We’re back at homeschooling! This year will be a bit of pre-k with kindergarten level stuff thrown in where she’s comfortable with it. Next year, we will focus on fleshing out kindergarten and making sure she’s ready for 1st grade, but this year, I am still pretty relaxed and going with what she enjoys.
We’re structuring things a bit differently this year. We’re working through the school year with themes and using unit studies. We have a few workbooks that we’ll incorporate as well, when we need filler and when we need more on a specific subject. Our first theme was flowers & plants.
We learned about the plant life cycle, parts of plants, observed a seed growing, dissected a few flowers to see the different parts, and did flower themed math.
We also did several flower based art projects, like these swirly painted flowers.
She absolutely loved this new style of learning! I printed out our workbooks and crafts as well as any worksheets we’d need and then we checked out a few relevant books from the library. We spent time each day reading our books and then worked through 1-2 projects from our folder. We spent plenty of time outdoors and plenty of time with hands-on projects, less with actual bookwork. She’s so excited to tell everyone that she meets about what she’s learned!
We’re done! We finished the rest of the alphabet over the last few weeks and are now looking forward to our summer & making plans for fall.
We finished out April with the letters Q & V as well as pattern making and practicing writing letters. She’s having some trouble with 2’s and 5’s when they’re in the same row, so we’ve been doing lots of practice on telling the difference between all the numbers as well as talking about how they combine to make bigger numbers.
The beginning of May was finishing out the alphabet with letters X, Y, and Z. Since we’d seen these letter a lot throughout the year, it was mostly just practice writing them.
She can count to 40 now with almost no errors and can identify most 2 digit numbers. She can add up to 10 and is starting to understand subtraction. She can identify all the uppercase alphabet letters and the vast majority of the lowercase as well as the sounds for all the letters. Getting her to actually identify them when you want her to is still hit or miss (she likes to tease & pretend that she doesn’t know any of them and then giggle like crazy).
So, now we’re looking towards summer plans & fall plans. We bought the 3 workbooks above to try out a few different styles & do some practice over the summer. The plan is to leave the workbooks out where she can get to them and see them and do student-led learning over the summer. When she pulls one out & asks to learn, we’ll do 10-15 minutes on whatever she wants to practice.
It’s already bright & sunny out, so we’re doing lots of outside time, bike rides, walks, and exploring. She got a magnifying glass and binoculars last time Nana visited and we’ve been having fun figuring out how things look up close. We checked out a couple bird ID books from the library this week and have been working to identify the birds at our bird feeder & the ones eating all our bugs in the backyard. We set up our planters over the last few weeks and have been talking about how plants grow and what they need to stay healthy. Once it gets hot & stays hot, we’ll start swimming at the local pool.
Our plan for next year is starting to come together. I’m putting together a list of subjects based on kindergarten skill lists. From those subjects, we’re going to pick 4 to work on next year. I’m looking at a variety of workbooks and we’ll pick one for each subject. Then it will work much like this year & this summer. The books will be out where she has access to them. We’ll have “school” mornings like we did this year, 2-3 days a week, and 2 days of gymnastics. On school mornings, she can pick 2-3 workbooks to work on and we’ll spend about 30 minutes total working on them plus some reading time. I’m getting very excited to do kindergarten science. It’s such a fun year! It’s all about life cycles and understanding how things grow. I plan to collect frog eggs or tadpoles with her next year and bring them home to watch them grow and then we’ll release them back to the pond once they’re frogs. I’m looking at a kit to raise butterflies and another to raise ladybugs. We may also build a small ecosystem fish tank with guppies and plants and shrimp or snails to study how they all work together. I have directions for a really fun ecosystem project where it even simulates the water cycle!
Week 7 was the letter L. Week 8, we took off because life was so very hectic, there just wasn’t enough time for school.
We did L is for LION. We did Easter math by putting easter eggs in the baskets and decorating them. We did some animal habitat pages for science. The animal habitats are from kids-pages.com and I can’t find the Easter sheet anymore so I’m not sure where it was from.
This week is back to normal and we’re working on the letter D. Also taking a look at seasons and doing some spring-themed math with a basic addition sheet and a greater than, less than sheet. This is our last week of gymnastics this quarter so we’ll have a few weeks of downtime before starting into our busy schedule again. Hoping to get a couple of our missed weeks caught up at that point. We are just starting month 6 of the curriculum. If we don’t miss any more weeks, we will finish the curriculum & start the review section the 3rd week of May. It would be nice to get a week or two ahead of that so that we’re totally done before our vacation at the end of May, but I’m not too concerned with totally finishing the review section.
Week 7 was the letter U. We also did some work on body parts, shapes, and counting to 20.
Lots of letter U worksheets! One each school day this week. We found a new resource this week! The top right worksheet is from This Reading Mama and is a lot of fun! Really great phonics practice!
We did a page of happy/sad faces from Leapfrog. She has a LeapPad game with these characters and had a lot of fun making happy & sad faces for them! We also practiced tracing shapes, then drawing her own. Body parts matching with clothes. The last is counting 0-20. We’re still working through the teens. She is still struggling to get them in the right order but she’s getting better!
This coming week is the letter L. We’ll be doing more counting practice, animal habitats, and a matching game. She’s getting very, very excited for spring so I printed several of her sheets in spring themes this week! I’m searching for some other new spring themed worksheets for the next several weeks.
Week 5 was the letter H. This was a favorite since it’s the first letter in her name!
We’re still loving these Highlight-A-Letter sheets! They’re a lot more fun than the ones we were using before.
Lots of counting practice as well. We’re still working on getting the teens down. Once she’s to 20, it sounds familiar & she is getting much better at it but those pesky teens just don’t sound right to her and she gets lost a few times. So we’re counting everything we see & focusing on some counting practice worksheets for math.
