Homeschooling preschoolers support thread - Page 9 - Mothering Forums
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#241 of 390 Old 12-17-2005, 03:39 PM
 
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Re the computer. I dont' really limit DS but it's the first thing to go if he does something bad. Everything he does is pretty educational so I'm fine with it but it's still a "treat" if you know what I mean. It's not like he's on all day. Of course the TV is the same deal. It's on most of the day, but it's more of a background. DS is usually doing a dozen things all at once. He just dont' sit with his mouth agape watching (right now he's watching while playing with the cut off branches of our Christmas tree).

I had an intresting experience with DS the other day, can't remember just when (thought of it while reading this forum). The weather was really bad out and I was telling him how school was cancelled because the buses couldn't drive in it. He gave me a funny look and said, "But mom, I don't have to go to school because we homeschool." I just burst out laughing because it struck me so funny. You don't have to let the weather stop you from learning when you homeschool! Last year they had to extend the school year because the students missed so many days due to weather. I guess that won't be a concern for us

I want to go through all my supplies and only have stuff in our "learning cart" that we use but I think I might put it off until after Christmas. I took all the work books and coloring books and just stacked them on the bottom of a bookcase. I know I have tons of stuff in the basement I need to go through. I can't even remember what I have. I know there's a homeschool field trip book that I could probably get some use out of now.
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#242 of 390 Old 12-17-2005, 07:29 PM
 
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I don't mind ds being on the computer, watching films etc.

He's a very active child and he always engages with the content in an interactive way. He's forever commenting on films while watching them, for example. I usually spend his computer time with him. I very much agree with eminer in that we also take the 'continuum approach' and let ds imitate us, which involves interacting with the same things we do. Ds picks up new skills quickly (he knew how to use the mouse and keyboard at age 1) and is forever curious about how things work, what they are used for etc.

We do so many things in a day. TV (films, Muzzy) and the computer are just a small part of that, but they are a part nonetheless. I personally don't believe in eliminating them completely. Computer skills especially are, IMO, essential in the modern world. It's a 'new literacy'. I also find it interesting that whenever new technologies are introduced they are met with scepticism at first. When printing was invented and books became more common, many scientists and philosophers warned against reading, saying that reading was damaging to the eyes, frivolous (apart from religious reading), damaging to the imagination and cognitive skills etc. Then, when films/ TV was invented, the same concerns were voiced in regards to the new technology (reading was held in high regard by then, of course). Now, it's the computer's turn. My personal mantra is everything in moderation.
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#243 of 390 Old 12-17-2005, 08:00 PM
 
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I hadn't thought about it the way you guys have put it... but my kids are usually doing something else while they "watch" TV. For example, ds is watching Thomas the Tank Engine right now while playing with his train track and trains. Neither of the kids usually sit still long enough to actually get the zombie look so at least that is good!

I still wish the TV was off more, but that makes me feel better about the times that it is on since it's usually in conjuction with whatever other activity they're doing.
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#244 of 390 Old 12-17-2005, 10:00 PM
 
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Let's list our favorite online preschool curriculums! Or one that you are currently "testing" out an can share some info???

I will start with some that I have recently perused:

Faraandfriends.com - good for letter learning A-Z, does a letter a week for 26 weeks.

Letteroftheweek.com - A preparatory curriculum for ages 2-4 - a reading program. Really helps if you are looking for certain books to find at the library on a certain topic or letter. Website has a weekly books, songs, gross/fine motor activity, shape/color, number and theme each week. Looks like it would work nicely for a home daycare setting. This curriculum is actually part of the whole Brightly Beaming Resources for Home - Spellbright Learning Curriculum at that website. It goes from age 2-8.

Anybody else want to add to the list !!
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#245 of 390 Old 12-18-2005, 06:26 PM
 
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I'm curious... is anyone interested in a homeschoolers swap? Books, manipulatives, whatever you have around the house?

