Preschool Week in Review

So, we actually did all of this about 2 weeks ago. But, I write my posts about the week after it’s already done, because otherwise I feel too harried and hectic, and schedule it out. Last week however, I posted what we were doing, so I could share with the various grandparents.

So, here’s what we did.

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T is for Turtle

Language Arts

We read lots of books this week. I think my favorite was Yertle the Turtle.

We started to blend sounds with the letters we’ve learned so far. It’s mostly nonsense words: sa, lam….. But, I was suprised at how well Superman did with this. Last time I tried it, he was totally not ready.

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We worked on matching colors and textures puzzle together. I’m trying to do something fun at the end of calendar time each day. This was super popular because I passed out all the pieces and we traded until everyone had a couple of matches.

Truthfully we didn’t get a lot done with reading stuff, I was too busy trying to get ready.

Math
was almost nonexistent. Other than counting the number of days we’ve been in school, or counting the days of the month. I’m trying to think of new and fun things to do with math, but I’m just not thinking of it.

Science

We learned that turtles make nests, so the kids had lots of fun playing with their turtles and putting them in the nests they made.

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We went to the pet store, and had lots of fun wandering around trying to find turtles. Every other pet store I’ve taken the kids to had lots of turtles, but the one we went to when we’re studying, almost none. Isn’t that the way things go?

In case you’re wondering, pet stores make a great mini-field trip for kids. They get lots of fun observing animals they probably don’t have at home, and can ask all the questions they want.

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We hunted frogs in the backyard. Actually in my garden. Still, pretty fun to do. Any time you get to go out after dark, is just much more exciting.

Just general life learning

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We built tall towers at Dairy Queen. This is of course after eating large amounts of ice cream.

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Playing in the rain is always fun, and we so desperately needed the rain.

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Playdough is one of those great toys where they don’t realize all the great things they’re learning. I put it in their drawers at least once a week. Then they have fun molding (working those fine motor skills), and cutting, and playing (using imagination, and problem solving). They play with it independently while I work with their brother or sister, sometimes I have to work not to laugh at the dramas Batman acts out. Here, I think he’s made a boat. Or a spaceship.

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We made turtles. I learned if you get bored painting turtles you can always paint yourself or the paper. You can paint it “lots of colors.”

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And, in preparation for our trip to Galveston the kids painted treasure boxes. This was my plan to limit the number of shells they brought home. The only problem is we now have 3 treasure boxes full of shells. Quite full.

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Yeah, I have no reason for including this picture other than it’s cute.

Almost forgot to add: Go to the Preschool Corner at Homeschool Creations.

Yertle the Turtle

We read Yertle the Turtle a few weeks ago. I love Dr. Seuss. There’s just something fun about reading his books. That’s why 50 years later we’re still reading his books in droves. I don’t think 50 years later we will be reading Spongebob or Dora.

So, the story of Yertle, is he’s king of all he can see, and he wants to be king of more. So he makes the other turtles let him climb on them, so he can be king of more.

And, well I got this “brilliant” idea to make this into a fun art project/game.

Here’s what you need: plastic easter eggs or egg cartons cut into single egg holes (what would that be called?), paint, glue, construction paper (learn from my mistake).

Here’s where I went wrong. I tried to make it too complicated (I know big surprsie). I thought I wanted it to be more durable, so I thought about and rejected fun foam because it would be too stiff. Then I thought of fabric, good, now here’s where I got stupid. I interfaced it, even stupider I interfaced it with fusible fleece, so suddenly it’s probably just as stiff as the fun foam if not more so.

So, that was mistake number 1, the next one? I thought to glue the legs and head inside, and that just did not work, it was too hard. One of the boys solved my problem. You glue it on the ouside, and it looks way too cute.

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Princess and Batman, I had to look at about 6 photos before I figured out which kid was in which Batman shirt.

1. Paint the egg halves. This was the least mesiest part. Sadly.

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2. When you’re done painting your eggs, start painting the paper underneath. Have fun making egg imprints (much like the cookie cutter painting).

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3. Get bored painting paper, and paint yourself. Make note to start a load of laundry. Also, ask yourself why you let her wear her new shirt for this project. Sigh.

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One last shot of the mostly clean shirt.

