Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Favorites of Sonlight P4/5 Core #1

First up today, I woke to find the boys had already been at their toys under Dad's watch. Gilgamesh had put together his I-Spy Puzzle, and we spent some time searching for the border objects inside the house. He gets so excited when he finds something before I do. 
Gilgamesh took this picture. (He loves digital photography.)

Writing practice: started with Bake, Shut, Wait, (code words from a Leapfrog video) and rhymed words. Cake, Make, Take, Rake, Sake, Shake, Bait, Hut, Nut, But, and later, unrelated, Tent. He wrote all of these words in pencil.

Then he built words with foam letters on his own, mostly the word 'play.' He also (for fun) wrote the entire alphabet on a sheet of paper... twice.

He drew this picture of a clock tower, which I thought was pretty good. It's inspired by the Super Readers (Super Why) episode about the Eraser who went around erasing things like the clock, which people need to know what time it is. Eventually, he sees the error of his ways and only erases mistakes. Often, Gilgamesh will draw a picture of a clock and then either erase it or cross it out to re-enact the show. He'll say, "Oh no! The Eraser erased it!"

Together we sang the My Dad song using this cute printable flip chart.

We talked about honesty per the song's lyrics: "He teaches me that honesty is best in all I do."

And we went over Genesis 1:1, our memory verse.

Then it was on to the books! 

We first copied some pages from and read A Treasury of Mother Goose RhymesWillie Winkie, Dapple Gray, Pat-a-Cake, Little Miss Muffet. They colored the copied pages while I read the rhymes and we talked about how 'wee' means small to the Irish, how 'mire' is the same as 'mud' and how upset Miss Muffet was when she saw that spider.
A Treasury of Mother Goose
Review: I love A Treasury of Mother Goose Rhymes! Each rhyme has illustrations. Most are black and white, but every few pages, they're in full color. The black and white ones are perfect for copying into coloring pages, and the full color ones are fun to look at. The rhymes include pretty much ALL of the ones I remember from my childhood, and some I'd never heard or didn't know entirely. It's a great collection for anyone who plans to read aloud, with her children on her lap or next to her. 

Once the coloring was done, we pretended to be horses like Dapple Gray and (following the Sonlight instructor guide) we gave rides to our stuffed animals. The kids loved being horses and even did a horse race from one door to another.

We took a break from reading to sing The Farmer in the Dell, dancing in a circle and then switching directions with every new addition to the party. They love Ring Around the Rosies, so this was like that times ten.

Eric Carle's Animals Animals
Review: Animals Animals is a delightful collection of Eric Carle's trademark collage artwork depicting all kinds of animals and insects with poems by different authors in the corners of each page. I highly recommend this for teaching both art appreciation and poetry appreciation. Plus, of course, it presents an opportunity to study different creatures, and often inspires more art. For instance, when we read about the peacock, Gilgamesh wanted to draw a peacock. When we read about the platypus, he drew a platypus in a nest just like we'd seen in the youtube video afterward. This book is basically what you make of it, but the art and poetry are above par.

We read Flying Squirrel and then looked up videos on youtube of a flying squirrel in action! 

We learned they are nocturnal and can fly 150 feet from a 50 foot perch. (3 horizontal feet per 1 vertical foot)

Uncle Wiggly's Story Book: Uncle Wiggly and the Poor Dog

Review: Uncle Wiggly's Story Book is... unique. It's not one of my favorites because the style of writing is 1) archaic and 2) informal. The result is an abundance of sentences that don't read well for modern readers. I'll give you an example: 
Oh, he was dreadfully poor, was that dog! 
"That isn't anything," sadly said the bunny rabbit gentleman. The turning around of 'said' and 'sadly' throws me every time. My only other complaint is probably not a fair one, but the stories just don't hold my kids' interest. And I do voices! Maybe it's just that the stories are a little too long or maybe it's the old fashioned language and the lack of brightly colored pictures, but this is not one the boys look forward to. The stories do all have important morals, which makes this one worthwhile. It's just not mind-blowing-ly awesome. If you love old children's books, then you'll appreciate this one more than I have.

We read the last bit of the Almanac, which covers Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Harvest, and Christmas, and then went into the Nature Guide portion, which starts the pages over at 1. The portion of the Nature Guide we read was all about what Nature is and how we use our five senses to experience it. Gilgamesh loves this book!
The Berenstain Bears' Big Book of Science and Nature

Review: The Berenstain Bears' Big Book of Science and Nature is fabulous fun and information all at once! It's like a rhyming, illustrated calendar for the first 64 pages (the Almanac) and then it's a rhyming Nature and Science book for the rest. There's a Nature Walk and a Science Fair, all with the lovable characters my son already knew from a Berenstain Bears video. The illustrations are busy and informative, including things animals really do in nature and ways the bear children can interact with their surroundings. The Nature Walk begins with Papa Bear getting caught in a spider's web just after he told the kids to pay attention to everything around them. Any book that gets my four-year-old son excited about reading and learning is a great book! Put this on your shelf! You won't regret it.

After reading this, we hurried to get dressed for a big shopping night in preparation for a family reunion this Labor Day weekend. Tomorrow, we plan to do more of the Sonlight-suggested activities that go along with the Berenstain Bears' book, including leaf rubbings, calendar creation, and painting the moon in its different phases. We'll also have a couple more Sonlight books to review tomorrow. 

Aside from the usual daily counting, we did no special math today. 

Oh, and my sister passed along a fabulous toddler exercise for learning colors:

You get a bag of colored M&Ms and tell the child if they guess the color right, they get to eat it. If they guess wrong, Mommy (or Daddy) gets to eat it. Ah, candy... the ultimate motivational force. I plan to try this with Alastor soon. He's just begun parroting more, so it might be a little early yet. 

Hope you found something useful among these resources. Holler if you've read any of these books with your kids.

1 comment:

  1. I'm considering sonlight p4 for my kids, so I borrowed some of the books. Uncle Wigglys was both my and the kids least fav too! They loved all the book we borrowed from p4 and a, except that one. Thanks for your book reviews!