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#246 of 390 Old 12-18-2005, 07:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eilonwy
I'm curious... is anyone interested in a homeschoolers swap? Books, manipulatives, whatever you have around the house?
Great Idea, I would be interested !
Would we do it here or start a thread on the Trader board.
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#247 of 390 Old 12-18-2005, 09:20 PM
 
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The trading board, I guess... It's hypothetical at this point, as I haven't even got pretend money until next month.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#248 of 390 Old 12-18-2005, 11:45 PM
 
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We could start a thread on the Coops & Swaps board... we have a yarn and knitting supplies thread and we tend to trade yarns and such vs. actually buying from each other- which works out really well if you're broke!
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#249 of 390 Old 12-19-2005, 12:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by eilonwy
I'm absolutely fascinated by the concept of TV addiction. I've been reading The Teenage Liberation Handbook lately, and in it the author responds to the question, "What if all I want to do is watch TV all the time?" Her response is that for most people, the TV watching has to do with your brain thawing from it's hibernative state, which was induced by the school environment. Eventually it ends, and you'll find that you no longer need to watch TV to relax, your brain wants to do interesting, stimulating things again. It certainly has merit, in my mind; I've only met one homeschooled child who was ever addicted to TV, and his family didn't have one and did a very strict school-at-home kind of program. When he got to college, he'd spend hours in the communting student's building staring at the boob tube.

At any rate, I'm wondering if perhaps you weren't simply trying to cope with school by withdrawing into the alpha state which is induced so quickly by TV.
That is an interesting theory and I've never considered it. I've always assumed the tv just sucked me in. Hmmm...I pretty much loved watching tv since I was about 5. Once I got to college and had tons of fun things to do I never watched it. Now I can hardly stand to watch it. It changes my emotional state and just makes me feel crappy and blah (except for an episode of Seinfeld when visiting my parents ). We do watch movies occasionally.

I've re-unshelved Slow and Steady Get Me Ready (a preschool activity book recommended in TWTM) and I'm beginning to change our loose daily schedule to include an activity time in the morning so that Sylvia can get used to us working together. I've also begun setting aside August's nap times as reading/computer time for Sylvia and I (I'm going to try and keep computer time to a 30 minute limit for now). Previously I used that time to catch up on housework.

Another thing we do that I consider important to her development is including one or two good free form dancing sessions in our day. She loves it and it is so cute!!! I play lots of our favorite music (classical, bluegrass, old-time). Also, my dh is a musician so Sylvia has been getting some fiddle lessons (very short and no pressure) in every now and then.

For computer curriculums, we're currently stuck on www.starfall.com. This site has really sparked her interest in letters and numbers.
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#250 of 390 Old 12-19-2005, 01:46 AM
 
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We used to do letter of the week, but DS got bored with it so I never really made it far. Plus I could never find books to suit the topic so that was kind of hard. Right now I'm just really taking DS's lead in what he wants to do.

Does anyone else find that workbooks for young children seem to depend on them knowing how to write? Even in some I've seen geared towards toddlers they want them to write letters or numbers.

I was kind of pleased tonight. MIL and FIL were over and DS was showing off his pattern blocks and the shapes he could make. MIL, who is a PSA at a local elementary school, said that he is just as good with them as the primary and grade one kids she works with. She commented on other things he was good at and I just grinned. I think they'll take homeschooling hard since they're both in the school system. They often make comments on when they go to school. I just smile and nod.
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#251 of 390 Old 12-19-2005, 02:27 AM
 
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only computer program we are using now is starfall.com. She actually spent about 2 hrs yesterday with her dad using it. She just loves it!
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#252 of 390 Old 12-19-2005, 05:28 PM
 
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I am thinking of homeschooling my youngest dd's. My older ones are in public school and my oldest seems to be ok but my 11 year old has a learning disability..she is 11...so far so good but homeschooling may be in her future.

I am looking at schooling my dd who is now 2.5 with an eye to homeschooling her permanently and then her little sister after. I want to do something a little more structured..simply because I am also involved in my husband's business and need a structured time...but as that takes off I will be hiring a cleaner for the house so still have time to hs the kids (I think)

If it doesn't work out then I guess we can send them to public school when the time comes and there is a Montessori school and another private school nearby as well. We have about 3 years to make that decision.

So..where to start. My dd loves to learn...but do you have a "school area" how is it set up? What do I need to get started? My dd loves art, books, crafts, letters, numbers, well lots of things..she's big into creative play. I have a pretty good collection of these things. I am also ordering some books...any suggestions...must haves?

I havent' read the entire thread but will try to over the course of the next few weeks.
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#253 of 390 Old 12-19-2005, 05:37 PM
 
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I've been lurking on this thread and decided to come out and play. We are doing PreK/K with my just turned 4 year old daughter and have been having a blast. We are currently doing Sonlight PreK (the theme schedule that I got from the Yahoo group), Singapore EB Math 2B and a great Totline Science book that I got. I am probably going to add in a phonics program in the new year. We do alot of art activities and pretend play. She's pretty much taught herself to read and LOVES to do science experiments.

