Language Lessons for Little Ones {4K Curriculum}

5/29/2011
Eliana and I have been using Language Lessons for Little Ones (Volume 1) for preschool (4K). We are about 8 weeks into the curriculum, so I thought I would share how LL is working for us! 

Language Lessons for Little Ones is "an informal introduction to language arts with a Charlotte Mason flavor for preschool students." 

The lessons, designed to inspire a love of learning while learning important skills for a 3-5 year old, are gentle and focus on:
  • picture study and narration
  • observing and thinking skills
  • poetry appreciation
  • creative expression
  • copy-work
  • identifying the letters of the alphabet
  • vocabulary
  • story appreciation
Our first lesson was a Picture Study and Narration of a painting called "Blackberry Picking." 


I asked Elli to study the painting and answer a few questions about what she sees. I love how the questions attempt to relate the picture to the child's real life experiences. For example, "Have you ever gone berry picking? What kind of berries did you pick?" We talked about when we picked chokecherries and the strawberries she has picked from our garden. 

In lesson 2, the child is asked more about what the child knows and what she thinks.  "What are they going to do next?" Elli answered that they were going to "go home and make blackberry pie." 

In lessons 11-13, I read a poem called, "Fuzzy Wuzzy, Creepy Crawly," and asked narration questions about the poem.


I write her response right in the book. Sometimes when I ask her a question, she asks to draw a picture. When I asked if she had ever seen a caterpillar's cocoon, she wanted to draw a cocoon.

And she drew a picture of a caterpillar and a butterfly for lesson 13. . .  


 and asked to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Then we had a review of the letters she has learned (Aa and Bb) and learned a new letter (Cc). I pulled out our quilted rag letters for her to use because she does not like to write yet. 


I have her trace the letter with her finger and then write one letter per line. 



Malachi is learning to alphabetize in All About Spelling Level 1, so I did an impromptu alphabetizing activity with Eliana with  letters a-g. . . she did great! 


The lessons are designed to be done once a day, but it is very easy to do several in one sitting. Last week, we completed lessons 22-25 in two days and our lessons focused on fireflies. 


Eliana has never seen a firefly (nor have I!), so after we looked at some photographs of fireflies, she drew this picture:


and wrote a short story about a firefly that went like this:

Silly Fireflies

A silly firefly flies up to the sky and it says, "Silly, nilly, willy, billy." 

I would have loved for her to catch one! Instead, I was inspired by a handprint firefly craft to do an art project.

Handprint Firefly (Lightening Bug)

{We used sponges for the body and glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint
and handprint stamping for the wings.}
I later added a verse to the top: "Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness. . ." Psalm 112:4

In my researching, I discovered that a lightening bug, or firefly, is neither a bug or a fly, but rather a beetle. Interesting creatures.

Since she has never seen one, this activity was to help reinforce that a firefly lights up (hence the glow-in-the-dark paint). After holding it to the light for one minute, it glows in the dark.

So, Eliana and I are wondering. . . do you call it a firefly or a lightening bug and does this vary by location?

One day this week, lesson 34 asked, "Have you ever helped with baking in the kitchen? [yes] If so, what did you bake? [cookies] Who helped you? [Dylan] Tell about how you did it. [put ingredients in a bowl - stir it up] Then she drew a picture of a food she would like to bake - and eat. [She drew a picture of her and I baking and a plateful of cookies - strawberry cookies.]

So for Homemaking, we decided to make strawberry jam prints with a yummy whipped butter cookie recipe.



Melt in your mouth goodness:


{Whipped Strawberry Thumbprint Butter Cookies}

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
Whip until soft and fluffy {about 10 minutes}
Drop by the spoonful onto baking sheet
Make thumbprint and fill with strawberry jam
Baked at 350 for 15 minutes


This has just been a little peek into how Language Lessons for Little Ones works for us! 

HSV Garden Challenge #3

5/26/2011

A month ago. 
Today. 
It is hard to tell in this picture, but the morning glories I started are growing up the tomatoes two trays down. Something else I did not expect ~ my tomatoes are vining. They will need to be trellised rather than caged.  I was so surprised to see them growing along the top of the tray.

I also didn't expect to have any green in my garden. (Didn't this time last year).

Our Peter Rabbit garden box ~ radish, turnip, carrot, and swiss chard sprouts in the back row.
Lettuce and peas in the front.  I have some cabbage starts to put out too. 


I made the holes with a pencil, then let them drop the seeds in and cover them up. 

I planted 2- 4x4 boxes of bare root strawberry plants that are peeking out. . . 


another 100 onion sets since my last update


Onions planted last month.
[Note wood in background.] New wood for new space: 1'4" x 25' along the south side of the garden fence.  

I have a pile of bamboo garden stakes to build a tomato trellis. I also thought to make a bamboo teepee and grow a green beens up it for the little ones. 

I've been snipping these for soups:

Chives. 

