Kindergarten Week 2 {FIAR} Andy and the Lion

We enjoyed learning about lions, the library, and the circus this week with Andy and the Lion as our Five in a Row selection.

Math:

Elizabeth began working on number bonds this week for 1-10 in Singapore 1A.  Some days she did really well with this, other days, she would forget.  We’re going to continue working on these before moving on.  Ian continued to work on same vs. different without any trouble.

Handwriting:

Elizabeth worked on copywork for Andy and the Lion and continues to work through the alphabet in her Zaner Bloser K book. Ian is completing the color pages in Handwriting Without Tears PreK book.

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Reading:

Elizabeth read a short story from her All About Reading Level 2 Reader: “Matt the Musk Ox” and completed lesson 16.  Ian completed letters D, E and F and continues practicing rhyming words in All About Reading Pre-Level.

Learning Through Literature: {FIAR} Andy and the Lion

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A young boy becomes fascinated with lions after checking a lion book out from the Library.  This leads him to a curious friendship with a lion after Andy helps him get a throrn out of the lion’s paw.

Social Studies:

Libby found New York and placed our story disk there because the lion statues in the front of the book depicted the New York Public Libary lions.

We talked about the library and what kinds of books can be found there.  Then we watched a video on BrainPOP Jr. and learned about how the library is organized, and how to find a book.

Language Arts:

We read the fable The Mouse and the Lion and related it to our story, and also talked about personification of the sun in one of the illustrations.

Science:

We learned all about lions.  On our map, we located Africa and learned that lions live on the Savanna in Africa.  We watched the BrainPOP video on Savanna habitats, and Elizabeth narrated her animal report about lions to me, and also illustrated it for her notebook.

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Art:

We learned about sculptures, first by watching BrainPOP Jr. Sculptures, then by visiting a local sculpture garden, AnnMarie Gardens.  Libby and Ian also made salt dough sculptures this week, and painted them.

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Fun Extras:

We also had Lion’s Paws for breakfast one morning – which we just used biscuit dough baked with a bit of cinnamon and sugar, along with raisins.  Delicious and fun!

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And finally, because Andy visited the circus, we had to watch a circus online.  The kids still remembered the circus from when we visited last year, and loved watching the acts.  While I made lunch one day I challanged them to come up with their own circus routines along with costumes from the dress up box.  They came up with awesome acts and I loved watching their creativity come alive.  They LOVE activities like this!

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In other news, our plants that we planed with our Peter Rabbit row are still alive!  And even more – producing veggies!  It is so much seeing the kids delight in the plant growth, hoping to have a full garden next year.  But for now, our container garden works!

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Kindergarten Week 1 {FIAR} The Finest Horse in Town and 4th of July

Elizabeth started Kindergarten and Ian began his Preschool year this week!  We’re going to work through the summer and then take some time off when the baby comes.  We are simply continuing the curricula we began last year for Elizabeth’s PreK year as we all enjoy it.

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Math

Elizabeth – We began Singapore Primary Mathematics 1A, and completed the first unit.  It was review for Libby – counting to 10 and greater than/less than concepts.

Ian – Ian began Singapore Essentials Kindergarten A and is working on “same vs. different”.

Handwriting

Elizabeth – Libby completed the ‘R’ and ‘P’ pages in her Zaner-Bloser Handwriting workbook, as well as completing two different copywork pages that pertained to our FIAR unit this week.

Reading

Elizabeth continued to work on silent E words this week in All About Reading Level 2.

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Ian began All About Reading Pre-Level.  Everyone was so happy to see Ziggy the Zebra!  He completed activity pages for letters A, B and C and is working on rhyming words.

Learning through Literature:  The Finest Horse in Town

Our Five in a Row unit this week was The Finest Horse in Town because it includes a Fourth of July celebration.  We were preparing to head back to MI to visit family and spend some time at the lake for the 4th.  We used this as a spring board to review why we celebrate this important holiday and what it means to be a ‘free nation’.

Social Studies

The story takes place in the state of Maine, so Libby placed the story disk on Maine.

