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Pre-Homeschool Spring Chat

post #1 of 217
Thread Starter 
I'm just gonna jump in & start a spring thread for us (& autumn thread for you down under folks!). I hope that's ok!

How are your springtime activities going? Anyone want to share their Easter craft ideas? Is anyone else obsessing over what they're going to do for kindergarten?

post #2 of 217
Inspired by this Our Little Nature Nest blog post we will be dying brown eggs. It will be the first time in my life to dye brown eggs but don't feel the need to go out and buy white eggs when I have perfectly good brown eggs from our chickens waiting to be dyed.

I still have an Ostara craft I haven't done yet so I'll try to throw that in as well. I have giant pine cones from our last house and I want to make bird feeders out of them. I just haven't gotten around to it though.

We have a few Easter fingerplays I've been doing with the kidlets but really I'm not doing much formal now adays and believe in Ostara rather than Easter so that's about it. Our Ostara celebration was wonderful though: It was the first day warm enough to play outside in bathing suits. I can't think of a better way to celebrate the first day of Spring than playing outside in the warm sun.
post #3 of 217
We're here still. We are going to be on vacation at the beach for Easter so we'll be doing our egg hunt on the beach and all that.

So far around here, it's been all about mazes and connect-the-dot pages. Dd loves the mazes, even asking us to draw some for her.

We've been doing lots of crafts, lots . Been doing collage Easter eggs, and a collage spring garden. We will dye some eggs this week most likely.

Lots of painting, especially watercolors. In her group art class, they did an experiment w/music and art. She played a fast paced classical piece for on painting, then switched to a slower paced classical piece, all in watercolor. Turned out really interesting. Also, our local art museum has a showcase going on right now of local schools' childrens' art, so we went to look at all the childrens' art.

I've been settling into sort of an unschooly routine w/dd. Most days she does at least one art/craft, some games or puzzles, plays outside. It's been fun.

I've been trying to get the art supplies organized and looking for a way to store some of my favorite pieces. I have an archival quality plastic envelope, acid free, that I'm currently using. But it won't last for long.

That's about all of it for now..just enjoying the
post #4 of 217
I forgot to say that we did do a really nice bunny craft from Preschool Playbook. My kidlets do love it when I get the construction paper out. But it's how DD did the craft that I find amazing. For this craft I cut out the pieces before hand. I showed them a picture of one way it could be done and let them find there own way to do it.

DD put the sun in the middle of the bunny and told me the sun was shining from within her. She then put the grass all around the bunny and told me the bunny was in it's burrow and the grass was it's bed. She drew a crescent moon and rays shining from the moon since it was night time and the moon shines at night. It was amazing to here her tell me her thought process. I wrote down the story she told me and pasted it to the paper.
post #5 of 217
We are here sort of. Not really doing a ton of preschool stuff. He really isn't interested in any preschooly activity I have put out lately. We have been spending a lot of time outside, playing games, and playing with Lego of course. . He has also really been enjoying time4learning.com.

Re Kindergarten: Yes, I am obsessing over what to use. . I want something formal for handwriting. I found a couple things at Rainbow resource that might work. This or maybe handwriting with out tears???
Reading I'm not so sure about. I really need to see exactly where he is come August. Right now he is working on the Time4Learning 1st LA. I'm really not sure how computer based program transfer to real reading though....... Anyway I'm thinking HOP or Time4learning??? Both?? Maybe one of those Phonics books like Pathways??
Math I was going to skip formal math with him, but I just got the orange Miquon book, free from currclick's Easter egg hunt. It looks pretty neat! I already have the Guide, so it will only cost the price of paper. If he hates it I think I will just start with grade 1 math, when I feel he is ready. I think he will be bored with K math all year.
He will also keep doing FIAR with his sis.
post #6 of 217
We've been "homeschooling" for a year...but our Kindy has been mostly unschooling. Since we're starting 1st grade in march....I'm currently in getting ready for that.

My suggestion is to get in the habit of doing SOMETHING every day. We do workboxes and my kids are just so pumped to run into the homeschool room to see what we have to do for them.

Some days it is games, or worksheets or whatever-- but it has really helped them know that there's things to be done each morning!

