Monday, August 29, 2011

And we're ready!

To catch up, here are a few quick reviews of books and products we used in our prep time for our first homeschool year.

Usborne books.
Love everything Usborne.  If you see anything used Usborne, pick it up.  Its going to be a keeper.  We did a few different books from the early readers series.  They are perfect for reading at this age and at the end they have a link where you can go do a few online activities.  So you get to sit and read with the kid, then send him off to play on the internet for a while.  Perfection!  I can't wait to get a few more of these.  All the ones I have, I bought at Goodwill for $1.
Caterpillars and Butterflies

Masio's (age 4 1/2) favorite books from this summer.
Adventures of Little Bear
Frog and Toad are Friends
Days with Frog and Toad
Silly Milly
Arthurs "Family Values" Series
Curious George Early Reader Collection
A Fly Went By
In a People House
The Me Book
And we read aloud to him The Magic Tree House books 1-4 and Charlotte's Web
He loves to sit and flip through The Usborne Complete Book of Astronomy and Space

Sefu's favorites (age 3 1/2)
Harold and the Purple Crayon
Richard Scarry's Best First Book Ever
Richard Scarry's Best Picture Dictionary Ever
Once Upon a Potty
Crazy Alphabet
Stop Train Stop
Little Quack

I sat down and did two workbooks in completion with Masio and I actually learned that with a LOT of patience, he is really good at sitting and doing a workbook.  He's not really the creative one of the bunch, but he loves to follow directions to a "T" and he loves checking off a list of tasks and completing a page.

We did:
Kumon My First Book of Tracing (bought for $.50 at goodwill)
This was a great first book for Masio.  By the end of it, he was able to sit still, hold a pencil correctly, and understand the satisfaction of completing a page of work.  It actually made him interested in writing letters and drawing shapes.  This is one of those situations where I had to take a step backwards from my expectations.  I thought that I could just sit with Masio and write letters (like I can with Sefu) but that was too difficult at first.  So I went back one level in learning to just drawing lines and curves and circles and after that, he was able to start working on letters without being so frustrated.  So anyway, I highly recommend this book for the needs of Masio.  Sefu would have been bored by this book.

Usborne First Learning Odd One Out (paid $1 at goodwill)
The other basic skill I had to teach Masio was to color.  Yeah, I know.  This seems simple, but Masio had never really been interested in sitting and coloring with crayons.  This book was GREAT.  I hope to get more of these first learning books.  This was our first real trial of patience.  The Kumon tracing book was super simple and self explanatory, but with this book I actually had to sit with him and read the directions for each page.  That was a painful process.  I would have loved to have given up on it, but he wanted to do it, so we kept trudging though it.  By the end, there was a huge improvement in how he listened and followed directions and how we communicated.  I cannot say enough about how much I love these Usborne First Learning books.  I will definitely be buying more of them.

What about Sefu?  The other thing I learned is that he is NOT ready to sit and do work books.  He will sit and do connect the dots or connect the letters or just plain coloring or writing words, but he has no interest in my explaining a page to him and having him do a task.  Its funny that just 6 months ago he was willing to do that, but now that he's such an independent 3 year old, he's not interested.  He wants to do what he wants to do on a page.  That might be write letters, it might be color, it might be just to read it.  So I mostly just give him the dry erase books and pens and that keeps him happy for hours.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Beautiful Day

Today is just gorgeous out.  We spent the morning blowing bubbles and digging in the dirt.  This is why I love being home!  I seriously have the best job ever.

Sefu started off the day practicing writing.

Today I let Masio pick some experiments out of Chemistry for Every Kid.  We had a blast.

Then we took our first venture into the world of Lapbooks.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Just being kids

Today was a day just to be kids. A trip to the grocery store. A neighborhood friend over to play. Lots of naps, lots of cuddles, and lots of play. Oh and lots of TV.

Our learning experience of the day centered around the water cycle. Masio was helping me fill the ice cube trays and boil water for Isleia's mac and cheese and it got us talking about water. This is where I'm seeing that my book purchasing er, habit? is a good thing. Its nice to have resources around to back up whatever we're talking about. Of course there is always the interweb, but that leads to distractions so easily. We also were lucky that today's episode of The Magic School Bus was about the water cycle. We watched it and talked about it. And by "we" I mean Masio and mommy. Sefu isn't so into the science stuff. He just wants to read and write and draw.

Wanna know all about the water cycle? Here ya go.

While I have your attention, can I just please complain about Dora and other Nick Jr shows? Why oh why does every single science reference have to do with saving the environment/endangered species? Here is a show that kids love and would be a great chance to actually teach them something halfway intelligent but instead its the same crap over and over. I mean I am all about the environment and all. Really I am. But come on already.

The boys wanted nothing to do with reading out loud today, so no books today. But they love picking a page out of the Draw Write Now and reading that. Sefu can always read the 4 sentences perfectly, but Masio, not so much. So it gives us a good chance to practice reading without having to hold him down, lol.

I read some really good articles about finding your child's learning style. Let me see if I can find one to share with yall.