Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Homeschool Day 1

So on Monday, I FINALLY got the long-awaited A-OK from the hubby to homeschool the kids!  I have always had structured activities for them and a "school time" during the day, but now I can make it official!  So I'm going to try to blog my progress at least until I figure out what works.  This will be sort of my homeschool journal as, through trial and error, I find a system that works for us!'s most of today!

First we did our weather and calendar at the Classroom Closet.  Then we reviewed our sight words from last week's 4th of July unit.  We reviewed the parts and colours of the United States Flag then worked on a Melissa and Doug USA floor puzzle.  (I totally forgot to say the Pledge of Allegience and say a prayer during our beginning activities!)  This is a good puzzle for us because my 3/yo can sort the puzzle pieces by colour, and my 4/yo can put the puzzle together. 

While Nikolas was working on the floor puzzle, Ava Louise and I worked on shapes, colours, and sorting with another puzzle that I found in the Dollar Spot at Target 2 summers ago.

Then we met back around the Classroom Closet to sing "Happy Birthday America" which we learned last week and watched the video.  Next, we listened to--and talked about--the Alabama state song, "Alabama".

Next we did our Poetry Basket.  I got the idea for a Poetry Basket here at Counting Coconuts, a WONDERFUL blog about homeschooling little ones!  Here's a peek in our Poetry Basket and list of its contents:  "Daybreak in Alabama" by Langston Hughes, an instrument for each child, spray bottle set to "mist", a few toy trees (out of our Dino bucket), 2 sprigs of pine branch, hands traced onto coloured paper.

 I put together a data sheet with miscellaneous clip art pieces that I found throughout the web (much of it here).  It included the state seal, the state flag, the state bird, the state flower, pictures of Alabama's Native Americans and their tools and pottery, native wildlife, local agriculture, and art by Alabama-born Howard Finster

The kids practiced coloring, gluing, scissor skills and collaging (just made that one up, but I think I like it!) by creating a state seal, state flag, state bird and state flower, doing their best to copy the pictures provided.  Finally, they made a collage on the state of Alabama using cotton balls, popcorn, and peanuts to represent the local agriculture.  Each of their created images was then glued to the first page of their 50 Nifty States self-authored book.

Here are the pictures of these activities:
 I put the laptop on a chair by their table so they could see the pictures.

 Practice with scissors!  Cutting out a circle...Nikolas is already proficient at this, but a little practice never hurt, and Ava Louise is still quite a ways from being able to do this herself.

 State agriculture collage....I know I know, it's upside down!

 Here's a sideways pic of our peanut and popcorn snack in keeping with our theme.

 Then the kids took turns on the computer doing an interactive coloring page of the 
Alabama state bird at this site.
 They each did a lacing activity while they waited their turn on the computer.

More sideways are the first pages of their 50 Nifty State Books.  
The flags were made by gluing red crepe paper to a blank coloring sheet.

All the blank sheets were found here.

All in all it was a good first day and ran smoothly.  I need to get started a little earlier, and I need to have some activities that we do for circle time before we start our new lessons.  I'm currently working on a variation of the work box system that I think will work for us.  More on that later!

Signing off!
~Melissa  :0)

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