Luke started with BFIAR today

I have looked at and read through this program: Five In A Row  so many times in the past and just love the overall concept! As of today,  Luke is starting with Before Five a Row and Liam will try Five in a Row or perhaps Beyond Five in a Row depending on the concepts and lessons (I’m not sure at this point where to start with him) I plan to add additional activities into the Unit, however I think with Liam since I feel we’ve been all over the place this year, I’ll wait and fully decide what to do by September.  For now I will take what has already been planned for this year and squeeze the two together as possible.

Anyhow, this is a Unit study program, one book read for the whole week, with corresponding lessons! This seems to be the perfect package for me! What do we do when we get new books? read them over and over!! I have always loved a Unit Themed lesson from my days as a teacher in Early Childhood and everything I’ve learned through studying the Charlotte Mason method, I’m hopeful that I’ve found that perfect cozy, practical and engaging curriculum I’ve been struggling with this year.- That I’m thrilled to try this out!!I love the CM approach but I tend to get overwhelmed with so many books in front of me trying to cover all the topics, that I feel one book with corresponding lessons will not feel so daunting and “choppy” if you will.

I signed up for a membership and was allowed access to some samples called “fold and learn”.  I am going to use these and if all goes well (with my high hopes) I will then purchase the actual products.

So for today Luke kicked off his first lesson with the Goodnight Moon fold and learn. This is one of his and my favorite books of all time. The fold and learn can easily be made into a folder or box activity after the week is through for him to go back to at anytime as will fill it this week with the activities etc.  I read him the story this morning as he practically read it along with me 🙂 (see, repetition works! ) Great Cognitive learning!  As I read the story I asked him to find the language card that corresponded with the story. I then went through each one and we practiced rhyming words like clock and sock! Like I said I will add my own ideas and activities and we just happened to have a Goodnight Moon number matching game that we did this afternoon. New ImagegmNew Imagegmm





Looks like tomorrow we’ll be working on an art activity and some science too.  I already requested the book A Pair of Red Clogs for Liam for next week from the library since I had already planned on teaching him about the Eastern Hemisphere in Geography.  This story has a fold and learn to go with it, so we’ll just add it or replace it with some things I had previously planned. I’m thinking/hoping he will enjoy this type of lessons. Units can be so fun and you can really get in depth with a subject they truly find interesting!

If anyone reads this that has previous experience with this program I’d love to hear any comments you have!

A nice surprise for a Tuesday…

Both boys were quick to get dressed this morning and to my surprise each apparently had their own agenda for the day. As I came into the living room Luke asked me to get the map from downstairs. I asked him if he was going to build his track and take a trip through the country and he yells, great idea mom! haha! I was only joking but that’s what he did! I figure if nothing else it’s exposure to the U.S. map and he loves to look at maps anyhow, so he’s having a grand ol’ time! Lots of imagination and taking to himself out loud as he incorporates the airplanes and tractor for the attached farm.

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Meanwhile as I help him set up his tracks I notice Liam’s not around and it’s quiet…..I find him in his room listening to the rest of the book on tape he started yesterday! He loves the story and was thrilled when he realized there are three separate stories within the bundle. I have to admit the stories are pretty funny, lots of humor based on a child who’s solving mysteries around town like his idol Sherlock Holmes.train 003train 006

I had a few things planned and normally I don’t write posts on days where I have to go into work later, but given the circumstances, they’re happy and engaged so what I have planned will wait. I am a firm believer that when you follow the child’s interest and just give a little input they learn and internalize so much more than any activity that is forced under protest 😉

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Once Luke is done, we’ll listen to The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We read this book often and found the audio version at the library yesterday. He listened to it before bed last night, then pretty much re-told me the entire story in his own words. (fairly close to the original wording)  Love to see his progress!

Liam’s going to do a few Christmas math worksheets and watch a video he found about the Arctic Penguins at the library yesterday.  He just came out of his room, and was laughing to himself about the story and then narrated the whole ending to me. Sounds like he’s making some personal progress too, his narrations have become very thorough and smooth in comparison to a few months ago when we first started the method of narration!

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I hope this rhythm continues for awhile as my plan is to take it easy with fun and educational activities for the month of December as a special holiday treat.

Preschool Play with Math and Language

  Living Math is a great introduction to the world of math and mathematical concepts. I find the younger years so easy to incorporate those skills, but we’re doing great using Living Math for my older son as well.-Ideas and books are listed under the Living Math tab.

In the preschool years most of the math is actually done through play.  Counting, stacking, sorting, and balancing, patterns and matching are all fun activities that develop mathematical reasoning.  Several times over the last couple of days, my two year old has been busy with math and language skills! I have math mats that I have printed out with various “counters.”  He loves the glass mancala beads and matches up the number dots with his counters. I count aloud as he places down each bead, and more times than not, he will repeat.

After he had filled all the cards, he dumped out the entire jar, filled with beads and buttons, etc.! But, it gave me the next math idea…. I spy game! I took out a big piece of contact paper and poured them all on top (just to keep them still) and then said “I spy three green buttons, can you find them?” We counted them out together. And so on… pointing out colors, shapes and sizes.

I spy one large white button with a hole in the middle!

This morning I pulled out a file folder game made with number cards from the dollar store. Easy math match game! Contact numbers 1 to 10, and let him match the numbers! Again, I say the numbers out loud for repetition!

Early Language and Literacy games:

Well, even though the previous were math games, literacy is involved through speech and general conversation! However, with a bit more structure and focus on pre-literacy- I am continuing to introduce letters to him each week. The letter A is still fun for him and empowering him at the moment, since he can now recognize and say A is for Apple with a proud look.  Today I printed out cards Aa and we played hide and seek with the letter Aa. I hid them all around the living room and he was thrilled to go looking for them. I repeatedly (on purpose) yelled A! Where are you?

A great site for early language is Starfall– fun, interactive and focuses on phonics.