Friday, January 17, 2014

Unit 13: Young David (and other odds and ends)

Well, it looks like we are back in the swing of things.  I'm not posting this until Thursday.  Yup, typical for me when I'm working. I really want to stay committed to keeping this up, especially since I don't want to have to cut out time to catch up one of these days.  So here is last week:

Young David
Our topic Bible theme/topic for the week was "Young David" so we covered a few things: David was a shepherd who took good care of his sheep.  He was brave and fought off animals who came to hurt his sheep.  So we made a little visual that represented David and his sheep.  River, sheep, clouds etc.  Cotton balls for our sheep and she glued on pieces of paper for clouds in the sky.  She's getting a lot of glue/cutting etc practice as well as reinforcing the story.  

 A few other things went with our study of young David, namely, our Bible verse, Psalm 23.  We discussed that David wrote the words she was saying.  We are about halfway through.  I'm going to keep this verse as our verse for next week since we aren't quite done with it and because we'll still be talking about David.
Her favorite story, by far, was about David and Goliath.  Always the one to have a penchant for the adventurous, she was get interested in the story and in the slingshot.  So I looked on youtube to see if I could find a demonstration of the kid David used.  Sure enough.  I found two that we really enjoyed.  They are here and here.

I'm trying to make sure the girls get more outside time in the afternoon so a couple days this week we went to the park across the street and played but sometimes we walk through the neighborhoods and go to the park with the swings and taller slides.  This gives me some exercise, too, which I really, really need.  The weather's been ridiculously nice lately so we are trying to take advantage of it, so sometimes, we do school for a couple days and then skip it in exchange for a park day so that the next day we do two or sometimes even three days worth of activities, which I'm ok with.  If I weren't working in the morning, I don't know that I'd have to make those decisions as often because I'd do school in the morning like we did in the summer.  But it is what it is.  I like doing some of the same things everyday for repetition's sake, but if it doesn't work out, I'm not too worried about it.  And a lot of learning can happen during walks and car rides and at the dinner table where we say our verses and sing and do all sorts of things that might seem odd to a lot of people.    

The letter for the week was letter "K."  Typical activities in terms of what we normally do with letters around here- taped letter on the ground and then I found a book at Target in the $1 section with letters to color.  She loves it.  Not sure I'm always going to just have her color it.  Maybe paint it, glue it etc.  But the book has been helpful!

Dramatic Play
One of the things the book emphasizes is dramatic play and acting out the Bible stories.  This was a hit with the "David and Goliath" lesson.  First, we arranged our stuffed animals in biggest to smallest and talked about how Goliath was the biggest of all.  Then we acted out David defeating Goliath with two stuffed animals using the song "Only a Boy Named David."  She wanted to do this over and over and over again.  Sometimes, those simple, old songs are all they need. . .

Sermon Lesson as Review
At our church, the children are with their families every Sunday for worship so that the congregation can worship together (as indicated in scripture) and then the children leave for their own lessons during the sermon.  I have been teaching Claire and Ashlyn's age group for now.  So I've been bringing Claire's school lessons to church on Sundays.  The lesson at church is behind the lesson we do at home so at church they learned about Joshua and Jericho.  So we sang read the story, sang "Joshua Fit the Battle," built a "city" with blocks, blew "trumpets" and marched around the city and knocked it down.  Afterward, we made little cracker and peanut butter towers.  What's cool about this is going over this again forces me to find out just how much of our lessons Claire retains.  It's amazing what little sponges preschoolers are.  

Sunday night, I just didn't feel like making dinner and we had a Red Robin giftcard from a good friend so we thought we'd use it.  Just a couple of shots of my very favorite people. :-)  Ashlyn is still learning restaurant etiquette.  I used to take Claire out more often than I have Ashlyn.  She's doing better, though, and Red Robin is a good practice place.  I took her to Claim Jumper with a friend the following week and it went well, too.  Claire Jumper is great because they have this free "Baby Plate" with cheese, mandarin oranges, turkey and applesauce. . . but I digress. . .  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Back in the Saddle Again: Our first homeschool week of 2014

I decided to start Claire's homeschool the week after Christmas week.  So we started on the 30th and went through the 3rd.  It was so much fun to get back into it.  Reminded me to how much we had over the summer with Before Five in a Row.  She loved the story of Hannah and Samuel and really seemed to "get it."  She really enjoyed the fingerplay for this unit, too. So, we are off and running for 2014. 
The first story was about Hannah praying for a little baby.  The book said to show the child pictures of themselves when they were babies, hitting various milestones.  It was crazy to flip through the pictures.  It's forced me to really look at how much she's changed.  It was neat and hard all at the same time.  I miss my chubby cheeked Cabbage Patch baby but love my smart, serious, fun little girl, too.
For our counting activity, she drew babies faces in boxes and we counted the boxes.  I introduced counting by 2s a bit but it was the first time and she didn't totally get that.  We'll revisit that, for sure. 

