’clock this morning — a rare treat in the almost-desert of West Texas. So we left books on the shelves, quickly donned play clothes, and headed to the playground for the first morning of outdoor play the girls have had in quite some time.

I could write a novella about the fun the girls had running, climbing, dancing, swinging, balancing, and playing “restaurant” with bark chips and leaves, but it’s late, and their smiles speak for themselves:

On top of the world ...

On top of the world …

"Higher! Higher!"

“Higher! Higher!”

Contemplation ...

Contemplation …

Dancing on a swinging bridge ...

Dancing on a swinging bridge …

I wasn’t sure whether the girls would have much energy left to devote to school work, but needn’t have feared. After baths, snacks, a bit of snuggle time, and several just-for-fun read-alouds, they were fully recharged and ready to tackle the rest of our day’s agenda. (Mommy? Not so much …)

For math, Little Bear …

  • listened as I read Life of Fred–Butterflies Units 18-19 and worked through the included problem sets;
  • practiced counting by 2s and 5s;
  • reviewed telling time to the quarter hour and half hour;
  • drilled addition and subtraction facts to 10;
  • forged on ahead in Mathematical Reasoning Level A — just 2 1/2 months into the school year, she’s nearly halfway through this book, despite the fact that we’re using in conjunction with both Life of Fred and Miquon Math. That said, it has proven to be a huge confidence builder for her. I’ve already ordered the next book in the series, and we’ll continue moving forward at her pace.

For phonics, Little Bear …

  • read four pages of The Reading Lesson Unit 10;
  • practiced reading /er/, /ir/, and /ur/ words;
  • practiced using -er and -est to form comparatives and superlatives (which led to an unplanned lesson on adjectives and the correct usage of their positive, comparative, and superlative forms);
  • completed Modern Curriculum Press Phonics: Level A pp. 113-115;
  • used wooden alphabet blocks to build short /o/ word families;
  • read several Brand New Readers and My First I Can Read books aloud.

Baby Bear continued to work on counting to 10, letter recognition, and patterns. She also asked to play a couple of hands of eeboo Preschool Numbers Memory Game.

Formal work aside, both girls completed My First Sticky Mosaics Fairies projects (great for fine motor development!), spent about an hour building with Duplos, and tackled Lauri Butterflies Visual Discrimination Puzzle. On a theme-related note, we’ve been learning about rainforests over the past couple of weeks and wrapped up our study today by watching National Geographic: Really Wild Animals – Totally Tropical Rain Forest. We also read (or in some cases, re-read) the following books:

Tomorrow is library day. We’ll decide there whether to hunt for yet more rainforest-themed books, focus exclusively on our parallel study of reptiles and amphibians, or move on to new ground. Little Bear has recently been asking a number of questions about light and how it travels, so we’ll see if her curiosity leads her to a new section of the library.

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