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Back to Homeschool ~ Preschool Corner {&5K too}

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Preschool CornerSchool has officially started back up again for us and there has been minimal whining and complaining overall, so I’d consider that a pretty good success. This year promises to be a little more challenging for Kaleb academically, but he is rather excited that they involve some more 1:1 time with me in several subject areas.

Starting Our Day

Each morning, we all spend about an hour together working on our Mystery of History {Kaleb loves the go-along coloring pages} and also our Esther Bible Study from Esther Bible Study from Grapevine. This is the time that we also do our calendar and morning board together.

Handwriting Time

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Handwriting isn’t always the favorite in the house, so I’m really hoping that Handwriting Without Tears will be a different change for Kaleb. We’re trying some additional hands-on things this year in addition to paper and pencil – wikki sticks, salt boxes, small chalkboards…anything that will mix it up a little bit and encourage Kaleb in his writing.

Beginning Reading

Adventures in Reading with ZigZag Zebra-2

This year I have a handy bag with all we need for All About Reading.

Kaleb is anxious to work on All About Reading Level 1. We started back up with a quick review this week of the last few lessons we were working on and reviewing letter sounds. So far, so good! He is loving the supplemental file folder games from Adventures in Reading with Zigzag Zebra, that go along with All About Reading Level 1. They’ve added some fun review in as well.

Being a Scientist

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Kaleb examining the teeny tiny caterpillar that hatched overnight.

During our time with Science K from Nancy Larson Science, we are talking about how we are scientists. This has been even more fun because we have several different ‘creatures’ in our home at the moment ~ tadpoles that were caught in the creek and some monarch caterpillars. This is the sixth year we have watched the monarch process and it never grows old!

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Can you see the newly hatched caterpillar?

We found some milkweed that had eggs on the back of the leaves and brought them home. The next morning we found one of the eggs had hatched and there was a tiny little caterpillar that had joined the other three we had found.

The nine tadpoles have survived a week in our home and we’re really hoping they will do well. I finally broke down and bought them a permanent home so we can watch them grow and develop. With nine of them we should be able to see something, right? {this is me hoping we won’t kill them somehow}.

Calendar Notebook Time

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Don’t you love the plethora of stuffed animals watching? and the shaggy hair?

Although we have a large calendar and morning board that all of the kids do together each morning, Kaleb has his own special calendar notebook that I put together for him {see 1+1+1=1 for calendar notebook printables}. With the promise of a special party after the 100th day of school, he is rather excited to work on it each morning. Four days down so far…let’s see if the excitement continues the next 96 days {grins}.

So – our first week is done! We’re easing into everything and will add a bit more in next week once we start getting back into our routine.

Are you ready for school to start?? Link up below with your upcoming plans or what you’ve been doing this week!

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  • Looks like a great week! Man you have so many great critters at your house! I love that picture of Kaleb working on his notebook. I have been working on getting ours together as well! You know I love the long shaggy hair :-) He looks like a little surfer boy!

  • shaggy hair is gone tomorrow!! Off to JCPenney for the free haircuts!! :)

  • nicole pope

    We’ve been trying to get a caterpillar to turn into a butterfly but we always kill our caterpillars somehow. Just this week we caught one in the garden and, miracle of all miracles, we woke up today and found a chrysalis! SO MUCH EXCITEMENT!

  • We had monarchs last year for the first time. It’s AMAZING how fast they grow and how much milkweed they consume. The trick to keeping them alive, we were told, is to feed them the same variety of milkweed they were found on, so we kept running back to the park where we found them and bringing back fresh milkweed which we kept in water until it was needed.

    With tadpoles we found a really great site on the internet that told us about how to care for them (it’s been a few years, so I’m not sure which one that was now), but the best tip there was to feed them lettuce that had first been frozen to break down some of the material that is indigestible for them.

    All the best with your budding scientists!