Now send them off for a bath while the paint dries. It’s probably mostly dry now if you used acrylics or poster paint, as long as it’s not super glopped on. My kids have learned the routine, now when they’re done painting they start stripping their clothes off and run to the bath tub.

4. Cut 4 small ovals, one biggish oval, and 1 triangle out of green construction paper. (It’s probably best if you do this, because these are fairly small pieces).

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5. Let the kids draw a face on the biggish oval. If you have googly eyes, glue those on. You’ll probably have to do that part, my kids just couldn’t manage it. Oh, and notice the new shirt Batman is wearing.

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6. Now let them glue on the different parts. Like I said, I figured out it works much better if you glue it on the outside, it will stay on better. Heck, it’ll work much better without the silly fabric I used. (Ticia wanders off muttering about over achievement, and why does she make life harder on herself). Also, notice I wised up and she’s wearing nothing.

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Let dry again for a few hours, then play with it. At this point they remembered that they’d read that turtles have nests, so they wanted their nests they’d made the week before (the ones I’d thrown away, except for Batman’s). Oops….. So, Batman graciously gave his to Superman so he could make a new one.

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(sorry the picture is slightly blurry, camera phones don’t take the best pictures).

To see more story book art check out A Mommy’s Adventures.

Our Preschool Week in Review

Sigh, I hate when I accidentally hit enter instead of tab, then I publish silly blank posts.

So, what did we do this week.

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We studied about nests. I’m sure you can tell that’s what Batman drew in his picture. And right next to it is his bird, I got to teach them how to draw a bird.

LANGUAGE ARTS

We tried to find some more rhymes, but truthfully they’re still struggling with this.

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We had lots of fun making our Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme for our books.

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We played with the Melissa and Doug See and Spell puzzle. I have to say, this was a really great buy. They happily sit and play with it for 30 minutes all by themselves. The only fight that comes about is when someone else wants to make more words and starts to take letters from Superman’s carefully arranged words.

It’s really cute, once he has finished making a word he very carefully sets it to the side and spells the word again. Then he makes his next word and spells it, then he puts it underneath the last word, and spells both words. He repeats this with each word he spells. Of course this slowly but surely uses up all the letters in the set. This starts the fights.

MATH

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We’ve been in school for 30 days now, so the kids are counting up to 30. Something has randomly clicked in them, because last night when we were counting the turtles in the book, they were getting it all. I don’t know what clicked.

I’ve also started a button jar. When I catch them following directions or doing something I like during school time they get buttons. They also get buttons if they complete work in a set amount of time. So, they practice counting their buttons, because if they get their stickers done in 5 minutes they get 5 buttons. Whoever has the most buttons at the end of the week gets to pick a movie for everyone to watch.

SCIENCE

Since we studied nests and animal homes we made a nest.

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This was really popular, but also apparently very tiring.

We also played an animal homes matching game. I found pictures of different animals and something that resembled their homes. We made it into a matching game. I’m sure there are more animal homes I could have added in, but this is all I did at this time. I want to someday go back and add more in. Here’s the game, such as it is.

Animal Homes

Social Studies

Since we’re learning about animal homes, I figured this was a great time to head into the next step of “Me on the Map,” and they drew their rooms. They really enjoyed this, and have been enjoying learning to draw more.

We also learned about where our traveling friend O-Mite is from, he’s from Missouri, so we made a book all about Missouri.

Phys Ed

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We played outside lots when it wasn’t raining. They got so filthy from all the mud. But, I have my garden almost completely planted for the fall. So, I’m proud of myself.

And, I will hopefully get posts up next week of what all we did this week, but we’re on vacation, and I’ll just have my laptop. So, we’ll see. I want to try……. But you know how that goes.

And lastly….. Don’t forget to enter my GIVEAWAY!

Great books about birds, nests, and animal homes

Amazon.com Widgets

The Best Nest– I really liked this book. It’s cute and was a great story. It tells of how all the different birds learned to build their nests and why each nest is built that way.

Crinkleroot’s Guide to Animal Habitats– this was the hit of the week, we read it several times and enjoyed searching the pages to find the different animals.

Magic School Bus Flies from the Nest– this was a little stilted, and the kids didn’t really enjoy it. They did have fun pointing out the stuff that couldn’t really happen.

