Monday, September 19, 2011

A is for Apple

Rachel here. Last week's letter was "a"... for everything apple. :) We began by making apple prints... red... yellow... and green.Then it was homemade applesauce. We found a super easy recipe on Mr. Rodger's website (yes the neighborhood one).
Peel, core, chunk apples, and put in a pot.Then add 1/4 cup sugar and a little bit of cinnamon.Bring to boil, and then cover and simmer for 20 min.Blend and cool... and voila!The girls ended up having it for lunch along with apple slices, Apple Jacks, and an apple cereal bar. Reminds me of Bubba Gump. ;)
"Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" tree along with this weeks books basket.Reese's "a" words and basket.Letter "a" apples... with real apple seeds in the middle and do-a-dot skin.Letter "a" activities... from CoaH and Kidsparkz.
This is Reese's favorite "work" of all time. Letter printed on copy paper, put on top of towel, then she pokes the letter/shape/her name with a toothpick. I think it's far more hi tech at school, but we do what we can here at home. :)Here she's creating her letters with foam shapes. I found the templates at Tired, Need Sleep and then transferred them onto foam sheets and cut them out. Reese LOVED them.Ahhhh... RED... or in Emma Grace's world... pink, yellow, blue... in that order. "Emma Grace, what color is this?" "Pink, yellow, blue." Doesn't matter what the color is... she doesn't discriminate. :) It's been an adventure to say the least.Random work.Leftover work from last week. I keep all of their work in a "tower" with drawers. If they get bored, we pull out an activity. Unfinished activities get put back in the drawer until it gets finished. Emma Grace will probably be working on "m" activities until she's 4. ;)This week... a weather chart/calendar makeover, starting chores, and the letter "t".


Holy mackeral! The baby of the group has officially turned 1! "Baby J", as he's known at our house, had his THIRD bday party (he's awesome like that) a couple of weekends ago, and it was super sweet to be able to celebrate with him.
The festivities happened to also be on the day the Hokies played ECU... we won... but that's an entirely different story. ;)
Aly was indeed at the shindig, however, she was in no mood to pose with the family... or show her face in hardly any photo Mommy took of her. :) We do have tons of pictures of a blur and a back that may in fact belong to her.He knows what part of the gift is the most important... the wrapping. :)Happy Birthday sweet boy!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I'm Mr. M... with the munching mouth...

Rachel here. Last week was our first week of home preschool. I won't lie... it was a mini disaster. Emma Grace could care less about her alphabet... or colors for that matter... she just wants to glue things. That's fine... I'll work with it. :) Reese, however, thinks I'm the best thing since sliced bread. "Mommy, I'm so happy you're a teacher now!" Kid, if you only knew. :) Here's what we were up to.

During Preschool time (which is still being tweaked), we start with circle time. We talk about the calendar... day of the week, month, year, and counting each day until "today." Reese loves it. She loves to sing the songs, and is so excited she can tell you what month it is. I'd like to add in "yesterday, today, tomorrow," and eventually time, but we'll hold off on that.Then we talk about the weather. The season is giving Reese some trouble. She always tells me the season is "sunny." :) She looks/goes outside and tells me what type of weather we're having. We find the corresponding picture and word, and she also graphs it on her bar graph. Then we look on The Weather Channel Kids site to find out the temperature, which she colors onto her thermometer. She LOVES this! We also have a little wooden bear puzzle that you can dress. She has to find an outfit that the bear can wear that is appropriate for the weather.During circle time we introduce/review a new skill. This week we worked on the letter "m" and the color "red", which EG calls pink... EVERY SINGLE TIME. (The sand box is for the girls to write their letters in, and then I also have my handy dandy sandpaper letters.)I'm using the order of the Bob Books to teach the girls the alphabet. Reese already knows her letters and all her letter sounds. She's fairly good at putting the sounds together to make words, but she isn't very confident. Often she looks at my face and not the word. I know she's trying to please me, and in turns she often gets it wrong. Slowly but surely we'll get there. I read the page with my finger touching each word, and then she mimics me... she loves it.Letter "m" lacing.Reese and I worked on a list of all the words that she knew that started with the letter "m". The words with dots next to them were prompted, but the others she came up with on her own. My favorite... munchkins. :) With future letters, my hope is to attach a picture to the word for her.Confessions of a Homeschooler has some AMAZING printables to work with for each letter. Seriously people... she's AMAZING. Did I mention the site is more than AMAZING?! Reese is clipping the correct number of clothes pins on each numbered m&m. This little task allowed me to fix dinner. While Emma Grace transferred rice... very messily. :)Some art projects we worked on. I read "How do Dinosaurs Play with Their Friends," and we made friendship flowers and talked about what makes a good friend.We turned our letter "m"s into monsters.The girls also made mosaics. Reese's was a fish, and Emma Grace worked on a monkey... until she realized she could turn her belly into a mosaic instead."If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." Reese did NOT want to finish her mouse puppet, but Emma Grace was quite proud to display her finished product.Mandarins, "m" cheese, and moon pancakes for lunch... and muffins for snackHere is our "Chicka chicka boom boom" tree. The girls helped me paint it. Our first letter has found a home on it! You also see our letter book basket, which holds all the books we've read thus far during preschool time for the girls to revisit.Our first color basket with EG's "red" book. Reese went on a scavenger hunt and found all the things she could that were red... I could tell she felt important. :)Lots of things/ideas to keep... lots to change... hopefully we'll get all the kinks worked out. Next up... letter "a."