Being a stay at home mom now, life sure has changed! I quickly discovered we'd get restless if we didn't have some type of structure so I've decided to do a little bit of "school" each day. My son has went to "school" since he was young and just loved it so I want to keep up the learning as much as possible! He has thrived with it and usually asks me later if we can do more "school stuff". We've declared this week "Elephant Week" and we've had so much fun doing elephant activities.
Disclaimer: I am not a Pre-K teacher and am probably doing things way out of order! BUT, I am doing activities that are influenced by my son's interests and doing what works best for us!
I've made short plans each day of activities we will do and I just go with the flow. If he doesn't want to do it, we don't. I don't want it to be too rigid, just fun learning! So far, he has wanted to do everything.
I pulled out all of the elephant books we own and put them in a tub on his desk. Each day he's picked out one book to read together during our school time.
The first thing we did was make an elephant chart. I asked him to tell me everything he knew about elephants and I wrote it just as he said. He is OBSESSED with elephants (no exaggeration at all!) so he knows a lot about them. I'm sure with other animals we'll be adding to the chart later in the week with new information, but this week he had lots of background knowledge.
He completed a Do-a-Dot for the letter E. This was the first time we've used Do-a-Dot's and he loved it! I got them at the Dollar Tree and bought a wide variety of colors.
I am the least artistic person alive, but I'm trying to do some type of artsy craft every day. This day we glued paper onto an elephant. We've got to practice squeezing out glue!
Each day we're practicing writing the letter E and this is probably one of his least favorite activities. He did SO good on his first two attempts (pictured below) and got sloppier the more he tried. We've tried to write three or four E's each day.
This activity was initiated by him and was not on my plans, but remember, we are going with the flow! :) He is a pretty creative little guy and asked if we could do animal ABC's. What he wanted to do was put animals in a line according to the alphabet. He did a great job! We had to skip a few places for letters we didn't have an animal for. An Instagram friend suggested making them from clay or Play-Doh, which is something we may try!
Another day we practiced working with the letter E by putting beans on it. He said "I am doing awesome" during this activity. He loved it!
This clothespin activity came with a bit of frustration. It's a fine motor skill activity I saw online (can't remember where). I wrote the alphabet on clothespins (now I wish I'd written them at the top of the clothespin). He had a hard time holding the clothespin, but it was his first time so I wasn't too surprised. He was so proud when he finished, though!
I picked up this wooden elephant mask at the Dollar Tree so that was our "art" for the day! He started off saying we needed to color it grey, but then wanted to make it a rainbow colored elephant. He colored some and then asked me to color some.
An activity he initiated was working with pattern blocks! I bought these online about a year ago and he has always loved them. Of course, he found the elephant card which went with our theme perfectly!
He also had lots of fun playing with beans. I bought several bowls, a scoop, and measuring cups at the Dollar Tree for this activity. He pretended he was making oatmeal. He really had fun with this!
Another activity he suggested was matching up all of his animals. Sadly, this isn't even all of his animals...he has so many! We got them all out and placed all of the rhinos together, the tigers together, etc. He informed me afterwards that I needed to take a picture and send to his Daddy! Ha!
Another thing we are doing each day is a short Bible story from his Beginner's Bible. I'm trying to be much more intentional with this. We always pray at night, when he's scared he will say "Jesus protect me", and we go to church (well we have to find a new one now!), but I want him to know more about the Bible, age appropriately, of course! At Kirkland's, I bought a Verse of the Week chalkboard and decided to integrate it with our Bible story! This week's story is about the angel Gabriel visiting Mary. Our verse is, "With God, all things are possible".
This is the picture of the Verse of the Week chalkboard on Kirkland's website. I love it! I bought it for us to use as a family and quickly decided it would correlate to our short Bible stories!
Yesterday we got a package of books in the mail from Amazon! The Golden Books are Valentine's Day gifts, but the others are books we'll use in upcoming weeks!
And just to keep it real - you know everything we do doesn't work out perfectly. Like him getting frustrated with the clothespin activity. Like him making a HUGE mess the second time he played with beans. Think: beans everywhere. My sleep is all messed up. I can't get to sleep before midnight. That may be because we're rolling out of bed around between 8:00-9:00. I keep saying I should set an alarm clock to get us going earlier so I can get in bed earlier, but I just cannot force myself to set an alarm when I know I don't have a job to go to early the next morning!
Overall, we've had a FUN week!