Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Servant's Heart Academy: Week 1: Sept. 19-23

When a friend at church sent me a link to a preschool co-op she was starting, my first thought was, "Is Madeleine preschool age?" I wasn't really sure when you might send a child to preschool. Then I started thinking that if I waited until next year, she would be 3.2 years old. I still didn't know if that would be a good age to start, so I just figured...she's able to start now with directed activities and focused play. And, the wonder of homeschooling means that we can start in late September, because I was not ready to tackle preschool any sooner- it just still felt like summer. It was the week when the weather cooled down that I felt the coming on of playful doing.
Roughly, we're doing 26 weeks focusing on a letter. The activities are simple and fun and we do our school Monday through Friday during Grace's nap. 
We started with the basic skill of using a glue stick to make an A that also looked like an Alligator.
Thankfully, we started school on the first day of Tim's four day off, so he took pictures, was a super-cheerleader in getting Madeleine excited, and helped do the activities with us. 
Here is Madeleine showing Tim her "excited for school" face:
 Placing alligator teeth, we talked about shapes (she knows the basics) and counted the teeth (easy-peasy stuff).

 Dada read the Berenstein Bears' "A" book while I prepped the next task:
 After the book, we made two little people from toliet paper rolls. We made our cousin Abigail and our uncle Alex. She colored them and we talked about what they should wear and why. The next day we started with American flag. We went outside and looked at our flag counting the stripes and asking her to identify the colors. Tim and I led her in the pledge and she repeated the whole thing. In order to make our flag, we had to see which color was on top and how the flags lined up in the field, so we made sure to replicate it as best we could.

 I thought I had foil stars somewhere, but I did not, so we put that assignment aside and focused on making a stenciled Ape.

 Since the paints were out, we decided to try stamping apples on to a tree, but it didn't work out as well as I'd hoped. Oh well, she still had fun.
 The next day, we packed up everyone and headed to Los Rios Ranchos for the Little Seedlings tour. We had a great time tasting apples and hearing all about hybrids and planting and even got a visit from Johnny Appleseed:
 We got to roam the animal area for a long time (which my kids LOVE!). Miss Tanya introduced us to a bunny named Oreo, two week old and younger chicks, goats, sheep and a llama. Madeleine has only really done goats and deer and chickens, so the llama and sheep were new.
 G-money fell in love with the goats. Should have known since she regularly smothers the cats and dogs at our house.
 Madeleine loved Ranger, a sweet billy who loved to be scratched:

 After our tasting and animal tour, we had a big picnic lunch on the lawn and then enjoyed some apple cider and apple-raisin bread in the general store. It was a great trip. Thank you to everyone who came and helped make it a success; I appreciate it. The next day was Thursday, and I allowed CBS to be pre-school. I just used the coloring sheet and the bible verse to talk over dinner and ask her how the day went. She's one of the older kids in the class and I'm thankful that she is helpful, polite and loving toward her sister. On Friday, we decided to FINALLY use a gift that I had been saving for just the right time. We had received animal cracker cookie cut-outs and Williams-Sonoma animal cookie dough from my friend at Bird in the Hand. We whipped up some Animal cookies.
 First, we combined the ingredients, then we talked about separating the dough in half. We talked about 100% and 50%. Madeleine said that half was for her and half was for Gracie. Then, we had to let the dough chill for 2 hours, so we finished our flag.

 Later that afternoon, we rolled out the dough and started cutting the shapes. These cutters are adorable. I don't have a picture of one, but there is a giraffe shape in addition to the elephant, tiger, seal, and lion featured below.

After cutting the cookies out, we had to chill them for another 30 minutes and then bake them for 16. Thankfully, Nani was here to help distract from all the waiting, but I think it is good for her to learn that everything has a process and that process can take time. We can't rush through the steps (though we had a little difficulty with it during our "B" bread baking...more later).
 Finally enjoying a cookie:
So, thank you McGaughs for the gift- we really enjoyed it!
Love, Lauren

1 comment:

Charlotte Mathis said...

Wonderful Lauren! I am so glad you are home schooling. The pictures and narrative are great!