Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Great Blog to Check Out

If you're working with preschoolers or even kindergarteners, you need to bookmark the blogger blog Excellence in Early Childhood Education This blog has great ideas and she posts frequently. I love a newer post about turning jar lids into little critters. I'm always throwing away jars and lids, but Avlyn would have a great time painting them and turning them into bugs for our garden. So check out her site when you get a chance for a lot of great ideas.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fun With Play-Doh

I think every house should have a few containers of Play-Doh. I know some families who have a ban on Play-Doh because it gets in the carpet. However, you can rectify that situation by purchasing a large dry erase board. This board performs double duty by acting as a writing/magnetic board and a Play-Doh board. And clean up is easy since the dry erase board material is so smooth and slick. Here are some ideas for Play-Doh lessons.

Practice letter formation: For this activity I draw both the capital and lowercase letters on the dry erase board. Then we roll Play-Doh out into long lines and trace the letter. We usually do different letters and then race to see who can finish their letter first.

Practice beginning words: For this activity I write a simple word such as bat or cat on the board. We then go over how to sound out and read the word. We also go over other words in that word family, such as sat, rat, and mat. Then we use the Play-Doh to outline the word

Practice creative arts: There is no set way to do this activity. All you need is a little imagination and lots of Play-Doh. This last time we made a person. It started out as just a face, but by the end we had added a neck, shoulders, and arms. All you have to do is draw out what you want to start with and go from there. Let the imagination run wild.

Happy Homeschooling!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Assignment: Take Pictures of the Signs of Spring

Avlyn had a fun assignment that she really enjoyed today. Her job was to go outside with my digital camera (never running, only walking and wearing the wrist strap at all times :))and take as many pictures as she could of the signs of spring. As you can see, she photographed just about every flower in the yard. But what I was looking for, and was happily rewarded with, was her notice of the smaller signs of new life. We have the traditional daffodils and tulips popping up in our yard, and our trees our in full bloom with buds right now, but there are plenty of other signs of spring. I was hoping she'd observe them, and she did!

The signs of spring she noticed included:

Daffodils in the front yard
Tulips around our bird feeder
Little yellow dandelions popping up everywhere
Puffers (that's what we call those weeds you can blow the seeds off)
Blooms on our trees and shrubs
Little purple flowers growing alongside the shed
Wild spring onions
Our broccoli seedling coming up

Some of the more uncommon things she noticed were:

A bird with a twig in its mouth, off to build a nest
Tiny little evergreen buds that almost blend into the tree itself (I didn't even notice these)
Tiny twig buds on our oak tree
Our boat in the driveway (a sign that daddy's getting it ready for summer)
The fact that our Boston Terrier's nose and mouth were covered in mud - a sure sign spring is here and she's outside digging for moles

The number one thing I noticed as a sign of spring was that the kids have left the confines of their warm homes, taken off all the heavy jackets and mittens, and are thoroughly enjoying the type of weather that only spring can bring. Happy Homeschooling!