PS: If you're curious....here's what we are doing for first grade and for 4-year-old preschool. I figure it averages out to kindergarten, right?

*Right Start Math
*Story of the World Volume 1 plus activity book
*Spell to Write and Read
*Guest Hollow (look online) for science
*The Way they see it (for art)
*Muzzy for German
*Currently finishing up Handwriting Without Tears for both kids (the first and second books) and we are moving on to Cursive First for handwriting.
post #7 of 217
Thread Starter 
metoo, OMGoodness I just got sucked into the CurrClick site you linked! So many fun ideas & great books. Just what I need, another site full of homeschooling ideas to get completely sucked into!!

I've never tried lapbooking, I never really knew what they even were til I just saw them explained on that site. Now I'm all intrigued & think maybe I'll incorporate some of those into our schooling.... & they have some that are practically free on sale, too. Maybe I'll have to order a few for kindergarten while I'm at it.... heeheehee! I love an excuse to order school goodies!

And on a totally different subject, I have no idea what we'll be using for math for my now-preschooler in the future. I'm going to research the things you all have mentioned.

ETA: Oh, I forgot I wanted to say how super cute your DD is Beezer!
post #8 of 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by zjande View Post
I'm just gonna jump in & start a spring thread for us (& autumn thread for you down under folks!). I hope that's ok!

How are your springtime activities going? Anyone want to share their Easter craft ideas? Is anyone else obsessing over what they're going to do for kindergarten?

Happy ... change of seasons? lol Autumn here, and we're loving it! I just tried to reply but mdc ate my post *scowl*

My preschooler is full time 'unschooling' preschool with us at home now! I don't plan any formal educational time for him for a long time, as he's just 3.5, but I'm setting him up a spot where he can have his own little activities while the brothers do 'school'work.

The hs group we attend on Mondays is going to start offering a tiny tots gymnastics/tumbling class as well as a playgroup, and juding from his reaction last Monday to his brothers getting to go to class and not him! They'll be a huge hit! He was VERY put out at having to play on the (very awesome) playground with the other littles as HE wanted aclass too he said lol
post #9 of 217
Thanks for starting the new thread
The first term of the school year is ending here (and thus DD's ballet classes) and DD has huge plans for next term. She wants to do
* two baby ballet classes in our town
* a tap class in our town
* a slightly less baby ballet class in the next town
* homeschool "tumbling" (gymnastics) class
* children's choir
as well as our weekly violin playdate with another homeschool mama and monthly unschool group meets and what we do at home. Hmmm, I think we need to gently talk about paring this down a little
post #10 of 217
Subbing.

Still here, but not doing anything formal. Especially since we have been super-busy lately getting our house ready to sell. I bring DS along for the ride though, so I guess he's learning how to clean!

And a break outside every now and then of course. And to read.
post #11 of 217
NAK

this week we are reading spring/bunny books, baking bread, coloring & hunting for eggs, doing egg crafts , and if i can figure out the directions we are going to make a kalidoscope. and a felt board activity with putting the correct # of colored 'eggs' into the numbered basket - then anything else we come up with
post #12 of 217
We get busier and busier as the weather gets nicer. Lots of exploring bugs and flowers with field guides. DS 3.5 just figured out how to use the computer mouse so he's been trading in DVD time for playing Starfall. Tons of building things with Papa in the shop. We were at the B&N the other day and he found a workbook left by the train table and fell in love. It's around, I'm trying not to put too much focus on it but some days it's what he wants to do. Other than that there are lots of trips to the library, art museum (we got a pass) and down to the river.

Pondering swim lessons this summer.
post #13 of 217
We're knee-deep in Holy Week at our house. We do a very elaborate "liturgy of the home" kind of thing during Lent, but culminating this week. I love it! I'm utterly amazed at how much theology dd has just absorbed from all we do--as in really internalized it. This whole experience has pretty much cemented in my brain that the kind of homeschooling I want for dd is an immersion/experiential type. Of course, that means more work on my part . . . *sigh*. Right now I am still leaning toward Enki for kindy--it just seem so right for us. This upcoming fall, though, I'm going to start nature stories since dd loves animals. I have found some that I really like from Yesterday's Classics online. For Easter, I have dd an entire Beatrix Potter collection which I got for $12 (thank you, Half-Priced Books!). We've pretty much exhausted the Winnie the Pooh series. We've delved into a few BP books that I have already and they were a hit, so I think she's really ripe for more. I can't wait! I've also been keeping track of books via Ambleside online for year 0. My goal is by the end of her kindy year to have completed that.

