Monday, September 29, 2008

The ABC's of Preschool

It probably seems like my little one's get left out a lot, when in fact we have been very busy with reading lots of books and learning how to count, recognizing our colors, and learning our ABC's. We have also been on field trips to the farmer's market, the library, the fire station, and Shakey's Pizza to learn and make our own pizzas. But even if we do periodically focus on the older two the younger ones are always listening and learning too.

When I first decided to homeschool last year, my older two were given the opportunity to go to Texas to stay with my sister for the summer. This is something they really needed and deserved. They got the chance to step out of their role as older brother and sister, and were allowed to just be kids and have fun.

While this was happening, I took the opportunity to focus on my little ones; fearing that when the older two got back they would be neglected. So this summer, me, the little ones, and Grammee did a thematic study on farms. We read books like The Ox-Cart Manand Stories from Treasured Tales from Beatrix Potter, and we read nursery rhymes(ALL HIGHLY RECOMMENDED). We sang songs like "Old MacDonald". I had a puzzle of a farm and all the animals in groups from one to ten. For example: one cow, two chickens, three mice, ect. And we put that together counting and making the noises of all the animals. We also discussed all the different jobs and purposes of all the animals on a farm. We did an art project making a picture of a barn yard out of beans and macaroni. After we read Beatrix Potter, we got clay out and made turtles, frogs, and other things that went along with the stories.

For food we picked blackberries from our own back yard, we made homemade bread, and we made our own butter. *This is actually very simple, you get small containers like baby food jars, buy some heavy whipping cream, add a little salt, and then shake, shake, shake, shake,shake..........until it turns into butter!!!* This was a lot of fun, plus it tasted SOOOO GOOD on our warm homemade bread! You could even drizzle some honey over it and talk about bees and the job they do. If you look at things creatively enough, every situation can turn into a moment to teach. We also made some homemade ice cream. Delicious! Ok so we used an electric ice cream maker, but it's still considered homemade in my book after all we did add all the ingredients ourselves. :-) And the kiddos thought it was cool.

I really wanted to visit a working farm, but at the time I didn't know where one was. So we settled for visiting the local farmers market and talked about how farmers plant, grow and harvest food so that we can have good food to eat. This too was a lot of fun.

Next year I plan on having a garden so that we can carry this theme even farther. I imagine that planting our own garden will be very rewarding and exciting for our family. Hope this is helpful for someone.

Love, Haben


Jessica said...

We like to find u-pick farms. They let you come with the kids and pick your own of whatever they have. Don't know if there are any there though. I'll send you the website that helps you find them if I can remember it.

Sunshine said...

I love the homemade bread and butter! My dd5 is going to make the bread and butter for our family for Thanksgiving this year. She is very excited! (We were doing an Evan Moor literature pocket on The Little Red Hen and she got to try making bread. She loved it and wants to make homemade bread all the time!) Do you have a good wheat bread recipe?!