Thursday, September 4, 2014


The first week of school for all our friends and neighbors was this week, and we started school this week home with Mommy!  This is Summer's second year of preschool at home (Last year  Summer and I worked on all sorts of fun preschool things throughout the cold winter months) and Colton's first year of Tot School (Summer and I did Tot School when she was two, also).  One of my favorite parts about doing school at home is that I get to watch the kids learn...and see them get so excited about learning new things!  There are SO many fun ways to learn!  I also love that at these ages (Summer is 4 and Colton is 2), there is no pressure to cover certain material like there is in older grades, so I can plan our "school" around whatever they are interested in and run with it and not have to worry about following any sort of curriculum :).  In August when I started thinking through some topics we could cover this fall for both kids, I found this website helpful, which talks about main topics that are covered in each year of school.  From the Pre-K, K, and 1st grade lists, I created a list of topics that I think each kid would be enjoy learning this year...

For Summer:
1) Handwriting - especially lowercase letters
2) Beginning Reading including phonics and sight words
3) Adding and Subtracting with physical objects, and connecting it to numerals on paper
4) Counting Money and the value of coins
5) Telling Time
6) Learning about the United States through maps and kid friendly library books
7) Turning her constant "How" and "Why" questions into a written list we will explore together through library books and online videos.
8) Beginning a journal of writing basic sentences and illustrating them
9) Art Projects!
10) Bible Learning through Verse of the Week, BSF, and  Bible reading

For Colton:
1) Learning to form the letters in his name/ write his name
2) Counting Items
3) Matching numerals with quantities
4) Learning lower case letters (he already knows his uppercase letters and their sounds)
5) Fine motor activities
6) Tracing
7) Cutting with Scissors
8) Reading library books and learning about cars/trains/plains/trucks and sports
9) Lots of trips to the zoo and science museum!
10) Bible Learning through Verse of the Week, BSF, and  Bible reading

I keep a list on my phone and each time I think of something I just add to it :).  Then, during late night or early morning feedings, I like going on Pinterest and looking at fun ways to teach these things (or any other fun activities I see!). 

I have always loved school supplies, and roaming through the aisles of new notebooks, pencils, and crayons :).  This year, each of the kids picked out a new notebook and folder to do their school work in...they were pretty excited ;).  Colton picked a blue notebook and a car folder.  Summer picked a pink notebook and a Hello Kitty folder.

New School Supplies!
We weren't planning on starting school until it got cold out (we like to enjoy the nice weather!) but when it rained Wednesday morning it seemed the perfect thing to do - and the kids were so excited about using their new school supplies!

The first day of school, we started our notebooks by writing our names on the first hope is that by keeping our work in a journal, the kids and I can easily go back and see how they have improved their writing, etc at the end of the year.  Kind of fun!

Colton's first attempt at "tracing his name" at the top...yeah, he didn't really get the idea of how to "trace"!  The second one went a bit better ;)

Summer wrote her name all by herself (I did have to help her spell Tommerdahl) and she also drew a picture of herself :)
Colton's first activities surround the letter "O", which he knows he has TWO of in his name. I figured this would be a fun letter to start with, so he practiced drawing his circles in his journal...

Colton's "circles", practicing the letter "O"
While I got Summer going on her next activity, I told Colton to practice his cutting...just a piece of paper and scissors entertained him for a loooong time!  Definitely a good filler activity for anyone schooling two kids at the same time (as long as you don't mind a little mess!)

Colton first time using scissors

 Summer's first activity was a bit of math.  We did this same activity last year with number flashcards I got in the Target dollar aisle (they have dots on the back to match the number on the front), and Summer loves it.  She can do it all by herself now.  She lays out two numbers with a "+" in the middle.  Then she copies it onto her paper.  She flips over the flash cards, counts all the dots, and writes the number at the end of the problem after an "=" symbol.   It takes her a while to do each problem, which gave me time to get Colton set up on his next activity.  She did a great job and got her problem right..."7 + 5 = 12", though she needed a little help remembering how to write a "2".

Summer sets up her own addition problem with the flashcards, flips them over, and counts the sum.

She copies the numerals into her notebook

Colton's next activity also focused on his letter "O".  In reading a bit about forming letters when I taught Summer last year, I learned that a lot of activities that help kids slow down and look at the formation of the letter can help.  So Colton's next activity was to glue cheerios to the letter O.  I was extremely surprised at how focused he was...he was super quiet and needed no direction at all once I got him going.  Definitely a successful activity...!

Summer's final activity for the day was practicing her lower case letters.  I wrote out the alphabet, and she copied them.

We had a bit of time before swimming lessons this morning and both kids wanted to do more school, so we whipped out a few more activities and it kept both of them entertained for half an hour while I fed Larkyn.

For Colton, we used Dot Markers to help Colton slow down and learn how to trace the letters in his name.  He loves the dot markers, and really surprised me at how well he could "stay on the lines" and how long it entertained him!

Ready for day 2 of school!


Mommy, look at my "L"!

I did it!
For Summer, we focused on some sight words for beginner readers.  (I learned that "sight words" are words that often come up in beginner readers but don't follow general phonics rules, so kids just have to memorize them).  This website has a list of Kindergarten sight words that come in handy for beginner readers.  I picked three off the list that I know we run into when we read books and wrote them in her notebook.  Summer looked for the letters in ads/mailings from the past two days, cut them out, and taped them into her notebook.  She LOVES using scissors and tape (so it was a huge hit!) and I loved watching her peer through the papers looking for letters.  Because her name is Summer she found her name quite a few times, so we decided to cut those out and add them to her notebook.  We also also found a picture of Elsa and Anna, and decided to put that in there too!  As she found the letters we would review what the word was and how it was used in a sentence.

Ready for school day 2!

Cutting out an "A"

"Hey mom! I found my name!"

Looking for letters

Partway finished with her first 3 sight words, "and", "have", and "is"
Ill toss in our last two weeks worth of "verse of the week" videos here as well (We have been memorizing one verse each week, and practicing together during each mealtime, since last October).  BSF starts next week, so we will get our verses through there, but we had a fun summer of picking out books of the Bible to memorize from!  These past two weeks, Colton picked Revelation and Summer picked Ruth.

Revelation 21:4


Ruth 2:12

Well that is our first week of school!  I can't wait to try some new activities I found with the kids next week!!


MadisonSheaT said...


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