Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Letter A Preschool activities plus Sonlight curriculum Part 4

        Today we took a pretend trip around the world focusing on continents and oceans that begin with the letter /A/.  Bug loved planning our route via our atlas!  One of our Sonlight curriculum books is called "Stories From Around the World" by Usborne which contains different folk-tales that are set in different countries around the globe.  It has a wonderful map in the back that Bug took great interest in!  We started our trip in North America and traveled across the Atlantic to Africa and then on to Australia!  I loved integrating a geography lesson with our letter of the week.  We also located the Artic Ocean and Austria!  Bug loved flying on our airplane made of paper towels rolls and so did Little Man.  Bug also enjoyed reading the map!  I also read the pre-scheduled pages about Japan recommended by Sonlight.  Afterwards, Bug identified Japan on the map and learned the Capitol.  It was a wonderful learning experience for Bug and I think Little Man just always loves being a part of everything!
Our Pretend Airplane!

Bug studying the map!

Bug also learned a few new vocabulary words including: abundance, avid and ample.  I gave her a simple definition of each along with a sentence that she could relate to with each word.  For example, I said "Bug you have an abundance of stuffed animals in the toy room" (they are literally taking over our house:) I also told her "Bug you are an avid insect collector" and then reiterated the meaning of each vocabulary word. I also taught her how to sign the letter /A/ and the word for apple in Spanish (la manzana).  We also briefly talked about people in the Bible like Abraham, Adam, and Abigail.  We also prayed for friends whose names started with the letter /A/. I love having a letter theme because there are so many different avenues of learning you can take! 

We also went on outdoor animal safari with plastic animals!  I highly recommend you visit this website for all the details on this activity: No Time for Flashcards .  Bug was so overjoyed when I told her about the Safari in the front yard.  The site also gave a great simple way to make a map which I also utilized! Bug loved gathering up a bucket, her binoculars and a map for her special animal safari.  I loved how this activity included map skills also!  She loved the safari so much that she created a safari for me with her stuffed animals inside the house!   

Afterwards, we collected acorns to go with our letter /a/ theme.  Bug decided to plant an acorn and we discussed the four things that plants need to survive.  She loved watering her little acorn and planting it in the dirt!  
                                                             Bug planting her acorn!

Lastly, I gave Bug three different options for painting time including painting an: ant farm, an alligator or an apple.  Of course, my little entomologist to be :)  chose to paint an ant farm.  Little man also loved painting, he especially loved painting himself-such a cutie pie!

              Then, we took our acorns inside and Bug covered them with glue and added glitter to them.  I had her paste the acorns on sheet of card-stock paper in the shape of an /A/.  

 We had lots of smiles today!

Alongside our A activities, we also did all of the Sonlight curriculum for the first week!  It was a fun- filled, exciting week that I have been dreaming of since I first felt God calling me to homeschool when Lily was two!  I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for us next week! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Letter A Preschool FUN Part 3 Including week 1 of Sonlight

     We loved reading from the "Berenstain Bears' Big Book of Science and Nature" this week from our Sonlight curriculum!  We read all about winter including: how snow is made, what to wear, activities that happen during snowy weather, the names of the winter months and more. I happened upon a wonderful activity on Pinterest to make our winter readings more interactive.  You can find the activity here: Sugar Aunts Snow Ball fight.  This website had a plethora of fun activities for different themes and I will definitely visit often!
I tweaked our activity and used clean white socks rolled in pairs for our snowballs.  Not only was this a fun activity, but it also included a chance to practice counting by 2s, and gross motor skills! Afterwards, we had a fun family snowball fight!  

Since we are concentrating on the letter A, we also played Animal hide and seek.  I took two animals and Bug took two animals and we each hid the animals in different rooms.  Whoever was able to find both the animals first and sit on the couch was the winner.  My sweet competitive Bug had a blast while Little Man bounced along beside her!  Afterwards, we put the animals in pairs like Noah's Ark and counted them by 2s.  Lastly, I helped Bug to create an /A/ with all of her stuffed animals and Bug, Little Man and I also made a lowercase /a/ with our bodies!              
                       Bug after her big win!                                  Making her stuffed animal letter /A/

Bug also practiced writing the lowercase /a/ by penning a letter to her favorite Disney character: Sheriff Callie.  I was so excited when I found out that you can write the characters and Disney will send a postcard back! You can find the addresses Couponing to Disney  She was so thrilled to write the letter that she had no idea we were doing school work by practicing handwriting.  I love making education fun and tailored to her interests!  

                           WE also had a very fun playdate with sweet, close friends from Church

Look at all that fun! 

 Bug also did a letter /a/ word hunt which can be found at this website: This Reading Mama
I have found a wealth of information and wonderful resources at this website and I cannot recommend it enough!

 We ended the day by watching our favorite letter /A/ Disney character: Ariel! I love how Bug watched most of the movie standing inside her tent!

                                     And of Course we had our sweet, cuddle movie moments!
I can't wait for their baby sister to join us in December!

