11 September 2015

Preschool at Home: Week 5

Thoughts on the topic of preschoolers and crafts:

It's unusual for this part of the world, but I do not do crafts for my preschoolers, and that's a fairly important tenet of my homeschooling system. There are two different schools of thought when it comes to kids and crafts--one, is that you want crafts to turn out cute and perfect. If you visit a kindergarten here, you will see lots of cute and nearly perfect art projects hanging on the wall...this is because the teachers are highly involved in the craft-making for that age group.

The other school of thought, and the one I adhere to, is that the real point of crafts is to give kids experience handling and using different tools and mediums, and because of that, the teacher lets the kids do all the actual craft-making...and the crafts don't end up looking beautiful like an adult might make them. I give the girls instructions, and explain the point and meaning of any craft, and I'm right there as we do it, but they do all painting, cutting, and gluing themselves. I already know how to paint, cut, and glue--and my penmanship is quite amazing. They are the ones needing practice, so I see no point in making up crafts for me to do.

Homeschool Preschool

Week 5:
Major Themes: The Letter R and Weather

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

Preschool Weather Chart

-Sang the Sing, Spell, Read, & Write letter sounds song.
-Sing the short vowels sounds song.
-Practiced writing names. Counted letters in their names. 
-Practiced writing upper and lowercase letters with workbooks
-This week we focused on the letter R and had several associated activities:
  -Found things in the house that started with the 'R' sound.
  -Asked, "Does your name have the letter R in it?"
  -Looked at the R page in our picture dictionary
  -Listened to this Letter R video.
  -We made a rain craft using watercolor painted raindrops and fluffy cotton ball clouds.
  -I let them play with some of my rings and try them on to see if they fit.
  -Made  rainbows.We paid attention to ROY G. BIV order when painting our rainbows, except we skipped indigo. Sorry indigo.
  -We used Angel's prism to make more rainbows indoors. They thought the prism was really cool. Who knew his prism-collecting hobby would turn out to be educational one day?
  -Had them copy my name because guess what: Rachel starts with R! (A wee bit narcissistic? No way...)
  -They helped me measure and wash the rice for lunch. (haha--we eat rice all the time, suddenly it's a learning point...)
  -Made the letter R with playdough

-Number flashcards up to 20
-Practiced writing numbers on whiteboard
-Math worksheets from Abeka 1st Grade Math
-Counted the number of colors in a rainbow.
-Made patterns with colored blocks, and used the blocks for counting and building towers.

--Books 1 and 2 from Sonlight's Fun Tales. After reading the stories, we acted them out, which they really, really enjoyed. Possibly because Book 2 involves Sam sitting on Pat and then Pat tipping him over...
Shiloh: this week I had her read letter blends with short vowels: ra, re, ri, ro, ru
We practiced adding an end letter, too: ra-n, ru-t, re-d, ri-d, ro-t.
Both:  Teach Your Monster to Read for 5-10 minutes a day.
We now have two sight words we are working on memorizing: is and to.

Bible and Storytime: Week 5 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.

Preschool Rainbow Craft

Science: Weather
-We looked at the weather graph that we've been making every since we started school and counted the number of sunny, rainy, or cloudy days. Sunny days definitely won!
-We talked about what kind of weather we liked best.

Storybook: Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
-Counted the numbers of caps and monkeys on the different pages (in English and Bahasa).
-We remembered the Bahasa word for monkey (monyet).
-Had them sound out and read the word caps in the title.
-We walked across the room balancing cups on our heads in honor of the peddler who balanced caps on his head.

This week's unit was numbers 1-10!

Satu, Dua, Tiga, Empat, Lima, Enam, Tujuh, Lapan, Sembilan, Sepuluh

-Asked them each day: "How many tangan do you have? How many kepala?" We aren't at the point of answering/asking complete sentences in Bahasa yet, but I try to stick Bahasa vocab into English sentences.
-We always review old vocab and the two sentence patterns (basically, two verbs) we've used so far.
Saya ada.... and Saya suka...
-Listened to this Counting Song.
-We also listened to the Didi and Friends song 5 Buku di atas Meja which reinforces the numbers 1-5 in context with simple nouns.

Life skills: 
-They helped me put laundry in the washing machine and fold and put it away.
-As noted above, they helped make rice this week.
-They wiped down my glass coffee table.

Crafts + Play:
-Played with play-dough
-Made a heart craft using leftover supplies from Sunday School
-Visited the Playroom

Previous Weeks: 
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Unknown said...

I am totally with you. The point of a student's project is that they learn how to do it. I don't mind helping a little, but the end product is going to look like a kid did it. My kids go to public school. Their projects never look as good as the other kids do. But I secretly tell my hubby that it's ok, because some day my kids will be their kids' boss! ;)

Deanna said...

Love this! We are home schoolers are well! I think the life skills are so essential to kids future, I love that you include them!

Unknown said...

This is very interesting to me! I'm planning to send my kids to preschool a couple of days a week but want to do some educational activities with them at home too!

Unknown said...

This is so great! Love the learning activities!

Jaime said...

I love this, thank you! It's such a huge help to see what others are doing to give me ideas for the future.

Say Yes to Happy said...

looks like so much fun!

Jen Lud said...

I never thought about the way crafts are traditionally done in preschool - you're so right about the teacher executing much of the work. I try to let me kids help out with some of my crafting stuff (cards, scrapbooking) but I tend to get all itchy and take over when the kidness shines through. How terrible, right? Luckily my oldest has a bit of an artistic "flair," I'll call it, and she rocks on the easel, so I made her her very own space and let her go nuts doing what she wants.

I also have little prisms that my kids go crazy over - I keep them in my west-facing kitchen window so during dinnertime our whole ceiling is lit up with rainbows :) How fun!

Audrey said...

As a parent I don't save the projects that look like the teacher did them. I like the ragged edges of a learning to use scissors preschooler, the stick figures my 7 year old still draws because he doesn't care about perfection, the runonwordsbecauseweforgetspaces... :)

Thanks for sharing on the #HomeMattersParty. I hope you will join us again next week.

Unknown said...

This all looks like so much fun! And personally I love it when a little girl or boy makes his or her drawing all by myself, even when it's filled with mistakes and it doesn't "look" that great. Kids need to learn how to grow. It's a part of life really.

N- Naomi in Wonderland

Anonymous said...

I love love all these ideas! My favorite one is the weather craft!

Gema from belovedgems.og

Teri said...

These are great ideas for exploring weather with preschoolers! My daughters love crafts and I hardly ever am able to think of great crafts for them, so Pinterest is my go-to for such help. Thanks for sharing!