Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Preschool Plans Available!

Lesson plans are now available for pre-K weeks 4, 5, and 6!

Week 4 - Letter F

Week 5 - Letter E

Week 6 - Letter H

In our house, we are completing Week 1 right now.  Today we used bread dough to make letters.  It was a really fun activity, and we ate our letters for snacks and also with dinner.  :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First day of school 2011!

Today was our first homeschool day for the 2011 - 2012 school year.  We did our first day of Sonlight curriculum with the older kids, and our two little ones did their first day of preschool using the lesson plans I posted here on the blog (see the tab on top for the link). 

Every day I have planned a craft or activity for the preschoolers, and I expect that the older kids will participate in these projects most days, too.  Here's some pictures from today.

Here's my 5 year old working on his spelling words.

In this picture, our preschoolers are playing with the wooden pieces from Handwriting Without Tears.  They will eventually use these to build letters, but today they were just getting familiar with the names (big line, little line, big curve, little curve).  The 4 year old LOVED the song on the Handwriting Without Tears CD.  It had him using the wooden pieces to tap, or play drums, etc.

Our 4 year old was using foam letters and paint to stamp his name.  It got a little messy.
(See the foam puzzle on the ground?  It's from the Dollar Tree.  That's what they used as their stamps.)

The older kids had fun with foam letters and paint, too!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ticky-Tacky Doll

Last week, we read a book by Cynthia Rylant called The Ticky-Tacky Doll. 

It was the sweetest story of a little girl who loves the rag doll made by her grandmother.  When the little girl goes to school, she has to leave the ticky-tacky doll behind, even though it "was as much a part of her as eyes or ears or a nose."  Of course, the story has a happy ending, but I won't ruin it for you.  You can buy it or check it out of the library and see if it delights your family as much as it did ours. 

Well, of course, my children all wanted a ticky-tacky doll RIGHT AWAY!  And, being a sewing mama, I do seem to have plenty of fabric scraps laying around.  So this is my version of the ticky-tacky doll.

I can tell she is going to be well loved in our family, because she was being played with before I even gave her any hair!

Our two year old was saying, "I yuv my tiddy-taddy daw!"

I have a pattern and tutorial coming soon.  And maybe I will sew some doll clothes if I get inspired!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Secret Messages

Tonight something magical happened as I was putting the kids to bed.  We had finished reading a sweet book, and I was just tucking them in, giving them their good night hugs and kisses.  I leaned in close to my 5 year old, and I whispered in his ear about how proud I was of the way he acted today while playing with his cousin.  I told him how big he was getting, and how happy I was to see him being a gracious loser when they played chess today.  And the smile on his face got bigger and bigger.  He just seemed to glow from within.

Now, it's not like I don't praise my kids and love them all the time.  But somehow whispering this secret message to him, so only he could hear, transformed this praise into something extraordinary.  He is my little one who does not like snuggles, does not like joking around, and can be a little sullen and unhappy with almost everything I say.  (Is he a teenager in disguise?)  But he loved this!

So then my 7 year old says, "What did you say?  What did you say?"  I said, "It was just a little message for only his ears.  Don't you worry about it."  Of course, she begged and begged for a message, too!  And then the toddler started chanting, "Message!  Message!" 

As I kissed each one, I leaned in and whispered about what I noticed them doing right today.  They were so thrilled that I had noticed, and it was a special moment for us.  (And the disciplinarian in me thinks it is a great way to re-inforce good behavior.)  I think these "secret messages" might become a nightly tradition!
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