Tuesday, August 7th, 2012
Last week we started back to school, but I thought I’d spend a few minutes sharing our overall goals this for this next semester. I’ll start off sharing our plans for ED’s preschool. Early next week I’ll share the plans for DD (age 6) and LD (almost 9).
This year I decided to go with Right Start Math Level A for ED (age 4). I did this curriculum with LD years ago, but only used it a bit with DD and found something else that worked; we made an international move when DD was 4 and somehow this curriculum didn’t fit our topsy-turvy life at that time. Right Start seems to be a perfect match for ED. It’s gentle, very hands-on and very interactive. I like that it Dr. Joan Cotter is trained in Montessori. The curriculum she designed incorporates the use of lots of manipulatives including an abacus, card games, and lots of visualization. I think ED will do really well with this. I’m sure I’ll supplement it with lots of games, but I like having something tangible and straight forward to work from as I juggle the needs of all three of my kids.
Below we’re playing a memory game matching combinations that make 5 (0/5, 4/1, 3/2). In the other picture ED was counting by 10s (though she was sliding the beads from bottom to top instead of top to bottom).
We will use a lot of our Montessori materials, but we’re actually following along with a simple science textbook as a spine. I feel like I’m juggling so much that I wanted a straight-forward path to guide me. DD was so excited about ED’s textbook that I got her one on her level to read just for fun! Our Life Science Plans for ED this fall look like this. (You can print it out if you’re interested.) We started with the 5 senses this past week. We’ll do lots of Montessori activities and science experiments as we make our way through the book. I also plan to use a lot of crafts and activities from kidssoup.com (a paid, membership website) to go along with that. To a certain extent she’ll also do the science activities I’ll be doing with the other kids (more about those plans in another week or so).
Read Alouds: As always we’re doing lots and lots of read alouds. We read at breakfast. We read on the couch. We read when we’re tired and grumpy. We read during lunch. We read at night. Anytime is a perfect time for a book! I made a list of a lot of the suggested books from Sonlight and ordered many of those from the library. Plus, we’ll make our way through many of the books suggested in the Five In a Row curriculum. We don’t do many of the activities in that curriculum, but if you want to see how amazing Five in a Row can be, you just have to visit Delightful Learning! For example, here’s a wonderful post she put together about the book, Owl Moon or here’s a recent post about the book, The Salamander Room.
Learning to Read: As I mentioned earlier this summer, ED is also learning to read. She’s going back and forth between the free Sam books I mentioned a few weeks ago and the Bob Books (which are available from Amazon).
She has made her way through most of the worksheets I made to accompany the Bob Books (see photo below), so I’ll be making a new packet at some point soon! I’ll also use some of the material Erica has made over at Confessions of a Homeschooler and will put those in ED’s workbox from time to time.
This semester/year we will be studying World Cultures – starting with Africa. I’ll talk more about that when I go over the plans for DD and LD this next year. Lots of pin maps are in our future!
One book I highly recommend is Somewhere in the World Right Now. It has led to a lot of discussions about the different time zones around the world and is a great supplement to an introduction to geography. We read it every day last week! I highly recommend it for the 4-7 year old crowd.
At the moment, ED loves mazes and I found a wonderful website by Krazydad where he offers lots of mazes on different levels (easy, intermediate, challenging, difficult, tough and super tough). I printed out a lot of those and she’s been making her way through lots of those! You’ll find Krazydad’s printable mazes here.
Another important part of ED’s preschool this year is play! We have a couple new games to add to the games cabinet, but I try to be mindful of putting out two or three new board games each week and finding time to sit down and play with her (and invariably with the other kids as well!!) It goes without saying that the girls/kids play a lot of imaginative games, dress up, do crafts, draw and generally have fun together!
We also spend lots of time outdoors playing, exploring, swimming, jumping on the trampoline, looking at plants in the gardens, zooming along the zipline, and enjoying the beautiful world around us!
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