Monthly Archives: October 2013

Homeschool Preschool: The Letter G

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

How cute is the craft from the letter G? Here’s our inspiration. Usually I cut out the pieces and take a picture of what it “could” look like and then I show the picture to Lucy and let her do her work independently. I’m learning more and more about her learning style each week of school and I think she really dwells in a hands-on, self-taught learning environment so I’m trying to figure out activities that build into that and make her feel she has a safe place to learn.

Our favorite books for the week were:

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

How Groundhog’s Garden Grew by Lynne Cherry
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
Who Am I? Giraffes by Moira Butterfield and Wayne Ford

Because we had a vegetable garden all summer, they really enjoyed the gardening books. We did a fun art activity where I cut some brown “pots” out of construction paper and let them plant whatever they wanted.

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

I let them use our special [read: not washable] Mr.Sketch smelly markers and they loved them. I thought they both did well. Lucy actually made a daisy, a pink rose, and a purple flower. She then went to her room for a while and I heard a lot of banging and crashing. When she emerged, she’d planted a “real” garden of her very own.

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

We’ve had some very specific homework given to us by Landon’s occupational therapist so he’s been doing those for his “school”.

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

He’s been riding on the sit ‘n spin to work on his core muscle strength.

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

His speech therapist let us borrow this awesome Old McDonald set where Landon wears a felt type glove and there are animals with velcro so we can sing the song and put animals on his glove. He is a big [BIG] fan.

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

I found these playdough mats at learn.create.love and they enjoyed playing with them. We have been working on helping Landon stay engaged in activities for longer periods of time. We laminated ours so they’ll last a long time.

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

They both enjoyed the pattern block alphabet cards I found at Confessions of a Homeschooler. I laminated those too. I laminated a lot this week. :) It was great.

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

Landon’s OT asked me to think of things he could stack that would require him to engage both hands. So cloth diaper laundry provided that opportunity. When he couldn’t make them all work in one stack he decided to try to stand on the stacks. Did.Not.Work. Hehe.

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

For a Montessori inspired activity, Lucy polished my wood salad bowl. We just used some food grade wood oil, a paint brush, and a cloth to polish it. She got a little tired of doing it halfway through but persevered to do both sides when I asked. And in the end she was proud of her work.

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

We did some work with our Learning Resources self-correcting sequencing cards [they were like 3 or 4 bucks at Toys ‘R Us]. These actually give us a good opportunity to work on some of the consonants we’re practicing for her speech. She’s not in speech therapy or anything, we just work at home on g, p, and f. If she can’t pick them up in a few months we’ll decide if she needs to get evaluated but I think for now we’ll just keep practicing. Landon’s speech therapist gave her some “homework” and she loved that she was included.

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

She’s been practicing making lists. :)

So it was a great week. It was very light on worksheets and even letter formation but, like every week, it’s Lucy-led so I’ll just continue to try to give her activities that she asks for. It was fun to include some more pictures of what Landon’s week looks like. When I think of it as him doing “school” I do notice myself being more intentional and mindful of how he spends his time; that can’t be a bad thing!

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Dinner, Cookies, and Dollar Tree

I feel like this title is a really good example of how my mental wheels are turning these days.

Lately it seems little things feel like big accomplishments. You did the dishes!? Take a rest. Your going to get a kid out of time out!? Eat a cookie first. You remembered to start dinner on time!? Check out Pinterest for a few. You cleaned the house!? Let the kids watch a show [or two]. Little victories abound.

So when dinner is good, I want to share it with the world. That’s logical, right? I did not, however, want to stop to take a super great picture of it. Sorry. Not sorry.

hey, beth baker!

Tonight’s dinner consisted of quinoa with roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts. [I coated mine in olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika]. Topped with toasted pecans and bacon [The oven was conveniently already warm]. We tried out frozen Brussels sprouts for the first time [Good flavor! Weird texture]. Landon had three servings. Lucy cleaned her bowl. Victory!

It wasn’t too much hands on work [if you forget about peeling and chopping the b’nut squash]. It was hearty and filling and I’m ready to have it again.

I’ve also been indulging in some cookies lately. The bigger baby seems to get the bigger my sweet tooth. Not good. So I’ve been making these guys which, on the hierarchy of healthfulness of cookies, seem not so bad for you. They’re actually based off of these from 2005’s Eating Well With Diabetes cookbook. Notice that this recipe is also accompanied by a hastily taken picture just prior to consumption.

hey, beth baker!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 30-36

2 cups rolled oats, (not quick-cooking)
1 cup all-purpose flour [could go 1/2 a-p, 1/2 whole wheat or use oat flour for gluten-free]
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
4 tablespoons room temp butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine the dry. In a separate bowl, cream together the rest except chocolate chips. Combine the two. Add the chocolate chips. Drop onto cookie sheets. Bake 12-14 minutes.

They’re not allergy friendly. But they are pregnancy craving friendly. Actually I’ve been looking for foods to amp up my iron lately so I should switch out the chocolate chips for raisins but am I the only one who thinks raisins are way too sweet?

hey, beth baker!

And, to make me feel like I’m really winning at life, I found these lids at Dollar Tree. They’re totally for canned pet food, but they’re perfect for all the pumpkin recipes we’ve been baking up lately that only require 1/3 to 1/2 a can of pumpkin. As an added bonus they come three to a package!