Is My Friend at Home?– I really didn’t like this one. The stories were not appropriate for preschoolers. In one of them Rabbit says he cut off his ears to serve it to his friend for stew, and so his friend goes home and really does cut off his ears to cook them. It totally went over the kids’ heads, and I do tend to enjoy this type of story, but this one wasn’t my favorite.

Dragon Egg- this also was a learn to read book like the Magic School Bus, but this one was actually a lot smoother and more enjoyable.

How Animals Care for Their Babies– I had this book as a kid, so when I saw it at the library I had to get it. The kids liked it okay, and really enjoyed talking about the different animals.

Oh, and one I forgot to read with the kids that would have fit in well: “Are You My Mother?

Oh and we also read “A House is a House for Me.” It’s super cute and while the kids weren’t super into it, I can see lots of potential for it. And there is so much detail in the pictures to look for.

To see what else everyone is reading head over to Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns.

Our preschool week in review: apples

So this week was super busy with lots of cooking and such because what else do you do with apples?

Bible
We read about Joseph and how Potiphar’s wife lied and got him in trouble. It’s really funny to know the whole story and see the simplified way they tell it to kids. After all, it’s not age apropriate for a 4 year old to hear she was trying to seduce him, but they can still learn from his story of how to avoid temptation.

Language Arts
We read our poems, and talked about rhyming. We went through a lot of the “Ten Apples up on Top” book looking for the rhyming words. They started to get really restless and bored about halfway through, so we stopped. No use pushing it and butting heads. As always we check out lots of books from the library to see those books go to this post.

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We also went through some of our books and stuff to find out how we could use them independently. So, I read them “Alphabet Under Construction” and showed them how to trace the letters in the book.

Math
Still plugging away at our calendar time.

We also played a number memory game. It’d be super easy to make if you wanted to, but I cut up a workbook and had the numerals on one piece glued to cardstock, and on the other piece of cardstock the paper that had all of the dots. Then we used it as a memory game, flipping over 2 cards at a time, and keeping it if they matched. This was super popular.

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We also cooked a lot! This is great for learning measuring, and counting out scoops of different ingredients. It also is a great motor skill activity to work on motor control for stirring and pouring. We made apple pie, apple cookies, and applesauce. All of which got completely devoured.

Science
After peeling and cutting up all of those apples we then dug the seeds out of one of the cores, and planted them. We’re still waiting for them to grow up, but I’m hopeful they will.

We continued talking about how trees grow. I got to feel a bit of maternal pride as my neighbor was talking with me and her daughter was picking leaves off the tree. Now, her daughter is in 5th grade. I asked her not to take all the leaves off because the tree needs the leaves to make it’s food. She looked at me in surprise, and hadn’t known that. Then, Batman comes up and tells her all about how the leaves make food for the tree, and they need rain to get the water they need. It was very cool.

We also experimented with which apples we liked and the different tastes of the apples.

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We played Go Fish with Jolanthe’s Fruit and Vegetable cards and talked about how the different foods and what we’d eaten. I’m going to bag those up, and keep them around for when we talk about vegetables. Oh, and notice the bright blue chapstick on Princess’ face. I don’t know where she finds the stuff.

Social Studies
We made a trip to a different grocery store to get all of our fruits, so we got to talk about different places people go to get their food.

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We’re also participating in a Flat Stanley project with lots of other people. We’ve decorated our “Stanleys” and then mailed them off to their first destination: North Carolina. We’re eagerly looking forward to getting our visitors. The kids keep running to the mailbox to see if it’s there yet. Except we drive to our mailbox, because it’s a couple of blocks over, so not quite. But, they do ask about going to the mail a lot.

That’s actually our second set of Stanleys in the picture, they wanted to have some to keep. I’m such an indulgent Mommy….

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We read “How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World,” and marked down where she went to get everything. We of course then had to make the pie.

We also started reading “Me on the Map,” and will soon be posting our marvelous maps we make. We’ll see how it goes, my kids’ drawing skills are somewhat lacking, so this should be interesting.

Art

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We drew a picture of our theme for the week. Here’s Superman proudly holding up his apple. I had to write our “words to remember” on the page next to it because he wanted a BIG apple.