We have one more day of letter /A/!  It has been such a blast so far!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sonlight Preschool Week 1 continued

      We are just loving our Sonlight Bible book: "101 Favorite Stories From The Bible" that we started today!  I highly recommend this bible too!  Bug was very engaged while we were reading about God's wonderful story of Creation today.  Afterwards, we reviewed each day of creation and answered the questions at the end of the story.  This Bible has an excellent way of drawing young minds in and really helping them to understand the content of each bible story.  Even though the selections are fairly short, the information is rich and detailed.   After the bible story, it asks a few questions about the content which is a great way for the Word of God to take root in their sweet little hearts! We are using both the"My First Hands on Bible-NLT"and the "101 Favorite Bible Stories Bible" because you can never have enough of God's word!  Sonlight also gives you a verse to memorize for the week and I am so happy that Bug is making great strides to memorize it!

We read "Jack and Jill" from "A Treasury of Mother Goose" today which is a part of our Sonlight curriculum.  I had Bug memorize the first part of "Jack and Jill" and then we were off to the park (which happens to start with an /A/)!  On the way, we played "I spy" going through the alphabet, starting with: "I spy something that starts with the letter A." Bug really adored giving me different clues about her "I spy" pick!

After we arrived at the park, Bug and Little Man loved doing the planned Sonlight activity by running up and down the hill with their pails of water while Lily loved reciting the poem!  

Afterwards, we had a blast playing on the playground and Bug even found a green caterpillar!  She was elated! This gave us an excellent opportunity to review the four stages of butterfly metamorphosis! Bug absolutely loved this little Caterpillar and carried it around for half the day!  She even took it on a ride on her toy truck. 

Bug also practiced writing the letter /a/ in her tray of sand.  Little man loved joining in on the fun too!  We also went through the second day of the literacy program found at www.thisreadingmama.com.

During cooking time today, we made applesauce to go with our letter /a/ theme.  I found a wonderful recipe at the Pioneer Woman's website that was very time-friendly and smelled wonderful!  Unfortunately, I burned it by adding extra time but that's okay because it was still so fun to make! 

I loved listening to Pandora's kids worship music during lunch, it lets my sweet little ones hear wonderful worship songs and relax after alot of fun and excitement from the morning.  

 I just love how Bug keeps telling me what places we can visit during different letter days. For example, Bug said "Mommy lets go to the Carousel on the /C/ day and make cupcakes."  I love watching her joy of learning already starting to flourish!

We ended the day with a popsicle party and swimming!  I am so very thankful for such a beautiful summer day with my precious little blessings!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

First Day of Homeschool Preschool with Sonlight and much more!

Our first day of preschool was yesterday! I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to integrate God’s creation with Bugs education! We have chosen the Sonlight Preschool 4/5 program and I couldn’t more thrilled about all of the wonderful materials it contains.  I especially love how the teacher’s manual has a check box to show completion of each day.  I love how I do not feel pressured to come up with piecing together a curriculum because it includes all of the subjects that need to be covered.  However, I also love that I have time to add in fun extras as time permits!
 I chose Sonlight because I have read wonderful reviews about how the curriculum is challenging, fun, and interactive through all of the grade levels. I can’t wait to begin our journey! 

Of course, I am so excited about homeschooling that I had to supplement with some wonderful ideas I found from Pinterest.  So, our first day we supplemented the Sonlight pre-planned program, which included a plethora of exciting books with some fun books and activities.  

We started the first day of preschool by coloring and applying glitter to this cute first day of Pre-K hat I found at http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/First-Day-of-School-Crowns-FREEBIE-1335943 and this adorable free preschool printable at http://www.modernparentsmessykids.com/2014/08/free-printables-back-school.html
We read the "My First Hands on Bible-NLT" during breakfast which I highly recommend!  Each bible story ends with a prayer, related questions, and suggested activities for the preschool age group!  Bug and Little man both loved it!  Little man is 18 months so he is included in all of our fun!   

We also made a flower collage on a plate with contact paper after going on a fun nature walk
 I found this activity at this wonderful website:

We also followed the first day of literacy activities for preschoolers from this wonderful FREE literacy program at this website: www.thisreadingmama.com and 
made a letter T book and practiced recognizing the sight word "a". 

We also had a wonderful time practicing writing the letter /Aa/ on the dry erase board with fun colors and using Do-A DOT markers to make the letter A which I found here: http://www.dltk-teach.com/alphabuddies/daubers/index.htm

We also made a foam and construction paper chick to go with the DAY 1 selection in our Sonlight curriculum book :"Animals, Animals" by Eric Carsle.
There are also a million ideas for cute little chick crafts here: http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=chick%20craft
Our little chick has a sad face. Bug explained that she made a sad face because someone had stolen his shell!

Lastly, we did a fun letter A scavenger hunt!  I set the timer for 5 minutes and told Bug that whoever found the most items that started with the letter /A/ would win a prize!  Of course Bug won and was incredibly delighted!  I found a free Letter A scavenger hunt printable at a wonderful site called Confessions of a Homeschooler! You can find the link to the letter A materials here: http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/blog/2010/08/letter-for-apple-2.html.  I highly recommend you visit her website at Confessions of a homeschooler.  She has very educational and fun preschool and kindergarten sets that are available for only $15 each which is extremely affordable considering all that they include!  She also has a plethora of fun ideas and activities for homeschooler!

We had an amazing first day filled with laughter and joy!  I cannot wait for tomorrow!  We have apple stamping, making apple sauce and much more on the agenda!  Plus, lots of wonderful books and activities from our wonderful Sonlight program!