Monday – our first official day of school! We started off by doing our ‘main letter page’. I just let him color a capital and lowercase letter A and I told him the letter sounds as he did so. I was so proud of him because this is the first time he’s EVER made an effort to stay within the lines while coloring. He really did try to ‘write’ the letter A. He was very focused!
After that we did “Find the apples”. Here I told him the circle the apples he could find. This was also the very first time he was told to circle something and I think he did a great job! He loves using the markers.
We also worked on some Fruit Vocabulary. I asked him to color the fruit when I told him and listed different ones off. Considering some of the fruit listed he has NEVER seen before, he did a great job. We only struggled with pineapple, peach, pear, melon, and strangely enough, strawberry. I’m not really sure why for the last one unless he was just trying to be silly by that point.
Next was our color apples. I thought he would have some problems with this because earlier he seemed to have ‘forgotten’ all his colors that I thought he knew. But when I pulled out the sheet and asked him to color the apple with the word Red, red, he reached right for the red marker. We had to do a mixture of markers and crayons for this one but he got most of the colors right all by himself. Yellow, gray, white, and black were the only ones I saw that we really had to work on.
Lastly, we did a sequencing puzzle. I lined up the numbers 1, 2, and 3 and told him to put the pictures in order underneath them. The first picture was the apple with no bites, then the one with one bite, and last was the one that was completely eaten. He did great with that with my verbal ques and had no problems putting them in order. He did all my activities so quickly it took less then 10 minutes to get all of this done. He just wanted to zoom through it all. He was so excited to finally start school. Afterwards we had free play, just the two of us while baby sister was still sleeping. I pulled out the fresh play dough we made and he now thinks of play dough as something we’ll do every time we do school. He loves to make things with the play dough and today we made cookies to ‘eat’.
Tuesday – Day two! We pulled out the dot paint markers we bought after seeing them on the Tot school blog. We didn’t have a red dot marker which I didn’t realize until this morning so we just substituted for green. He loved this and was so excited to be painting without using a paint brush or getting his hands dirty. Malcolm really hates dirty hands 🙂
Next we worked on our apple puzzle. He was a little bored of this and blew through it really fast. I don’t think he liked calling it a puzzle since it didn’t have a traditional puzzle shape which he LOVES to do. But, he did it for me anyway and we talked about top, middle, bottom and the letters A that were printed on the apple.
This is where we ran into problems. Shapes were next on our agenda. This was one of my favorite print outs from the Tot school blog. It had different shapes printed with apples inside of each one. The concept was to color the shape that I called out. He did really well with Heart, Star, and Crescent (Moon). And that was it. I thought he knew more shapes then this but he just really struggled and resorted to random guesses. I’m glad we did it though so now I know we really need to start working on shapes a little more together.
We did some shadow matching which he blew through without any problems. I’m not sure we’ll do this as a regular thing for school past this week just because he was SO fast with it. It wasn’t a challenge at all for him and he didn’t seem that involved with it.
That ended what I had planned normally for this day except, I decided to add one last spur of the moment activity after I discovered our little shape problem. So, I drew a big circle on a piece of paper and collected various circles and spheres from around the house. I showed him the circle on the paper and labeled it for him and then showed him what I had collected and how they looked just like the drawing. He really liked holding the various items up to it to see what was bigger and smaller. And he did not like that I called the spherical items a circle (apple and lemon). He’s got great spacial skills and I just had to laugh at that. He showed me!
This was probably the longest activity we have ever done with school and I’m trying to think how I can repeat this with other shapes. After we went over all our objects, he then decided it would be a lot of fun to stack them all up. I’m so glad I found something that held his attention school wise for more then the 2 minutes it takes to do and it was a great reminder for me that I need to do things besides just worksheets for him! He is a very hands on boy, that’s just how he learns and worksheets just won’t give me the same results or enthusiasm.
