I learned a lot from week one about how much concentrated learning Audrey would do in one morning. Some days she would do numbers, letters, and something creative. Some mornings she could only sit through numbers. The nice thing about this age group is that it’s no big deal if you only get to one thing that day! Some days the kid will handle more than others. The important thing, I think, is to keep it enjoyable for her and let her go play if she is clearly not paying attention to the activity at hand. There will be a day and age when she needs to be able to sit still and train herself to concentrate on her school work, but that won’t be for a few years!
This week we planned very similarly to the last. I don’t want to move on to new things until I see she has solidly understood the present.
Every Day: Morning prayers, read at least 5 books, and a creative activity.
LETTERS: A through E
Have her point out each letter in order and say it
Match foam letters to corresponding flash cards (I promise to tell you what works and what doesn’t. I started out with felt letters and she stretched them all out! I remembered I had these foam bath letters I had bought from Walmart for maybe $4? They are great because they are solid! The pack came with numbers 1-9, so we use them for counting too.) [http://cloisteredaway.com/2013/04/19/pre-school-at-home/]
Have her put shuffled letters into order
At the very end of the week she really had her letters down, so I added “F” and “G.” On a whim, I also taught her the sounds each letter makes. I hope that by the end of next week she can say the letter’s name, visually recognize the letter itself, and say the sound(s) it makes.
NUMBERS: 1 through 5
Parking lot numbers game [http://www.littlefamilyfun.com/2010/02/parking-lot-numbers.html]
Recognize foam numbers 1 through 3
Use pennies to show “how many” each number represents; mix and match
The parking lot game, I think, is a great idea. You draw a parking lot on a piece of paper and number each space. Then you ask her to park her toy car in the space with X number. Audrey did it for a few minutes and then lost interest in anything other than driving her car up my arm. I think we will try this after a few weeks when she has memorized numbers 1 – 10 visually.
Using pennies with the foam numbers proved to be a hit. She asked to play this game over and over. First, I put the numbers out on the floor, in order, and asked her to identify them. This refreshed her memory as to what each number looked like. Then I had her put the right number of pennies next to each number. She still has trouble with it at the end of the week, so we may still be working on numbers 1 – 3 again next week so she has it down before we add number 4. Next, I mixed up the numbers and had her put the right number of pennies with each number. After a few times of that, I gave her the numbers and I laid out the pennies. She had to count each group to see what number went with them.
Fall tree painting with Pom poms and finger paint [http://www.buzzfeed.com/popsugarmoms/the-best-toddler-crafts-for-little-hands-arr7?sub=2238260_1187808]
Make a blue flower
I tend to start the day out with a concentrating activity (memorization with numbers or letters), then let her do something creative before heading into another concentrating activity. It gives her a break.
Gather random items, outline them on paper, and have her put the items in their outlines [http://www.cbc.ca/parents/2013/01/play-date-idea-homemade-shape-puzzle.html]
This activity really captured her interest and was…are you ready? Free! You can do as many of these as you want!
This week was also her very first class in gymnastics. At first she didn’t want to do anything. This is my child – she has to observe before she jumps in. Once she started doing the balance beam, and then realized that most of the other things included bouncing, she was off! The kid had a blast. She went through the entire obstacle course by herself and at the very end didn’t want to go. I’m so glad this is working out! Because we live at a boarding school and eat most of our meals at the dining hall, I don’t worry about socialization for Audrey. She has a bunch of other kids around to play with after dinner, and we always sit with other people during meals. It is nice though, to have some play time at gymnastics where she learns to wait in line, listen to other people’s instructions, and make new friends! The whole gym is like a huge trampoline. How can you NOT want to spend 40 minutes out of your Tuesday there? Next year she will be three, and old enough for figure skating lessons. I know her father has planned fencing in her future too! OK. Enough day dreaming for now! Thanks for reading!