Saturday, October 27, 2012

C Week Report

Will and I have started enjoying some early efforts at home education lately. Yes, he's only 18 months. No, I'm not pushing him too hard or expecting too much from him. I don't think we'll formally do school, whether that takes place at home or away until 1st grade anyway. But why not get our feet wet, have a little bit of intentional learning play, and vary our days at home together by following an alphabet path that exposes him to many different areas of interest and skills.
We started with A week about 6 weeks ago when we focused on apples and applesauce mostly, with a little acorn investigation tossed in. B week brought with it talks of birds, bears, bugs, we baked bread, and played ball. By the time we got to C week (really 2 weeks for each), I felt pretty good about what we were doing so I figured I should take a few pics and record some of our most successful activities and our favorite books.
I was initially inspired by Elizabeth Foss and her Along the Alphabet Path. I've been reading her site for years and wishing I had someone to learn with, but the fairy stories don't resonate with me much and of course Will wouldn't really get them at this point, but her book recommendations are top notch, and I love the inclusion of saints stories, and the picture studies. She links to Starry Sky Ranch who hosts Friday Fun School, with more ideas for the little ones. Both of them have been doing this for a long time. Probably next year or the year after we could really do a lot of the learning activities she posts, but for now it's all about exposure for us. Certainly Pinterest is always a source of inspiration as well.

Virtue of the Week - Compassion
Saints of the Week - St. Christopher and St. Cecilia
Shape of the Week - Circle

Comparing, Contrasting and Counting Coins really got the alliteration in with that one, eh?
Fine Motor Skills, Math

Momma cleaned out her purse and donated all the coins at the bottom, about $7 worth, to this activity. My first responsibility was making sure none of them went near his mouth, nose, or ears. Beyond that, I narrated his play with them, talking about their relative size, colors, and value. I sorted them into different combinations of $.50, which is what caps were going for in one of our favorite books this week, Caps for Sale. I also prompted him to make judgments with which one is bigger? which one is silver? which pile has more? etc. The part he enjoyed the most though was dropping the coins into his Tiffany's elephant bank. He worked through that pile of coins, while I counted, in record time. When he was done he signed more, more. Don't we all want more, Will? Don't we all?
Fall Collage
Art, Nature Study, Sensory Play

We took a walk around our neighborhood and collected as many different types of leaves and flowers and berries as we could find. The highlight of our gatherings was a fallen Monarch butterfly. Whenever I was able I told him the names of things, and we talked about their texture, sizes and colors a lot. Coming home, he took a nap and I set this up to make a collage out of our collection. 

I had lofty ideas about how I'd put another piece of contact paper on the other side, and we'd incorporate our art into our fall decorations for the next couple months. I've read enough parenting blogs to know that the projects never turn out as perfect as you imagine, but somewhere along the way the learning and memories that are made are more than you could hope for. So in that spirit, here is our imperfect collage in progress. 
Note: it was not saved. Will wadded up one side and I took down the other a little later.  
 I think he got a lot of experience with texture, especially sticky. And enjoyed seeing all the leaves and things close up. The berries stuck a lot better than I predicted, and the fall leaves did a lot worse.

umm, Home Ec?

We worked on the sign for cookie, which he had used before, but sporadically. I think today he actually said cookie. The Kindermusik curriculum we're enjoying now is Milk and Cookies, so we had a couple books about cookies from there that we read as well as a couple from the library. Together, we baked Pumpkin Kiss Cookies which I think are just about the healthiest cookies to ever go by that name. Will helped pour and stir, continually identified the oven as HOT!, and greatly enjoyed eating them! We watched C is for Cookie courtesy of the Cookie Monster himself and sang and signed along.

Aditionally, We've been making a letter on cardstock each week and this time I made a capital C, coated it in glue and let Will pour cornmeal on it. It had the effect of being very similar to sandpaper Montessori letters. It hung on the fridge all week except when we practiced clipping clothespins on and off the card. He doesn't quite have the hang of it yet, but thinks its hilarious when I clip clothespins on him.
We also colored with crayons and chalk.

Favorite Books

Caps for Sale Will enjoyed imitating the monkeys who were imitating the peddler.
The Carrot Seed We read this repeatedly during snacks of carrots and hummus
Cookies: Bite Sized Life Lessons loved the extended metaphor for virtues with cookie examples
The Hungry Caterpillar we had a caterpillar caught in a jar which we observed for a couple days then released before we went to Corpus last weekend. Wish I had a picture. I considered a caterpillar craft but decided they were all over Will's head.
In Loyola Kids Book of Saints we read the story of St. Christopher. I also told the story of St. Cecilia, my patron.

I have all my books reserved at the library for the start of D week next week. It should be fun!


Carrie said...

You're making such sweet memories!

allie-mac-fallie said...

holy crapola!! you did all of this in a week or two!?!? my oh my, I applaud you :)
- a fun "fall leaf" craft is to collect colorful fall leaves and place them on a piece of wax paper on your ironing board. place another piece of wax paper on top and with a cloth covering the wax paper iron your masterpiece to perfection :)