Monday, September 27, 2010

Butterflies & Space

I turned my daughter into a beautiful and colorful butterfly today and she was mostly willing too!

Thanks for the great idea!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

H and P Letters

H was a nice and easy letter and I found a lot of fun learning activities. We spent two days playing around with the letter H, watching videos, saying H in our hand to hear the hhh sound. Here are a few ideas to play and learn with the letter H.

Find letter Hh items on yourself, head, hand, heel, hair, heart.

Learn about hippopotamuses:

Happy: Tell mom what makes you happy.

House: Draw a house

Hawaii: Look at the globe and find Hawaii. Talk about the islands and boats.

Practice the sound of the letter by putting our hands in front of our mouth to feel the hot air.

Play hide and seek.

Say Hi, Hello, How Are You? all H words.

Play hopscotch - make a court using sidewalk chalk outside or masking tape inside.

Dip your hand in a plate of paint and make hand prints.

The letter P was not as exciting but I really didn't do much research. We did spend two days going over the letter P. We watched short you tube videos, found the letter P in a word search, practiced writing the letter P, made a P collage with glue and torn pieces of paper, and painted a rock (rocks from one of our hiking trips). P was a pretty easy letter I guess.

The rocks are going to be covered soon, those plants really spread, and I don't think the paint is going to hold up to the weather and watering but that is ok, we had fun making them.

The Dentist

Summer had her first ever dental appointment this past week. I made sure we spent time talking about all the fun things the dentist would be doing to her teeth before we went. She seemed fine with everything and had no issues. When we got there Summer happily sat in the big dental chair, put on the sunglasses to protect her eyes, let the dentist put the paper around her neck and waited while the cleaning devices were readied. She sat there so well I was a little bit amazed. The dentist cleaned her teeth, used the water and sucker thing, gave her some fluoride to spit, everything you would expect to happen at a dental visit. Summer sat still the entire time and kept her mouth nice and open. Overall it took maybe 15 minutes and Summer had no negative issues with any of it. We did, however, notice that Summer's jaw would pop closed after having it wide open. The dentist said maybe TMJ and to watch it. It popped bad too. Kris and I both looked it up online and since children don't really get TMJ and there is no real cure, we read that it could be from overworking her jaw. Summer has a tendency to clench her teeth when she gets excited and she had been chewing on giant gumballs for over two weeks, so we cut the gumballs and told her not to clench her teeth. I don't know if it is any better but Summer doesn't usually ever open her mouth that wide, so we will just keep an eye on it and see how it does.

While Summer was happily relaxing in her dental chair getting her teeth on, I took a few pictures, enjoy!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Busy again

Things have been busy around here, again, weird how that happens huh? I signed Summer up for that new dance class, we go tomorrow and that means we are skipping the nap on Monday. I hate to do it but I just don't see any other way around it, the class starts at 4:30 and we have to leave the house at 4:00 and I just can't see getting her to nap earlier, maybe in a few weeks when we have to switch the clocks, but really, missing her nap one day I don't think is going to be a big deal, she has missed naps in the past, well here is hoping anyway.

The gym was good all week long, I made it to three, actually four classes over three days, and I even worked out on Saturday. I have been eating decent, all except for tonight because I just ordered pizza but I try to eat small portions, healthy foods.

We had a decent week at school, we finished the week with the letter K and I won't post what we did because it wasn't much, to be honest the letter K sucked, or I sucked because I just couldn't find much to do relating to it. We did watch a movie about Koala's and Komoto Dragons ... we worked more on our numbers and spelling. I am looking forward to the letter H tomorrow, so many good ideas.

Here is a recent photo of Summer, so recent I took it earlier this afternoon. She has been fighting a mild cold, mostly congestion and runny nose. We figure she got it at the gym, and I am ok with that, fight these little things now and build up to them.

She was watching Peter Pan on the couch with Papa. She really likes that movie. She said she didn't want to kiss Peter Pan but she would kiss Jane.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Letter N and Updates

This blog isn't just about school but it I have been using it as a record of what we have done, once I get through all 26 letters I won't focus so much on it. So bear with me a little longer. Before I go into the letter N I want to update on some exciting things that happened this week!

We tried a new dance class. This class is for ages 3-4 at a real dance studio. The instructor teaches Ballet, Tap, and Jazz. The sucky thing about the class is the time, it starts at 4:30 and Summer still naps, but the awesome thing about the class was how well Summer did, she was amazing. She followed along and listened, and she really enjoyed it. I was so impressed by how well she did, we plan to sign up and go weekly.