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Homeschool Preschool: The Letters E & F

Sometimes I look at other preschool blogs that I really enjoy and they’ll show all the work they did in a week and I’ll think, “How!!?” We’re pretty [age-appropriately] low key around here. It works for us. I can’t even seem to post these updates with regular consistency, so I couldn’t imagine adding more activities! Just a good reminder [to myself] that you do what you can, when you can and you do your best not to compare to others. So, bonus post: two letters for the price of one. We definitely had some fun with the letter ‘E’.

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

We started off the week by making an elephant puppet. I can’t speak for all toddlers, but my kids love puppets. So much. I didn’t really have a template for this. I did a Google image search for ‘elephant paper bag puppets’ and cut the pieces out of construction paper. I lined it up on the table to show her what it would look like and showed her one of the pictures on the computer. The rest is all her. :) She did most of it with a glue stick but we did have to reinforce the back seams of the heavier pieces like the ears with masking tape. This is definitely a preschool activity, not so much for the younger set.

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

He was, however, completely occupied by the play dough.

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

We glued googly eyes to a big construction paper ‘E’. She had a great time doing this, but it did lead to an interesting conversation about phonetics that she did not care about one bit. She had complete faith that if I told her eye begins with an ‘E’- well then it’s true.

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

Our ‘E’ books were great.’ Dot the Fire Dog’ is still holding strong [spoiler alert: we’re still reading it]. I really enjoyed ‘I Am Eyes’.

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

I picked up some Crayola dry erase boards on clearance at Target and Landon has really taken to his. We’ve been working with him to try to get him to engage in activities for longer periods of time and this guy is really helping out.

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

We continued playing in our space rocket and Lucy continued to add “buttons” and adornments. Silly girl. We should find a safer helmet alternative, but that one only stays on for 30 seconds or so.

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

This was my favorite moment of the week: anxiously awaiting story time.

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

The letter ‘F’ week was a little light on the paper work. :) It was a beautiful week outside and each passing day of the calendar reminds us that our outdoor playground time is fleeting so we went to a different park nearly every day. We still did our F do-a-dot worksheets and practice but we didn’t do too much else.

The ‘F is for Fox’ activity was meant to go along with ‘The Fox and the Hound’ but I couldn’t find our copy of the book. I did, of course, find it this week. [p.s. our school desk is looking, “well used and well loved”. Gross.]

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

We also did a craft with the book ‘Fish is Fish‘ [same author as ‘Swimmy’ which is another favorite]. Leo Lionni’s illustrations are amazing, so we did a craft to try to capture that in some small way.

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

I grabbed every different color of blue [washable] paint that we have and put them out on a palette so that color mixing would be a bit inevitable. Instead of using sponge stamper brushes I used some masking tape to adhere a cotton ball on the end of a craft stick. I do that for quicker clean up – no brushes to rinse out! And, the cotton balls gave the kids a surface which had different levels of absorbancy and gave their fish more dimensions.

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

At two, Landon was mostly interested in getting as much paint on the cotton ball as possible, but that’s what art smocks were made for…

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

Our week also included a lot of very tall tower building, which is a mama favorite too!

To end the weeks we reviewed all the letters we’ve learned so far using a salt tray. The tray is from the Melissa and Doug Lace and Trace set and held up the flashcards perfectly.

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

homeschool preschool | hey, beth baker!

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Lucy Lately

I actually have four posts half-written and saved as drafts. But instead I’m going to laugh.

lucy lately

Lu: ” Mama, is it okay if I teach my baby brother Spanish?”
Me: “Totally.”
Lu: “Okay! Uno, dos, circle, seis.”

[Driving over fresh asphalt.]
Lu: “What is that smell!? It smells like stinky socks. Or cake.”
[Should I, as her cake maker, be insulted? :)]

Lu: “Neighborhood. That’s the place where I live. Neighborhood. That starts with the letter Neigh. Mmmm. And borhood. Yeah. That’s it.

Lu: “Come on Buddy, let’s clean up this mess before Daddy sees it.

[After a Landon meltdown]
Lu: “Heeeey. It’s okay Buddy Boo. I’ll make it better. I’ll pet your hair like this.”

Lu: “Mom. When Christmas comes and it’s Jesus’s birthday and we’re making him a cake I’m pretty sure we should make one that wont make me sick. So I can eat Jesus’s cake. Oh, and I think he wants marshmallows in it.”

Lu: “Um… This… Fell? Into my hands? Because I wanted to play with it even though you told me not to.”

[Stuffing wads of play money into her wallet.]
Lu: “I’m gonna be a mommy. Me and my brudder are playing house.”
Lesson learned: to be a mommy you have to have wads of money.

Lu: “Dear, Jesus. I want to speak Spanish. Help me to teach Buddy Boo to play house. And I want to speak Spanish. And thank you for my friends. And I want to speak Spanish. And I’m going to have a baby sister to wear all my old clothes. And help me speak Spanish. Amen.”

[Lucy has this “pet” squirrel that comes to the window every morning when we’re eating breakfast.]
Lu: “Pet squirrel, I’m gonna buy you a toy for Christmas. You’re gonna have to wait a long time and you’re gonna like it.”

Lu: “Pet Squirrel, I’m gonna build you a cave so you never go away. Or at least so that you come back.”

[Referring to her out of town family.]
Lu: “There are only two cousins in this town.”

[After meeting a new friend.]
Lu: “Mom! There are two Bellas in this town! There’s ‘you’re my best friend and we go to to the Magic House’ Bella and there’s ‘I just met you at church’ Bella’!

Me: “Did you have any good dreams last night?”
Lu: “Yes! I had a dream that I was older and I went to work with Daddy so we could play basketball!”

lucy lately

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