lesson planning & brain storming

August is here.  That means that schools will soon be in session, and the time for me to actually decide what I want to do for “preschool at home” this year is upon me. 

This was MUCH more challenging than I originally thought it would be.  Since I’m working with a 3 and (will be) 2 year old this year, I knew that I didn’t need to FILL the days with activities and the such, but I also knew that I wanted some structure, for me, and for them.  It would help me in being consistent with doing preschool at home, and it would help them learn to differentiate between “play time” and “school time”.  That’s one of those things I think needs to be enforced pretty early, especially if you plan on homeschooling longer term.  Who knows, I may change my point of view about that later, but for now, with the ages I have, it’s needed.

So, I sat down to “plan” the first 4 weeks.  I’m doing one letter of the alphabet over the course of two weeks.  I chose to do two weeks rather than the more traditional “one-letter/one-week” method because I’m hoping it will help set in more.  I also think that since I don’t want to have to cram everything into one week,  it gives us a lot of flexibility.  Hey, they’re 3 and (almost) 2… we’ve got time… 🙂

So, my goal was to plan for letter “A”, and letter “B”.  This will be different for each.  They’ll do the same activities for the most part, but Rachel already recognizes all of the letters, whereas Eli doesn’t.  So, we’ll work on recognition for him, and sounds each makes for her.  I also wanted to throw in some extras that apply to each child.  Eli needs to work on colors and shapes, and Rachel needs to work on place-holding while counting (the higher numbers).  Sooo… here it is:  my first 4 weeks.  If you are interested in taking/adapting/using this in ANY way… feel free!  I used the basic outline of  “three”.  There are three things that we will do on “school” days. 

1.  Bible memory verse (I haven’t picked which one I want to use yet, but there are several that go along with the alphabet.  The child learns the verse that matches the letter they are studying at the time.  I think it will be nice to have 2 weeks for them to focus on each verse).

2.  “Read” time.  I’ve picked a book that cooresponds with the letter of the week(s).  Usually, it goes with the activity that we do for that day.

3.  “Activity” time.  These are short, sometimes crafts, sometimes “cooking”, sometimes crazy things to do.  I will hopefully post pictures as we work our way through these activities!

The additional items I mentioned (counting/colors/shapes, etc…) we’ll just do during the day, but not during this structured time.  I want this time to be short and sweet… just enough to get them used to it.

So, here’s week one/two:

August 24th –> September 4th  (Letter:A  ; Color for Eli: Red;  Placeholding for Rachel.  Week 2… add in shapes for Eli: square, circle, triangle.  Rachel can practice making them while he does recognition)

Day One: 

Bible Memory Verse

Read:  Alligator Baby by Robert Munsch

Activity:  Paint wooden letter A’s

Day Two:

Bible Memory Verse

Read: Ants in my Pants by Wendy Mould

Activity: make egg carton ants

Day Three: 

Bible memory verse

Read:  Apples, Apples!  by Salina Yoon

Activity:  Apple art (print making with cut apples & paint)

Day Four:

Bible memory verse

** play doh, fine-motor skills **

Day Five:

Bible memory verse

Read: Adam, Adam, What do you see by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson

Activity: decorate a paper letter A

Day Six:

Bible Memory Verse

Read: Amazing Airplanes by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker.  Also good:  The Noisy Airplane Ride by Mike Downs

Activity:  Make airplane collage.  Glue paper onto picture

Day Seven:

Bible memory verse

Read: Animal Sounds

Activity:  Match animal cracker shapes to outlines on a mat.  Bonus:  good snack!

Day Eight:

Bible memory verse

**play doh, make our own playdoh **

So, you can see it’s pretty basic.  The idea is that if we get all of them in, great… if we don’t, fine.  It’s repetition of the letter for all 8 days in the cycle.  If we’re out of town, we can do more or less one week or the other… the two-week cycle allows for so much more flexibility for us.

I’m going to go ahead and put down weeks 3 and 4 as well, even though I know this is a long post!  I’m not going to add, “Bible memory verse” to each day, just assume it’s there.

September 7th –> September 18th (Color: Blue, Letter: B, continue with shapes)

Day One:

Read: Brown Bear, Brown Bear… OR Baby Bear, Baby Bear… by Bill Martin and Eric Carle

Activity:  paint wooden letter B

Day Two:

Read: Butterfly, Butterfly by Petr Horacek

Activity:  make butterflies out of coffee filters/pipe cleaner/food coloring

Day Three:

Read:  Where is Baby’s Belly Button? / Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton

Activity: body painting (crazy, I know, but I think it will be fun!)

Day Four:

Read: “Blue” color book (series by A+ Books)

Activity:  “Blue Rainbow” color using only shades of blue crayons

Day Five:

Read:  The Button Box by Margarette S. Reid

Activity:  glue buttons onto paper letter B

Day Six: 

Read:  ???  Haven’t found one I like yet…

Activity:  make banana pudding

Day Seven

Read:  “Brown” color book (A+ Books)

Activity:  make “B” bracelets

Day Eight

Read:  Bubble Trouble by Margaret Mahy

Activity:  Bubble blowing

And… that’s it!

4 Comments on “lesson planning & brain storming”

  1. Oh Whit! That’s wonderful.. I may take your permission and use your ideas. I know this is kind of off-topic, but I read in a parenting magazine today that one mom uses egg cartons to put drops of paint in when her kids paint- that way she can throw the whole thing away when she’s done… I thought it would appeal to our “no mess” sides :). I can’t wait to see pictures of all your activities!

  2. The egg carton is a good idea! I’ve been saving yogurt cups diligently for a while to use for that, but they are big… egg cartons are much more manageable, size-wise.

  3. for your banana day,,, Chimp and Zee by Catherine and Laurence Anholt is good it is about two silly monkeys that eat all the bananas and then go to pick more with there mumkey…they hide and seek and end up getting carried off by elephants in a basket they are hiding in. at the end they are found and eat all the bananas their mumkey had picked…we own it so if you decide you want to use it, you can come by and get it. braxton really likes it, it has word repetition in it too.

  4. Pingback: Letter “A” kick-off day! « The Evolution of Me

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