More counting! Acorns are fun!
Week 6 was the letter J! She’s not quite there yet with pronouncing J so this was a great practice week!
We took the week off from counting sheets & did shapes instead. She already knows all these shapes, but doesn’t always draw them correctly so this was a fun one! She did lots and lots of triangles around the house last week!
We did some happy-sad practice as well. This printable is from LeapFrog online. They have some really fun coloring sheets!
Yet another highlight-a-letter. This coming week, we’re doing the letter U, more counting practice, some body part labelling, and some under/over/next to practice.
Busy week but WIPWednesday is here again! Preschool post will go up sometime this weekend. WIPWednesday this week is a nearly completed pillow cover. It’s going to have a 100% cotton (hand dyed if I can get the right shade of blue or green) pillowcase and this will be sewed to the front with a simple i-cord edging. The colors are so pretty running into each other as they go around and around the pillow!
Week 4, the letter G! This was a fun one! She had a lot of fun making the ggg sound and thought that giggle was the best ggg word of all!
These Highlight-a-Letter sheets are still a favorite! She likes to do them with her dot markers or circle the letters.
New this week, domino math! She loves seeing how addition works with these kinds of sheets. She’s been surprising us lately by grouping her toys in similar ways to the sheets. She’ll take a row of legos, for example, and put 2 together, 2 together, and say 2 legos & 2 legos makes 4 legos! It’s pretty amazing to see her little brain picking these things up!
Always popular, cutting practice! So good for building hand muscles and fine motor control! She makes a whole pile of confetti that I get to vacuum up later but she’s so happy & entertained that I don’t mind cleaning up the mess!
This week, we’re doing the letter H, which is her favorite since her name starts with an H. We’re also doing more counting practice, working our way up to 20. More food group identification as well, mostly in everyday life. She had pretzels with lunch today and said “Pretzels are a grain!” Pretty fun!
Last week, we didn’t get much done. I printed out the wrong week worth of worksheets, last month’s instead of this month’s. We did a couple math/counting sheets, but mostly just played. This week was the letter O. We have also worked on some “forest math” that she had a blast with!
This was last week. We worked on food groups a little more. The fruit & vegetable I-Spy was a big hit! This one is from Pleasantestthing.com and is a free download!
This is our forest math! Basic counting & addition, up to 10, with forest animals and plants. She was so excited to see how she could count part of it & then another part & then put it all together. These are free through learning2walk.com and is part of a whole pack of basic math sheets!
Our O theme of the week was mostly all about owls. They are one of her favorites right now! We’ve colored several owl sheets, including this one from our regular preschoolpalace curriculum.
Next week is the letter G. We’ll also be working on matching baby animals to their parents and more basic math, counting to 20 and basic addition.
Winter term has started! We worked on the letter R last week and this week is the letter I. We also started learning about food groups last week, spent plenty of time practicing counting to 20, and worked on some basic cooking practice.
This Food Groups printable is free on Teachers Pay Teachers. They are such an amazing resource for printables! We loved practicing with the glue stick and sorting food into food groups with this printable!
Counting practice. She can reliably count to 13 before she starts skipping numbers so now we’re working our way to 20. Who wouldn’t love to count ice cream cones? This is one of our counting sheets by Preschool Palace.
New this week, highlight-a-letter! This is another free download through Teachers Pay Teachers. It’s a really fun addition to our letter of the week curriculum through Preschool Palace.
Her “big” gift from us for Christmas was a set of cooking items, all her size. She got safety knives, measuring spoons & cups, and plenty of stirring spoons & spatulas. She LOVES getting to help make dinner. This is zucchini. I cut it into sticks for her and then she cuts the sticks into bites. These knives are from Curious Chef and are so nice! The big one also makes an excellent lettuce knife. I love that she can help cook and chop without worrying about getting cut.
We started back to gymnastics today which will throw our preschool schedule this week a little out of whack. We haven’t done any “official” school yet this week but I expect she’ll want to catch up on worksheets tomorrow. Normally, I print out a full week of worksheets on Sunday afternoon and put them in her school bin along with the supplies we’ll need to do them. She goes through the bin whenever she wants to work on school and picks what she wants to do. We try to get through all of them, but we don’t make a big deal of it if we don’t. Anything not used gets recycled to the next week and I adjust up or down on how many worksheets I print based on how much she gets done. It’s very relaxed and informal and all led by her. Learning should be fun! She’s way too young to expect her to sit & do formal school for all day, or even half the day, so I let her do it as she wants to work on it and we notice letters and numbers throughout our day, read & play plenty, count everything that can be counted, and make sure to work on lots of practical skills (cooking, laundry, etc).
Homeschool again! It’s been a hectic, crazy month so we’re just going to do one big wrap up. We spent the end of Nov & the beginning of Dec visiting family. Once we got back here, the child was begging for school and we started on the winter package from TotSchooling. It’s a subscriber only download, so sign up for their email list if you want these amazing downloads! We loved the fall pack and the winter pack was just as good!
We loved having some variety in our homeschool! While the Preschool Palace curriculum is great, we’re both getting pretty bored with it. We started learning about sight words and did snowman anatomy and learned how to do color by numbers! Color by numbers was a great way to practice coloring inside the lines! The snowman anatomy was hilarious and adorable and probably the preschooler’s favorite!
This week, we went back to Preschool Palace and did the letter S. She finished all the work in about 2 hours. I think we may have progressed past the “letter of the week” style work. We’ll have to start regularly supplementing. Next week is supposed to be the letter R. We’ll do the basic work and then find some R themed activities. I’ll let you know what we find to supplement with!
We’ll be back in gymnastics in mid-January and will be back to a regular schedule and hopefully posting more regularly as well.