This was our first day back into school since we took a Summer Break from Mid-August to Mid-October, and this is my first year to fully incorporate Baby K in the experience. With a 2-year-old and an ADD-riffic four-nager the challenge was definitely real today. Last night I looked over the agenda for today and thought perhaps it was too light, but from begging them to take their seat at circle time, to having to repeat instruction for each task at least twelve times, I was more than relieved I had chosen the lighter load for this week.
Adjusting back is difficult. There is no cure to being a toddler (and honestly why would you want it if there was). As a homeschool mom sometimes we just have to sit back and tell ourselves it is all okay, there is no real Pinterest and Instagram perfect. And when we want to cry or give up we have to remind ourselves that the structure will set in over time, and the days will gradually ease into our own little household rhythm.
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So let’s hop into our structure and curriculum for today:
- Identify numbers- up to 3
- Identifying Vowels
- Introducing Emotion Adjectives
After I read Happy Hippo Angry Duck I asked the girls to describe different emotions, and much to my surprise they recognized each and everyone on the flashcard. Where my stepson struggled through this lesson for three separate units, his sisters had seemed by some miracle to retain the information.
Not only was information retained but Lil A once again wowed me with her broad vocabulary. I was super impressed that A used terms such as frightening as opposed to scary and infuriated as opposed to angry. The feelings Thesaurus is an activity that my 4th-6th graders once found a challenge, and here was my daughter spouting off a variety of terms and she isn’t even capable of reading a Thesaurus. She takes after her mama, words are her superpower.
With Halloween coming up this week I decided it would be fun to make some monsters out of paper plates, glue, and just whatever we could dig out of the craft bucket. As an introductory lesson, I wanted the kids to explore with the ideas of faces. A wanted an excited monster while K wanted an angry duck monster. I cut a mouth and eyes out of construction paper for each and allowed them to glue them in whatever order, low and behold even K was able to place the eyes just above the mouth. The girls really enjoyed embracing not only the season but their creatures as well.
To the left is K’s “Angry Duck” and to the right is Lil’ A’s Excited. With completely zero assists on placement, I’m quite proud of my girls’ results.
Sitting in a circle we took some inspiration by Boynton and one by one got up acting out emotion as an animal.
- What does a cat say?
- What would a sad cat say?
- What does a dog say?
- What would an excited dog say?
This activity really engaged the girls, and I think really brought emotions full circle so that we can talk about manners of coping as the week goes on.
Montessori Activity: Puzzles
When shopping for homeschool supplies last week I just happened upon a cute little tin game with Thomas the Tank Engine. During quiet time activities A tried to match Thomas’s face and name his emotions to match the cards she flipped over. Meanwhile on her own K sat with a favorite puzzle of three bears where you choose their clothes and various facial expressions and place them accordingly.
A and I are reviewing the Vowels right now. Today we focused on the letter A. Letter “A” has a little sister “a” who loves to yell all the time “aaaaaahh!” Lil A related very much to her letter today and did a marvelous job of tracing and drawing the letter. Though by this time her focus was not all there, and she seemed to continue forgetting what we were there to talk about.
Me: What letter is this Lil A?
Her:….E…I…no…I don’t know.
Today was all about developing habits more than anything else so we started with a few activities revolving around the number 1. This is a number Lil A has mastered, in the line of numbers this is one of her favorite numbers, only coming in second to two because if you only have one cake pop, that is simply not enough for two sisters.
The easy day really built her confidence, kept her frustration level down, and ended with her remarkable writing of the word o-n-e on her first try!