April 30, 2010

Tot School Friday Letter S and then some

We're sort of on a fence right now. Hunter is mostly preschooling it, but still way into the tot speed activities and Haven is a bit too young for the preschoolish activities, but really wanting to do them. So we're kind of doing it all for both of them. So if these posts are staring to look like a mash up, it's because they totally are!

We worked on the letter S this week because that's what Hunter did in speech therapy last week.

All of the printables that I found on Confessions of a Homeschooler were snowflake based and, well, it's just too springish for that. So I made my own version of her activities with other s words like spider, salamander, and snake. Yes...I did all of that work only to have it snow all week! Ahhh!!!! Oh well. My boys had fun!

We glued "spiral spaghetti" to a giant s and added it to our reading tree. I was all out of Elmer's so I had to sit there and make little hot glue globs and have the boys stick the noodles. They are so devastatingly slow that half of the time the glue would harden before they ever stuck the noodle on and they'd get all mad!

We had a muffin tin lunch with letter s food.

Letter S pom pom work on cookie sheets! This is by far both of the boys' favorite thing to do these days!

Haven ordered snakes big to small (big challenge! Let me tell ya!)

Haven tackled lacing a letter S. I had a light bulb moment with this activity this week. Haven can totally do this when there is a single line (or curve as the case may be) row or holes. It's when there are all sorts of holes (like in the letter B) and there is not a definite start and end point that he gets all mixed up. I'm not sure how to apply my new knowledge to other letters, but there it is. I supposed multiple crossing points is a concept that he will master a bit later.

I made a pattern sheet with various s words. Hunter got it this time. He cut fairly well, and pasted in all the right places! Hooray!!! Haven put all of his energy into cutting (we so need tot sized scissors) that he just wore himself out! He flopped at finding the pattern and I settled for him just using the glue stick properly and sticking them anywhere. I have no idea when kids are supposed to be able to find patterns. I can recall a smart little girl in Hannah Jane's preschool who couldn't find them as she was heading to Kindergarten and we were transitioning to home, so I'm not all that worried about it. I did rather enjoy watching his tongue come out and his mouth kind of freeze up with concentration. It's very much like the face I make while I put on mascara!

My favorite new activity this week was a little poem filled with S words that I found and added pictures to. I blew up the words pretty big and then we read it together a few times. Then, as I read it aloud, the boys had to find all of the S's and put a pom pom on them. They loved this! It had them looking and listening, which really cemented the link between the visual and the spoken sound.

Now for the non-S surprise of the week. I found this site that I just love, love, love and plan to use for the rest of my educating life! That's a big pitch, but I really just think it's fabulous (and no, I'm not getting paid to say so, sadly). It's called MathWire and it's a collection of standards based lessons and printable material for all sorts of math concepts. I find the site a bit difficult to navigate, but once you start just wandering around in there, you find all sorts of gems.

I printed off this ladybug math sheet for basic low level addition. I thought for sure it would sit in the notebook for a few years until the boys were ready. But Hunter saw it in the notebook and said, "How sad! Those lady bugs lost their spots." So I thought, why not? I pulled it out along with Hannah Jane's old fact cards and explained that the lady bugs needed his held getting their spots and he was to put the number of spots on each wing that was dictated by the fact card. He loved it! He carefully used the dry erase marker to make the spots and then told me how many there were total! Wow!

Haven, of course, has to do everything that Hunter does, and so he screamed for a turn. What kind of mom doesn't indulge a fit for more intense mathematics? I mean really! So I caved and let him give it a go. Admittedly, his spots were way messy and uncoordinated, but the boy really did it! And then he too counted up the total! Go Haven!!! This is the plus side to having the youngins see the biggins so school. They pick up so much that they would not in a classroom of same age peers.

Next it was Reading time. Haven was all over it this week. He read his first sentence with no problem. An easy one "see me eat." But hey! I'm proud! For a 2 year old, he's rockin through this phonics stuff! Hunter, who has been doing all the words with great skill and pride, suddenly decided that he was no longer going to read willingly. I tried to force the issue, I raised my voice for a split second and then realized that it was lame to fuss at a 4 year old for not being interesting in his phonics for a few days. Once I lightened up, he was ready to read. Isn't it funny how kids seem to be able to sense when something is important to you and that's the exact moment that they decide not to do it? It's only when you stop caring do they actually want to give it a go. Of course! But that pretty much sums up Hunter's week. I'm learning though. Really, I am. The less I seem to care, the more he wants to do! Who knew?

Check out more at the Tot School site and at the Preschool Corner!

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