Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mother Goose - Week 3

We are still rocking and rolling with Mother Goose Time's curriculum! I'm going to highlight a few of our favorite activities from this week!

We have done a lot of handwriting practice on the included sheets. There was also a fun beginning addition cactus flower activity as well! We talked about the letter Y, color orange and the number 18 in similar ways we talked about H, 17 and brown in previous activities.

One fun thing I forgot to photograph was an experiment activity to discuss how a plant's coating helps it in the desert climate. We wet three paper towels - we let one lie flat, rolled another one and the last one we also rolled but covered it with wax paper. We placed them on a cookie sheet and allowed it to sit until the next day. We talked about how a waxy coating would help a plant stay moist because when it is super hot and sunny outside, things dry out. It's actually a perfect lesson this week because it is super hot outside! You may notice that the boys are half nekkid in most of the photos! Another great perk to homeschooling is that clothing is optional! Haha!

One thing that I appreciate about Mother Goose Time's boxed curriculum is that the activities re-use some of the materials from previous activities. We have used the foam squares in several activities this month. In this activity, we used the squares to match to pattern cards. There were three pattern cards to work on and we started with the easiest and worked up to the more complicated one. Wes loved this activity and I was happy to see he is really mastering the concept of size differentiation.

I began the easier card by only giving him the number/size pieces he needed.

As he mastered the easy card, I gave him more pieces than he needed. I wanted him to really think about which squares he needed.

We all know the story of the Tortoise and the Hare! I was happy to see that they adapted this old favorite to fit this month's theme. This activity included picture cards for the characters and a story prompting to read. Before we began, we practiced running in place really fast each time I said "Hare" and walking in place super slow each time I said "Tortoise". As I read the story, every time I read one of the animal character's names, I held up the corresponding picture card and prompted Wes to say what it was. I gradually faded the verbal prompting and he quickly picked up to say it independently. I really liked the activity because it was really fun for Wes to be so involved in it by running or slowly walking in place for the "hare" and "tortoise" parts, but also got him eagerly engaged because he wanted to name the picture cards. The story was printed in a nice larger font to allow for easy reading and contained bolded character names to make it easy for me to stay on top of which cards to use. As with most of their reading activities, there were some discussion points on the back to expand on.

This week we also made a "Where Is" book. We first went over each page and matched the animals to their pages before we glued them on. The fun thing about this activity is that it also gave us an opportunity to go over some Spanish since it is printed with English followed by Spanish translation underneath. After we assembled our book (and the glue dried), Wes colored most of the pages. 

Wes matching the animals with the right cards

There was a fun sight words activity which we have turned into a "On The Go" activity as well. I hid the letter cards around our living room and placed the smaller sight word cards in a small pitcher. I had Wes pull a small sight word card and identify the starting letter. He then had to find the letter card and we went over the individual sounds (ex. R "Rrrr" and UN "Uh-nun"), followed with combining them to practice sounding out the word. I have taken these cards and put them in a sandwich sized ziploc bag and I have them in my purse for times we need to kill time on the go. They came in super handy when we ate out recently.

Picking the word cards

Finding the letter cards

Sounding out our words

Wes absolutely loves to color each days theme pictures as well.

One of the boy's most favorite activities from this week was painting and decorating tortoises. The kit included small bowls to paint as the tortoise shells, so we set out doing that first. Wes added glitter for some extra flair! We finished the tortoises by attaching them to the included tortoise die-cuts and adding googly eyes! There was yarn to attach for tortoise races, but Wes adamantly refused to add yarn. Who knows why, but yarn just wasn't going on his tortoise.

Brady's (left) and Wes' (right) tortoises

One of the cooler materials I've seen in curriculum are these cornstarch pellets. I placed a wet paper towel in a bowl for Wes to moisten the pellets. When moistened, they attach to each other and stick together. Wes made a cactus in the included bowl. He was so proud of them! 

Lastly, I wanted to mentioned that we talked about Egypt and where it is on the world map. The curriculum included a postcard sized Egyptian flag. I used that to talk to them about how each country has their very own flag, which led us to talk about the American flag and the significant symbols on it. Good timing since July 4th is just around the corner!

The Egyptian Flag

Since beginning the curriculum, I have noticed that Wes is more aware of our surroundings. He spots a cactus and yells out "CACTUS Momma!". On a recent trip to the zoo, he was very interested in the camels, donkeys and snakes. I can really tell that he is very interested in the topics he is presented through the curriculum and that the lessons and their multi-sensory approaches have sparked an interest in learning for my boys!

We are also potty training Wes this week! It's been fairly crazy since he is not exactly excited about going #2 on the potty. So it's been quite the challenge (Another reason why he's half nekkid in the photos!). But, it's been really nice being home and being consistent with the potty training! Another huge perk to homeschooling! And, he's mastered peeing and have hardly had any accidents so far!!! Yay!

Wes and his Cars undies!!!

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