As far as online circulums. I like the letter of the week site posted earlier, but it does take some planning time on the part of mom. The science of the week one that is under construction looks awesome. I can't wait for that to be done.

Another one that I like is http://www.preschoolbystormie.com/. It is for a preschool classroom, but has some great ideas and can be easily adapted.

Another option is Sonlight PreK. We get most of the books from the library (we've bought a few that have been used alot) and then use the free schedule from a Yahoo group. One of the schedules is theme based with the SOnlight prek books and the other is simply easiest to hardest. They are both excellent and have lots of added in materials. Here's the link to the yahoo group. You have to be a member of the group to get the schedule.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SLPreschool/messages
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#254 of 390 Old 12-19-2005, 10:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by allgirls
I am looking at schooling my dd who is now 2.5 with an eye to homeschooling her permanently and then her little sister after. I want to do something a little more structured..simply because I am also involved in my husband's business and need a structured time...but as that takes off I will be hiring a cleaner for the house so still have time to hs the kids (I think)

If it doesn't work out then I guess we can send them to public school when the time comes and there is a Montessori school and another private school nearby as well. We have about 3 years to make that decision.

So..where to start. My dd loves to learn...but do you have a "school area" how is it set up? What do I need to get started? My dd loves art, books, crafts, letters, numbers, well lots of things..she's big into creative play. I have a pretty good collection of these things. I am also ordering some books...any suggestions...must haves?
I think a 2.2 year old who loves all those things - and especially the all important creative play part - is pretty much having her needs met as things are. She's already 3 or more years ahead of the game, so should be able to coast along quite happily and productively with much the same routine she has now.

Here's a good article with suggestions for some great resources/materials to have on hand, written by the editor of Eclectic Homeschool Online: Preschool Homeschooling. And here's a whole page of ideas - with articles and links to websites that have all sorts of creative ideas: preschool and kindergarten learning activities. A number of the articles are about the about the huge importance of unstructured imaginative play during those years.

So my own suggestion would be picking imagination building fun activities - which I suppose is a fancy way of saying "play" - to do with her during those times in your schedule when you're free to focus on being with her. That's along with doing lots of reading to her, of course. - Lillian
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#255 of 390 Old 12-20-2005, 01:34 AM
 
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I was thinking about setting up this room (the room with the computer in it) as "school space" if we ever get shelves.. but of course, that's a looooong way off (because we are dead broke ) so who knows? At any rate, come spring I may look into painting the walls (if we have anything left over from our tax return) and maybe hammering up some wall shelves... I've actually got a little kid-sized table (the kind you can buy just about anywhere) which I recovered from someone's trash pile, and I fixed the top of it so that it's really cute and washable (scrap of fabric + old shower curtain + glue gun = ). Now all I've got to do is get some chairs. Oh yeah, and I need to find the screws to get the top back onto the frame. At any rate, a little table, chairs, some paint on the walls, some shelves and voila! Kid-friendly workspace. As it is, BeanBean does a lot of work snuggled up in bed next to me or at random moments throgout the day, mostly on the floor or the bed. It's not ideal, even for us, but he doesn't really mind too much.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#256 of 390 Old 12-20-2005, 02:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by eilonwy
I've actually got a little kid-sized table (the kind you can buy just about anywhere) which I recovered from someone's trash pile, and I fixed the top of it so that it's really cute and washable (scrap of fabric + old shower curtain + glue gun = ).
Brilliant! What a cool idea.

Maybe I'll do that to the kitchen table I picked up off the curb.

We don't have a school area, but a lot of the things we use at home during the day (besides the kitchen) are concentrated in our living room. There is the dining table we all use to work, close to the computer desk, file box, and a hutch with two shelves and three drawers. On the hutch within everyone's reach is a cup of writing utensils and scissors, a basket of markers, and a tray for unfiled papers of all kinds. The next shelf up has library books and notebooks. There is a drawer of assorted workspace supplies, a drawer of paper and envelopes, and then the bottom drawer, art supplies. On the other side of the room are a futon and recliner, with a little endtable we often use for prayer objects. Dd1's paintings and drawings adorn all the walls, the door, and the fridge. (The paint in our apartment is sufficiently awful that ruining it with tape isn't an issue.) The blocks and toys used to be in the living room, too, but the constant floor mess was too stressful for dh, so we moved them into the bedroom. They get used a lot less now. (Which kind of bums me out, because I'm really pro-blocks, but I can see dh's point about how annoying it is to deal with the trail of tiny Legos that seems to end up everywhere.) And screwed into the top of the bedroom doorway, we have hooks on which we hang, in turns, a swing and a rope ladder.