Wednesday – Today wasn’t a normal school day. Both kids had doctor appointments today. While there we received news about a family member in the ICU that left the adults in the family very out of sorts and stressed out. Malcolm ended up needing to get a shot as well even though we didn’t think he did so he was angry about that and limping around all day afterwards. Baby sister ended up with 3 shots and later in the day was really fussy and just miserable. And to top it all off, when we were driving home from the doctor, the garage door wouldn’t open. I bought new batteries for the opener and it still didn’t work. We somehow managed to get into the house (front door was dead bolted!) only to find out the power was off because of some scheduled repair. At the end of the day it just made me very grateful we didn’t have any planned school for this day.
Since I knew Malcolm was getting the short end of the stick this day and we just didn’t have the same patience with him we normally do, I decided to do our ‘school’ art project. I cut an apple in half and we did apple stamping. Or at least, that was the plan. My little guy decided he liked just painting with the apple instead so it just ended up as a big red smudge, but he had a lot of fun doing it. After the apple painting project we did free painting with funny textured brushes so he got to play a long time with this and helped relax the atmosphere.
Thursday – Things were still unknown about our family but I decided school must go on! So we pulled out our dot markers again and Malcolm got to dot paint all the letter A’s he could find. I was so proud of him, he did every capital A on the paper. I had to point out to him that the lowercase a’s were still A’s so he then dotted the whole thing happily.
To help with some of his fine motor skills we practiced drawing lines from the capital A to the lowercase a on the next worksheet. I think he did really well with it, especially since I’ve never asked him to do anything like that before!
He liked the dot painting so much I decided to pull out another worksheet. This one was a little more challenging. It had a lot of different letters on it and I told him to dot paint only the A’s. He didn’t seem to really understand this and struggled with it and I ended up pointing out the A’s to him on the page. I’m not sure if this is because he’s not recognizing the letter A, or if finding it out of a lot of different letters is just to hard for him right now but I think this is something I’ll keep working on since besides the shapes, its one of the few things he actually had trouble with.
Another fine motor skill activity, we worked on an apple lacing card. I just printed it on card stock and, since I don’t even have a single hole punch, I ‘punched’ the holes out using a sharp pair of scissors. We worked on lacing cards a lot over the summer so he didn’t really need help from me at all for this. He really liked doing it though and worked on it for awhile. He was really concentrating too so I think this is something else we’ll have to keep in the mix for awhile. He was a little upset when his string wasn’t quite long enough to fit through the very last hole.
Next was our number activity. Malcolm can count to 3 without any problems but just stops there. So we are going in small steps and just working our way up to counting to 5 first. I cut out these number cards from card stock and placed them in order on the table. We had a pile of pasta (for our next and last project) so I had him put pasta on each card matching the number written and I did the first one for him. He did so well with this! He even counted them as he placed them down for #2 and 3. For 4 he just placed them down but was very deliberate. 5 was where he just grabbed a handful and put them on without counting. Guess he thinks it’s just a really big number.
Which brings us to our last project. I printed up a very large letter A. I’m not even sure now what font and size I printed it on. I covered the entire A in glue and let Malcolm put pasta all over it. It’s our Pasta A 🙂 He really liked doing this. I think he liked the glue and it actually stuck really well because it’s hanging up on our fridge right now and no pasta has fallen off yet!
This finished up our planned school for the week.
Friday! So this was supposed to be our errands day so I planned on going to the library every Friday to pick up books for the following week and return our old ones. But, it turns out the library is closed on Fridays so we drove all that way for nothing. It was also our playgroup time with my Mom’s group but I went at the wrong time so we got to go to the playground twice today. Malcolm really enjoyed that but I’m not sure baby sister had as much fun.
Overall I think our first week went really well. We did a lot of music, play dough, puzzles, painting, and chalk that I didn’t mention since that’s part of our normal playtime. So I’ll wrap this up with some pictures of baby sister from the week! Who doesn’t love baby pictures, right?