On another note, does anyone have a preschool child who doesn't really play by themselves? I dunno . . . dd is very bright and very advanced for her age, so I don't know if that plays into this, but she will not play while I do housework. We don't own a TV so usually she just looks at books or sings or jumps back and forth on the sofas or something while I cook/clean or whatever. Sometimes she wants to help me, sometimes not, but I try to always leave that option open. She has a friend who is the same age, and this child totally lives in fantasy--does figurine play with everything, builds with blocks, loves playdough--all the typical preschool stuff. But not my dd. If I set aside time for us to do play together she'll do some pretend (not figurine play--she's never done that--but she'll pretend she's a fairy or a bird or something), but she'll only do it if I do it with her. And blocks or playdough? Only with me. We are Waldorf-inspired so we have lots of unstructured toys. We have no TV. We read lots of great literature. Why won't my child PLAY? We don't do any outside activities so she has tons of "down" time for play, so lack of time isn't an issue. I will say she is an only child and doesn't really like playing with other kids (much at all--she much prefers adults). This is really bugging me because play is so hyped up in Waldorf ideology. I don't know what I'm doing wrong! Should I worry about this?
post #14 of 217


subbing here.

I need to go back and read eveything up to here.

We are leaving the mid-west (home) for the East coat in 6 to 10 days -- we don't know or leave date: we will be gone -- travle status -- for 6 week. Like April 9 to May 18 ...

We are to get 6 weeks on the beach -- GA coast. we are going to read about sea turtles, and go to a sea turtal hospital. we are going to play and play and play and play and play -- we are going to make sand "creations" like C George.

after that we will drive up the east cost and go to kitty hawk.

then we will be in PA for a week or two. staying with my BFF (her DH) and my three Godchildren. SHe is Godmom to my two -- it is gonna ROCK

So educationally -- -- uhhhhh we will read about sea tutrle and see sea turtles ...and not much else.

But -- I am going to relish the fact that Theo is not kindy age till 2011 .. and I am going to jump in with both feet with the "let them play" theory. I am going to give myself a vacation -- and be a kid too.

in June, when we get home, we will see what is up.

Theo just did another 3 hours specch assessment. he was suppose to have an OT assessment tomorrow -- but we cancelled it. He will have that when we get back as well as some academic testing.

other than that .... we will read and read and read and read. I have a couple of aphabet game for us to take (a matching game, and a go fish game with letters) and we will color and do some stuff liek that.

I'd love to do more art -- but i do not have sapce to take a lot with me.

I will take a few workbooks -- the write on and wipe off ones -- jsut as a "something to do" -- even in teh car.



off to read the other posts.
post #15 of 217
Quote:
My suggestion is to get in the habit of doing SOMETHING every day. We do workboxes and my kids are just so pumped to run into the homeschool room to see what we have to do for them.
this is my goal for "school year" of 2010 -- jsut to get us in a HABIT ...not so much WHAT we do == not so much pushing "learning anything" as the habit of DOING and the habit of shaping our day in that way.

I want to see my bosy PUMPED up like that





LuxPerpetua -- I have said it before -- I love how much your DD "gets" and understands -- i am, honestly, jeaous of it -- Theo is the same age ... and he gets some thing but not at all like your DD does, nor does he seem intrest.
post #16 of 217
...I just had to get myself to make the workboxes.

We really put a variety of things in there...which I think makes the kids more interested in doing them.

They might have finger knitting (daughter), cutting (son), math with an abacus (both) or different file folder games we inherited from a teacher. Dry erase boards, crayons, write letters...you name it.

