Sunday, November 24, 2013

Preschool Corner, Week 13

November 18-22

This week was a harder week for our little Preschool Corner.  Rock didn't even seem super interested in his workbooks, so we took a little break from them and mostly played.  Rock did finish reading set 2 of the Bob books on Monday, but spent the entire week working on rereading them (he didn't finish until Saturday--when he also blasted through the first two of the Kindergarten Sight Words set, reading so fluidly, I almost couldn't believe it).

A laid-back week, we did a couple fun turkey crafts and then spent our time playing grocery shopping in the kitchen cupboards or Memory.

Things I feel good about this week:
--Rock is getting so good at reading. I know I say that all the time, but it's so true.  He's always improving, even when it seems like we've taken a longer break than we should (going two days or more without him reading anything at all)
--Taking a step back was good for us.  Rock seems to be either all or nothing when it comes to learning, which is fine for right now.  I feel like, as long we even just work for five minutes, we are doing just fine.  One week, we'll work on workbooks for two hours a day, and then we'll struggle through one page a day the next.

Goals for next week:
--Try to do some numbers games and workbooks, maybe get interested in math
--Keep plugging away at the Bob books.
--Have more crafts and fun art time

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Preschool Corner, Week 12

November 11-15

This has been a little of a crazy week.  But still, progress was made.  We are really working on tracing letters, which usually involves my holding Rock's hand and tracing letters (at least he's getting the motion down, right?), and we are still reading set two of our Bob books, though we have slacked our pace from last week, which is totally fine, because we had been flying through them like crazy.  Now we're averaging just one book a day, which actually isn't much less than last week, but for some reason, it feels like we're going so much more slowly.  It could be that he's really doing such a good job reading fluidly and fluently (for a 3-year-old, he still stops sometimes to sound out words that he's read a hundred times).

The saddest thing happened on Sunday (the 17th).  Rock has always said "girl" more like "agrrrrrrrrl," but on Sunday, he started saying "guhl" instead, explaining that this is how he's going to say the word now.  For over two years, he has said "agrrrrrl" with a real growl, and now he's just talking like a grownup.  What a day.  I cried.

Things I feel good about this week:
--We read lots of books
--Rock did an excellent job writing the number 3 (2 is still super hard and always comes out backwards and a little unrecognizable)
--No one died or even got terribly hurt

Goals for next week:
--Emphasize our fairytale more, and practice telling and retelling the story
--Work on pre-math and math workbooks
--Keep working on tracing and writing
--Finish Bob set 2 and reread the books
--Read the science section of the Preschool book
--Thanksgiving crafts
--Letter L craft

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Preschool Corner, Week 11

November 4-8

This week, I really focused on trying to get a rounded experience with our learning.  We do so much reading, but we seem to neglect other things, like counting (though Rock can count to 40 perfectly all by himself, and I was really surprised because he doesn't care about numbers at all) or science (which, I've learned from all of the books I've checked out from the library or purchased, mostly just means the difference between living and nonliving things, which he already knows from all of our reading and talking).  I am trying really hard to cover everything.  There is an incredible amount to learn, but we're still doing a really good job.  That's what matters.  Rock is doing really well (except with writing--that is a huge struggle, so we're just going over and over prewriting skills. I purchased seven Before I Write workbooks because he really seems to love them and he doesn't take his wipe-off books seriously at all--he just scribbles in them.  But I am sure we're making progress).

Teaching my baby is a little addictive.  Rock is learning more than I could have imagined--some things we really need to work on (like fine motor skills), and other things we can just coast into learning (like reading).

On Monday, we started the next set of Bob books after Rock finished rereading set 1. Set 2 of the Bob books is so much easier for him.  He can just read through a whole book the first time we pick it up.  He's still having trouble going back and rereading the page so he can read it smoothly--he's just in such a hurry to get to the next book (so rereading the whole book is out for now, until we have to reread the whole set to get to the next one).  I try really hard to have him slow down so he can read every page smoothly, but sometimes he's just too eager to skip ahead.  Overall, he's so, so much better at reading than when we started, so I feel like whatever we're doing is a success.  He is sounding out every word he comes across and learning new sight words every day.  I can't believe the progress he's made in just two months, and he's only three years old.  We read a new book every day--and two on Wednesday--so we are already halfway through set 2.  He is so excited to start set 3 (I'm thinking of going to the Sight Words for Kindergarten set before moving on to set 3).  I'm really going to have to figure out what we're going to do after he gets through all five sets and the two sets of sight words and the rhyming words set.  If he keeps up at this pace, we could have them all read by the end of the year and I will be scrambling.  I guess he'll be ready for real books.  I can't imagine that, though.  That is crazy to me--my baby reading real books that he can just take off his shelf whenever he wants.