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We read several books this week about our nation, including The 4th of July Story and Red, White and Blue.

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We made an American Flag Craft:

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We also watched Fourth of July Schoolhouse Rock and US Symbols on BrainPOP Jr.   We practiced the Pledge of Allegiance and listened to the Star Spangled Banner.

And a special red, white and blue treat!

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Science

We learned about horses this week, of course!

We read several books about horses.  The Usborne Beginners are some of our favorite books, they seem to give tons of information just at the right maturity level.

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Elizabeth presenting to Dad what she learned about a horse life-cycle:

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At the end of the week, we visited the National Zoo because Daddy had time off from work.  We had a great time taking the Metro into the city and we even got to see some horses, among other animals, at the zoo.  We ended the day with a visit with good friends that we hadn’t been able to see in 3 years.  Got to love the friends you make in this military life!

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Notebooking pages:

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We were able to go to MI and spend the holiday at the lake.  We had a great time visiting with family and playing on the water!  The fireworks were beautiful and the memories made were perfect!  So glad to have made it there, even if it was for a short time.  The kids loved the lake and I know we’ll be spending more time there next summer.

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Planning our Five in a Row Units

How We Plan FIAR

As I have stated so many times before, we LOVE Five in a Row curriculum written by Jane Clair Lambert.   We have used Before Five in a Row (BFIAR) and Five in a Row (FIAR) and truly appreciate the broad range of topics that we have covered all while enjoying quality literature and quality snuggles.

Five in a Row Book Set

This will be our third year using their curricula, and I just finished planning Elizabeth’s K year (she will be using FIAR) and Ian’s preschool year (BFIAR).

Let me start by saying this: I am a planner.  It is just in my nature.  I was the 10 year old with a Franklin Covey planner.  There is no right way to ‘row’ with FIAR.  I know many families who pick a book Monday morning and just go with the flow – and they love it!  But for us, I like a plan and a checklist.  I like to be prepared.  The idea of a boxed curriculum where they send everything I need for an entire year, ready to go, along with a beautiful schedule appeals to me greatly.   Except that it just doesn’t work for us.  Ask me how I know 😉

So – by pre-planning our FIAR units, I am able to get a boxed curricula feel while still having the freedom to pick and choose according to our interests or take breaks to follow the kids interests.  For us, even though mom-intensive in the beginning, it has been the best of both worlds.

When I was only planning BFIAR, I simply sat down with the manual and made a checklist of activities I’d like to do for that particular unit.  I sometimes would also look at other blogs or Pinterest for ideas, but the bulk of the information came straight from the manual – I just put it in a list form.  There was no timetable; when we had a moment, we would read the book and do an activity.

Last year for K4 we did several FIAR units, and also several units from http://www.homeschoolshare.com (which is also wonderful!).  For these I again made a checklist of activities, and also pre-printed any worksheets I wanted to include, so they were ready to go.  I put all the papers into a file folder.  This worked well, except it was bulky to store and I often had little fingers playing in the system switching out files.

This year, my planning is similar.  We live in a state where as homeschoolers we do have academic oversight, so I need to keep records of what Elizabeth is doing for her ‘formal school’.  Here’s the plan this year:

Step 1: Pick the Books

I go through the manual and our bookshelves and choose which books I plan to row this year.  This year, I have chosen about 25 books, leaving room to add more if needed, or time to follow any interest-led units.

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Step 2: Writing the Plan

I created a template in OneNote that included the content that I wanted to cover, including Bible, poetry, health, music, art appreciation and our FIAR subjects (social studies, language arts, science, art).  I went straight through the manual and transferred activities to the template.  I then searched Netflix, BrainPOP and YouTube for any relevant information.  I also went through my Usborne Science Activity books for experiments, as my kids really love science.  I also include a BFIAR selection that may correlate to the FIAR book for Ian with a simple activity or discussion point.

While they are labeled ‘Week xx’, there is no order – we pick our books as field trip opportunities, seasons, or holidays come along in the year.  I just simply switch the week number before I print the final copy of the schedule.

