04 September 2015

Preschool at Home: Week 4

My thoughts on homeschooling this week delve into the interesting situation of homeschooling abroad. America is the land from which most English-language homeschooling materials are sourced, and most resources reference American things--American money, American animals, American holidays, American seasons.

Sometimes this creates a bit of a conundrum for me when it comes to planning what I want to teach my two little Malaysians. Sometimes I make executive decisions in planning to not focus on things that would be a much more real thing in the lives of American preschoolers--that aren't particularly "real" for my little girls. We celebrate Merdeka Day, not Labor Day, here (and that's why we had a 4-day school week this week). A farm in Malaysia looks very, very different than the red barns and cornfields plastered all over a unit about farm animals from the USA. Most preschoolers in the USA aren't juggling English with Bahasa and Mandarin Chinese. There will come a day when these girls need to learn more about the rest of the world, including the USA, but for now, I'm trying to keep their education close to home, so that their book-learning matches up with what they actually experience of life. For example, for this week, I'd choose a taxi craft over a tractor craft because the girls have real-life experience with taxis and NOT John Deere tractors (totally different childhood than mine--I rode green tractors in infancy).

Week 4:
Major Themes: The Letter T and Transportation

-Check the weather and mark the weather on the graph (sunny, cloudy, or rainy) each day
-Write in the number of the day on the calendar each day.
-Point out which day of the week it is.

-Sang the Sing, Spell, Read, & Write letter sounds song.
-Sing the short vowels sounds song.
-Practice writing names. Anna is also writing a few words like Mom and Dad everyday.
-Practice writing upper and lowercase letters with workbooks.
-This week we focused on the letter T and had several associated activities:
  -Found things in the house that started with the 'T' sound.
  -Asked, "Does your name have the letter T in it?"
  -Listened to the Letter T Song.
  -Looked at the T page in our picture dictionary
  -We made/played with taxis.
  -Made the letter T with our bodies.
  -Made the colorful train from the book Freight Train.
  -Made the letter T with playdoh
  -Used Dad's measuring tape to measure how tall they are.

-Number flashcards up to 20
-1-10 Dot-to-dot pages
-Practiced writing numbers on whiteboard
-Math worksheet from Abeka 1st Grade Math
-Counted how many trucks, cars, and planes are in our toy collection.
-Counted blocks. Made patterns with different colored blocks.

-Books 1 and 2 from Sonlight's Fun Tales
-Letter blends with short vowels: ta, te, ti, to, tu
-We practiced adding an end letter, too: ta-n, tu-ck, te-d, ti-n, to-t.
Both:  Teach Your Monster to Read for 5-10 minutes a day.

Bible and Storytime: Week 4 from Sonlight Core P4/5 Instructor's Guide.

Days of the Week and Months of the Year: I use this days of the week song and this months of the year song.

Science: Transportation
-Asked questions like, "If you want to go to Singapore, will you take a car, a taxi, or an airplane?" "If you want to go to Cameron Highlands, will you take a taxi, a bus, or a car?" "If you want to go to the mall, will you take a bus, a car, or a motorcycle." They were really good at this. They said that when you go to Singapore, first you take a taxi to the airport, then you take an airplane. Awesome!
-We talked about all of the vehicles that our families have.

Freight Train by Donald Crews
-We made a train craft using paint (watercolor), matching the colors of our cars to the colors of the car in the book's train.
-Counted the number of cars on the train
Titch by Pat Hutchins
-Discussed all of our siblings, and compared sizes, which siblings are bigger and which are smaller.

This week's unit was on names for common vehicles:

Car = Kereta
Bus = Bas
Train = Kereta api
Airplane = Kapal terbang
Taxi = Teksi
Bicycle = Basikal

-Asked them: "Did you ride in a kereta today? A bas? A kapal terbang?'
-Read the page on vehicles in our Bahasa/English picture dictionary
-We listened to the Didi and Friends song Tayar Bas every day ("The Wheels on the Bus go 'Round and 'Round")
-Also listened to this video with Vehicle Vocabulary Words in Bahasa.

Life skills: 
-Helped me wash bok choy and potatoes.
-They helped me put laundry in the washing machine and fold and put it away.

Crafts + Play:
-Played with play-dough
-Played with Sarah's old scooter in the hallways of the apartment building. Whee!
-Visited the playroom
-Cut up empty cereal boxes (hey, don't laugh, it's fun, plus it's scissor practice)

Previous Weeks: 
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Emily said...

Hello, I'm visiting from the Peony Project! You offer a great resource here for those who home school. I don't even have any kids yet, but I have thought about the idea of doing some home schooling when I do. You make it sound so fun! :) Off to explore more of your blog now!

Rach said...

Play dough is definitely an important part of learning! :)

Catherine Short said...

I never thought much about international homeschooling. I suppose that is an untapped market!

Liz Cleland said...

Wow, this is such a great lesson plan. I have to say I have been personally considering homeschooling just never knew how to do it!!

Cook with 5 Kids said...

I also love to incorporate playdough into learning. It is so versatile!

Jen Lud said...

Ha that is so good - customizing their learning experience so it makes more sense with their lifestyle - you are a fantastic teacher! I really appreciate the links you include in your posts, too. I save them to my "Annabelle" folder so I can show her the videos during our learning time :) I think my favorite part of your homeschooling day, though, is the Life Skills section. I get very excited about teaching my kids how to cook and clean and take care of themselves like little individuals. It's such an overlooked element of life back here in the good ol' US of A. Awesome week and thanks for sharing with us!!

It’s Simply Lindsay said...

I love your creativity in lesson planning! I'm a high school teacher, so I understand the time and dedication you must have to homeschool.

Unknown said...

I just bookmarked this! My little one is not quite 1 year old yet, but I"m looking forward to doing home-preschool, or "tot school" as I just learned some call it.. Thanks so much for sharing these great ideas!
Found you at The Peony Project. Pop over and visit me at Happy holiday weekend!

Ali Hval said...

You are so very dedicated to keep track of all this homeschooling and make such creative, innovative ways to teach! I especially love that you make crafts for the books you read. How fun!! I would have loved your homeschooling as a child.

And... you're right, I shouldn't have said it's the "final" Northern Lights tale. ;) I'm sure there will be many more!

Unknown said...

This is great to reference!! Thanks for sharing! :)

Kid Minds said...

Good job, mommy! It looks like an awesome lesson on letter T and Transportation. I love how you incorporated movement into your lesson, by using bodies to make a letter "T." And Freight Train is a definitely a bit hit in our house.