Wednesday, September 30, 2009

potato printing!

We are now in the midst of /NT/ week (as in printing), and Will has gotten better with the letter N and he is already pretty good at T. Today the kids had fun potato printing and painting. W and I read a book about Gutenberg during nap time and he couldn't fathom a time when little children didn't have any books to be read to them. The easel has been an essential tool for us lately since it is great for chalk, whiteboard, and painting with the paper roll.

The other day he watched the Yoga Kids dvd which was recommended to us by a friend after his preK yoga library class, and he loved it. I was very impressed by it also, the turtle pose is quite difficult for Mama! :) We have the Babar Yoga for Elephants book but the dvd really shows other kids doing yoga so he was really drawn in so I am hoping he can practice this regularly.

frog week & fall

Last week was a busy one! The letter sounds of the week were fr, as in frog and friend. We learned about frogs and W did some fun frog crafts with S and his homeschooling friends at our first homeschool playgroup. He loves the book Little Quack's New Friend by Lauren Thompson, and it was so appropriate for the week since he did meet some new little friends and it also had a frog in the book. The final activity involving frogs was to check out some real frogs at Petco just to visit them, although some day I hope he will be interested in having small pets when he is old enough to take care of them.
This printout used numbers to match the arms and legs to the right spots.

W has decided he will be a tree for halloween, so we bought some faux fall leaves and I am working on making his brown sweater into a costume for him. He will wear brown pants and shoes to complete the look and I am also considering making a hat of some sort to go with the outfit. C is making it easier for me since we found a Winnie the Pooh costume for him already, and it will be nice and warm for him, W usually freezes at our town's trick or treat event.

The harvest season is winding down at our local CSA, I am looking forward to more squash and hopefully a pumpkin although I have heard this season has been rough. We have stopped doing pick your own since it is so late by the time we get there in the evening it is getting dark earlier now, so although W is sad he can't go it is a great way to learn about how things change in the fall.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

And they demand homework too?

A child in public school spends something like 7 hours a day for 180 days a year attending school. And yet this is not even enough for them. Teachers demand not only the in-class time, but the child's time when he or she is at home in the form of homework assignments! Families spend so little time together as it is, and after school and work there may only be one or two hours of opportunity. Is this time really best spent on classroom assignments?

Of course, demanding the child's time even when away from school helps reinforce what I consider the most evil aspect of public schooling: replacing the home with the school as the center of the child's existence; replacing one's family and community with class-mates as the center of the child's social life.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Seeing stars

I forgot to post these pictures last week as we were away on vacation, but here they are now. W is still having a bit of diffuculty writing the letters S and R, so he traced those on our word of the week poster but he is great at writing T and A. :) We have been using printouts of Jan Brett's Alphabet tracers for W and he loves them. On her website there are a lot of other printables, it is a great resource.

We also tried making our own lacing star cards. I found that thinner cardboard works best with the hole punch, and got some posterboard for trying out different shapes. W wanted to use a pen so I let him write some letters on this one, but I am sure markers, crayon or paint would look cuter and there are so many themes you can do with this. As for other crafts, W painted a picture with glitter (a starry night scene) and we also did some more stamping as you can see on the word poster, the star stamp was a success.

Some books that we read about that featured the /st/ sound were: Baby Einstein's Baby Galileo Sees the Stars (C and S loved this one especially as it has sparkly stars to touch), How Stuff Works (a Search + find book), and the Berenstain Bears classic Ghost of the Forest.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

the beach

3 beaches, 3 museums, 2 carousels, 1 giant lobster roll, and lots of fun times with family on vacation = priceless. W had a ball, and he is fascinated by digging in the sand and making sand castles, and very muddy sand piles. C also touched sand for the first time, and then attempted to eat it, so he was not as enamored with it after that. We talked about the "ch" sound as in the end of beach and beginning of children, although did not sit W down to practice writing as much this week as he was having more fun going places. Now we are home catching up on laundry and errands, but beach week was awesome!