 I added a little counting activity from Claire's High Five Magazine.  There was an activity in there with snowmen and the idea is to point to the snowman with the "most buttons" or the "least buttons" or the "same amount of stripes" on his scarf or whatever.  This was a good add on.  I'm so glad I decided to get the magazine for her (got it discounted through the school's magazine drive).  She's been loving it.
 The letter of the week this week was "J"  We made upper and lowercase "Js" out of  her new playdough she got in her stocking.  We talked about what sound the "J" makes and named some words that started with "J" my favorites from her list: "Joyful," "Jesus" and "Joshua" :-) 
 This, of course, let to Claire wanting to make more letters with her playdough and eventually, her wanting to just play with the playdough, which was fine with me.

 Now, Claire has discovered "Martininellis" since New Years.  We have one bottle left and she has been asking more more "sparking juice" ever since we gave her a taste.  She doesn't, normally, drink anything but water or milk and VERY rarely juice when we go out (although, she will ask for it at random time, I think, to test whether we'll give it to her, periodically.)  So this was a big, big treat for her and she loved it.  Well, I agreed to giving her a glass since she was doing so well at her school work and having such a positive attitude.  She was a very happy girl.  And she worked on her "J Hide and Seek" page like a pro. 

 There were a few "acting it out" activities we did that I couldn't capture with my camera, mainly because I was acting them out with her!  But we pretended to be Hannah bringing Samuel to Eli to give him to the Lord and we stomped and clapped out rhythms to demonstrate that Samuel listened carefully to the Lord and did what He asked him to do!
On day 4 we played a little game called "Capture the Ark" to tell the story of the Ark of the Covenant being captured by the Philistines and what that meant to the people of God.  The idea is to take an object that is to represent the ark and put it under one of 2 or 3 cups.  Move the cups around and the child identifies which cup the "ark" is under.  At first, we tried to take a ball of yellow play dough and make that work, but it didn't roll like it should and so we switched it out for the playdough container.  It worked much better.  Interesting activity.  Sometimes she followed the cup well and others she didn't track so much and picked the wrong cup.  So we'll revisit this, for sure.  Probably and easy game I can pair with lots of different lessons! 

 One of my favorite things about this week, though, was taking school outside.  I want to do this so much more often!  For another letter activity, we took the sidewalk chalk and drew the letter "J" all over the sidewalk near the park.   

 Our last activity and story was about Saul and Samuel anointing Saul as King!  I drew a big oval for a head and Claire drew a face in the oval, representing Saul.  
 Then I took a few drops of doTERRA Frankincense oil (only a few drops! That's not a cheap oil. . . but it's  and then let her take a q-tip and put it on her "Saul's" forehead.  She really seemed to understand the concept and liked her "oil painting" for sure.  

 Friday afternoon we got to go do something special.  When I was pregnant with Claire and a few times when I was pregnant with Ashlyn, I took a prenatal yoga class where I met my teacher, Dolly.  Dolly has kept in contact with many of the pregnant mommies and babies from the Mommy and Me class and invited up all to come and bring our older kids (3-10 and allowed the toddlers to be there too!) for a kids yoga class.  It was so much fun!  Poses and stories and moving and acting like different animals.  The kids LOVED it and got a lot of energy out that afternoon, for sure!  She's agreed to have us do this once a month.  It's nice to be back in that little yoga studio where it all started when I was pregnant with Claire, 4 years ago.  Seems kind of unreal. 

This weekend, we also started a new thing with Claire, as well.  Christian and the girls were waiting for me to finish dinner and I said to Christian, "Why don't you teach her her first lesson from her piano book.  She got the Alfred "Young Beginner" book for Christmas.  It went well. She stayed pretty engaged.  The lesson revolved around teaching her how to hold her fingers and which fingers were her 1st and 3rd and so on.  It taught her the black keys first.  Really simple.  I'm thinking Christian and I can take her through the first couple books and then we will have to have my mom teach her or if she is took busy, we will see about finding her a teacher.  But for now, we will do it ourselves as long as she seems interested.
Looking forward to more music and learning in the house this year!