 Here’s a screenshot:

FIAR Plan OneNote

Why do I love OneNote?

  • I am able to open it on my phone through the app, and check off the days tasks there, and it will sync up with my computer.

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  • I can add links and even pictures right into the schedule
  • During the day if we only get through two activities, and the kids have no interest in the rest, no big deal – I can simply delete the other activities right from my phone.  This takes care of my obsessive need to check off everything.  I DO check of everything in the column, because if we don’t do it, I delete it 😉
  • At the end of the week, I can hop back on my computer and print off my completed schedule to file away for my umbrella school.

Step 3: Gather unit materials and file them together for easy access.

I include for a FIAR book unit:

  • Unit Study Resource List (books, videos, websites, field trips)
  • Sticky list with books and supplies we own
  • Notebooking pages printed from the Five in a Row Notebook Builder (experiment sheet, vocabulary pages, maps and field trip record pages) and from Evan Moor Giant Science Resource Book.
  • Story Disks to be placed on our wall map as we learn about different locations
  • Animal pictures to be added to our animal classification chart

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I also include for each week a grid for our ‘daily subjects’.  We use All About Reading, Zaner-Bloser Handwriting, and Singapore Math – all of which require no planning from me, except to go to the next lesson.  I just jot down which lesson we did or a brief description.

Example: AAR lesson 12, Silent E

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These pages are put into a pocket folder to use for the week.

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Step 4: Print and File Plans 

Once our week is complete, I can print the completed schedule and file it into my homeschool notebook along with our other records to show our umbrella school.

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Other items found in my homeschool notebook include:

  • Calendar
  • Read-Aloud Chapter Book Lists
  • Complete FIAR book list (I highlight as we row books through the years)
  • Full list of Curricula used for the current year

Most of the pages come from this awesome blog.

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So that’s how I plan our Five in a Row units.  Again – we generally DO NOT do all that is planned, we pick and choose based on our mood.  But by having everything planned out, it’s much more likely to get done, and be a less stressful experience for me as the teacher 🙂

Are you a planner?

PreK Week 36 – War of 1812 and Wrapping up the Year!

We completed our last ‘official’ day of PreK for Elizabeth on Friday, June 20.  It was Daddy’s birthday so we quickly did a bit of reading and handwriting, and then decorated and make him a cake!  It was a fun and relaxed day, and a good way to end our year.

However, this years end and next years beginning are going to be pretty anticlimactic around here!  We finished PreK on Friday and will be beginning Elizabeth’s official Kindergarten year tomorrow, June 23.  We’re continuing most of our same materials that Elizabeth is working through right now – so just plugging along.  Because we’re expecting baby girl in August, I’d like to get a few weeks in so we are able to take time off when she arrives.

I am so extremely proud of the progress both kids made this year!  We had some major life changes going on this year (cross-country move, Daddy’s new job, expecting a baby!) but Libby and Ian handled everything so well and continue to amaze me each and every day!

Math

This year Elizabeth learned: counting to 100, greater vs. less, single digit addition and subtraction and fractions.

She officially finished Singapore Math Essential B about a week ago after flying through the last section on fractions.

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Ian learned to count to 20 this year, and is able to recognize numbers up to 20 written.  He is working on writing his numbers 1-10.

Handwriting

Over the last year, Elizabeth has learned to write all her letters in print, upper and lowercase.  She has gone through the Handwriting Without Tears Kindergarten workbook and is now currently half way through Zaner-Bloser Kindergarten workbook.

Reading

Elizabeth learned to read this year!  She came into her PreK year knowing her letter sounds and was able to put simple CVC words together, but she is now reading level 1 books with fluency.  Her confidence in reading has skyrocketed and I love to seeing her constantly picking up books and reading them!

Libby completed All About Reading Level 1 and ten lessons of All About Reading level 2 this year.  We love AAR and will be continuing with it this year.

Ian knows the majority of his letters and their sounds.  We’ll continue to review this as he begins All About Reading Pre-Level this coming year.