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We put together our nursery rhyme for the week, and the kids had lots of fun. I think they were glad of a simpler project this week.

I almost forgot to add, here’s some other great apple links that I found:

Apple prints– I almost did this same project, but ran out of time.

apple bean bag– super duper cute

Apple Orchard– cute art project

Lots of apple ideas-more than you could ever do really, she did great research

Categorizing fruits and veggies in real life– my garden is just not that good.

Apple finger play– or it could be, she used it as a felt board, both ways are super cute

I’m gonna end with my favorite picture of the week:

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Isn’t she cute? Black eye and all.

For more great ideas for preschool go to Homeschool Creations
For more great general homeschool ideas go to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Apples, and more apples, and How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

I first ran into this book back in high school taking a “pretend you’re a teacher” class. At least I think that’s where I did. Otherwise it was my first year teaching and we used it for a nutrition unit and geography.

So, we read this several times. I mean a lot, and then we related it to Me on the Map, and talked about maps some. Then we had to get out the map and read it again and find the places on the map (it’s kind of like when you give a mouse a cookie, you keep needing to do more).

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You can’t tell super well, but that’s our map of all the places needed to go to make an apple pie. Actually, we only had to go to Whole Foods and pick one of every kind of apple to try. That, and our pantry, which has all the rest.

Now, to make that pie.

Ingredients:
Crust
2 C flour
1 C butter
1 t salt
1/2 C ice water (in reality it’s about 4 tablespoons)
1 egg yolk (which I didn’t actually use)

Filling
5 granny smith apples
3/4 C sugar
1t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
2 T butter (ummm….. I forgot that part)

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So first let your kids have fun with the apple peeler corer slicer (isn’t that a horrendously long name?). Settle the argument with, no you only get to do one, and Mommy does the rest.

Let them break the apples into slices, remind them frequently that we aren’t trying to make apple confetti. Listen to them happily tell you that you don’t want peels in your apple pie because it makes bad pies, just like it makes bad applesauce. Think to yourself, they do listen to me.

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Let the kids help you mix the different ingredients together. Then finally get frustrated when a cup of flour gets on the floor, and they just don’t have the upper body strength to really mix the silly thing, and so make them go watch TV while you mix it.

Now, divide the dough into two different balls, and for some strange reason let the kids help you roll the dough out. In case you’re wondering, this is a bad idea. It’s sure to get you losing your temper as they ruin the nice crust you had rolled out. Seriously think about how bad the jail time would be if you beat your children senseless (okay, not really, but I did come close to losing my temper when they tore a huge hole in the dough for the tenth time).

Again send them off to watch TV while you finish rolling out the dough. Then let them come back to make the filling. Here’s my method:

Put all the apples in a gallon ziploc bag, throw in the sugar, cinammon, and salt. Shake like crazy. Now it’s all mixed together, dump it into the pie. Arrange so it looks “pretty.” Slap the top crust on and voila! You’ve got a pie all ready to bake.

Now, I don’t like apple pie. Actually, the only pie I like is pumpkin and various cream type things. But, Jeff says that was a great pie even if I left out the butter.

I’ve also learned, that while I can make cookies, cake, and various other things like that with the kids, a pie is no fun. Really, it’s only frustrating. Very very frustrating. But, they had lots of fun with the whole thing.

Nursery Rhyme: apple

After the fiasco of last week I decided to step back and go for super simple. It may not be quite as satisfying to me, but this way the kids and I aren’t butting heads.

Way Up High in the Apple Tree

This one is super duper easy.

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1. Cut out the poem first and glue it to the top of your page. I’m working on the kids noticing that book pages go in a certain order, and they should glue the next poem on the next page. They didn’t care. They just glued it down randomly. So, we’ll have a blank page or two, and that’s okay.

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2. Color the tree and it’s leaves. Of course the more color you put on the tree the better? Right…… Okay, so that’s my kid’s belief. Notice Superman actually did a pretty good job keeping in the lines.

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3. Now cut out the tree and the leaves, and glue them together.

4. Now for the fun part. Get a small bit of red paint. Stick your finger in it, and put 3 dots on the tree for the three apples.

Super cute, and super easy. Of course I had to do Superman’s apples, because he’s on a whole don’t touch the paint kick, but aside from that, it went well.

For more great crafts go to