Oye Yemaya oloto
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#257 of 390 Old 12-20-2005, 10:20 AM
 
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with articles and links to websites that have all sorts of creative ideas: preschool and kindergarten learning activities.
oh my i'm so love that site! thanks so much

right now we don't really have a school area since she's still pretty young, in a few years i might set up a table or something for them, i don't know i'm not there yet, lol.
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#258 of 390 Old 12-20-2005, 02:04 PM
 
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right now we don't really have a school area since she's still pretty young, in a few years i might set up a table or something for them, i don't know i'm not there yet, lol.
When we took our son out of school after 1st grade, I had plans to convert an area for a little school space. Never got around it it, and never had a need for it. He learned just fine throughout the rest of the house, and we didn't think of it as school. Although he did have a small, child sized table in the kitchen for child sized craft projects. A little portable table that can be picked up and moved around is great for so many things. We got a sturdy wooden one with two chairs at an unfinished furniture store. And the table ended up being used for lots of other things once he outgrew it. - Lillian
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#259 of 390 Old 12-21-2005, 12:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J


When we took our son out of school after 1st grade, I had plans to convert an area for a little school space. Never got around it it, and never had a need for it. He learned just fine throughout the rest of the house, and we didn't think of it as school. Although he did have a small, child sized table in the kitchen for child sized craft projects. A little portable table that can be picked up and moved around is great for so many things. We got a sturdy wooden one with two chairs at an unfinished furniture store. And the table ended up being used for lots of other things once he outgrew it. - Lillian
My son also has a kid-sized table with chairs which is great for doing projects and art. Otherwise, we don't have a school area. Our kitchen table is filled with arts supplies and paper. We have books in every room.
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#260 of 390 Old 12-21-2005, 02:15 PM
 
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My son also has a kid-sized table with chairs which is great for doing projects and art. Otherwise, we don't have a school area. Our kitchen table is filled with arts supplies and paper. We have books in every room.
We too have the little kid table - two actually. One is in one of the bedrooms where they can play with toys or draw or whatever ... the other one is like a kid sized card table, and it's in our extra wide hallway right by the kitchen. It's perfect for painting and playdough ...

What I'm going to work on now is a better organizational system. We have these great shelves/cubbies in our extra-wide hallway that we bought at Lakeshore ... we keep tubs of everything in them - paper, writing utinsils, puzzles, small balls of various shapes and bouncy-ness, their bowling set, train set, legos, etc. But I also want to organize the things that I like to use with them, but don't want them to necessarily have easy access to: paints, bingo games (when they get bigger, but right now they are too small to not make huge messes), board games, "workbooks" (ds likes to play in them sometimes) ... I'm thinking of clearing out some kitchen cabinet space and storing things more central in there, though I'm not sure ... right now it's just spread out in various closets and my office/sewing room.

 Me + dh = heartbeat.gif ds (7/01), ds (11/03), ds (6/06)
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#261 of 390 Old 12-21-2005, 05:57 PM
 
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My problem is a complete lack of storage-- we desperately need to get some shelves, and even the cheap option can be pretty darned expensive. Things end up in stacks on the floor, and that's just depressing as well as dangerous (I've got climbers!).

I'd kind of like to paint a perpetual monthly calendar on a wall with chalkboard paint... does that stuff ever go on sale?

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#262 of 390 Old 12-21-2005, 07:41 PM
 
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We don't have specific areas for stuff. We have bookcases in most of the rooms, we have a small/kid sized table in the living room and in the kitchen we have a storage cart/drawer thingy where I keep most of the stuff we do in the kitchen. We also have a sand & water table in the kitchen which covers up to use as a kid sized table (I don't put water in it anymore since it's so much easier to sweep up dry sand, although DS will bring water over).

I would love to get some chalkboard paint. I can't find it but I heard Walmart has it (ours opens next month, I can't wait!!). We rent otherwise I would paint a big section of our basement wall just for whatever we want. I would like to get a big board we can tuck away. I heard it's cheaper than buying a chalk board. Maybe for DS's birthday.

I'm so excited! I ordered a telescope and microscope set from airmiles and it came today! I wasn't expecting it until January so I wrapped it and put it under the tree as a family gift. I'm not expecting much from it in terms of quality, but they should be fun to play around with. When the kids are older and we have money (lol!!) I'd like to get good quality ones but for now, these should do.

