V is for Velcro

~Malachi is 4 1/2 years~
Bible: (Sing the Word From A-Z)
Vengeance is mine, I will repay,
Saith the LORD, saith the LORD.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourself,
But overcome evil with good.
Romans 12, 19 and 21.

Color: Violet

Go for the Code Activities:

Vocabulary words this lesson include vase, vegetables, vest, vine and violin. Mali plugged away nicely in this lesson and is working much quicker than he did when we started. He is also retaining what he is learning.

About Get Ready, Get Set, Go For the Code:
Following are some answers to questions that I have been asked regarding the Explode the Code Primers and the alphabet fun we have during our preschool time. 

These books are a primer designed to prepare your child for phonics. Books A, B, and C (Grades K–1) include instruction on letter formation, consonant sounds and concepts of print through visual, auditory, and kinesthetic activities.

This series is geared towards grades K-1, but I have used it with 2 of my boys now - each when they were 4. Each child has responded differently with the books. My first one did not like to do any of the writing and I didn't make him. His fine motor skills were still developing and it was more important for him to be able to express himself verbally at this age. Malachi likes to write, so he does all of the writing.

The books focus on lower case writing, but also teaches upper case letter recognition. This makes sense to me since most of the writing we do is in lower case letters. I do not focus on correct letter formation at this stage - just that he is exposed to how to write them. Right now I want him to have fun, recognize letters and learn their sounds. When he is 5, we will begin handwriting and learn correct formation of the letters (upon which we will use Getty-Dubay Italic Handwriting).

The activities we do are for reinforcement. This is where learning through play comes in. I try to include activities that are visual, kinesthetic and auditory to promote all the learning styles. I also talk to him throughout our day to reinforce what he is learning. My results of using this method worked for my now 9 year old when we began homeschooling him 5 years ago. We did so many pre-reading activities that he naturally taught himself to read at the age of 5, using a 1st grade reader*. And he is my best reader so far!

*We used Sonlight's I Can Read It series which correspond very closely with the Explode the Code books 1-3 and offer controlled-vocabulary stories that are engaging and fun!

Does Malachi retain all that he is learning? When we first began, he did great because he knew what I expected from him, but after a few letters he did get confused. He was fine with the letter we were working on, but he would guess during the review time. He was only 3 when we started (2 months shy of 4) so we had to take it very slow when we first started. I took 2-3 weeks per letter when we began. Now that we are towards the end of the primer series and 8 months later, Malachi is retaining all that he learns and is able to work through the lesson much quicker. Doing a letter a week is reasonable at this age (4 1/2).

Each child develops differently and I think it is important to not push them too much. We want to cultivate an attitude that learning is a joy. We do plan to move on and continue with the Explode the Code series. I plan to wait until Malachi is at least 5 or ready for K5, though.

One of my favorite sources for inspiration is Growing Up Reading: Learning to Read through Creative Play.

I love that this book will literally grow up with my little ones. It is a wonderful resource of pre-reading and pre-writing activities for early readers and also for your emerging readers (ages early months to 7 years).

Now, on to the rest of what we did this week!

Violet Velcro V
I gave Malachi a set of velcro strips and let him apply them to make a violet colored velcro V!

V Collage

For the V page in his scrapbook, Malachi made a collage with things that begin with the letter V. He used a die-cut letter V, V stickers, velcro dots and some lapbook printables from Homeschool Share.

Science: Vinegar and Baking Soda "Volcano"

Nathan initiated this activity with Malachi and demonstrated the classic reaction between vinegar and baking soda!

Vertical Nathan explained to Malachi what vertical means and how to draw vertical lines (which he already knew, but didn't know the name for it). We also explained the difference between vertical and horizontal. We used a football pass to help us remember horizontal. Then we know vertical is the other one!

We only have 3 letter left! Z, Q and X. (We may sneak another vowel in before we finish though!) To see what everyone else is doing in their preschool corner, please visit Homeschool Creations!


  1. I love this post! Lots of V stuff I've never thought of...


  2. Hi Michelle,

    Thank you for your visit to www.sunflowerschoolhouse.com. I was wondering if you just visited that list of blogs or if you made it to the actual Workbox Blogroll? The link to that is - http://sunflowerschoolhouse.com/workboxes/.

    Please let me know the link to the TOS Blog Crew when it is finished and I would be happy to have it added to the list.


    Thanks for visiting.

    I loved your post. That book looks really interesting.

  3. I'm sure he was loving that velcro V!! :) And the volcano. We'll have to do that again this go-round of the alphabet!


  4. Looks like everyone had fun. Love the Velcro and Volcano activities.

  5. That "Vv" is awesome!! I love it!

    Thanks for sharing the reading book too. I've looked at that one before and wondered if it would be one we'd like.

    You guys did sooooo much this past week!

  6. That looks like F.U.N - Dallas loved doing that....

  7. Great week and thanks for your reminder that learning should be fun. Sometimes I get carried away too much, I am afraid :)

  8. I love your explanation of the Code series. We use it as well with my 4 year old.
    What fun V activities, especially the volcano.