Read Aloud Chapter Books we read as a family this year include:

  • A Bear Called Paddington
  • Polar Bears Past Bedtime (Magic Tree House Series)
  • Toys Go Out
  • A Spotlight For Harry
  • Beatrix Potter Treasury
  • Little Pear
  • Little Pear and his Friends
  • Monday with a Mad Genius (Magic Tree House Series)
  • Little House in the Big Woods
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Stuart Little
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins
  • Milly-Molly-Mandy
  • Socks
  • Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales Treasury
  • Teddy Robinson Storybook
  • Twig
  • Magic School Bus and the Giant Germ
  • American Girl Caroline Books 1 – 4

Learning through Literature: American Girl Caroline and the War of 1812

I questioned jumping into the topic of the War of 1812 with Elizabeth, wondering if she would be able to understand.  I’m glad we went ahead and began reading the American Girl Caroline books.  She is really enjoying the adventures and is picking up history along the way!

We are lucky to live in the Chesapeake Bay area where many of the battles were fought, and because of this, throughout the month of June, there are several local events featuring the history of the War of 1812.  These events have been an amazing way to make what we’re reading come to life – from the clothing to the daily work such as sewing, farming and shipbuilding (Caroline’s Papa was a shipbuilder).  We even were able to witness a reenactment of a naval engagement between several tall ships and soldiers on shore of the bay.  The cannons thundered as we watched explosions on giant ships in the bay.  Because Caroline also lives on a bay where battle is taking place, it really helped to make this history come alive.

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Celebrating Dad’s Birthday

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On to a new year with a Preschooler and a Kindergartner!

PreK Weeks 34/35 – Down on the Farm

We spent the last few weeks learning about the farm through great books and local events, as well as continuing to finish up our daily studies for the year.

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Post-Hayride

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A day in the life!

Math

Elizabeth worked through ordinal numbers, which was very easy as this was review.  We finished the entire section in a few days.

Handwriting

Elizabeth worked on the letters J and Q this week.

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Reading

We completed lessons 5-7 and learned how to separate larger words in to syllables and labeled them ‘open’ or ‘closed’.  This way, we know whether to use the long or short sound of a vowel.  Elizabeth has been reading more for pleasure, and even volunteered to read Ian’s bedtime story one evening: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

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Learning through Literature: Farms

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We read many books about farms this week, and also watched several videos from the library about crops, tractors and dairy farms.  We conversationally rowed Ask Mr. Bear along with this unit, as it talks about many farm animals and their products.

A local park has an annual ‘Kids Day on the Farm’ event that was tons of fun (and free!).  We were able to meet farm animals, see a tractor parade, sing with Old MacDonald, go on a hayride, ‘pick’ fresh vegetables and collect fresh eggs!  We also went to the farm one day and picked up some fresh eggs and strawberries and made homemade strawberry shortcake.  Delicious!

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Other fun things we’ve been up to:

My parents were able to make it into town for a quick visit and we decided to check out Calvert Marine Museum.  We met several animals, toured a lighthouse and took a boat ride around the bay!

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Nature walks at Gilbert Run Park.

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And of course we celebrated Father’s Day!  We played a round of putt-putt, walked on the pier, and went to dinner to celebrate.

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And one more picture just to keep it real – how Ian entertains himself during school time 😉

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We’re now finishing up our last week of PreK and will be heading straight into Kindergarten and Preschool next week!  With the baby on the way, we want to get a head start 🙂

PreK Weeks 32/33 – Pirates!

Arrrggghhh Matey we’ve spent the last two weeks learning about pirates!  We’ve had an adventure-filled few weeks 🙂

Math

Elizabeth counted through 100 and wrote out all her numbers this week!  We used cubes to make groups of ten and count by tens. Ian also counted up to 25.  We will be starting on simple fractions next week.

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Handwriting

Libby reviewed the letter F and also filled in letters of the alphabet in her Zaner-Bloser book.  Ian’s pretty excited about these I’s he made all on his own.

