Thursday, August 9, 2012

Following the Plan Friday: The First Week

Love their faces here
So, how'd your first week go?  Or, I guess I should say, the first two days, if you started on Wednesday as we did.

For us, it was definitely interesting.

Tuesday, everyone was sick.  So, I prepared myself to take things nice and easy, to keep my expectations low.  Especially with my 10-year-old walking around saying "No school" and my 4-year-old parroting him, then turning around and begging to do Preschool.  Yeah, sometimes it's a lot of fun around here.

I'm glad I prepped myself a bit, because Wednesday was not a sunshine and roses day, let me tell you.

Without boring you with the details, let's just say that things were rocky on the older child's end, which meant that things didn't go as smoothly as I would have liked on the little guys' end.

But I took deep breaths and kept reminding myself to look at the bigger picture, and we got through it.

Finally, around 10:30 (way late in my book, it's okay, it's okay) it was time for preschool.

Okay, where's my script?  Oh, yeah, okay, I'm ready.

Okay, kids, the first thing we do in Preschool is the Pledge of Allegiance, just like you'll do when you go to Kindergarten next year.  So, everyone put your hands over your heart like-wait, Justin, where are you going?  Jason, no, honey, you put your hand over your heart.  No, don't drop your Bible on the floor.  Okay, then we say "I Pledge Allegiance..."  Can you repeat that?  No?  Well, why not?  You want to do something fun?  Well, yeah we will, I mean, we are, I mean..."

Yeah, that's about how it went.  Finally we got through Pledges and halfheartedly sang the Alphabet Song.  Oh, and took a picture in front of the signs.

Jason, age 4.  First day of Preschool

Then it was time for our first craft.  As Tyler got set up in the Library with his schoolwork, I excitedly took the littles into the living room so we could make an Alphabet Sign out of pipe cleaners.  But, before we could get started, Tyler called for help.  Remembering that I had seen this somewhere on the blogosphere, I quickly grabbed the strainer.  Um, okay, guys, while I help Tyler, stick pipe cleaners into the strainer.

They loved it.  And when I came back and tried to start Jason on the pipe cleaner Alphabet Sign, he wanted nothing to do with the project.  He wanted to keep sticking pipe cleaners into the strainer.  Well, okay, it was a good fine motor skill project.

When they were done with that, we moved on to the next project, playing with Puzzles.  Thanks to Christmas presents, Goodwill finds and a few Dollar Tree puzzles, we have a pretty good collection of educational wooden puzzles.  So, they put puzzles together while I tried to insert some key points, like "that's the letter A, oh, that's a circle."

After playing with puzzles, Tyler was ready to take a break from his schoolwork, Justin wandered off and Jason didn't seem the least bit interested in during a craft, so I pulled out the Tracing Lines Worksheets that are supposed to be used on Friday and asked if Jason wanted to do them.  He did, so I sat him down and went over with him the difference between coloring and tracing a line.  I also put my hand over his and demonstrated.  I am so thrilled to say that he got it!  He did all three pages, improving as he went.  Later that evening, he asked for more, so I hopped on the computer and printed off a bunch more tracing pages and he did all of those.  Something interesting:  his wavy line and circles were better than his straight lines!  It really did back up Abeka's philosophy of starting with cursive.

Thursday was a little different, too, in that we didn't do preschool until 2 in the afternoon (spent the morning grocery shopping)!  And, we really didn't "need" to do school because Tyler had done all of his schoolwork during nap.  But, reminding myself that this was about more than just keeping the littles quiet, I announced that Preschool time would be at 2.  I was gratified to hear happy cheers.  And, I wound up with four scholars through much of it!

Pledges and the Alphabet Song went a little better.  Simon Says definitely needs some work

Then, it was time for our first craft, the Alphabet Caterpillar.

The boys loved this!  I would give each of them a circle and they would put glue on it.  They loved to drip glue everywhere.  I had to really keep my eye on them because they just wanted to slap the circles any old way, not caring in the least that Mom had a plan and we were trying to do the alphabet here, guys.

And some of the circles got glue on the wrong side, so our alphabet has holes in it.

They were so proud of their caterpillar.  And I let them decorate his face the way they wanted to, thus it has four eyes and interesting antennas.

This led to us going ahead and reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  I had read on a blog somewhere (sorry, can't remember where) where they had used pipe cleaner caterpillars to wind through the holes in the story.  So I gave each child a cleaner and we read the book.  They had so much fun poking their caterpillar through the holes (fine motor skills, woohoo).

Then, at the end, Katelyn showed us all how to make pipe cleaner butterflies.

Our  Alphabet Caterpillar

We ended the session by playing Alphabet Memory.  Jason is really good at it!!

It's been interesting to really work with my littles the last two days.  I thought Jason would love all of the crafts and shy away from the worksheets (like Tyler does), but it seems to be just the opposite!  He loves the worksheets.  So I've been doing a lot of searching for printables and will be including more into my lesson plans.

Oh, and the stories.  I was really disappointed in my libraries selection of books, and then I put Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom and I Pledge Allegiance on hold, and got a notice that they were available, but when I went to get them, they weren't ready yet!!  The library is far and we are trying to save on gas, so I couldn't make a second trip.  Thus, I had to do some substituting.

One book I pulled out real quick was Do Your ABC's, Little Brown Bear by Jonathan London (found it searching for a Froggy book)  This was a great find!  In the book, Little Brown Bear finds something in his day for every letter of the alphabet, one for each page.  But, there's also a picture of something else that begins with the letter on the page.  It's so fun to find the "hidden picture".  Jason loved the book and asked me to read it again.

So, overall, it's been an interesting couple of days.  I've learned somethings about my kids, I've had to adjust my Type-A self a bit and suppress my desire to do things "just so", I've spent some valuable time with my littles (which is hard for me), and we've had fun.

Friday my husband and I are taking Tyler to tour a school, so we will be gone most of the day.  I'm not sure how much Preschool we will get done. 

But I'm looking forward to next week's "A" lessons!

How did your week go?

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