Friday, September 25, 2009

Preschool Week Three: "A FARM PROVIDES FOOD"

This week we learned quite a bit about hens. We played "Who's Hiding My Egg?": the 'farmer' would hide a plastic egg in their lap and the 'hen' would have to guess which person was the farmer with the egg. It didn't last long as it was just Daddy, Gabe, Quinn, and mommy playing. Quinn did not make a good farmer--he can't keep a secret and would hold the egg up high to give it back to the hen! Above is Gabe's paper plate hen, our finale art project for the week. It was supposed to have tissue paper feathers, but Gabe refused to glue any tissue to his project...he adamantly drew the feathers instead. Strange...since he rarely refuses a project involving glue...

Our farm mural update this week: we added a hen! Mommy helped:) Gabe's other hen went straight to his bedroom art wall. He has been refusing to attach his animals to the mural; he wants them in his bedroom instead! (I don't blame him, as Quinn has been known to rip the mural animals off from time to time...we now have a headless rooster on the mural).

During our study of farms we have been also talking about orchards. We created an "apple tree" out of an old cereal box, some popsicle sticks, and some magnetic tape. We also made an apple basket (labeled with an "A") to hold the apples (made out of red pom poms). We hot glued magnetic tape to the pom pom apples, to make them stick to the apple tree. In theory! It didn't quite work as planned, the magnetic tape wasn't strong enough and it took a lot of work to fill the tree with the magentic apples. We were able to play one game using the apple tree project though. We would roll dice, and whatever number we rolled was the number of apples we would "pick" off the tree and put into the apple basket. Whoever picked the last apple from the tree lost the game! (By the time the last apple was picked, neither one of us felt like getting all those apples back on that tree--they just didn't want to stick!)

Week 3 letter of the week: Ff
Here we drew the letter F, and then would add to it to form it into a picture/object that started with F. Ok, most of the objects started with an F, anyway! Our character of the week was "friendly Fred," who helps us remember that this letter only says one sound! Gabe is flying through his letter recognition, most of these letters are just review. Gabe is beginning to sound out short words, but it goes something like this: "D-o-g.....Golf!!" He gets so excited at the last letter sound in the word, that he just shouts out anything that begins with that letter! I'm just glad he has an interest in sounding things out:)

Friday, September 18, 2009

WEEK TWO: New Days on the Farm!

This week we added a BARN to our farm mural, along with some animals. We also explored the concept of time. Gabe follwed me all over the house, showing me "what time it was" on his giant wrist watch that we made from an old plastic container cover. He would say things like "It's sixty o'clock!" or "now what time does it say?" or "what do we do when the clock says this?" Our letter of the week is Aa, and I think the highlight was doing a cupboard search party. I allowed Gabe to take a pen and circle (on any pantry item) all the Aa's he found. At one point I had to chase after Quinn, and came back to find that my little preschool artist had gotten carried away with the pen. But I still smile when I take out a box or can of food and find a scribbly circle around the letter Aa! Did you know that the letter A has THREE sounds??"Astronaut Abe from Alaska" is our mascot this week.

Check back next week to see what's in store for our mural! And to see pics of Gabe with his new haircut! (he can finally see again!) On Sunday we are going on a field trip to Sassy Cow, a local organic dairy farm.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gabe's first week of home-preschool!

Gabe stands beside our Farm Mural, the latest work of art in the Mueller home. For the next 9 weeks we will be adding a farm feature to our mural on a weekly basis. Check back--I will try to update our blog as we go along!
Our first unit of study is: The Farm.
This week was an introduction to farm life, including a historical view of farms in America.
We played animal charades, sang songs about God's wonderous creation, and did a collage of items found on a farm (my favorite was the woman Gabe cut out of my Real Simple magazine and pasted on the collage--he had me lable her "Erica." ??? That was right next to the cut and pasted picture of a glue bottle and a scissors, and a large Hummer. Ummmm...I need to plan a field trip to a farm!)
One of our favorite moments is lunch time, when I read aloud to Gabe and Quinn from our chapter book titled Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Gabe LOVES this book! It chronicles the life of a young boy on a farm long before electricity or running water, when school teachers stayed with local families and children of all ages did school together in one-room.
We are using an excellent curriculum this year, by Winter Promise. Yay--I no longer have to spend hours each month preparing my own ideas! This curriculum has been a true blessing, as now I can concentrate on just having fun with Gabe and fostering in him a love for learning:) Today he said to me, "Mom, preschool was SHORT today! That's not fair! Why can't it be longer?" I felt the same way! Tomorrow we will be making a barn for our farm mural (above) and learning more about how we read from left to right and top to bottom.

Quinn is walking!

Target: Yogurt Container!
Quinn took his first steps on Saturday, August 22nd. Age 13 mos!
Quinn is a cautious child. He has been taking mini-steps (one foot forward, the other safely planted) for quite awhile now! We knew it was a matter of time! Then it happened. One day, just after returning home from the Madison Farmer's Market, Quinn saw an empty yogurt container on the table and he went for it--throwing caution to the wind! He must have been HUNGRY! Once he had that container in his hands, he was so proud. I even let him play with it for awhile, despite the fact that it was dripping all over the floor. I had to let him bask in the pleasure of that coveted container! He still isn't sure about this whole walking thing--he takes a few more steps each day. Truly baby steps! Now, a few weeks after those first steps, he is bravely toddling across the living room every once in awhile. But still preferring to get places quickly by crawling!