Friday, October 22, 2010

Learning by Heart – Week 3

“The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom”

- Henry Ward Beecher

I don’t know if we just got off to a rotten start with school (sick the first week, funeral and lots of other activity the following two weeks), or what, but I can’t seem to get anything I’ve planned to do with M actually done.  

I’ve got to re-think our schedule a bit, I think.  I know I’d be more enthusiastic about it if our time was in the mornings; however, we are busy with other things 3 to 4 mornings a week.  And at least 2 (maybe all 4) of these are things neither one of us wants to give up.  But school in the afternoon when my level of fatigue is at its highest (my blog isn’t titled that just for fun!), just is. not. working.  Thank goodness we are only talking preschool here, but still.  Why is it every thing we want to participate in is held in the mornings?  It would be great if we could break up our afternoons with some of these outings instead.  It would be perfect, actually, and I guess that’s just asking too much.  ;)

Ah well, if nothing else, at least the shelf activities were not overlooked.  So on we go…


Craft punches (leaf and frog) with strips of paper.  Each paper has a number on it and M punched out that many shapes on each one.  Craft punches are always a hit around here:shelf activities week3 (4)

A sand art activity – fill small containers with a spoon and funnel:oct 2010 007The results:oct 2010 005 oct 2010 006 

A “rubber band-jo”, hee hee.  I thought of that myself, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one – it just begs to be called that, doesn’t it?rubber band-joI wish I would’ve gotten some action shots with this – M loved playing with it.  We talked about how the rubber bands vibrate over the space below to make music; you can actually see them vibrating, which was neat.  We also talked about “plucking” and “strumming”.  And we listened for low notes and high notes.  M commandeered this to go with his other instruments, so it looks like yours truly needs to buy a new bread pan. :)

Sensory activity with sandpaper cards.  I cut out 6 pieces of sandpaper - 2 each of a rough grade, a medium grade, and a fine grade – and we took turns trying to match the pairs by touch alone.  The matching pairs had the same sticker on the back as a control of error.  M really enjoyed this and I found him doing it on his own a few times throughout the week.sandpaper grades sensory matching game

Leaf arranging – a wooden bowl, a small block of florist’s foam and some silk leaves.  I bought a couple of bunches on clearance at Michael’s and separated the stems with wire cutters.shelf activities week3 This was the big hit of the week.  M wanted to do this over and over.  Now, I don’t necessarily think leaf (or flower) arranging is a skill he absolutely must have, but the attention to detail, the fine motor workout, and the appreciation of something beautiful (and the work needed to make it beautiful) are all very, very good things!  And look how pretty it turned out!shelf activities week3 (1) Well, it’s pretty in real life, not at all blurry like in the photo. ;)

Matching up numbers 1 to 15 with squirrels and acorns.  I think I found this printable here, but have had it now for a couple of years, so it may not be available any longer.  The acorns have magnets on the backs, hence the cookie sheet:shelf activities week3 (2)

Lacing craft leaves onto a ribbon, from here.  I sewed a button on each end of the ribbon and cut slits in the leaves.  The clips are for hanging it on his art string.  I took a picture of it hanging, but it seems to have disappeared.shelf activities week3 (3)

It was “C” week, so some C items for the phonic box – cow, car, camel, circle:C phonics box objects

We’ve been doing simple crafts for each letter.  M is not much into mama-directed crafts, but he is really, really into looking at something and then re-creating it on his own.  So I make up a small copy of what it should look like and he goes for it.  :)  

C is for caterpillar (idea from here, although I just cut my own circles):oct 2010 002

c is for cars:oct 2010 001

We put these in our ABC Collage and Trace book, which he is absolutely loving. collage and trace abc book

Here’s a sample of how he “reads” it on his own.  He sat down one evening and did the entire book!  His voice is not very loud, so you have to listen closely.

Other than that, not much school has been going on.  Oh, except for a lot of this:
jumping on cushionsBecause if you’ve already dragged the cushions to the floor you might as well jump on them until Mommy comes in.  So, he’s getting his exercise – that’s homeschooling, isn’t it? ;)  Homeschooling and regular life look a lot alike, come to think of it, don’t they?

I’m linking this post up to Preschool Corner and Weekly Wrap-Up; be sure to check them out!

Have a beautiful day! :)


  1. I think you guys had a great week! You know what we accomplished this week.. games.. we only played games all week! But I know Sammy learned and it was interactive which is what he needed this week!

  2. We have bed jumpers here.

    And I wouldn't worry too much on the school front yet, just slowly work to getting more done, and it will happen.

  3. We're still working on our schedule and I'm looking dorward to more home time now. It's amazing all the things you've prepared! You really put a lot of heart into it! I'll be borrowing some of your wonderful ideas...need to head back to Michaels!

  4. you do some really cool stuff with your little boy hes so lucky !

  5. His leaf arrangement looks as good as anything I've seen in the stores!
    Janet W

  6. Please don't take this the wrong way, but I'm wondering if you're being too hard on yourself. If you decided to stay home every morning and hold formal school time, you could probably get even more "accomplished". But then you'd have to give up other activities and other that accomplish a lot too. Those should "count" towards school too. What if you did one school activity in the morning before heading out, and in the afternoon did things like art projects, science projects, playing outdoors and reading books. Or if you did a school activity in the afternoon during snacktime and then did less-structured fun? (I have no idea what your routine is like, so take all suggestions with a huge grain of salt).

  7. I'm with you - more afternoon activities please!!Everything is in the morning, which is when I'd like to be schooling too! Love the rubber bandjo. And we are still using your trace and collage book. Crumpet hates writing and cutting, but he's willing to work with your pages. Thank you!!


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