Wednesday, February 9, 2011

B is for Bible

Our second (and third, and, if I'm being completely honest, part of the fourth) week of homeschool we learned that B is for Bible. First we gathered all of their Bibles. Do you think we have enough?

And the other books about the stories we focused on.
Sidenote: There is a woman at our church who doesn't like to call them "Bible stories" because she doesn't want kids to think of them as fictional stories. She calls them "Bible truths," which seems a little redundant. I explained to the boys that history is what we learn about things that happened a long time ago, and the Bible is God's word and it teaches us about the first things that happened when God created the world. Then I continued to call them Bible stories. Thoughts?

I found the Creation book on the Junk Jaunt last summer. It is almost word for word from the Bible. We love it. We read it on Monday, along with each version of Creation from the various Bibles.

They memorized "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1" They had some trouble spitting out Genesis (Jonathan, Gennison) but they figured it out and earned a mini-marshmallow every time they said it. They've eaten a lot of mini-marshmallows these past few weeks.

For the craft, I cut out the sun, moon, and stars for them to glue. They also had some cotton balls to stretch out for clouds but Evan just glued them as they were and Ethan cut his with scissors before gluing. Whatever.

Another day (week, whatever) we read about Noah's Ark, sang about Noah's Ark, and played with their Little People Noah's Ark.

I love books illustrated by Peter Spier. They are amazing. But his Noah's Ark is a little depressing.
Beautiful, right? Not to the poor animals not chosen for the 2-by-2 line.And there are the poor animals getting wetter and wetter and..
Wahh. It seems to keep it a little too real for preschoolers but the boys didn't notice this time. Whew, death talk averted.
We tried to draw rainbows and make thumbprint animals but none of it really looked like anything. Oh well! No grades here!

For the Christmas lesson, I went down to the basement to find some things I had packed away recently. (Very recently. Embarrassingly recently.) We had a great craft, thanks to Laura and Emily providing us with mangers and Baby Jesus figures, and thanks to my slackerness (slackerocity?) for not getting the craft done at Christmastime.

The official way is to glue straw in the mangers but I thought we could stretch it out a little longer and incorporate their favorite thing to do these days by cutting paper for straw. It worked. Ethan carefully cut his into long stips, then small square pieces.
Evan didn't.

In the midst of playing, laughing, eating, and jumping around, we managed to talk about shapes, long/short, wide/narrow, count ing by 2's, animals, history; and practice fine motor skills and memorization. So far, so good.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A is for Alphabet

Our first official "homeschool" week! We talked about the alphabet. I bought a new set of foam bathtub letters to look at but scrounged the rest of the materials from around the house- alphabet puzzles, cardboard cutout letters, etc. I also rounded up all the alphabet books we have and put them into a basket to read throughout the week.

Here are a few of them.

Evan really got into the Melissa and Doug word puzzle set and chose it almost every time Ethan sat down to write his name or do one of the other puzzles. They also sorted the letters into piles by color and counted them. Good times!
Sidenote: Ethan has been writing his name pretty well for awhile now. One night when Matt got home he asked Ethan what he had done today and had him write his name. Ethan wrote E h n a t, then ran off to do something else. "Wow, you're doing a great job, honey," Matt told me.

The boys talked about the capital and lowercase A and then stamped alphabet letters onto the paper. Well, it was supposed to be letters but they each got into a groove with a single letter and just kept stamping k or n. Whatevs.

Ethan also stamped the letters for Thank You onto, well, thank you cards and we got a few notes written. (Maybe we'll get them sent during a P is for Post Office unit. But don't hold your breath.)

On Tuesday we ran around doing errands so we brought magnetic letters and cookie sheets in the car. Ethan sounded out a lot of beginning letters at the grocery store and was in charge of the list. The rest of the week we did 'homeschool' activities anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour a day. I wouldn't say that Ethan really learned anything school-wise this week but it was a fun, relaxed start into a new journey for us all.