Thursday, October 23, 2008
Apparently some people are homeschooling just to exempt their kids from mandatory vaccinations. Personally I think vaccinations are important and disagree with those who choose not to. I really hope that isn't the only reason they are choosing homeschooling though.
There is talk about whether homeschoolers should be required to be vaccinated and honestly, I agree that they should. The point of mandatory vaccination is because the more people that don't vaccinate, the more likely the disease will come back. This is more important in a social setting like school but is important just in general too.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Alastrin painting with Autumn colours
Morgan painting with Autumn colours
Alastrin making apple prints
Not picured is our demonstration of the four seasons. I did a quick drawing of a tree and a person in each season illustrating what happened to the tree and what kind of clothing you would wear in each season.
We also read autumn books and sang a few autumn songs and I answered all kinds of questions everytime we were outside about squirrels and leaves.
We didn't do as much as I'd planned, this was sort of a laid back week.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
As a result, many children may be starting school without the fundamental language and early literacy skills that ensure academic success – and some of those children may never catch up.
Angus Reid Strategies conducted a one-day online survey on behalf of The Hanen Centre. The Hanen Centre is a not-for-profit authority in the development of family-focused early language intervention programs and learning resources. The survey was conducted among a randomly selected, representative sample of 1003 adult Canadians. The full report of their findings can be downloaded here. (pdf)
One of the learning resources available from The Hanen Centre is a calendar that can help parents of preschoolers to incorporate language and literacy tips into daily activities and play routines.
Here's a sampling of the tips included in the calendar:
* Follow the child's lead in conversation and keep conversations going as long as possible
* Create an environment full of meaningful print
* In addition to reading books together, make grocery lists, write birthday cards and read advertising flyers
* Use unfamiliar vocabulary in everyday conversation, explaining what the words means
I will be receiving a copy of this calendar and will add to this post after I see it with my thoughts.
UPDATE: I've received my copy! The calendar has 8 tips for each month, 4 for in the classroom and 4 for at home. The classroom tips and home tips are similar under each category, but just tailored for teacher vs parent, class vs children. There are four categories of tips for each month: Daily Activities, Pretend Play, Reading Books and On The Go.
Each month is dedicated to a different skill/idea such as Follow the Child's Lead in Conversations, Increase Children's Everyday Vocabulary, Stimulate Children to Think Beyond the Here-and-Now and Encourage Play with Sounds, Syllables and Words.
The ideas are great and are things every parent (and teacher) should be doing with the children in their care. I've been doing most of these activities since my children were born and people often remark that they think they are older than they are because they talk so well and have such a rich vocabulary. I'm not trying to brag I just want to illustrate that I can vouch for these ideas. Below is a sample of some of the ideas.
In the Classroom:
Use new words when pretending with the children and explain them by using simpler, familiar words. "I am anxious because I can't find my baby. I am very worried." Use the new words often in other situations.
Ask children to find pictures in an alphabet book that begin with a certain letter. When they find the correct picture, talk about the sound the letter makes.
Read the words on cereal boxes. Count the number of words on each box and see if any have the same letters. Talk about words and letters and point to the words as you read them.
Collect souvenirs from a trip. Use the items to inspire your child to dictate a story about the trip. Create a book from his story and read it with him. Leave it where he can "read" it himself.
The poster is a quick at-a-glance chart that summarizes the emergent literacy skills that children need to learn and what months you will find activities for that skill in the calendar.
My only suggestion for a way to make this product better would be to make the calendar also usable as a calendar. Right now the ideas are printed across the weeks so you can't use the calendar as a calendar itself.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
This week our theme was transportation. I further separated each day into a specific kind or kinds.
Tuesday - Trains
Wednesday - Cars and Trucks
Thursday - Buses and other vehicles
Alastrin colored a train picture.