  • We’re going to be starting Vol. 1 of MoH in a few weeks. I’ve already purchased the timeline figures from Homeschool in the Woods. I’m just wondering if you’re doing a timeline…and if you are could you post some pics please. I’m still trying to decide how to display our timeline or if I should put in in a binder like our Timetraveler units from HitW

  • AdenaF

    We start our school next week but it’s exciting to see what others are doing already. My youngest will be doing Kindergarten this year. I was at a farmer’s market this past week and saw a caterpillar on a fennel plant. I immediately recognized that it would turn into a Monarch. We’ve never had one of those before, usually swallowtails. I bought the plant WITH the caterpillar. After a lengthy discussion and the farmer realizing that I was homeschooling and wanted to use the caterpillar to learn about the life cycle of butterflies, he gave me two extra plants!! We’ve had “Johnny” for only 3 days and he has already doubled in size.

  • Still trying to decide the best way to do it. :) I have a poster that I’m planning on putting the key timeline pieces onto {and the ones from year 1} and then we also have index card books and also a book of time from Sonlight that I found…. I will share!! :)

  • The ones on fennel are usually swallowtails!! :) The monarch caterpillars are typically on milkweed. We have a friend who plants both around her house to attract the butterflies. We had a swallowtail one year and it is so different from a monarch – I just love how they look so similar as caterpillars, but have a different process.

    Jolanthe

  • We have lots of milkweek around us, which in years past has meant we typically bring home more eggs everytime we go gather more…and then have more caterpillars. The kids love it! :) We’ve never had a problem with them dying though, so that’s interesting. We’ve always gathered milkweed from anywhere we can find it and the only time we’ve had issues was when one hatched with a bent wing.

    And thanks for the tadpole tip!! :)

  • monarch or swallowtail?

  • I would love to see a really good picture of milkweed. I am struggling to find one. We found a monarch caterpillar and I killed during its spinning into a its cocoon (never shake the environment gently while anything is spinning) ahem anyway. I would like to try again. :-D

  • OK..never mind I just looked up milkweed on the web! Apparently their are a plethora since the last time I looked. Silly me.

  • no worries. The other way you know for sure is when you cut the plant off, it leaks a milky white substance.

  • Amanda B

    Wow, Jolanthe your plan looks fantastic! I am thrilled that he is so eager to get started! I will be starting homeschooling with my daughter for the first time in a couple of weeks and I hope that she is as eager as I am to get started. I do have a question that I wanted to pick your brain for words of wisdom. When you “start slow” how much time a day does he do? and do you start with only one subject for a few days and then add on? or do you do spelling, math ect. right from the get go. I am worried that I won’t be able to keep her focused for too long. We are doing AAR level 1, Math U See primer, and FIAR book 1. Any advice would be appreciated.

  • I hope y’all have a wonderful school year, Jolanthe! We had our first week this week too. That tiny caterpillar is amazing! Kaleb is just so big now and I love his hair. I don’t think it’s shaggy at all :-). It’s so light!

  • it’s so SHORT now too!! The kids all had haircuts today and then we went and took some pictures for the first week of school. :) Now he looks even MORE blonde!

  • For us starting slow is slowing adding in additional subjects. We started off this week with history time {daily}, math {daily}, reading {twice – once a lesson and once a game}, handwriting {twice}, Bible {twice}, language {once} and lots of reading together. Some of the subjects don’t take a long time {language} and otherwise are about 10 minutes a shot. We’ll add in things a bit more frequently as we go along. We did do some fun things to go along with BFIAR as well ~ but that just helped break up the day and add some additional fun adn hands-on stuff in. :) So tops, he’s been upstairs with us for about 2 hours, but there is plenty of ‘down time’ during that time where he is coloring, etc..

  • Alana

    I spy a 31 bag holding your AAR supplies! Where did you find the hanging file folder holder? I’ve been looking and can’t seem to find one small enough to fit in my bag.

  • That is an Iris Open Top File Box insert I found on Amazon: http://amzn.to/PNbttX – I actually bought a set of six of them and split it with a friend because it was cheaper {around $33 for 6}, so look around Amazon some. They are also available at the Container Store if you have one of them nearby! :)

  • Congrats on your first week back of school- looks like it went well! I like the 100 days of school party idea. I am also admiring the official “calendar/notebook” time. I have a 4 year old who is starting to really get into “calendars” and figuring out what day it is and what our plans are. I will be reading back through your archives to see what resources you might be using for that. Thanks for your blog- it’s quite helpful!


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