Friday, September 7, 2012

Week in Review - Week 1

Our first week of homeschooling has come to a close.  I'm sitting at my desk (yes, I actually have a desk, and I'm using it!) while the kids finish their rest time.  We had a great week.  Thanks to my family and friends for praying for us as we started this school year.

Heidi at ABC Jesus Loves Me created the curriculum that we are using this year.  It's actually what we used last year, but somehow 3 surgeries, travels and preparing to move across the country kind of contributed to us not completing the curriculum.  Yeah, we were kind of busy.

So, we started over...

Week 1

Theme/Lesson:  God Made the World Around Me
Bible Story:  Creation - Day 1 &2
Memory Verse:  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  Genesis 1:1
Poem:  Pat-a-Cake
Song:  This Little Light of Mine
Book of the Week:  The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don & Audrey Wood (this was a deviation from the original lesson plan)
Letter:  A-G
Number: 1
Color:  Red
Shape:  Circle
Self-care & Manners:  Sitting Quietly
Information:  First Name
Fine Motor:  Writing on Vertical Surface
Gross Motor:  "Put the Fire Out"

Nadia always has the bedhead look at breakfast
Our first day started off right:  We had chocolate chip pancakes and bacon for breakfast.  Can't go wrong with sweet and salty; plus the pancakes were basically circles, so we started off with the shape of the week right away.

We did most of our school outside since we still have nice weather right now.  We read about creation, focusing on Day 1 and Day 2.  We started learning our memory verse by putting it to a suggested tune, which they both seemed to enjoy.  They both loved This Little Light of Mine and worked hard at holding up their index fingers for their lights, even though they didn't join me in singing. Pat-a-Cake was a big hit, too, and they both actually clapped with me!

We read The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear.  The kids took turns turning the pages for me, which helped them stay focused.  On each page I had them touch the strawberry and identify one other object in the picture.

During our snack time they colored strawberries.  Nadia is really into coloring, and Isaiah is finally starting to show some interest, too.
Check out that grip!
The rest of that first day we just played and relaxed, enjoying the sunny weather on our circle walk around the apartments.

The rest of the week we started doing more hands-on activities, again trying to do as much as possible outside.  Tuesday morning Isaiah had an appointment, but we still managed to sneak in a trip to the library.  We found another book full of red, Fire Truck by Peter Sis, with a cute and simple story.  After I would read the books, the kids would take turns with them.  

I love this picture.  Nadia got distracted by an airplane overhead, and Isaiah is looking at her with the funniest expression.

To go with our Creation theme, I had cut out circles for the kids to glue and color and such signifying each day.  We had a black circle on which we glued a white half circle for "light" to show Day 1.  I had a blue circle on which we glued cotton balls for clouds to represent "sky" and "water".  I love it when I can combine 2 activities (shape and Creation!)

Isaiah LOVES playing with glue.  We had a lot of clean up after, but it's worth it to strengthen those hand muscles!

As for the letters A-G and the number 1?  I have letter cards that I made last year that we played with and talked about the names of the letters.  We didn't even work on identification yet, just the sounds that they make.  For numbers we are using the Apple Tree Number Book.  The kids each colored one blank tree for the front and back cover of a book we'll make through the year.  Then they glued one apple on the first tree.

I laughed when I saw the self-care and manners goal of "sitting quietly".  Anyone who knows my daughter very well at all will laugh, too, as they imagine us working on this task.  She is actually getting better, but don't expect us to make it through a whole church service any time soon.  Isaiah has learned this skill pretty well, as well as his first name and his sister's first name.  Nadia will identify herself in pictures as "Sister", which is pretty cool, I think.  We're working on her first name.  Being able to tell people her name will be a key skill for this social butterfly.

We practiced fine motor skills in ways other than writing on a vertical surface, so we'll have to hit that some other time.  We also opted for a play date at the park over "Put the Fire Out".  I have to admit that trying to get these two to do some kind of relay all by myself makes me feel a little anxious.  I'm choosing to wait for a time that I have reinforcements.  (our trip to the library was, um, entertaining to others, I'm sure)

Isaiah had a great time putting the wood chips in the CIRCLE
At dinner Thomas was asking the kids what they had learned, and with a few well-asked questions, Isaiah was able to tell his daddy he learned what God made on Day 1 & 2, that a strawberry and a fire truck are red.  I realize that this might not sound like much, but tears actually came to my eyes as I realized what Isaiah had LEARNED from the week!

Nadia has learned lots, too.  Her vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds.  She also learned the color red this week and the shape of a circle.  She's started trying to sing along, and she particularly likes songs with gestures.  Here she's gesturing that God is "strong" as she shows you her muscles.

Picture of the week:

I had a hard time choosing my favorite picture, but this one captured the playfulness at snack time one morning in the midst of fun learning.  It makes me smile.  Nadia was trying to feed Isaiah, and he was being silly with her.  I love how my children love each other, and I want to do all I can to foster that love!

If you are interested in the curriculum we're using, feel free to read more by clicking the link "What We Use" above, or simply go to the source at ABC Jesus Loves Me or check out Heidi's blog where she also has a blogroll listing other moms using her different curricula (scroll down and look on the right sidebar).

Have fun learning and loving!

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