Friday, September 27, 2013

Week 1: Leaves

This week was our first week in homeschooling. Adam finally agreed to let me redo the office and turn it into a classroom. I can't wait to share it in a post, but we are waiting on a few more things to come in! Molly loves it and it's a great place to step away from outside distractions and focus on learning.

We will probably aim for three days a week. (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) This week was short since we were out of town Monday and Tuesday. Then Thursday I had a newborn session and our big biweekly grocery shopping trip. So we stuck to Wednesday and Friday.

Since we are now starting into Fall I chose to have our theme be leaves. The next several weeks will be loosely based on the changes, topics, and weather of Fall. Molly loved the theme and today ended with her walking away with more knowledge on what Fall brings. She especially loved the songs! Her favorite was this song found at!

Tune:  “London Bridges Falling Down”
All the leaves are falling down, falling down, falling down.  (Imitate leaves falling down)
All the leaves are falling down, it is Fall.
Take the rake and rake them up, rake them up, rake them up.  (Imitate raking up leaves)
Take the rake and rake them up, it is Fall.
Make a pile and jump right in, jump right in, jump right in.  (Children jump forward)
Make a pile and jump right in, it is Fall.
                             Sent in by Diane Chancey

We sang songs and went over the changes of Fall during circle time. Which was the start of the day.
I printed off and laminated these three pictures. We talked about the color of the leaves and where they come from. We discussed how they fall off the trees this time of year. We also went over the other name for Fall, Autumn. Then today we talked more about the picture of the clothing. I pointed out some of the clothes and had her name them. I told her we wear jackets to keep warm. I then asked her if we wear them to keep warm what is the weather like. She said cold! Little ones can really impress you with all the things they soak up!

Near the circle time area is our pocket chart. I found printables with Fall themed items to quantify with numbers. Both days we went over the chart and I had her count out some of the lower number cards. (yes she wanted to wear her back pack!)

We also did a prewriting exercise. At first she really just scribbled. Then I took her hand to lead it across the bottom line in the top picture. She then did the top two lines on her own. So I handed her the next sheet and she quickly did the three slanted lines. I love these worksheets!

I bought a five pack of small pumpkins for counting and science activities. I also got a garland of fake leaves and cut them off for various things. For this sink or float activity I used a pumpkin, leaves, a feather, and rock. I asked her if each object was heavy or light and let her hold them and tell me. I then would ask her if she thought it would sink or float. After those questions we would test the object out. She loved this! After that I let her play with them in the water tub.

For an art project we used glue to make a Fall tree. She loved the different steps of paining her arm for the tree, ripping paper, and gluing! Especially the gluing.

We also did this dot sheet with bingo markers! She did great at coloring in the dots. I love these little sheets. They are great for a dexterity activity.

Another great fine motor activity is lacing! I printed off these leaves and did a quick color job. Realizing another thing I have to run to the store for is a single hole punch, I just quickly cut holes with scissors. She then put the leaves back on the "branch." We also had fun making them fall of the branch later! I printed 5 off so we could also get some counting in.

At the end of today we did a play dough counting sheet. I made little balls of red play dough in different amounts for her to count. Afterwards I let her play with it. I was so excited when she told me she was making trees!

While she was playing play dough I laminated a new set of pocket chart cards. These also led us into next week. (apples)



Thursday, September 19, 2013

Why do I think I still have a newborn?

Is this what baby of the family really means? Not only is she the youngest, but in my mind incapable of doing anything on her own, ever. Something about a second child makes you refuse to believe that they will be anything but your little baby.

In the past several weeks Natalie has changed so much. She started sitting up without immediately folding over. She slowly but surely started crawling around the house. In the past week she can now sit herself up and go back to crawling. It is just so weird to watch. During that week she started working on pulling up. For the most part she would get to her knees or she would get her legs straight and do an awkward bending pose. As of today she wants to pull up on anything and everything. (including the bath tub while her sister dumps water all over her while I, as a good mom, am collecting the 500 shoes around the house. Go me.)