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Reading

We’re on lesson 4 of All About Reading Level 2.  I know I keep saying it, but I am so delighted by Libby’s progress with reading.  Thinks are just really clicking in this area and she is reading with much greater speed and accuracy.  She learned the rules for when y says the long i sound.

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Here’s a few pages of the reader she read from this week:

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History and Literature

We’re continuing to read through A Child’s History of the World at bedtime and covered chapters 10-17 over the last two weeks.  Topics we read and talked about included the Trojan War, Greece and the first Olympic games and the birth of Rome.  Elizabeth continues to look forward to this and Alex and I find it interesting, too.  It’s been great introduction to history.

We finished Twig and I let Ian and Libby choose their next chapter book to read aloud.  They picked Magic School Bus and the Giant Germ.  Not exactly classic lit but an informative read none the less 🙂

The Giant Germ

Learning through Literature: Pirate Books!

Our local library was hosting a pirate-themed story time last week, so we picked out several more pirate books.  Most of our time was just spent snuggling and reading – there are so many cute children’s books about pirates!  We also watched the movies Reading Rainbow Sunken Treasure and the Muppet’s Treasure Island.

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Pirate-Themed Story Hour – Singing a Song about Sweeping the Deck

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A Pirate Craft – A Telescope

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I had purchased some pirate party supplies on clearance at Target many months ago thinking that at some point they would be fun.  Ian especially took being a pirate very seriously and was in character all day!

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We wrapped up pirate week with a special trip up to Annapolis where we had a special pirate expedition on a real pirate ship in the Chesapeake Bay  – where we learned that real pirates had sailed many years ago.

For anyone in the Annapolis Area, we highly recommend Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake!  From start to end it was a wonderful family experience.  Each child gets their face painted and gets dressed up like a real pirate.  The kids are then taken into the story looking for map, finding treasure, and even firing (water) cannons at the enemy.  The trip ended with some tasty grog.  I was so impressed by the staff and the way they were so interactive with the kids, learning their names and pulling them into the fun.  We were sailing for an hour and the kids were engaged the entire time!

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We also had time to check out the harbor in Annapolis and the Naval Academy.

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The weather continues to be beautiful and we had quite a few park days over the last few weeks.  Also, our plants are starting to sprout!  L and I have been very good about keeping them watered and in the sun.

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Park Days

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We also attended a children’s program at the Calvert Marine Museum where we made our own kites and then went on a spring scavenger hunt through the marsh.  It was a hot and muggy morning but it was a fun time.

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And we wrapped up the week with some Popsicle treats.

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Looking forward to learning about farms next week and taking a field trip to a local kids farming event!

PreK Weeks 30/31

We’ve been busily keeping up with our reading, writing and math the past few weeks, and enjoying lots of good books and lots of time outdoors!

Math

Elizabeth flew through the sequencing section where she labeled things first, second, third, fourth and fifth.  She did then entire section in two days!  Then we moved on to an introduction to telling time.  We used our foam clocks to demonstrate different times on the hour (one o’clock, two o’clock, ect.).

Handwriting

Libby reviewed letters A, D, and C (both uppercase and lower) in her Zaner-Bloser workbook.

Reading

We have completed All About Reading Level 1!  Libby is SO proud, and so are we!  Here she is with her certificate.

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We started All About Reading level 2 and have completed 2 lessons this week (mostly review).

History

We read chapters 6-9 from A Child’s History of the World and learned more about Ancient Egypt.  Hieroglyphics, Pyramids, Mummies, and the Exodus of the Jews were the topics we read about.  We added some fun books from the library, as well, during read-aloud time.

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Literature

We are 3/4 the way through the classic book Twig, which is a sweet story about a little girl and her imaginative world of fairies and animals right in her back yard.

Product Details

Much of the rest of our time this week was spent outside playing at the local parks and with neighborhood friends!  Libby and Ian had the chance to play on a tire swing for the first time, and what a hit it was!

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And that’s it!  We’re really enjoying the gorgeous weather!