Today I joined a gym. They have an area for children. Summer went into this area and did not cry! She was there about an hour and a half and had fun without me. This is breaking news, I am so glad she did it. I mean the area looked like it would be a lot of fun and she had her friends Christa and Jaidyn there to play with. Looks like this fat momma will be getting herself back into shape. Remember that other blog I had for a while? I am ready, I really love working out and I missed the gym, it is so nice and big and comfortable. I did a kickboxing class today and guess what, I am still alive!

Now onto the boring stuff, the letter N. Over the last two days we learned all about the letter N. How to write it, how it sounds, how it looks, how it smells, well ok not how it smells, but how to use a Nose to smell things. Here is a list of activities we did:

N Videos we watched:

For the letter N, we made a LOT of noise.  We talked about different ways to make noise 
• with our mouths... singing, 
• with our hands... clapping, 
• with our feet... stomping, 
• with musical instruments
We also went for a walk and listened to the noises we heard.  When we got back home, we brainstormed to remember what all we'd heard (trucks, dogs, wind, leaves rustling, etc).  

We made necklaces.  I had a stretchy piece of string and at first we tried to use elbow noodles. Summer managed to thread one or two but they didn't do well on the string so we ended up using pretzels instead. I used Nine pretzels because Nine starts with the letter N.

We read and learned about the Nose:

Near - we played Near and Far. I told Summer to go Near the couch, go Near the wall, come Near me, go Far away from met, etc.

Nickel (penny - nickel) I tried to get the concept of money and how 5 pennies equal one nickel but I think it was lost. We will try money again in the future.

N was a nice easy number. I have to go find some activities for tomorrow, once I decide on a letter.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Letter B

B Videos (Three we watched off youtube)

B worksheets - several random worksheets that trace the letter and find it.

Butterfly Craft - we made a butterfly using hands for the wings, we traced them and cut them out. Ok I traced them and cut them out ...

Binocular Craft - Using two empty toilet paper rolls tape them together to make a pair of binoculars, easy enough.

Ball Game - Roll the ball back and forth saying B words. (We didn't do this but it was a good idea)

Letter B collage - I went through magazines and cut out pictures that started with B, I found a backpack, bed, boot, banana, ball, baby, baking soda, and I also cut out several upper and lower case B's. I then had Summer glue them on a piece of construction paper. Glue is a good thing.

Find B foods - we went through Summer's play kitchen and found foods that started with the letter B. For some reason I thought there would be more, we found bananas and bread. Luckily she had several different kinds of bread.

Look at Bugs through magnifying glass - we didn't get to this but we may later.

Bounce a Ball - Bounce the Ball both start with B, you could play this up I guess.

B Animal Game - we did play this, Summer loves pretending.
Fly like a Butterfly
Hop like a Bunny
Buzz like a Bee
Growl like a Bear

Find ... I had Summer find things that started with the letter B. She was actually really quick with it.
something Brown
something Big
something Below
something Bright
something Bouncy

Song. We sang this song a few times and acted it out.
Baby bunny bounces high; (Jump high.)
Baby bunny bounces low; (jump low.)
Baby bunny blinks his eyes; (Blink eyes.)
Baby Bunny waves good-bye. (Wave good-bye.) 

B was an easy letter. We didn't spend much time on it because it is already known. I wish Summer enjoyed trying to write her letters more, she really cannot write the letter B, upper or lowercase and she is a stinker about trying to write in the lines. Luckily she will write on the white board but she gets tired of it. I think once her coordination improves she will have no problems writing out her letters, at least I hope so.

We are still spending about an hour doing school in the morning. I found out today that I can come up with several learning activities to do without spending hours finding them online. We used our rubber letters to spell words, I will write the short words on the white board and Summer has to find the letters and put them in order, then sound them out. She is really good at that game. We spend a bit more time on numbers because that is a major weak area. We also worked on shapes, she has some like the circle, oval, diamond, star, triangle, octagon, but not the easy rectangle or square and not some like the pentagon and hexagon. I plan on working on those more too.

Tip of the day: I bought a word search book but I don't use it to find words, I use so Summer can find letters. How awesome is that, cheap too and Summer loves looking for those letters.

Monday, September 6, 2010

School Supplies

The best thing I bought so far was this!

These ABC foam letters were $1 at the grocery store. Originally I bought 2 packs, I later went back and bought another. We use these for all kinds of things, Summer likes to spell words, or course she really can't spell real words, but she picks up the letters and says the sounds and tries to put them together. I am amazed at how well she knows her letter sounds, almost better than she knows her letter names.

