Our Story

My 2 1/2 year old has wanted to go to school since our neighbor gave him a brand new spongebob back pack. Unfortunately none of the preschools in our area take non-potty trained 2 year olds, so I looked into it a little bit, and decided to try a little improv homeschooling with some preschool curriculum I found online, and a great book that was reccommended at La Leche League. Join us on our journey!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fish!

Today we learned all about fish:

They live under water.

They are vertabrates which means they have bones.

They breathe with gills instead of lungs.

Dolphins and whales are not fish because they breathe with lungs like us, and they "nuh nuh" (nurse) their babies.

We had some fun with fish vs. shark tic tac toe, and some fun fish puzzles. You can try this one:


Click to Mix and Solve

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

the last few weeks...

We have music time quite frequently...
For Halloween we made spider web cupcakes- Moose is quite the baker! He loves to use the electric mixer- and he doesn't need Mommy's help!

Moose went to see the dentist for the first time, so we talked about oral hygiene and we're working on flossing.

With Thanksgiving coming up we did some turkey art projects and talked about what we're thankful for. We listed everything then prayed & thanked God for them.
Here are all of Moose's recent art projects: the turkey we just made, another turkey from a fun Thanksgiving themed playdate, and Bob & Larry from Veggie Tales. (The spin art is from Family Fun Night at church last year)
And our big project was making our own Christmas wreath ("from scratch"- we used hatmaking wire & green garland) Moose picked out the decorations himself!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Last Week, in reverse order

We did some gardening. A month or so ago we planted yellow squash, lettuce, basil, parsley, chives, rosemary, tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro. Here you can see the squash is thriving. We're not even sure what everything else is. Next year we will label what we plant!


We learned that plants need water to grow...wait Moose, we have to turn the hose on first!

We've been doing story time & then a related art project. Our favorite book so far is "How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon?" by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague. Last night we read this book 4 times! (Appropriate since the doctor gave us some medicine that Moose is not fond of, so he's learning from the dinosaurs that you have to be good & take your medicine if you want to get better!)

then our related art project- a Diplodocus (we've become very fond of just slamming the markers into the paper- it's Moose's trademark)

Here Moose is learning about the letter F:
Also last week, we read Noah's ark in our toddler Bible, and then we did an art project with stickers!
Apparently the Elephants didn't quite make it on board the ark, and the monkeys are flying over it...creative liscense ;)

And only 1 zebra made it- since for some reason the sticker pack came with 2 of everything except the zebra. Our work with the flash cards is paying off, as Moose was able to tell me that the rain was blue- even though it was light blue, and he's used to seeing royal blue when we talk about the color blue.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Yes we had class last week

but I took all the pictures in raw format, so I'll have to convert them all before I can post them here. getting around to it, I promise. We had some fun projects to share.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Art Class Fail

Note to self: my child is too young for painting.

We decided to try watercolors, since I found my old watercolors from college, and I wasn't going to be doing any painting any time soon. Besides, he begged.

I told myself not to freak out because he was going to mix the colors. It was inevitable. And like I said, it wasn't like I was going to use them again. I did not freak out when he mixed teal with every other color in the pallette. (Although I did gently encourage him to use one color at a time- or mix it on the paper). But then he decided to pretend to drink the water, and then he dumped the water all over the table...art class over.

So we did Sesame Street flash cards again...the good news is he knows more colors & shapes than last week. And he's definitely just messing with me when he says the wrong colors- I can tell when he's just guessing & when he actually knows.

Speaking of shapes- we walked to the post office today, and on the way back the school crossing guard helped us cross with her hand-held stop sign, and Moose recognized it from his shape cards and tried to tell her what shape it was, except I think he said hexagon (not sure, he was mumbling, and the cars were loud), but still, that's pretty close, and it's kind of an advanced shape for a 2 year old, I think.

We also went over words that start with the letter D...his favorite was dump truck.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Field Trip #2

Today we took a field trip to the zoo with our friends Holly & Landon. The most fun part was playing in the big tree!
Then we had to do our favorite zoo thing- feeding the lorikeets!
Here the boys are breaking the rules & going over to the birds instead of waiting for the birds to come to them:

The birds can tell Mommy is a bird lover, there are always at least 2 on her at all times.


Moose was brave and actually fed the birdies until they were full this time- and none of the birdies "crunched" him!

Here you can see him in action:

video

When we got home we had art time & made our own lorikeet! Scissors + glue stick= fun times!

Monday, September 21, 2009

C is for Cookie!