PreK Weeks 28/29 {FIAR} The Tale of Peter Rabbit

We celebrated Easter and Earth Day over the past two weeks by rowing one of our favorite books: The Tale of Peter Rabbit!  We rowed Peter Rabbit in September, and pulling it out again was like seeing an old friend.  Even my three year old was excited to dive into the world of Peter Rabbit again.  I love that we are making such rich family memories.

Math

Elizabeth is still working through Singapore Essentials Kindergarten B. Recently she has been working on numbers up to 40 and reviewing ‘tens’ and ‘ones’ groups.  She was able to fill in a worksheet by writing all her numbers 1-40.

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Handwriting

Elizabeth has finished up her HWOT Kindergarten book, completing all letters, both capital and lowercase, and also numbers 1-10.  She’s started the Zaner-Bloser Kindergarten book which is similar.  So far, she has reviewed letters L, T and I.

Reading

This has been an area of great improvement!  It seems that all the sudden reading is easier and she is not having to sound out all the words – she is reading with much more fluency, and in the last two weeks I have seen her picking up books around the house and reading them to herself out loud.  We have also began to ‘tag’ read where I’ll read a page and she’ll read a page.

We are one lesson from completing Level 1 of All About Reading.  I can’t say enough good things about this program.  We reviewed syllables and learned the long vowel sounds this week.

Learning through Literature: The Tale of Peter Rabbit

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We teamed up our Easter books with a Gardening focus to learn about Earth Day as well – and all the reasons plants are so important to us.

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Social Studies / Geography:

We learned that the author, Beatrix Potter, lived in England.  We found England on the map and read this cute story about a tutle traveling in England.  We ended up have an unrelated movie night watching Peter Pan and I was surprised and delighted to hear them scream out “Look, Big Ben!!” as Wendy and Peter flew past the giant clock!

We also talked about rules.  Why did Peter Rabbits mother set the rule that the little bunnies were supposed to stay out of Mr. McGregor’s garden?  What are some of the rules in our house?  Why do we have them?

Language Arts:

We learned about onomatopoeia from Mr. McGregor’s scritch, scratch of his hoe.  We also discussed that this is an animal fantasy story, as bunnies don’t really talk and wear clothes.  Elizabeth made up her own animal fantasy story about a talking horse who loved to read books!

Science:

We learned about gardening and taking care of our Earth, of course!  We planted seeds for tomatoes and basil, which turned into making mud pies 🙂

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We also checked out the seeds in our snacks.

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We also watched several Magic School Bus episodes about plants, photosynthesis, and recycling.

Art

We learned that Beatrix Potter loved nature and it influenced her illustrations.  We went outside and used crayons to draw some nature in our yard, and then painted the pictures with water colors.

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We were able to attend a program at a local art center where we made bunny masks.

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We were also so happy to have Nana and Papa come to visit for Easter and Papa’s Birthday.  We visited a local state park to look at the shore and discovered many interesting rocks and shells.

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Celebrating Easter with an egg hunt.  Libby had her face painted and she requested a ‘pink panda with white heart spots’.  At this point, she only had the pink part on – as the egg hunt was starting and she didn’t want to miss it.  They also had games and crafts for the kids.

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Easter Dress!  Thanks Grandma Rue!

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Swinging with friends

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The weather has been beautiful for the most part and we’ve been enjoying it!

As I prepare things for next year, we are putting FIAR to the side and beginning to read through A Child’s History of the World as a family, along with Usborne’s Children’s Encyclopedias.  It provides an overview of world history from prehistory through modern times.  We will be reading through it all year adding it in with Sonlight A History.  Elizabeth has been begging me to tell her about “a long, long time ago” and is very interested in History in general.  We have read three chapters so far (about prehistoric peoples) and she has really been enjoying it – as have Alex and I.

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PreK Weeks 26/27 Catch-Up {FIAR} A New Coat for Anna

I have missed several weeks of blogging, but trust me, we have been plugging along with the basics – reading, writing and math, and filling in the rest with snuggles and good books.  But – there is a reason behind why we took a break from our unit studies: Our new baby girl estimated to arrive in August 2014!  I am just past half way into this pregnancy and finally feeling back to normal.  This has been a much rougher pregnancy physically than my others, but so grateful for another healthy little girl.

