Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Preschool for The Little Princess

I am so excited to bring you this post about what I am doing for school for The Little Princess. I had so many questions about it, so I know many of you are excited too. This post is going to be a bit long with a lot of information and links to other sites and blogs that I use. Please feel free to "pin" this post for reference later. By the way, you can follow my Pinterest board dedicated to "School for The Little Princess" here.

To start our mornings, we begin with circle time. Bubba usually joins us. During circle time, we sing our "Good Morning" song, "Months of the Year" song, and "Days of the Week" song. We then check the weather and fix our weather chart to match it. Next, we talk about what we learned yesterday, what our favorite thing we did yesterday was, and what our least favorite thing from yesterday was, and what we can do to make it better. Finally, we take some time to pray for a great day ahead of us.

The "Good Morning" song is something I remember from my childhood. I don't remember if it came from my parents or from school, but it has stuck with me thirty years later. Lucky for us, we have this thing called YouTube, where you can find almost anything. Sure enough I was able to find the song we sing here.

The "Months of the Year" song is sung to "Ten Little Indians."

January, February, March and April,
May, June, July, and August
September, October, November, December
Those are the months of the year.

The "Days of the Week" song is sung to "Oh, My Darling Clementine"

There are seven days, there are seven days, 
There are seven days in a week.
There are seven days, there are seven days,
There are seven days in a week.

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday, Saturday

We use this chart for the weather. I like this one the best because it also talks about the temperature. I printed it out and then faux laminated it and mounted it onto a piece of cardboard. Wait a minute, back up. Faux Lamination? What in the world is that? Well, my friends, that is when I cover what I need laminated in clear packing tape. It works amazingly well to help preserve something, and I don't have to go to a big box store to have something laminated. Necessity truly is the mother of invention!

Where were we before we got sidetracked? Ah yes, the weather chart. *Ahem. We use masking tape to move the arrows, though I have recently picked up some poster putty which I think I will switch to when the stickiness of the masking tape wears out.  We've gone a week so far using just the one piece, but I don't think it will last much longer. I think the Daleks favorite part of the day is going out onto the porch to feel the temperature.

When circle time is over, The Little Princess has a few minutes of play while I get Bubba started on his school work.

The curriculum I use for The Little Princess sounds very complicated, but I promise, it really isn't. It is a 26 week program and we only spend between 15 and 30 minutes on actual "school" time.  The basic behind the curriculum is from Brightly Beaming Resources Preparatory Curriculum and her learning book which will contain many of the crafts she will make.

First, I made this learning poster. It is a poster board which I added colored construction paper and labels to. I then faux laminated the whole thing so it will last the entire year.

It is titled "The Little Princess's Learning Poster." There are six areas we will be focusing on each week. Three on Monday. One on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Thursday, there is nothing new added to the poster.

On Monday, I introduce our theme for the week, our vocabulary word, and our Bible verse. On Tuesday, I introduce the letter. Wednesday is the number. Thursday, we don't add anything to the poster. (It's the lower case letter day, which was already added on Tuesday.) Friday, I introduce the shape or color we will be working with.  The pictures we put up remain until the new concept is introduced. For example, in the above poster, the number one will remain there until the following Wednesday when I introduce the number two.

The learning book is a one inch binder filled with page protectors. Admittedly, it should probably be at least an inch and a half or two inches. I think it will be too full by the end of the 26 weeks. It has four sections. One section for letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. I pre-cut construction paper to fit into the page protectors for the entire 26 weeks. I put her book in rainbow order leaving the section for colors white.

The week in a general over view looks like this.

On Monday, I introduce the most things to the learning poster the theme (which in the above picture is apples), the vocabulary word (orchard), and Bible verse. As we place things onto the poster we discuss them. In this case we talked about apples and how a bunch of apple trees is called an orchard. We then read a book (or two) on the theme. We also start to learn the Bible verse. I found a great free download over at I Can Teach  My Child of twenty six Bible verses beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Often I will put it to a song to help remember the verse. Finally, we do a craft based on the theme.

On Tuesday, we review what we learned on Monday and then I introduce the letter of the week. We talk about the letter and what it says. Next, I have The Little Princess paint (with watercolors) an outline of  both the upper and lower case letter. Later I cut out the letters and she glues them onto a piece of construction paper which is then added to her book. Next, we do a craft based on that letter, usually coinciding with the theme, which is also added to her book. Finally, we make a letter craft based on Totally Tots.

On Wednesday, we review what we've learned so far, then I introduce the number of the week. The Little Princess paints the number and it is added to her book just like the letters. We then do a number craft, also to be added to the book.

On Thursday, we review what we've learned so far, then the focus is on the lower case letter. We do the lower case craft based once again on Totally Tots.

On Friday, we review what we've learned so far, then I introduce either a shape or a color. On shape weeks, The Little Princess will paint the shape to be added to her book. We will then do a craft based on the shape. On color weeks, she finger paints with the color. We will also cut out pictures from magazines of things in that color to be added to her book.

At some point during the week, we will also have a special snack that starts with the same letter we are working on. Usually on Thursday, since it is the least intensive craft day.

It sounds like a lot, I know, but you can do it. I will be posting what we've done every week, including the recipes for the snacks we make. I will post what we did the first week of school tomorrow. Then, I expect to make the post every Monday. (Eeek! Accountability!)

Until next time!

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