We did two letter crafts this week (J is for jump and K is for kite).  I feel like that got us kind of back on track.  Now we just have to keep up the momentum and keep doing our crafts.  Rock doesn't seem to care about them as much as he did at the beginning, which is fine, because he is much more involved in spending his time learning to read, which is adorable and so sweet.

Things I am proud of this week:

--Rock is rocking at reading, still
--Rock is so much smarter than I realized
--We are doing a better job of staying organized and on-task as long as I really try to follow our schedule and put in a couple "recess" times for gross motor skill play (like jumping across the room as fast as we can or using as many jumps as we can or some other game that gets our whole body involved)
--We remembered to do letter crafts (and I prepared them ahead of time)
--Rock is really getting into drawing (still not coloring, so much) and he is starting to use multimedia (crayons AND markers AND colored pencils) for his drawings

Goals for next week:

--Keep up the fairytales and spread the different versions out over the whole week so we have one or two every day
--Schedule more time for his videos and movies (I know it seems strange to schedule MORE TV time, but we don't watch TV that often and we have a couple great phonics and prewriting ones that I really want him to watch and learn from, and we have been just taking movies back to the library without watching the whole thing or even at all)
--More letter crafts--keep them coming

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Preschool Corner, Week 10

October 28-November 1

I can't believe we've been at this for 10 weeks.  I can't believe how far we've come.  Rock is clapping patterns (still just simple ones, but that was a really hard thing for him because he just seems to clap to his own patterns and not really want to follow), spelling words, tracing numbers, counting to 50, coloring in the lines sometimes, reading real words, building ramps out of blocks, doing experiments and letter crafts, and really acting like a big boy.

We finished Bob 1:12 on Wednesday, after a week of not reading anything new.  He needed a little break after that crazy-productive streak last week.  He read a couple of books over again, but didn't really want to read The Vet until Wednesday, which was totally fine.  I think he's setting a great pace for himself, even if it's not a steady pace at all.  We spent the rest of the week re-reading all of set 1 of the Bob books and coloring fun Halloween pictures and talking about Halloween.

He liked Beauty and the Beast more than he liked Rumplestiltskin and I think more than Rapunzel, even, though he didn't really care too much about it.  We'll keep plugging away.  I know so many of these fairytales are so girly, I hope he will like some of them.  He absolutely loved Cinderella, maybe we should revisit that one.  Aunt Jessica found us a bunch of great fairytale books that she gave us for Halloween--what a nice present.  Rock loves them and wants to branch out and read new ones.

We finally did a letter craft--we tried to make an inchworm i out of little pompoms, but it didn't work super great.  At least we did something.

Things I'm proud of this week:
--We had so much fun this week just playing and working in our easy workbook.
--Rock is so helpful and really starting to be a big boy.
--Rock did a good job with a wipe-off workbook for the first time.  He usually just scribbles on those ones and doesn't take them seriously at all.  But the maze one, he really seemed excited about, even if he still has a hard time following lines and not cutting through barriers.
--We finally finished our coloring workbook, which took way longer than I thought, but I'm still so proud we finished and did a pretty good job for most of it.

Goals for next week:
--Follow our itinerary better (and do a better job of making a new one every day)
--Choose our next workbook to start
--Don't forget a fairytale for next week
--Find our fun scissors workbook.  It got lost somehow.  Strange. (or start a new one, if I really can't find it)
--Do a new letter craft (we're seriously on j)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween Adventures 2013

We had a fun time celebrating Halloween this year.  Rock went as the Ghost of Superman.  I was kind of sad that no one understood his costume and called him Superman, even Super Girl (because he was wearing a dress?).  One person thought maybe he was Jor-El, which was actually a great guess.  But I was just so proud of Rock for coming up with such an adorable idea all by himself.

There was Boo at the Zoo

We made cookies with Unkey Joe Joe Bear and Aunt Stacey 

My cookies look like my mom frosted them.  At least I have the excuse that Rock helped.

Obviously, Aunt Stacey comes from incredible artistic talent.

 We had our ward Halloween party that was pretty fun.  Rock got chili all over his costume and came home with two pieces of candy, so that was a complete success for him.

Grandpa Craig came over on Wednesday morning to see Rock and Jace in their costumes.

This was our first year actually going out and trick or treating.  We went to about six houses, and Rock was too excited.  He kept saying, "We are trick or treating.  We are trick or treaters.  I'm a trick or treater!"

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Preschool Corner, Week 9

October 21-25

We finished Bob 1:8 on Monday (barely--we only did the first read-through, we still had to read it again to make sure we could read it fluently.  This one was very hard, so we're just going over and over the words to make sure we can get all of the different little words in in--like "it," "in," "nip" "up" and the other tiny words that are just so confusing.)  On Tuesday, we went over Bob 1:8 again and Rock did a really good job with it--he struggled a smidgen with "Nip at it, Muff," but everything else was so smooth.  Then, he started AND finished book 9, which is the first green one, so that was really exciting.  It's a really easy book because it doesn't introduce any new sounds, just numbers and the plural "s," so I thought it wouldn't really take us long.  I didn't know it would only take two read-throughs and a combined total of about 10 minutes, but that is awesome.  There were some new words, but it was super easy.  And Rock wanted to start with book 10 right away, so we read two pages of that and put it down.  What a day!

