Thursday, August 25, 2011

Knightly Preschool - August 2011

There's always drawing and writing to be done. Gilgamesh eats these things for breakfast.

Some folks are just starting school today, but since we aren't really of age for all that, we do year-round school with a super loose schedule. We're partway through the Sonlight curriculum for P4/5, which Gilgamesh* loves.

But he also loves's More section, which deserves a large portion of the credit for his early reading skills. Another big helper has been Leapfrog's video series on math and reading (The Tag electronic pen reading system has also helped a little).

Gilgamesh has really blown me away by how quickly he went from memorizing sight words to singing the phonics rules (when two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking) to reading blends like 'st' and 'tr' on his own. Most recently, he's shown an increased interest in punctuation. He likes to guess which letters dropped out of a contraction to be replaced by the apostrophe.

Yep. That's my kid. A geek like me. :)

Today I utilized a brand new website I found called Homeschool Share. I went to Level 1 Unit Studies and picked one about Brown Bear, Brown Bear, one of my favorite picture books by Eric Carle. We didn't follow all the suggestions, but I had fun last night cutting out the colorful animals, attaching them to felt, and sharing them with the kids today. Alastor*, especially, loved putting the felt-backed animals on the flannel board as I read the story.

We also did the...

Music & Fingerplays

1. Teddy Bear Action Song:
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn around
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear touch the ground
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear tie your shoe
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear that will do.

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, go upstairs
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, brush your hair
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn off the light
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say goodnight!

2. Cave Finger Play
Here is a cave (bend fingers on one hand)
Inside is a bear (put thumb inside fingers)
Now he comes out
To get some fresh air. (pop out thumb)
He stays out all summer
In sunshine and heat.
He hunts in the forest
For berries to eat. (move thumb in a circle)
When snow starts to fall
He hurries inside
His warm little cave
And there he will hide (put thumb inside fingers)
Snow covers the cave
Like a fluffy white rug
Inside the bear sleeps
All cozy and snug (place one hand over the other)

We looked at pictures of real bears and talked about what bears eat, how big and strong they are, and how they hibernate in the winter. Later we made a bar graph of the different types of teddy bears in my kids' bedroom zoo:
Math-wise, we also swatted (regular fly swatter) laminated numbered bugs for a basic homemade addition game. He sorted the bulletin board bugs into families and counted how many there were of each.

We did edible subtraction with raisins. He likes subtracting by one and counting again. :) Repeat until full.

Yesterday for Math, we played Store with play money after Gilgamesh up and decided he wanted to 'make money' like Daddy. (In case anybody was wondering, this is what I mean by self-directed learning.) I ordered a money/change game called Buy It Right with realistic-looking dollars and coins that teaches kids ages 5+ to count change that should get here in a few days. It may be a bit advanced for him now, but while he's showing an interest, I want to capitalize on the eager attention. And Dad and I will help him until he gets the hang of it.

For Alastor yesterday, we went through's free alphabet series that tells what sounds the letters make in a fun, flash setting. He also watched a time-lapse video of a yellow dandelion going to seed and becoming a wish flower. (I love that one.)

And of course, we read books together on the couch and in bed before naptime (current favorites are I LOVE YOU THROUGH AND THROUGH and GOING ON A BEAR HUNT). 

We also listened to this for our daily scripture study. I love the children's voices on this audio, especially during the Q&A that follows the story. There are songs before, during, and after, to help keep kids' attention.

If we do anything else today, it'll be the tracing, drawing worksheets Gilgamesh has been doing all year. Mostly, though, I think they want to play with their tents and 'go camping' in the living room. (Or watch Darkwing Duck.)

I'm off to finish dinner and take a shower before the missionaries arrive. Hope they like Beef and Barley crockpot stew. :)

p.s. THIS is on my want list. Got that, Santa?

*Gilgamesh is the 4-year-old and Alastor is the 2-year-old. Knight names, not real names.


  1. I love! Thanks for telling me about the Buy it Right game. Caleb will love that. Not too long ago I got a pocket chart from Target's dollar aisle. Now I'm wishing I bought more.

  2. Starfall is the best! How do you use your pocket chart? There seem to be a lot of variations and purposes. And a dollar! That's a steal! Thanks for stopping by. I'm on my way to your blog to check up on Caleb. I bet he's grown up a lot since I last saw pictures.