“The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom”
-Henry Ward Beecher
Thank you so much to everyone who had title suggestions for me last week. You are all so creative and brilliant. :) I’m going with the above for now (not sold on it 100%, but it’s definitely growing on me).
We’ve had another not-normal week, because Daddy has a lot of vacation time to use up and was home quite a bit (we celebrated both of our birthdays too). It is wonderful to have him home, don’t get me wrong, but part of me would like to have a chance to settle into a normal routine for a week or two – to help figure out housework, outings, and “doing school”, as M says. Since we are just doing preschool, it’s not that big of a deal, just something I have to be patient about (and obviously I need to work on just enjoying having our whole family together). That said, I have a question for those of you homeschool mamas who are more experienced and have older children. If your husband works odd hours or is home quite a bit, does it affect your homeschool routine? And if so, is it affected in a good way, or is it something you struggle with? What have you done to ensure school work gets done, as well as other responsibilities? Maybe not everyone is a routine-and-schedule-lover like me, and I do need to learn some flexibility, but it’s something I can see becoming a stress factor for me if I were to homeschool M in the future. Any thoughts about this are very much appreciated!
On to what we accomplished…
Tweezing felt autumn-themed stickers (Target, dollar spot!) into the slot of a little treasure box.
Our homemade build-a-letter set, lowercase version:
I used glitter foam for the pieces, which made it a bit more inviting for M, who does like him a little bling:
Uppercase version too, in gold glitter foam ;) :
Hit of the week – rubbing plates for B and b, and objects that begin with ‘b’:
He did this over and over. He loved using the double stick tape to stick the card to the mini clipboard. Then he used a brown or blue crayon to rub over the picture:
Here’s a sampling. They really turned out great, and we had many of these little guys by the end of the week:Clockwise, from upper left – B, b, bumblebee, bus, bird with a balloon. I made the ‘B’ and ‘b’ and bus from rough sandpaper, and the others were pictures found online; I simply went over the lines with hot glue. I’m sure regular glue would work too.
Button board, to work those fine motor skills:
Our puppet theater is simply a tension rod in a doorway with a blanket thrown over it:
Autumn-themed play dough number mats with autumn colored play dough, made with cinnamon, mmm:
These were a pretty big hit too!
Letter leaves to clip and spell M’s name* (with a “cheat sheet” for him to look at):*I know just about everyone knows M’s name is Matthew. It’s not something I’ve tried to hide… I only use his initial because I am just too darn lazy to spell his name out all the time. I’m wordy (in case you haven’t noticed!) and there’s enough typing going on here as it is…
M’s first weaving lesson, which was also a big hit now that I think of it. I used a foam bowl that once held mushrooms, and threaded yarn through it to make the warp. I looked for more “manly” ribbons, but what you see is all I had. M didn’t seem to mind. ;)
M played with his KID K'NEX , making creations while actually looking at the “constructions” and figuring out how to make each one. This is not an easy task because the pictures show the finished product, which means M had to use reasoning skills to figure out what to do first, second, and so on. And sometimes he had to guess at what kind of connector was used. He did great and was SO proud of himself!
New ‘B’ objects for the phonics box – blue bird, brown button, bead, blue bear button, bear, bumblebee, boat, boy, bunny, bird:
We took out all the ‘A’ and ‘B’ objects and M sorted them into two groups by beginning sound:
More work with the bead bars. This time we added in the number cards and introduced the golden bead bar for #10. M is itching to really learn how the whole teen and twenties (and so on) thing works, I’m just waiting for him to become more familiar with the color of the beads for each number, since that plays such a big role in this method. He’s playing around a lot with “twenty-teen” and “eighty-teen” and that kind of thing when he counts, so I know he’s curious and trying to figure it all out. :)
I’ve had these sand art color by number kits around for ages. M doesn’t have the fine motor control to really do color or paint by number activities, but this was perfect! I used old peanut butter lids to hold the sand and he peeled off the pieces for each number, then pinched a little sand in the correct color and sprinkled it on. He LOVED this activity! I got this at Michael’s for $1.00, I think. I’ve linked the text above to some similar kits on Amazon.
Close up of him working. If you haven’t seen these before, you peel off each section and the sand sticks to the sticky surface underneath.
In the end, you have these pretties, though not so blurry as my bad photo-taking skills make them out to be:It was a great activity for numeral review and fine motor skills.
And then one day when Mommy was awfully busy, he came up with his own little activity. A car wash with soapy water and an old toothbrush. He spent over an hour washing all of his little cars!
Just having fun…
The newest member of our family is this super cute scarecrow, who is supposed to keep the deer away from our garden, but isn’t quite living up to our expectations. Ah well, he’s cute, and very loved by someone in particular:
We’ve been having gorgeous weather here, exactly like October should be! We are loving it. I thought I’d share pics from our favorite walking trail along the creek near our home.
Sunlight hitting the tips of prairie grass.
my boys :)
There’s a lot of yellow, red, and brown this time of year, but somehow my camera was attracted to the pretty greens that still remain. ;)
Playing “Pooh Sticks”
I love the cool blue of the autumn sky next
to the yellow tips of the tall trees.
Have a beautiful day! :)