Tuesday, September 3, 2013

First Day of Homeschool Preschool

(43 Months)

Today was our first day of homeschool preschool!  Since they turned one, my husband and I kept toying with the idea of sending Little Miss and Wild One to a Montessori or Montessori-like school a couple of mornings a week.  Each year when it's time to register the kidabunks for school, I back out and we decide we'll keep them home "just one more year."  Well, we're 3 1/2 now and almost everyone I know has their little ones in daycare or preschool at this age.  I'm grateful that my husband supports my decision to stay home with them, and that we are lucky enough to be able to have a choice of whether or not to send them to school.  Now, for our first day of homeschool preschool.  Yaaaayyyy!

Although, they are going to be home with me.  I still wanted to capture this important moment in time.  I saw this idea all over Pinterest and knew that I would be making one for my kids also.  There were over a dozen variations of the same thing- some messages were written on chalk boards, others on poster boards, some on just sheets of paper.   Our take was quick and simple.  A week before, I asked Little Miss and Wild One what they wanted to be when they grew up, printed it out, taped it inside a nice picture frame.  Viola!  Our sign is finished and if we want to continue with this tradition, we can even use the same frame.

FINE MOTOR ART- After we took our picture, I traced an outline of Little Miss and Wild One on easel paper.  Then I asked them to draw on their faces.  Wild One added bones, a heart and of course a plate of cookies.


WRITING- I love the idea of a progress journal.  It's simply a notebook that is used to showcase the child's growth over the course of a month.  My plan is to include writing samples of their names, the alphabet, a self-portrait, shapes and and number recognition (for example, write the number 1 and draw one soccer ball).  Each month you just repeat the pattern, adding anything new that you want to begin tracking.

We also completed a short all about me interview (it's free).  Some of their answers were intriguing.  Their favorite food- they said marshmallows.  They have had marshmallows maybe three times so far.  I really thought it was going to be chocolate chip cookies or pancakes or muffins or salmon sashimi or bacon.  Marshmallows wasn't even on my list of possibilities.  Oh and their favorite song?  I was convinced Wild One would say, "Yo Ho, A Pirates' Life is For Me" (since he has me sing it almost every day) nope- he said "Twinkle, Twinkle".  I really thought on Little Miss's favorite things list, would be to play with play dough.  Nope, not even in her top three.  Her top pick though, was to play with her cousin, Jake, at his house (I love that little girl!).

MATH- I asked Little Miss and Wild One how many blocks did they think we needed to show how tall they were.  They both estimated ten blocks.  Then we connected ten blocks (we needed at least triple that amount).  When I asked if that was tall enough, Wild One said "no."  Yay!  I followed up with, "what do we need to do?"  He replied, "make it bigger."  We kept taking turns adding more blocks, laying down next to the line of blocks and then determining if we needed more blocks, or if we had enough.  When we finished, we measured just under 27 blocks tall.  We counted our measurements both laying down and standing up (we were one block taller laying down).

READING- We read The Little Mermaid several times, using our Blooms Taxonomy Cards.  These cards are fantastic for helping me ask open-ended, higher-order thinking questions.

CRITICAL THINKING- Lastly, we ended with identifying and circling pairs of items that are the same.

GROSS MOTOR/DRAMATIC PLAY- Then we had lunch, and played pirates.

What a fantastic first day!  Did the morning go as planned?  Nope.  The progress journals were not as big of a hit as I thought they would be.  Little Miss didn't want to create a self portrait, she wanted to draw lightening.  Our first attempt at writing our names in our journals, wasn't their best effort (their names from a few months ago looked much better).  They just wrote to write.  I didn't want to push to get a baseline assessment in the journal.  They just weren't interested at that moment, so we just moved onto the next activity.  There's always tomorrow and that's part of the beauty of homeschool preschool.

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