Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Alphabet book, the beginning

Last week we started our homeschooling in full swing. We got the curriculum at the end of April and the kids were so excited to jump right into it. We were very relaxed about it, only doing it on the days we were home. Jeb had class at the enrichment hub on Fridays and we had a lot of play dates and doctor's appointments, so there were a lot of days we just didn't worry about it. We also had 3 weeks of VBS at our church and our friends' churches, so we held off those weeks to let everything soak in, and to reinforce the lessons he was learning at church. I'm glad I did it the way I did because it let us experiment with different ways of doing things, different times of day, etc to find out what works best for us, and how they learn. Week 10 of the curriculum gets a little heavier on reading material, including a letter of the week, starting with A. I've also added some more books, workbooks, and activities to the schedule to round it out a little more and make it work better for us.

Jeb has been really interested in learning to write letters, and a couple of weeks ago he saw a girl his age reading letters from a store sign and got really excited about the fact that knowing letters lets you read things outside of the house! He has been working double time to figure out what all the letters look like, and LOVES doing worksheets and any kind of paperwork that seems like a big kid school thing to do, so I decided to make an alphabet book with him that he can add to every week while we go through this unit.

Originally I thought the book would have 26 pages, one page per week. But he loved the first page so much that we ended up doing a page each day last week, and I was able to write up a lesson plan that we can carry on through the rest of the weeks that will help him learn his letters, add to his book, and work on some other skills like patterns, cutting, and handwriting.

Here is day 1, using halved apples to stamp a big letter A. This was a big hit, as most things involving paint are!

On Tuesday, Jeb used a washable stamp pad and made finger prints all over a paper, and I drew on legs, antennae, eyes, and smiles to make them look like happy little ants. I typed 'A is for Ant' on the paper.

On Wednesday, I used this website to give him a paper with the letter A, and another paper with pictures that start with the letter A. His job was to cut all the pictures out, and glue them onto the paper with the A.

On Thursday, he did a coloring page with an apple tree and a little paragraph about apples. He was only mildly excited about this, he's not really big on coloring, but he was excited to add another paper to his book!

And on Friday, we had 2 projects. I had drawn some pattern exercises on a pice of paper using different variations of a red apple, a green apple, an acorn, and an ant. Most of them were simple a b a b a b patterns, but a couple were trickier. He did great, only missing one, and he is really good at drawing something he sees.

On the other side of that page, he practiced writing the letter A a few times without the lines from his dry erase practice book.

Jeb is insanely proud of his alphabet book-he even slept with it a few times in the past week! And wants to show everyone he sees. He was actually bummed over the weekend when I tried explaining what a weekend is and why we don't homeschool on the weekends, and couldn't wait to start the new letter on Monday. We actually ended up having to read some educational books to him at the usual time of day because he really wanted to 'have homeschool' every day :)

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