Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A is for Apple

This week marks the first full week of my pre-homeschooling Noah.  I have struggled with what to even call it, because obviously he is too young for traditional school, but he is to the point of loving more structured play and games. 

We began last week with calendar, stories and games.  I am keeping it simple and only working with Noah for as long as he is interested in the activities I have planned.  I have been pleasantly surprised with how much he seems to look forward to these times, and with how he is always excited whenever I say, "Noah, should we go downstairs and play some games?" 

"Okay!"  (For some reason this is how he always answers when we ask him if he wants to do something.  We're working on a more polite version, but this is so cute I'm not trying too hard.)

We are beginning with the classic preschool first theme of Apples, and doing apple crafts, counting apples and most of all-- eating apples.  There have been several activities that just haven't happened, either because of Noah's 2 year old attention span, or because he happens to be teething and just wants a, "Cu-ddle," which is the main thing he needs at his age. 

Typically we do an extremely simple calendar, where he puts the number on the calendar, we sing the days of the week, a few other songs and read a few stories.  Then we play a few games which transitions into working in the rest of the room. 

One of Noah's favorite activities is looking in his nature bowl.  We put things that he has collected on recent walks in the bowl along with some magnifying glasses and a couple paint brush.  You wouldn't believe how dirty those stones seem to be and how much cleaning they need.  :)  I will be occasionally adding water to this to add another sensory element and let him brush the rocks, twigs etc. and notice the changes in color and feel. 

One word of caution-- be sure that the acorns, rocks etc. have no bugs or other things growing on them or you could have quite a mess.  Sadly in a few short weeks we will not have to worry as much as temperatures drop and the world outside begins to hibernate.  A nature table or bowl is a great way to avoid having anything hatch in your little one's room and confine the collecting to a reasonable amount.  As a child I was always known for gathering a bit too many rocks and things from the outdoors.  I soon had to keep my collection under the deck of my parent's home, where many of my former treasures remain to this day.

For out thematic elements we are using some of the thematic elements from Totally Tots as well as their simple verse and printables for this theme.  Obviously, Noah is too young for verse memorization on a meaningful level, but I believe in introducing the Word of God at an early age and hiding it in his heart for as long as he can remember. 

For the simple thematic art project pictured below I simply gave Noah a paper plate with an uppercase A printed on the back.  Then I gave him glue, paper to rip, and as many other red art supplies as I could get my hands on and let him glue and create.  Admittedly, I did guide him with the pipe cleaner stem and leaf, but I work really hard to let him enjoy the process of creation without putting my idea of what he should create. 


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