My schedule this past week has made our "morning school time" that we established during the summer something of the past. I loved our morning schooltime and I LOVED using Before Five in a Row. If I didn't have to go back to work, I may have just kept using it. I have decided that I will come back to it and it will be our fun "summer school" curriculum. It was fun, thematic and Claire loved all the books but it DID take a bit more planning and, unfortunately, with working at the school part-time and trying to run that program, plus maintain my house, keep my doTERRA business going and homeschool Claire for preschool, I knew I needed something that I could follow and then add extra things if/when I had the time. I ended up picking out Heart of Dakota's program "Little Hands to Heaven" which is their program for 2-5 year olds. It's very planned out and I need that right now. What's also VERY nice about it is each unit is based on Bible Stories, chronologically, which, I feel Claire needs most right now. Each week, there is different letter and different number as well, although, most emphasis is on the letter. Our first week was the Creation Story and our letter was A. The only drawback for Claire is the letters and sounds are something she already knows. She knows all her letters and sounds and can tell you what letter different words start with, so I've had to think a bit about how to supplement, but keep the letter themes.
The theme of the week was Creation. One fun thing about this program is for each unit there is a little fingerplay activity. The good thing, for us, is I have 0 problem being silly and playing with my kids. I could see how a more reserved parent would have a hard time with this part of the curriculum but we had a ton of fun with it. "A-A-Adam, can you believe, God made the animals and you and me. . ." and so on it goes, naming different animals and what they do ("God made the alligator to slide you see. . .God made the antelope to leap you see. . ." etc.) So we start with our fingerplay and then move on to the story and discussion questions in our children's Bible, The New Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes.
Couple fun activities we did with this was explaining that God created the world from nothing. We cannot make something from nothing but God can and did. So we drew pictures in white crayon on white paper. We couldn't see anything but when we painted over it with watered down black tempra paint, the pictures of creation appeared. Loose connection and she loved it. We took this craft to church on Sunday and shared it with the kids during the sermon lesson.
Another fun thing had to do with the letter A, our letter for the week. I took masking tape and created a giant letter A on the floor of our living room. I let Claire bring her cars, animals, babies etc. She played with the letter A, walking her babies along it, driving her cars along it and letting her stuffed animals lie all over it. Who knew such a simple thing would be such a huge hit?!
Another thing we did was I let her pick out five colors from her crayon box and had her draw a circle with each one and color in each circle with the right color. Then we went on a color scavenger hunt throughout the house. We talked about how God created all these colors. If I didn't have to work that day, I would have done this one in the morning and, therefore, gone outside for this one but, since our schedule is crazy, I had to do it this way. Still fun but not perfect.
One of our favorite games we played this week was during the day when we talked about Adam and Eve and Satan and the Fall. We talked about how Satan took the form of a snake in order to tempt Eve and turn her heart away from God. Just for fun we took down Daddy's stuffed dragon and used it as our "snake". The girls had a blast jumping over it and playing all around it, trying not to touch it. "Stay way from that snake, girls! And don't let Satan turn your heart from the God who made you. . . " :-)
At the end of the "snake game" I was able to capture these two tired sweeties having a snuggle with the dragon. They love each other so much (most of the time ;-) )!
Last couple photos I captured of our week are just Claire writing and doing her bookwork. I SWORE I wouldn't be a workbook/worksheet homeschooler. For the most part, I'm not. But she does love practicing her writing and doing her workbook activities. I think that as long as I keep making it a game for her, it'll work out. Goes to show you there's a place and time for everything.
Right now, we are midway through Unit 2 of "Little Hands to Heaven" and we are discussing Noah's Ark. Fun stuff. It's been crazy working out a schedule now that I'm actually teaching every morning but more on our schedule and how we have settled on making it work next post!