Each day we've been going over a letter of the alphabet & all the words that start with it. Today was C, so we decided we'd color, cut, and cook. So Moose colored in his letter c with his crayons, while we talked about [Larry the] Cucumber, cats, cookies, Cranky & Clarabel (from Thomas & friends), and the crab from Nemo.


then it was time to cut:
We are very careful to keep our other hand out of the way:


Then we decided to make Chocolate Cookies!
We didn't have chocolate chips, so we grated some semi sweet chocolate squares- Moose thought it was better to just eat the squares right out of the package. (P.S. we couldn't cook in our nice Eli Manning jersey)


Then it was time for tasting!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Field Trip!

Today we took a field trip to Linvilla Orchards with some friends. We spent most of the time playing on the playground- so maybe it wasn't totally educational, but hey, we'll call it P.E. class.


The educational portion of our trip was checking out the chickens & peacocks. Apparently they are fascinating & hilarious...
After lunch we went to check out pumpkin land.

The most fun part was this old tractor steering wheel-

When we got home we both took a nap- Mommy was exhausted too! Then we matched shapes & colors with our flash cards, and we went over words that start with the letter B (We worked on A last night after our last post) Mommy drew the letter really big on construction paper and Moose colored it in while we came up with all the words we could that start with B- Moose's favorite is "Bertie the bus" from "Thomas & Friends". Then we fringed paper again. Something tells me that's going to be a daily activity. ;)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Well, Day 1 Was Very Successful!

It's 8:20 pm, and we finally put the scissors down! I read somewhere that "fringing" paper is a great activity for kids. Moose just fringed paper for the last half hour- while doing flash cards. And he has requested veggie tales flash cards...I might have to make veggie tales flash cards because they don't exist anywhere on the internet.

I was worried Moose wouldn't have enough of an attention span for too much school at a time, but now it seems we have the opposite problem! Let's hope this continues!

The Beginning of our Homeschooling Experience


Moose loves the idea of school, so I want to encourage that. I can remember HATING school as a child, and being afraid of missing deadlines & not getting answers right. (I still have nightmares that I'm in school & I don't have my homework finished). I want to encourage his love for learning, and make school fun for him. Our neighbor, Miss Sharon, gave Moose a brand new spongebob backpack, and since then he puts it on every day and says "Bye Mommy I goin to school" or "Mommy, you wanna go to school with me?" He really REALLY wants to go to school, so I searched the internet & asked around about preschools in our area. No one is taking non-potty trained 2 year olds, and I'd already tossed around the idea of homeschooling, so I thought why not give it a try with preschool? He's a very bright 2 year old (I know, every parent says that, right?), so I thought we'd start now, while he's still excited about it. And all of our regular activities can become part of school. Our regular zoo trips and other outings are now "field trips". Swim lessons are now "gym class". The easiest way to get a toddler excited is to give something a new name!

I perused the internet for preschool curriculums, and quickly became overwhelmed. I bookmarked the first 2 sites with free info I could find (everyone is selling their curriculum for hundreds of dollars), and actually think they will be very useful, but since my son wants to start yesterday, I haven't even started any sort of lesson plan. We mentioned our idea at a La Leche League meeting this morning, and one of our leaders handed me a book called "Playful Learning: An Alternative Approach to Preschool". It was exactly what I'd been looking for. I immediately hit the half price bookstore to see if I could find it- I could have borrowed it from LLL, but I needed to have this book to keep and follow as our curriculum. The bookstore didn't have it, but I found some other interesting books- "A Parent's Treasure Box of Ideas for Preschoolers", and "How Come?". Luckily amazon.com had the LLL book (used for $3.99!), and we've ordered it. Then we hit up the dollar store for brand new activity books, flash cards, markers, construction paper, safety scissors, pretty much everything in the stationary aisle. We ended up spending $25 at the dollar store- definitely the most I've ever spent there, but seriously a deal! Where else can you get 25 different school supplies for just $25? Not to mention the shopping trip made Moose that much more excited about starting school.

Then we got home and cleared his toddler table for his first lesson. I let him pick what he wanted to do. We read about things that float, then we learned our shapes, colors, numbers, and opposites with the help of our awesome new ($1) Sesame Street flash cards. I was amazed to see that Moose knows a triangle, circle, and the color blue with no prompting. (He still thinks it's hilarious to tell me red is actually green). And even though it was past his nap time, he was really into the flash cards, and wanted to keep going onto the next set. Then we used our new "giant markers" to color in our new activity book. Moose concentrated on taking all the caps off, placing them on the other end of the marker so they were all ready for coloring, and then he recapped them all put them away while singing the clean up song.
We started a sticker chart to track what we do each day, which of course makes the whole experience that much better...of course he wants to go to school, he gets stickers! and not just any stickers, laser dinosaur stickers!


All in all our first lesson was less than an hour, but I'd say pretty successful for a completely unplanned, right before nap lesson.