Not only do I refuse to believe that she can do these things, I am completely oblivious to what she can already do. For instance last month I finally switched her in her bath tub. As it occurred to me I read the labels and she was still on the 'newborn' side. Now she sits in the bath and usually with her sister. Then today at a restaurant it hit me that I should try her in a high chair. Umm...yeah. She's 8 months. I think I was stuffing blankets around Molly at five months so I didn't have to carry her seat.

While eating she kept reaching for my plate. I thought hmm...why not cut off a tiny piece of tortellini and give it to her? She devoured it and then had three more.

I'm not sure if it's just me or if all moms of second babies feel this way. With Molly everything was so pushed and watched over. Her milestones were encouraged and we were so ecstatic at the earlier she did things.

With Natalie it doesn't even occur to me that she can do anything, because in my mind she's my little baby. When she does do something I think NOO, slow down! I want her to stay my squishy newborn, but she's not. She is growing so fast, and I guess I better get with the program, because whether I want to believe it or not she isn't going to stay little forever.

Or... I could refuse to believe it and secretly feel that she will always be my little baby even if she is only five seconds younger than her sister.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What We've Been Doing Lately

There has been a whole lot of learning and developing going on here lately. In the past week Natalie has changed so much. She crawls from room to room, sits herself up, goes to crawling, and is now pulling up to her knees. It's crazy how fast they change. Molly has been becoming more and more her own person every day. It's amazing to watch!

We got Molly a water table for her birthday. I knew if she was going to have a water table than she needed sea animals. I love the learning resources play animals. They are big and life like. Now that Natalie is a little older she loves them too! Natalie was probably six months here. When I set out something for Molly I always include Natalie in some way. So she got her own little sea animals!

Two is the perfect age for wooden blocks! I couldn't wait to get Molly's first set. When I taught preschool they were the most played with toy. She loves to construct things and the Melissa and Doug wooden cars are so much fun! We love building tracks and garages for the cars.

Another great gift was her letter lacing beads. I love that their are so many aspects of learning. Lacing the beads is great for fine motor skills. It comes with a scooper which is great for scooping and pouring back into the bucket. Then the letters are upper and lower case! Molly loves to pick out the letter I name. Bonus is Natalie loves to chew on them!

I looked everywhere for a set of arctic animals for this exact reason. I loved the idea of a sensory activity with ice, water, food coloring, and the animals. She loves it too! We do it almost every week. Now that Natalie sits on her own she joins in! Afterwards we like to use Siri to look up arctic animals. Molly loves that part!

We also went up to WI a couple weeks ago. I got a few shots of the girls being adorable in the hotel and seeing their grandma at the park. The drive was pretty good since we went during the night. I drove some on the way back. No idea how Adam does it. I made it two hours.

Last week we had a "car wash." If you don't have a little tub like this you should! The possibilities are endless and it's a great sensory toy. I filled it with water and dish soap and their cars. I got a great and cheap roller brush at Walmart awhile back. I thought it would be the perfect thing for the car wash! Both of the girls had a blast!

This week Molly started dance! She is in Jazz/Tap/Ballet. Seriously, how cute is that? She needs to get tap shoes and ballet shoes. I'm hoping to find some this week. She absolutely loved it. This was in the waiting area and she was spinning and dancing. So excited for her class. There were so many adorable little girls in their leotards. I'm hoping she gets to meet new friends and get more experience with listening to directions. I can't watch the class, but I could hear and it sounded fun. Molly was only told to rejoin them once! Proud mom!

Today we made use of yesterday's sessions used seamless paper! Recycle! I turned on The Lorax soundtrack (love that movie) and we painted a meadow! Natalie loved it! We used the sensory ball and roller too. Once it dries I'll use their hands to make some red flowers! Adam will kill me, but I think we will hang it in the kitchen for awhile. It's so good for kids to see their art work!

It definitely wore Natalie out!

We've also been getting cousin time whenever we can! Now that Natalie wants to be in the mix of things she is really into Aiden! She didn't even care that he was pouring water on her, as long as she got to be there!

So that's about it! We've been having a lot of fun and trying to take advantage of these quick days. We're at that really fun age with the girls. I can't imagine how it will be as they grow and become more and more interactive with each other. Molly is so into Natalie now. She always wants her around. Which Natalie loves, because to her Molly is the bees knees!