Lovin' the rain we've been getting. Kids have been playing in puddles and even harvesting rain water for the garden ~ with anything they can find. 





The rain has brought unusual moisture to our back yard and along with it some new critters. Nathan found one this under a rock.


After all this rain, I'm ready for some sunshiny weather. I think my garden is too.

Our {B4FI♥AR} Lap Journal

5/23/2011
For Heather. =)

Our finished Before Five in a Row Lap Journal:


17 "Rows" of Memories


The lap journal is: a lapbook, a scrapbook, and a portfolio ~ a record of our learning time together. 


A peek inside:






Sharing a journal works for us so I have only one lap journal for Mali and Elli. I let them choose which activities they want to do and encourage other activities based on their age and ability. 

I usually only print one lapbook, but do print extra pages for some activities they both can use. For example, I only printed one box of crayons in the above picture. Mali colored the cover and Elli colored the crayons inside (I color too!).  For mini-books that require glueing, I have one child place them in the correct spot, then take them off and have the next child glue them in the correct spot. If it a personalized mini-book, like the "My Name" book above, I will print two.  Often I will print activities (such as a preschool pack for Elli) and it is just for her. If Mali is interested, I will use sheet protectors so they both can do an activity. 

I write the child's name on the bottom with their age so I don't forget who did what! 

What we used to make the lap journal:
  • Binder (we use a 3 inch binder ~ buy the locking kind!)
  • Colored cardstock and printer paper
  • Heavy weight sheet protectors (can use lightweight for notebooking pages)
  • Rubber cement (cleans up nicely ~ be sure to let it completely dry before putting the page in the sheet protector as it bubbles the plastic if you don't!)
  • Vis-a-Vis Wet Erase Markers (to reuse printables)
  • scissors, crayons, color pencils, etc. 
What goes inside:
  • A color photo copy of the book we rowed (this is a great visual aid to help the children remember the books!)
  • Lapbooks lapbooked on 8.5 x11 cardstock
  • Notebooking pages
  • Narration and Illustrations
  • Copywork
  • Printable activities (Tot packs, Preschool Packs, etc.)
  • File folder games (just trim the ends so they will fit in the sheet protectors)
  • Collages
  • Artwork
  • Photos
  • Lesson planning sheets
  • Anything you can fit! 
How to store the journal:
  • Store upright just like a scrapbook
  • Keep where the child can see it
  • Encourage them to look through it!
We've started a new journal for Five in a Row. . .  I'm hoping to fit volumes 1 and 2 in one 3-inch binder. :D 

Fun Things to do With Before Five in a Row

5/21/2011

I have been reflecting on our Before Five in a Row experience and pondering what I want to carry over into our new journey with Five in a Row. To do this, I decided to highlight some of our favorite things we have done with B4FIAR. 
Learning Together With Five in a Row ~ how I organized and prepared.

(Links below pictures are to blog posts about the book we rowed.)

Fun Things to do With Before Five in a Row:

Read the Story

Read the story often and let your children supply missing words and finish sentences. Talk about what you see in the illustrations and what is happening in the book. Relate the story to real life experiences. Delight in the story with your child. 

Reading The Runaway Bunny

Create a Memory ~ Do Something Special 
A bouquet with a red balloon . . . 
and a bowl full of mush for Good Night Moon
Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? Picnic 

Make a Special Lunch

Mock-Tuna Schooners for My Blue Boat
Make a Special Treat
Moon Cheese Snack for Good Night Moon

Monkey Pops for Caps for Sale


Let Your Little Ones Cook Something
Making Thick, Oozy, Chocolate {Mud} Pudding for  We're Going on a Bear Hunt
Go on a Field Trip


Trolly ride for The Big Green Pocketbook
A walk in the snow like Peter in The Snowy Day.

Do a Hands on Activity
Yellow ball prints for Yellow Ball
Encourage Pretend Play

Being a puppy for Angus Lost
Create An Art Project
Painting clouds for I Am an Artist ~ Clouds

Make a Lap Book 
Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?
Do a Printable Activity 
If ~Then for The Runaway Bunny
Do a Note-booking Page
Learning About Feelings With Corduroy

Make a Collage 
Fruits or Vegetables? Collage for The Carrot Seed

Make a Sensory Tub 
Edible Cloud Formations for I Am an Artist
Grow Something
Growing bean seeds for The Carrot Seed. We also grew carrots! 

Catch Something
Catching frogs at the pond for Play With Me
Raise an Animal Friend
We raised a Peking duck for The Story About Ping

Visit an Animal Friend

Visiting a bunny friend for The ABC Bunny

Offer "Go-Along" Books


Do a Narration and Illustration
Using Draw-Write-Now to illustrate his Katy-No-Pocket narration. 
Texture painting for Blueberries for Sal narration.
Use the Before Five in a Row manual and the story itself as a source of inspiration, and with all your doing, remember to: Take Photos and Document the Memories You Make!

Now that we've rowed a few books, I have a good idea what things we hope to do with each Five in a Row book we row!

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