Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

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So...I was recently asked if I majored in education (hi Annajean!). Umm...no. That would've been cool, though.

I was an aide at a preschool for awhile, and I taught Sunbeams at church for a bit, but mostly....I spend a lot of time reading homeschoolers' blogs and "borrowing" their ideas.

But! Once in awhile, I get an idea all on my own. Like this one:

We read We're Going on a Bear Hunt a couple weeks ago. And I thought, "Hey, we could do that."

So I dug this little bear out of Little Boy's closet. (I wanted a little bear so it'd be easy to hide.) I made Little Boy wait in the kitchen while I hid the bear in the living room. Then we would pretend we were going on a bear hunt--but without the under, over, through stuff from the book. Just a straight-up bear hunt.

We hid and hunted for the bear several times. And then the bear was Little Boy's best friend for the rest of the day. I'd call it a success.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Teaching of the Next Generation

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"I believe it is by divine design that the role of motherhood emphasizes the nurturing and teaching of the next generation. We see so many challenges today from distracting and destructive influences intended to mislead God's children...Teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in the home adds another layer of insulation to protect our children from worldly influences."
-L. Tom Perry

Monday, June 21, 2010

Corduroy's Mattress

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Little Boy L-O-V-E-S Corduroy. Y'know, the little bear in the green overalls:

Loves. We check out the Corduroy DVD from the library all the time. (Love that Scholastic Video Collection, by the way.) Little Boy hums the theme song from the DVD while he plays with his toys. He points out buttons wherever he sees them--because, of course, they're "just like Corduroy's button."

So with all that in mind, I had an idea:

Ta-da! It's Corduroy's mattress!

(Okay, it's really buttons glued on a piece of construction paper.)

It's a good fine-motor activity, since the kid had to pick up all those "tiny baby buttons" (his words), and stick them on the paper. And he's so darn proud of it. I think that poor button-y piece of construction paper is going to be with us for a long time.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Letter-Picture Matching

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Little Boy seems to like this one. I printed out the alphabet in capital letters, and then found little clipart pictures to go with each letter of the alphabet. He has to match the pictures with the letters.

So, for example, fox goes with F.

We haven't learned all of the letter sounds yet, so it's a little challenging for him. And I chose some pictures that he didn't know--saxophone, for example--to squeeze in some vocabulary. I know, I'm mean like that.

Last time we played, he got lazy and started just guessing random letters that didn't have matches yet. I'm pretty sure "rain" doesn't start with C, kiddo.

So we'll probably take a break from it for awhile and play something else. It's not like I don't have enough alphabet games to last the kid the rest of his life.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading

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I've heard nothing but good things about this book:

Even the Pioneer Woman likes it.

I have it, but I haven't started using it with Little Boy yet. I know, I'm a slacker. Actually, when I got the book, we'd already started learning consonant sounds and I didn't want to switch up the routine halfway through. We'll use it when we start on vowel sounds.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sink or Float?

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We played Sink or Float a few days ago. It was even more successful than I thought it'd be. You'll see why in a second.

Before we started, Little Boy's face clearly said, "Uh...you do know there's water in that bowl, right? " Little Boy has a thing with anything that's wet, or gooey, or sticky. He doesn't like touching stuff like that. I ignored his skeptical face.

Some of our sinkers and floaters, before being sunk or floated.

We kept track of how many sunk and how many floated. I was surprised that more of them didn't float. Heh, shows how much I know.

Now, here's the amazing part. After we tested all of the objects and marked whether they sunk or floated, Little Boy wanted to put all of them in the bowl. Um...okay. And then he wanted to take them all back out. With his hands. And not just once. He put everything in the bowl and took everything back out for almost half an hour. Silly kid.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I'm Cheap: Pattern Blocks

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Y'know those pattern blocks that you played with in elementary school? The ones I played with were wood, but my younger siblings told me theirs were plastic.

Anyway, I've been wanting to get some for Little Boy for a long time. Preferably wood, but plastic would be okay. I haven't been able to get any yet, but when I saw Confessions of a Homeschooler's Pattern Block Cards, I had an idea.

See, I've had some craft foam (from the dollar store!) hanging out in the bottom of my craft bin for a loooong time. I keep forgetting it's there. When I saw the Pattern Block Cards (which are supposed to be used with the real blocks), I thought maybe I could cut them out and let Little Boy play with those until we get the real thing.

But cardstock "blocks" didn't seem like they'd last very long...but craft foam "blocks" would! So I used the Pattern Cards to trace the shapes onto the foam, and cut the shapes out of the foam. They're still not super durable, but they'll last longer than paper.

Little Boy likes playing with them, but he spends more time squishing them in his hands than making patterns out of them. He starts making patterns, but he just can't resist their foamy squishiness. Can't really blame him, I guess.
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