Homeschool Discoveries

Sharing a few things I've discovered along the way…

Collage Friday: Spotlight on K and PreK September 21, 2012

Filed under: Weekly Highlights — kirstenjoyhill @ 10:57 pm

It’s already time for another week-in-review.  It hardly seems possible…but I guess since I wrote last week’s review this week (on Monday), it does make this week “seem” a bit shorter.

I tend to write a lot about what I’m doing with Miss M (3rd grade), and less about Mr. E (Kindergarten) and Mr. K (age 3.5 — Preschool).  I tried to take a few more purposeful pictures of the boys this week!

1. While we occasionally pull out Phonics Pathways for reading practice, these days most of Mr. E’s reading practice comes from easy-to-read books of his choosing.  I typically set a timer for 10 minutes.  If he wants to keep going after that, great…if not, 10 minutes of practice per day is fine for his age.  Lately I’ve not been introducing too many new phonics concepts — we’re mostly just practicing what he has already learned over the past few months and developing greater fluency with those blends and phonograms.

Mr. K always listens when Mr. E is reading or doing phonics exercises.  Usually, after Mr. E reads, Mr. K picks a book for me to read to him.  🙂

2. Speaking of phonograms and spelling, I invited Mr. E to play Miss M’s spelling game with us (more on that below).  He did a great job with writing and spelling cvc words, and a few trickier four letter words and words generally considered sight words (like “the”). Mr. K ignored us while we were playing this game for the most part, but joined in at the end trying his hand at writing a few single letters. He can write some nice vowels, but that’s about it (fine for a 3 year old!).

3.  and 4.  The boys continued their interest in space and planets this week.  These are a few books we read from our bookshelves, plus we just picked out a bunch more space books at the library.  I also bought a Hands of a Child Lapbook ebook on “Nearby Space” (it was a perfectly timed $5 ebook-of-the-week sale!), and printed out some of these nice draw and  journal pages for Erik to draw a picture and do some handwriting. For this page he dictated to me what he wanted to say (one sentence: “This is Mars”), and I wrote it down on another pieces of paper.  Then he copied it on to his journal page! Mr. K likes having his own draw/journal pages and lapbook pieces too.  🙂

5. and 6. This week for Math, Mr.  E and I went through lessons 17-23 and part of 24 in Right Start B! This kid is just eating up math right now, as fast as I can shovel it in.  Almost every day I had to tell him that we had done enough.  I think he might do math for an hour or more if I let him!  He also sat in on some of Miss M’s math, and was fascinated by the base 10 picture cards I pulled out for a subtraction review with Miss M.  He seemed to really be connecting with how those worked.  While I don’t know that he has mastered all the concepts in those lessons we covered, I am trying to keep the pace fast lest he get bored (that happened regularly last year when I tried to actually do RS A lessons with him).

Mr K often sits with us for math too (even at times I suggest he may go play…but he just sits and absorbs it like a little sponge as often as not!).  Lately Mr. K has been asking to “do math too”, so I have been teaching him the Right Start “Yellow is the Sun” song and working with him on knowing quantities 1-5 with beads, tally sticks, etc.

7.  I pulled out the Pattern Blocks primarily for Mr. K, but everyone had a good time using them.  I think it’s been over a year since we have used these so it was fresh and new!

8. Everyone loves every chance they are given for learning or fun on the iPad.  🙂 Toca Boca Band was a new app this week, and a fave for everyone.

9. Fun table work for the boys to do while I worked with Miss M — From 1+1+1=1 I printed out Animal Alphabet printables for Mr. K (but Mr E wanted some too!) as well as Solar System printables for both boys.

Here’s a few tidbits from Miss M’s week (3rd grade):


History: Most of our work for US History this week consisted of historical fiction reading.  Miss M is reading Pocahontas and the Strangers independently.  We  finished up Puritan Adventure and started the Witch of Blackbird Pond as bedtime read-alouds.  I had really good intentions of doing some notebooking or other projects on paper with Miss M to get on paper some of what she has learned so far about the Pilgrims and other early colonists, but it just didn’t happen.

Science: I added Sassafras Science Volume 1: Zoology to our science studies as a program that Miss M can complete mostly independently.  A lot of information is conveyed via a story about two kids who go on a trip around the world to learn about various animals and their habitats.  This is supplemented with encyclopedia or other readings about the animals and some short notebooking pages.  Pictured is Miss M’s notebooking page about Lions.  She filled in the top section and narrated the bottom portion to me.  Miss M will spend maybe 15 minutes per day on this science program. She likes it so far!

Spelling: This was a review week (Lesson 10) for us in Logic of English.  Miss M identified from a list a dozen or so words from the last five lessons she felt like she wanted to practice.  Miss M’s favorite review and practice activity was Spelling Basketball.  I called out the words and she wrote them down on a half sheet of paper.  Then she could crumple up the paper and toss it in the basket.  One point for every correctly spelled word, plus an extra point if it makes it in the basket!

Math: We only made it through three math lessons this week for Miss M.  We breezed through lessons 121 and 122 of RightStart C.  Then we hit the next review lesson, 123.  We had fun playing the game pictured, which was not a RS game (inspiration from here), but fit in perfectly.  But in going through the review worksheet in Miss M’s workbook, I discovered that Miss M had forgotten how to do 4 digit subtraction with trading.   My plan to spend yesterday’s math time reviewing this concept did not go over well.  Nor did my attempt to present this material today.  The “school principal” was called in (aka Daddy) for an “after school” math lesson tonight.  This was as much a character building opportunity as it was an opportunity to review a forgotten math concept.  Eventually, the method for subtraction was remembered and (I hope) Miss M is better prepared to be a humble, teachable, ready to learn math student.  🙂

Have a wonderful weekend!

I’m linking up with:

Collage Friday, the Weekly Wrap-Up and Preschool/5K Corner!

Homegrown Learners


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