Friday, May 9, 2014

Homeschooling Update

So I have been WAY too lax on schooling Little Man lately and it shows! He can sometimes be a crazy little man driving me and everyone else in the household crazy! Well, back in February, I realized that the drastic changes in weather and the change from hot to cold in our school/sun room was just killing our calendar board. So I started on the project of making a new one! (Post coming soon about it now that it's finished!) So between about the middle of February and about the middle of April, there was WAY TOO MUCH time off of schooling! I think part of it was I didn't really know what to do with him. He is SUPER smart and doing kindergarten level work. I don't want to push him too much as he still lacks the socialization and emotional development that he needs. So we've signed him up for a preschool Bible club that meets once a week. We also try to do story time at the library once a week. And I've found a mom's playgroup for us to attend. So that's really nice. Well, unfortunately, the Bible club is taking the summer off, so I've signed him up for some things through the recreation department. This seems to be helping with his socialization and emotional issues.

Now that I have a calendar board done, we've been doing "Playschool" about 3-4 times a week. It just depends on what's going on. I've decided to focus on his handwriting, as that is one of his weaknesses. I expected as much as he is a boy and his fine motor is not as advanced as it would be for a girl. We've primarily been working on lowercase letters, as I did a homeschool newbie big bad and taught him all his uppercase letters first. But then again, he didn't have the fine motor skills. So we've been doing centers with our letter writing. I haven't focused a whole lot on the uppercase letters lately, because the first few letters I KNOW he knows how to write. I've seen the idea for handwriting centers on a few different blogs I follow and we've done it before. But this time I'm focusing more on writing. So here are some of the things we are doing:

To help him manipulate the letter, Little Man has made the letters with playdoh on mats. We did this for A-D so far because he loved it!

 I also found Alphabet Lego Cards on Wildflower Ramblings. (Specific links will be at the bottom.) He has really liked these!

To help him with his pincher grasp and pencil grip, Little Man got to do some q-tip painting.

We also used dot-marker pages, except instead of a dot marker, he got to use dot stickers.

We then start working on actually writing the letter. We use letters of all sizes and simple handwriting pages from The Measured Mom.

He then sometimes writes them in one of his notebooks.

I also found a couple apps that work on his handwriting skills. So sometimes he gets "tablet time."

We've also been working on Word Families. The article on The Measured Mom (link below) was about learning to spell, but I've used it to increase his reading vocabulary. And boy has his reading gotten better! He cold read a Level 2 Thomas the Train book and only had to ask for help on like 3-4 words!

And we added in an actual journal. I got this idea from The Measured Mom. The link to her blog entry about it is below.

Now, I bet you're wondering what Princess is doing while I'm doing this. Well, being she is over a year old. I have introduced "Baby Play." These are simple things that she doesn't get to do ALL the time that will keep her busy as I teach Little Man. Granted, these things only keep her busy for about 10-15 minutes. But as she gets older and develops more skills, the Baby Play items will get to be more than just toys.

So now that I have an idea of what I want to do with both kids, as long as things don't explode again, we should be getting lots done with PlaySchool.

Links We've Used

ABC Dot Marker Pages (3 Dinosaurs)
Alphabet Lego Cards (Wildflower Ramblings; you have to sign up for her newsletter for the lowercase ones)
Journal Writing (The Measured Mom)
Letters of All Sizes (The Measured Mom; Uppercase, Lowercase and Numbers!)
Playdoh Mats (123 Homeschool 4 Me)
Q-Tip Painting (1+1+1=1; found towards the bottom of the page)
Simple Handwriting Pages (The Measured Mom; also has uppercase letters)
Word Family Dictionary (The Measured Mom, but written by This Reading Mama!)

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