Thursday, September 10, 2015

Colton Preschool, etc.

I wasn't sure how the transition of Summer going to school would be for Colton, as they are INSEPARABLE and play non-stop all the time.  Colton has done awesome!  I think he is really enjoying being the oldest and having more time with Mommy, and I have already seen his confidence grow in just the last 3 days.  I am LOVING having more quality time with Colton and also my one-on-one time doing preschool at home with him.  Here are a few pictures from our week, as well as some of the preschool activities we did this week. (*Note: the ideas for these activities I found on Pinterest this summer as I was looking for fun things to do with C, I did not make them up :) ).

On Tuesday, after drop-off, we ran a bunch of errands which also included picking many books from the library!  We have already enjoyed lots of cuddling and reading together with both Summer and Colton!  After Summer came home the first day and had homework, I pulled out this uppercase/lowercase matching game for him to do while I worked with Summer.  
This activity turned out better than I expected (matching/stacking clear spoons with upper case letters and white spoons with lowercase letters).  Colton was able to do it all on his own while I was helping Summer with homework, and I could easily help/correct him when I did a quick scan of the spoons.  He really enjoyed it too!

His attention span for the first round lasted for 15 matches, and provided great conversations and insight to me about where he got confused, such as "b", "p", and "d",  as well as confusing "n" and "u", and "N" and "Z".  I never realized how similar many letters look if you rotate them until I saw where he got confused :)
On Wednesday, I prepped two activities quick during breakfast - a letter sounds scavenger hunt and an "apple tree" upper/lowercase letter practice. 
On the uppercase/lowercase letter practice, C matched lowercase letter "apples" to their matching uppercase letters written on the "apple tree".  I wrote a bunch of uppercase letters on a tree, and a bunch of lowercase letters on stickers, and he loved pulling the stickers off and putting them on the tree.  This activity needed more one-on-one attention than the spoons activity did, as I needed to check each letter before he stuck it on.  I definitely plan to do this activity many more times, mixing it up by using shapes other than a tree (he loves stickers!!) however there is one thing I would modify.  I would put the lowercase letters on the picture and the uppercase letters on the stickers instead of the other way around.  Putting lowercase letters on the stickers got confusing as he would rotate the circle sticker in his hand, and suddenly a "d" became a "p" and a "n" became a "u". :) 

The letter scavenger hunt was an awesome activity that I will totally do again.  As we walked to the park and also to pick up Summer, he would name things he saw, and guess the letter the item started with, and then after confirmation from me, would fold down the correct letter tab. 

He really liked this activity!  It also provided awesome conversations on everything from him learning how to correct how he says words (he mispronounces some words and thus thinks they start with a different letter) to talking about blends (sometimes he thought a "SL" word started with "L" for example, because we have been focusing so much on how to prounounce his "L's".)

Park playtime was really fun getting lots of time with Colton and seeing all his giggles!  He loved the special attention, because often at the park, I hang out with Larkyn while Summer and Colton play together, so I don't always see all of his cool tricks :)

 It was awesome to be able to focus on him and all the things he is able to do, because often at the park he tries to keep up with Summer, and gets frustrated over the things he can't do as well or as fast or at all compared to his sister.  It is fun to see how much his confidence has already boosted just in the last 3 days as he is the big kid and not in his sisters' shadow :). 

It was awesome to see how he is starting to think for himself, too.  Usually he does everything Summer does and just follows, almost blindly, whatever she does (thankfully she is a good influence!).  Despite conversations about the topic, he has not demonstrated that he can and will think for himself.  However, at the park, I watched to see what he would do when another kid he was playing with made a choice to do something he knew I wouldn't let him do.  He stopped, and came and told me that "I didn't do ___ because I knew you wouldn't want me to."  I was SO stinkin' proud of him!

It has also been fun to see Larkyn get more Colton attention :)  I am excited to see how their relationship grows this year :).

As a bonus, the park we chose had a lot of construction nearby, so we got to see a bobcat go back and forth the whole time we were playing and two concrete mixers!

After an hour or so, two of Colton's buddies came to play with us!!  All three of their older sisters started kindergarten this week, so it was fun to have a "boys playdate" and fun for us 3 moms to chat!

Colton, Rylan, and Ian are all 3 :)

Fun to watch these blondies get nice and dirty "building their campfire" :)
 On Wednesday night, Colton started his first night of Awana Cubbies with Daddy as his leader!   I don't think I have EVER seen him so excited to talk about something as he was that night!  He talked non-stop the ride home about all the things he did.  He was absolutely SO excited :)  I love this program so much, and especially love the one-on-one time throughout the week he and I get preparing for Wednesday night Cubbies.  In his handbook, there is a weekly story, scripture passage, and memory verse, as well as preschool activities to do with your parent.  Each week that we do them together, he gets a section signed off by his leader and can earn awards.  I think I am just as excited as he is that he is in Cubbies! :).

On Thursday, we started our calendar project.  One of my goals with Colton for this year is to gain a better understanding of time in terms of days of the week and months of the year and basic clock reading.  With our calendar project, I picked 12 pictures of Colton or someone in the family that represent each month (for example, pictures of each of our five birthdays knock out five of the months, and holidays or special events or weather related pictures covered the rest of the seven months).  I also chose a picture to represent each season.  Colton had fun looking at the pictures, and then guessing what month and/or season it would be.  We then glued the pictures to construction paper with the name of the month/season the picture represented.

We have already done so much learning with these cards, and I have lots of other ideas coming up! We sang the months of the year song while flipping through the pictures, we talked about the months that make up each season, we showed a picture and guessed the month, etc.  When Summer got home from school, she had fun playing along, and I would ask her questions such as "Do your best guess on how to spell this month" or "How many days does this month have?" or "If today is September 10th, and September has 30 days, how many days until October?" She loved it :)

At some point I may try to put these in some sort of cyclical wheel in more of a permanent display calendar, to show that the seasons go in a cycle each year, however for now it is nice to have them loose for different matching/action/guessing games.
We chose blue for all the winter months, because our lips turn blue when it is cold and blue is a cold color.

We chose orange for all the fall months, because the leaves turn orange.

We chose yellow for the summer months, because the sun is hot in the summer.

We chose green for the spring months because things start growing green again in the spring.  These color cues have been really helpful for Colton when he is deciding what season a month belongs in.

On Friday, we spent the morning with racetracks and racecars.


After we pick up Summer, we will go drop off the money (total fundraising = over $400!) from our art sale and take a tour of the warehouse of the Sheridan story.

While we have definitely had to get used to a new routine around here, it really has been a really great first week of school!


Kristin Bjorklund said...

Ahhhhh. Love that little guy. He's just the best, so happy for all your special time with him! He's lucky to have you for a mom!

Jill said...

Love my Buddy! Kel, great job making your mornings more boy-focused now. Larkyn is a doll!

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