Wednesday was even crazier.  Rock read TWO books straight through.  Book 10 and book 11.  We still needed another good run-through of book 11 before we were ready to go on to book 12, but how insane that he wants to just fly through the books.  I was really getting comfortable with our pace of one book a week, but now I am trying so hard to slow us down.  I know he just wants to zoom through to get to be really good, but it's hard because I want to make sure we are really getting everything.

On Thursday, Rock wasn't really interested in Preschool Corner after we did our workbooks (where we practiced prewriting skills, mostly, and learned a little about animal habitats).  Friday was another laid back day, kind of.  We didn't get a lot of workbooks or reading or anything done, but Rock did finally want to do some coloring by himself again.  I miss when he would do that a lot.

Our fairytale this week was Rumplestiltskin, and Rock didn't really seem to care about it.  Also, it's hard to find different versions of it and movies to watch.  I'll find a more mainstream fairytale next week.

Things I'm proud of this week:
--Rock is getting better at pencil control, though grip is still something we really need to concentrate on
--Rock is zipping right along with reading.  He's so good at it, and I'm so glad he likes it.  He squeals every time we come to a new word or when he gets excited about reading a new book.  He seriously can't wait to start set 2.
--One of his favorite things to do is build words.  Either he takes out his letters and tries to make words and sound them out, or he has me tell him some words to put together to make a word.  It's a fun game, and he is getting so good at it.
--We read a little about the history of Halloween, and maybe next year Rock will care more, but at least we tried.
--Rock did a good job with tracing his numbers.  He's really starting to try to do a good job.  We aren't ready for writing them on our own yet, but we're really starting to try when it comes to tracing them.  Hooray!

Goals for next week:
--Find a better fairytale to request from the library for the week after next.
--Keep reading and building words!
--Work on art projects
--Enjoy Halloween
--Start working on tracing letters, continue working on tracing and pencil control

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Preschool Corner, Week 8

October 14-18

We finally sat and read all of Book 1:7 (Jig and Mag) all the way through on Monday.  It was a really simple book, so it was really easy for us to finish and feel really good about ourselves for reading it.  It was refreshing after book 6 was so hard--with that one page with four sentences and a few of the pages had two lines (to practice reading top-bottom and not just left-right).  Reading the top line is a bigger challenge than I realized it would be.  Rock always wants to read the bottom to the top, but he quickly figured it out, and we only forget occasionally now, though Rock does still read the beginning sounds letters at the very front of each book bottom-top.

After we finished reading Jig and Mag, Rock was in a big hurry to move on to book 1:8, so I let him read the first page and then he realized that he just wasn't quite ready--one whole book in a day was quite enough.  Then we spent a couple days just rereading books 1-7 for a fun review and so that Rock could see how much he's improved and how many words he can read now.  One of his very favorite games to play is to ask me to say letters and he'll run and get them either from his see & spell or his Alphabots and then put them in order and read the word.  It's really fun--and he loves to get really excited, like he can't wait to find out what the word is going to be.

This week, we also finally started our 100 book chart, not just like the one in the TRWB blog, but similar in concept.  I just made a little chart in Word and left space to type the book name and, hopefully, the date we finish the book for the first time.  Then we can watch our progress.  I also printed one for us to write on and earn stickers as we read each new book.

Rock's 100 Book Chart
1. Bob 1:1 (8/31/13)
2. Bob 1:2 (9/14/13)
3. Bob 1:3 (9/17/13)
4. Bob 1:4 (9/25/13)
5. Bob 1:5 (9/30/13)
6. Bob 1:6 (10/8/13)
7. Bob 1:7 (10/14/13)

We still haven't thought of a really great reward for reading all of those books all by himself, but I feel like we have plenty of time to think about it--like a whole year, maybe.  I don't know what is going to be an awesome reward for him a year from now, but it's going to be great.

On Saturday, Rock almost finished reading Muff and Ruff.  I am amazed at how quickly he can get through a book and learn all of the new sight words and skills, even though we only do new reading a few times a week.  He's really doing such a good job.  Pretty soon, we'll be moving on to Bob set 2 (maybe around Thanksgiving!).

Our read-a-thon didn't go quite as well as it did last week, but we still read a total of about 125 stories from Thursday-Saturday.  Not bad, but nowhere near the huge pile Rock got out on Wednesday in anticipation.  At least he wanted to read and he was excited about it.  We took lots of breaks to play games and throw balls and do other things, so it was a great, fun weekend.