This wasn't on the plan but since we didn't have a chance to see a real train, I called up You Tube and searched for trains and we watched a few videos of trains. The one pictured was her favourite. You could see the lights of the trains for a while before you saw the train. I didn't but I would suggest you screen you tube videos before showing them to your children. We didn't stumble upon anything bad but we could have.
Way back when I was pregnant with Morgan, our friend Jay gave us this train set that used to be his. Until now I had never brought it out but since we were learning trains, I did. It's beat up and needs batteries which we didn't have but Morgan liked it. When it first started moving (the old batteries lasted a minute) she was scared of it! She's still a little young as she wants to push it around the tracks and it's not made to do that. It's completely electronic.
We also made an egg carton train but it didn't turn out great so I didn't post a pic.
WEDNESDAY - CARS AND TRUCKS
Wednesday we didn't do much structured homeschooling as we went to playgroup in the morning and Girl Guides after dinner. We did talk about cars and trucks on the way to playgroup and watched a recycle truck at work on the way home. She did a traffic patterns worksheet from Bry Back Manor but our main craft waited till Friday. (see below)
THURSDAY - BUSES AND OTHER
We made this cool egg carton school bus. The yellow paint didn't cover the words on the carton though like it was supposed to so we glue yellow construction paper over it as well. I couldn't find magazine photos of kids though so it's adults in the bus. Oh well. It's just the top half of the carton so she can't drive it around or anything, it's just for show.
Thursdays we go to the library and to their playgroup so we didn't do much that day either. We did see a firetruck go by and talked about that. They had bus colouring pages too and we sang the wheels on the bus and read her Seals on the Bus book (by Lenny Hort)
FRIDAY - BOATS
We got an activity sheet from Enchanted Learning that had her trace the letter b, colour in a picture of a boat and then cut out some pieces to make a boat. The picture above is showing her decorating in her boat picture after gluing the pieces down. She loved this too.
Alastrin with another colouring page.
As stated above, we did our cars and trucks craft on Friday. They painted by rolling toys cars and trucks through paint on their paper. This was a hit.
Here is Alastrin doing her craft.
Not pictured for this week: more transportation books, practicing street safety, watching Barney safety video, watching Thomas the Tank Engine, watching Transportation Songs video, lots of chat about transportation as we were outside walking and a few homemade matching pages.
Next week is Autumn!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Here Morgan is working on a "game/worksheet" that I designed She matched up the opposites a couple of times and then the last time she glued the cards down.
First we built a bridge and then a house and used toys to demonstrate opposites and directions. Dora is IN the house, Ducks are ON the house, girl is BESIDE the house etc.. We also did behind and in front of but just briefly. She enjoyed this activity and did it on her own a couple of days later.On the weekends we go visit the Grandparents and Grandma has an activity or two to keep us busy. This week she had both girls glue on a table and then glue objects either on top of or under the table. Alastrin did one too but she did it so fast and wanted to glue more on so she glued on fun foam shapes until you couldn't see the paper colour! Grandma did this one with just Morgan. It's of course a house and fun foam animals are stuck inside and outside the door.
So it was a pretty laid back week with not quite enough activities. We also went to playgroup three times, one of which had gym class and we rode bikes outside one day.
Next week is Transporation!
In this picture: A is Aluminum Foil, B is Bandaids, H is Hearts, I is Insects (stickers), O is Oatmeal, P is Pumpkins (sequins), V is Violets (computer printouts) and W is wire (didn't work so well.)
In this picture: C is Cotton, D is Dog Food, E is Easter (stickers), J is Jewelery, K is Kidney Beans, L is Leaves (sequins), Q is Q-tips, R is Ribbon, S is Stars (stickers), X is X stamps (very hard to see), Y is Yellow Yarn and Z is ZigZags (ric rac)
In this picture: F is Feathers, G is Grapes (seqins), M is Makeup (stickers), N is Noodles, T is Toothpicks and U is Umbrellas (2 stickers and hand drawn by mom for the rest)
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree Craft by Morgan. She chose to put the letters, on top of each other.
Finally we made name bracelets!