Oh and the container is a recycled salt thing, I cut the top off and tore off the label and added alphabet stickers. I needed several containers for all the letters we have so I found several things to recycle.

The green magnet box is an old panty hose box I found in my drawer. I tried to glue on some paper, not very well but at least it looks like a box. The container with numbers on the top - yup an icecream container. I am not sure how well they will hold up but time will tell and at least for now I have some organization.

Speaking of organization I finally added a shelf and turned my dining room into a functioning classroom.

At least I think it functions ok, I would love to have more storage space but I will work on that. I also added a markable calendar on the wall. I circled the weekends and those are the days that daddy is off. I added dots on the days Papa is off. I think it will help teach the days of the week.

Today is Monday but because it is Labor Day we are not having school. Since it is a short week I think I will start up tomorrow with the letter B. B is an easy letter anyway. We will continue to work on numbers this week, Summer still has issues with the numbers 6, 7 and 9 and beyond that can't really recognize much. I need to go find some fun counting songs that will help her count beyond 13. Guess I better go get busy!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Letter A

The letter A was fun because Summer already knew it. Maybe it was just easier ... anyway we finished I and A this week, two of the vowels.

How we learned A:

- We learned a song that emphasized the short a sound, a a a a apple (make the motion of eating an apple) repeated 4 times, then a a a a alligator (make the motion of an alligator chomping) repeated 4 times, then A A A A ape (motion ape arms) repeated 4 times.

- We discussed how the letters I and A are special because they have 2 sounds.

- We watched 4 different youtube A videos. One video about how to write an A, little did I know I have been writing it incorrectly, huh oh well, a video about the a sounds and another video about the letter A, and this video was probably her favorite, the kids singing the song above and learning about the letter A.

- We made animal sounds and moved like an animal.

- We did a science experiment with ants, luckily we have a lot in our back yard. We took them a piece of banana bread and a wheat cracker and watched to see which one they liked best. The banana bread was the winner so I guess they prefer sweeter things!

- We wrote the letter A on the writeboard. The letter A is actually hard for Summer, she has trouble with the angles on the sides. We also traced the letter A in workbooks.

- We watched a story about the Ashanti people who live in Africa from PBS kids, I really love online story books.

- We made an uppercase and lowercase letter A with macaroni, yay macaroni art! I spread the glue in the appropriate shapes and Summer stuck those little macaronis right on target.

Tomorrow we will recap all the letters from the two weeks, W, Q, I and A. I have already been playing around with matching the lowercase and capital letters and Summer has no problem matching them up.

If you don't have a large write board I suggest get one, it is so nice for learning letters. I can use the dot to dot trace on it to help Summer get the letters, or hold her hand while she draws.

I also discovered Summer knows how to use my trackpad on my laptop this week so she has started playing learning games. I really like this ABC alphabet and phonemic game here and so does she, good for all the letters of the alphabet and we played around with the games on PBS Kids, their island has nice learning games.

So far things are going good, almost two weeks done and I feel like Summer is enjoying school and is learning what I am trying to teach her. We need to work more with numbers I guess, we are still on the number 6 but we didn't do much with it this week. We will probably continue learning about the number 6 next week.

Luckily we already know shapes and colors, I haven't even bothered to work on those. I guess once I get the alphabet letters and numbers done we will start spelling and counting :o)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

To the ZOO

Yesterday we decided to check out the local zoo. It is a very small pathetic little zoo but really just the right size for Summer. The last time we went to the Oklahoma City zoo, a much larger zoo, Summer was board almost immediately, so this small size was actually nice.

First we went into the goat petting zoo. Summer was able to feed the goats for about 2 seconds before they knocked the cup out of her hands. Then I had her stand in the tunnel, she was a little scared because one goat was behind her and one was looking at her from the side.

The zoo had a chimpanzee. When we first went by he was in his cage inside, a neat cage, looked more like a bedroom with a bed and blanket. He was sitting right up against the glass so we got to really study him or her. It was really neat to see it so close. Then it moved outside and Summer and Papa watched it play with a ball.

They also had one of those really big turtles, or whatever they are called. That was neat, this thing was huge and it seemed like he wanted to follow us and be petted. Summer was able to touch his head and his shell, or her, whatever it was. She enjoyed the turtle quite a bit.

Elephant statue thing, need I say more?

Summer and I the last time we were at this zoo, April 2008, over two years ago, my hasn't she grown!

Sheesh she wasn't even walking when we were there the first time, I had to sit her in front of the goat tunnel!

And look at the photo quality from 2+ years ago, good thing I am getting better at taking photos :o)