Even funnier....they each get a job a day in there. And? They're pumped! I nearly had to break up a fight today because both kids wanted to scrub the toilets
post #17 of 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma Aimee View Post


LuxPerpetua -- I have said it before -- I love how much your DD "gets" and understands -- i am, honestly, jeaous of it -- Theo is the same age ... and he gets some thing but not at all like your DD does, nor does he seem intrest.
You are too sweet, Aimee. Honestly, my dd is just weird (probably because both of her parents are weird--she never really had a chance!). We all have our struggles though--I don't think any parent gets off easy. Enjoy your trip. Do you have room for some stow-aways in your luggage? We fold up nicely.
post #18 of 217
Anybody else not doing preschooly stuff with their preschooler? I've just recently been shifting more towards unschooling and/or delayed academics.

Right now my primary goal is to get him outside every single day for a LONG time. I've decided that outside time is a huge value of mine and I want as much of it for his childhood as possible. I have a very high energy little boy and he NEEDS this. We go to a popular playground where he can run around like crazy for 2 hours and I can take a break and read a magazine or a book. He loves it! I love it! An he started taking naps again - YAY! I've also vowed to get him on the balance bike at least twice a week. We live on a hill, so I've been trying to remember to take it to the park with us. I've also been seeking out hikes, botanical gardens, and new outdoor experiences for us. We hit the beach once a week usually and spend hours playing the sand and surf.

Everything else has been a dud lately. We dropped his gym class and also our toddler/preschool playgroup. It was starting to get filled up with more and more little kids and my moose of a 3 year-old wasn't having fun. We still do the YMCA for 1-2 hrs a day so mama can get her workout time, which I think meets his social needs pretty well (along with the playground).

Other than reading - which we do a TON of everyday since my DS LOVES books - we really don't do much. He hates coloring and crafts, and has limited patience for most planned activities. He used to be a whiz at puzzles but has completely lost interest. The sensory table is still a hit, and he plays well by himself well, and is great with imaginative games (at least once during the day he wants to sail the couch to Africa or play "airport" by hauling luggage around and getting on an pretend plane, or makes things in the play kitchen), but I'm a little envious of all the great stuff I read here. Sometimes it feels like we're not doing much of anything.
post #19 of 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxPerpetua View Post
On another note, does anyone have a preschool child who doesn't really play by themselves? I dunno . . . dd is very bright and very advanced for her age, so I don't know if that plays into this, but she will not play while I do housework. We don't own a TV so usually she just looks at books or sings or jumps back and forth on the sofas or something while I cook/clean or whatever. Sometimes she wants to help me, sometimes not, but I try to always leave that option open. She has a friend who is the same age, and this child totally lives in fantasy--does figurine play with everything, builds with blocks, loves playdough--all the typical preschool stuff. But not my dd. If I set aside time for us to do play together she'll do some pretend (not figurine play--she's never done that--but she'll pretend she's a fairy or a bird or something), but she'll only do it if I do it with her. And blocks or playdough? Only with me. We are Waldorf-inspired so we have lots of unstructured toys. We have no TV. We read lots of great literature. Why won't my child PLAY? We don't do any outside activities so she has tons of "down" time for play, so lack of time isn't an issue. I will say she is an only child and doesn't really like playing with other kids (much at all--she much prefers adults). This is really bugging me because play is so hyped up in Waldorf ideology. I don't know what I'm doing wrong! Should I worry about this?
My DD is just like that. Now that her little brother is on the cusp of walking she will play with him for about 10 seconds before she gets frustrated with him, so I can see that it will get easier as he becomes more of a playmate. She is heavily into to fantasy but she will not do it by herself or just with toys, she needs actual interaction. In a way I think it's good but it's exhausting. I admire you for staying strong on the screen-free thing. We've had more & more since age 3. Doing starfall in the past or reading eggs now or watching a dvd on a computer are honestly the only things she will do by herself. She hates playdough too, I'd love to have a child who liked it but she just is who she is (and that's good )

ETA it was actually reading "A steiner homeschool" that helped me to relax about her dvd watching. Their take on Waldorf/Steiner really pushes the importance of story in the lives of children. We are bibliophiles & DD loves to be read to but we don't do story-telling, it's just not who we are. I find well selected dvds are actually a nice way for DD to have more "story" in her life.
post #20 of 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundAbout View Post
Anybody else not doing preschooly stuff with their preschooler? I've just recently been shifting more towards unschooling and/or delayed academics.
ME I figure he learns enough through play and interaction with me & his brothers, that formal preschool stuff is not needed. When he wants more, I'll offer it
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