I also got my "Why Johnny Can't Read" book today. I have been trying to read it; easier said than done. I've been busy trying to clean the house for when both our families come over on Sunday, eek!! We're keeping things pretty low key this week because there's so much to do it seems.
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#263 of 390 Old 12-21-2005, 08:50 PM
 
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When the kids are older and we have money (lol!!) I'd like to get good quality ones but for now, these should do.
I'm totally with you on the "when we have money" thing. I was looking into this around dh's and dd's birthdays, and wow, they can be expensive. But I found out that we have a museum around here (NY Hall of Science) where visitors have access to microscopes. So dh could play and dd could see what I mean about microorganisms not having legs. (I swear I'm not a clean freak, yet it seems like germ theory comes up in conversation, like, daily.) I've heard that homeschoolers can sometimes borrow or use equipment at local schools.

I'm really into not having to buy things. I was recently getting depressed about the extraordinarily high cost of quality unit blocks, until I found out that a local branch library has unit blocks in its play area.

Oye Yemaya oloto
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#264 of 390 Old 12-23-2005, 01:23 AM
 
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Hey everyone, just got caught up on the thread.

We are just now coming out of chaos. We just bought our first house and moved in last week. We have been painting and unpacking 24 hours a day it seems. DD is not adjusting well and both dc got sick. Not the best situation this last week.

Now that we are on our own time now I am working on getting dd a "schedual" set up. She thrives on routine (is nearly obssessive about it) and this last week has really get her upset. She is hitting, crying, clinging, ect. Poor kid. Anyway, I am going to sit down and make a list of things that I think she will enjoy, get her input, and togther find activities that she will enjoy.

I book marked all the link you all posted and I know she will love those. She thinks computer time is the best treat in the world

Now if I could just get my ds (9mo) to become engaged in something for 5 min life would be great.

Kim- Simple livin' mama to 4 great kiddos.
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#265 of 390 Old 12-25-2005, 02:58 PM
 
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Well, i've printed out some Channukah pages for BeanBean to color, and some Aleph-Bet pages. I haven't been able to find a caterpillar, only lots of butterflies. ...

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#266 of 390 Old 12-25-2005, 05:50 PM
 
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http://www.kidzone.ws/animals/color-caterpillar.htm cute
http://www.dltk-teach.com/alphabuddies/mcposter.htm c is for caterpilar
http://daniellesplace.com/html/caterpillarcrafts.html crafts
http://www.zoomdinosaurs.com/subjects/butterfly/ anatomy
http://www.kizclub.com/storypatterns/caterpillar.pdf The Very Hungry Caterpilar. If that dosn't work http://www.kizclub.com/storypatterns.html and click the forward arrows till you see the book. click on 'black and white' under the picture of the book. Clicking on the book takes you to a stupid site you can't click back from.
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#267 of 390 Old 12-26-2005, 04:55 PM
 
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Anyone have any ideas how we can celebrate the New Year coming?

I guess I first think of getting a new calendar and looking at it together...talking about the months and seasons...and maybe talking about how sometimes people use this time to make resolutions or goals for themselves.

Any other ideas?
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#268 of 390 Old 12-26-2005, 05:09 PM
 
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New Year's Day is interesting to me. I can actually think of at least three other "New Year celebrations to celebrate, and quite frankly all three of them have more meaning to me than does January 1st. We'll probably watch some fireworks on TV, maybe downtown if they have any here, and then we may have "pork" and sauerkraut with the ILs (a seriously PA Dutch tradition, nobody outside of the area has ever heard of pork & sauerkraut for NY's, as far as I know). It's possible that the kids will stay up to see the ball drop on TV as well... but I don't know. It's just not a big deal, I have a hard time getting too excited about it. Besides, I think that Mike has to work.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#269 of 390 Old 12-26-2005, 06:59 PM
 
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http://peepandthebigwideworld.com/ this is a site that DS has discovered recently that is good for preschool science.

I don't know what we'll do for New Year's. I plan on making goals for the year. I need to get more organized. We're probably missing out on so much because of my lack of organization. I'd also like to keep an informal journal of what we do and encourage DS to keep his own and he can do what he wants with it (either a scribbler or one of those big newsprint scrapbooks). It would be intresting to see how we progress through the year. I need to get DD more involved. She loves coloring and is getting curious about things we're doing.
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#270 of 390 Old 12-26-2005, 08:26 PM
 
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Keeping a journal is a *great* idea. It always helps me when I'm feeling lazy or tired or uninspired to see how much we actually do during an average day. You'll feel a heck of a lot more productive, even if nothing else changes!

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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