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The last two weeks we have slowly began adding things back into our school time routine, and as I feel up to it, we have been exploring the area and partaking in local field trips.

Math

Elizabeth has finished up the basic addition and subtraction fact portion of her book (values up to 20) and is now beginning to work on problems up to 40.

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Handwriting

Libby has finished all her letters – capital and lowercase, and is now working on short copy work and reviewing number formation.

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Reading

We only have a few lessons left in the first level of the All About Reading program.  It was been wonderful, and Libby really enjoys reading.  She has learned compound words and plurals.

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Learning through Literature: A New Coat for Anna

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From Amazon:

“A fresh and moving story of a mother’s dedication to acquire a coat for her daughter in post-World War II hard times. Anna’s mother decides to trade the few valuables she has left for wool and for the services of a spinner, a weaver, and a tailor. Lobel’s pictures do a tremendous job of evoking the period. Insightful and informative, this may make children consider how precious the ordinary can become in times of turmoil.”–(starred) Booklist.  

Go-Along Books

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Social Studies

We know the story took place in a European country affected by the war, so we chose to focus on Germany.  Each day Libby pointed out Germany on the map.

We learned basics about World War II and watched BrainPOP videos about the war.  Libby and I discussed how war affects a country and the people within it.

Anna’s mother had no money to purchase a new coat, so she had to barter.  We watched a Reading Rainbow episode called Saturday Sancocho and learned about bartering.

Science

We learned the process of using wool to make yarn and clothing.  We visited a local historic site for a kids day focusing on wool and spinning.  There Ian and Libby were both able to have their own pieces of wool to pull, card and twist into yarn.   We watched as the wool was spun and weaved, and then we made our own sheep crafts with our wool.  It was a fun trip into the past!

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Art

Elizabeth used her new loom to try her hand at weaving.

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We also dyed our own wool yarn.  I really wanted to boil berries and use them to dye the yarn like Anna’s mother did, but I couldn’t find any berries to pick and the grocery did not have any cranberries in right now – so we used red, blue and purple Koolaid.  We followed this tutorial.  I hope to knit the yarn into a hat for them.

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We were also able to travel into Washington DC the last two weekends while visiting with family and friends.  The Cherry Blossom Festival was going on and it was gorgeous – and so much fun!

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We have also spent nearly everyday visiting one of the many local parks.  Elizabeth has now mastered pumping and the swings are both of their favorites.

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Overall, we are back into full swing these days.  Looking forward to revising our old friend Peter Rabbit next week as we Hop into Easter 🙂

PreK Weeks 18/19 Review

I don’t have any pictures or a gorgeous blog post to show for the last two weeks!  We all have been feeling under the weather, so there has been lots of books, snuggling, and Pajama days.  And I’m ok with that.  We’ve continued with the basics, and thrown in lots of good topical reading.

Math

Libby continues with addition facts, using counting on and number line techniques.  She has one more page of addition practice before moving on to subtraction this week.

Handwriting

Libby has now made it through the entire capital alphabet.  Next week she will begin working on lowercase letters.

Reading

Lots of practice with All About Reading.  We are on lesson number 30, and Libby is doing so well reading the simple stories.  An example of one of the sentences on her practice sheet today:  “This pop has no fizz,” said Jim.

Learning through Literature: Mr. Popper’s Penguins

We have been reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater over the last two weeks.  We also learned about Antarctica, and read several books about penguins.  

Other things we did:

  • Wrote stories about our day with a penguin and illustrated them.  Libby put her penguin in the bathtub and Ian went swimming with his.
  • Pretended we were penguins by waddling around the house.
  • Used foam balls to be our eggs and walked around with the eggs on our feet like the emperor penguins do.
  • Located Antarctica on the map.
  • Watched BrainPOP movies about penguins and the South Pole.

It’s been low-key and we’re all hoping for warmer days in the near future!