Friday, September 16, 2011

Pocket Chart in Action

So it was a while ago that I bought this awesome Pocket Chart at Michaels. We've been winging it with our subjects in mind for some time now. The other night, I finally put times on the cards and ordered them according to our usual day's progression.

First thing in the morning, breakfast and family prayer before Daddy goes to work

8:00am Scriptures: Yesterday we read chapter 12 in the New Testament Stories for Children and today we read chapter 13. That's the story of Jesus' first miracle (water to wine) and the story of Jesus cleansing the temple, respectively.

I found some amazing pictures to print out and laminate for next time we go over this story. That's the great thing about preschool. I'm making resources I'll use with all my children.

8:30am Writing: We used to print out writing practice pages for Gilgamesh, but he also wrote down his own words. He prefers to do this because writing between the lines isn't as fun for him. :) We're working on that. On a tiny note card, he wrote "I love you too so much."

Writing transitions nicely into...

9:15am Art: Yesterday Gilgamesh made up his own art project of tracing his hands, counting his fingers, and coloring the palms orange. He showed me his own palm and said, "My hand is orange." Today, he colored a page full of letters, following the instructions to color the A's orange and all the other letters black (except we used purple because we couldn't find black).

10:00am Math: We did Candy Factory, which introduces the concept of places, like the hundreds place, the tens place, and the ones place. When you count up to 9 by ones (candy canes), and try to add one more, they'll tell you it doesn't fit in the bucket and then wrap all ten candy canes with a ribbon. Then they'll try to fit the bunch into the tens bucket, where it fits nicely. Once he got 9 bunches of ten in the tens bucket, a new bucket was rolled out: the HUNDREDS bucket! After that, Gilgamesh had a blast adding candy canes until he reached 999. When he added that last candy cane to the ones bucket, we watched the candy canes bunch up, move over, bunch up again, and finally all ten bunches of 100 danced around with a giant 1000 and confetti. A very fun intro to high numbers and places. After that, I made up a quick page of random numbers like 537, 421, 201, etc. so we could practice saying them aloud. He wanted to say "five, three, seven." We worked on saying "five hundred thirty seven." He didn't master this concept today because this was just an intro, but I'm very glad we found such a fun way to practice.

11:00am Lunch

11:30am Naps

3:30pm Music: Baby Loves Jazz, Ella the Elephant Scats Like That book/CD, dancing with instruments, singing along

4:00pm Reading, Science, Social Studies: Right now, our reading overlaps with social studies and science since Gilgamesh is so interested in his body books and most of our Sonlight books include great examples of social studies, fables, and other countries. But yesterday we read A Pocket Guide to Rocks & Minerals.

page 46 has Malachite, a stunning picture of a rough green, crystalline stone that looks like this when polished:

Gilgamesh saw this and immediately wanted it. He lost some interest when I told him we weren't buying it. :) But we did learn that malachite was used from antiquity to about 1800 as a crucial element in green paint. It's also been used quite a bit in the jewelry trade, and you can find malachite boxes that are very beautiful (and expensive). It was extracted from King Solomon's Mines for over three thousand years. It isn't used in green paint anymore, but still very popular in jewelry and metaphysical healing. It's found in Russia's Ural mountains, Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Mexico, Australia, England, France, Israel, and the USA.

Then we cracked open Presidents and Prophets: The Story of America's Presidents and the LDS Church.

Presidents & Prophets. The Story of America's Presidents and the LDS Church

We read about James Monroe, who was the president from the time the prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. was eleven years old until he was nineteen. James Monroe died one year after the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Later prophets touted his Monroe Doctrine as a crucial pillar of keeping the young nation of America free from Europe's interference and allowing the young Church of Jesus Christ to be organized and (largely) protected. Even though there were mob persecutions later on, and the next president wasn't interested in going against Missouri's execution order for all Mormons (because he'd lose the Missouri vote), the Church was allowed to continue out West in spite of persecution because of the principles of freedom of religion then unique to America.

This was a great beginning for such a book, and I'm looking forward to the rest of it. It offers a unique view of Church history, one from the White House. :)

We also read a few stories from the Lion Bedtime Story Book, one about a famine-stricken land saved by a clever mouse who finds a store of wheat in an underground cellar, and one about a tiger who gets stuck trying to trick the rabbit in his own hidey-hole. Gotta love those simple stories and fables with a moral!

In between the schedule and the last evening item on the pocket chart is our memory scripture:

Gilgamesh has that down pat, including the reference. It's awesome.

And the last item is Kinect with Daddy, in the event that Daddy gets home at a decent time before bedtime and the boys have eaten dinner. Evenings are crazy at our house. (I'm sure we're not the only ones.) Last night, he didn't get to do this because we went out to eat instead, which was plenty of exercise (you try holding hands with a four-year-old and two-year-old across a busy parking lot). Hee hee. 

So it was a great day yesterday and today we're doing okay, too. We're actually having a bit of an attitude problem, but it's getting better. We said a prayer to help Mommy to have patience, and the boys to be obedient, and it's definitely getting better. 

Gilgamesh just got out the vacuum cleaner (the big one) and asked if it was time to clean the house yet. So here we go! I'm off to help Gilgamesh clean the house. (Yesterday both boys fought over helping me load the dishwasher.)

I love my family. I'm grateful for the ability to teach them at home. And the pocket chart is awesome. 

The end.

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