Saturday, March 21, 2015

Time To Knuckle Down!

September keeps just getting closer and I decided to really knuckle down and make a commitment to having school with Ella two days a week. I really want her to know as many letter sounds as she can before she starts kindergarten this fall. Since we've moved things around upstairs there is no way for us to do school up there anymore. Actually I really like doing school in the dining room anyways. It allows me to switch loads in the laundry if I need to and it's just more spacious. 

Monday and Friday are school days or in the case of her first week...Monday and Thursday. Friday I was volunteering in Jack's class so we had to move it to Thursday instead. We are starting at 'A' of course. I actually sat down and came up with a lesson plan....prep work really helps! Just for my records here's what we did for the first day of school. 

Write letter 'A' & 'a' - Talked about the sound 'A' makes and the difference between capital and lower case. 
Write words that start with 'A'. 
Go on an 'A' hunt around the house.
Color 'A' sheet or in this case color a picture of Animals! 
Do jumping jacks while saying the ABC's
Snack - Applesauce 
Story time - Aladin and the Sly Magician
Counting to 20 with link cubes 
Play ABC Bingo
Sing Songs - Wheels on the Bus, Itsy Bitsy Spider & Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee. 

It takes almost 2 hours from start to finish and both Ella and Zeke really enjoy it. In fact the whole time we do school they both call me "teacher". They know that once school is over they can call me mama. 

Zeke showing off the Alligator I drew for him. 

I don't know what it is that changed, but Ella is much more receptive to being taught now. Which of course makes teaching her a whole all easier. I thinking turning 5 has something to do with it! 

As for the second teaching day here was our lesson plan...again for my records! 

Write letter 'A' & 'a'. I even quizzed and had her point to the letter we learned on Monday and she remembered! This is huge! A while back when we were trying to teach her how to spell her name we would point to the four letters on her wall and say E-L-L-A and then ask her what the first letter was and she wasn't able to tell us. I also didn't have sheets of paper with dotted lines this time she just used a dry eraser board. She did draw dots to help herself with writing the letter, but she did it just fine. 
Shape letter 'A' & 'a' with Play-Doh. 
Sing songs about letter 'A' from ABCmouse. 
March around the house singing the ABC's. 
Snack - Animal crackers & Apple fruit leather 
Story time - Ali Baba and the 40 thieves 
Counting using Duplo blocks....we also tried to make letter shapes out of them. 
Play Go Fish....we really used it more like a memory game. 
Sing Songs - B-I-B-L-E, Jesus Loves Me & Deep and Wide. 

The second teaching day was a little more rough, but both Ella and I were a bit moody. 

She did have fun though and that's the point. I want her to enjoy learning! Since it's took her a bit longer to warm up to being taught by me we will have to do school through the summer in order to make it through the alphabet by the time school starts. I'm hoping I can be on top of this, but I also am being realistic since summer time is usually way more unstructured. It is only a 2 hour commitment twice a week so that's not bad....we will probably just have to play around with the days a little bit more since we aren't going to want to say no to going to the beach if it's a school day. That's the great thing about homeschool!