Tag Archiv: fine motor

Getting Our Toes Wet with Butterfly Theme Week

I wasn’t planning on starting to “officially homeschool” until this autumn. In fact, I had already taken out the time to lay out our entire year’s curriculum goals, plan weekly themes, and start to gather lessons to go along with those weekly themes. The schedule I came up with allowed for much flexibility but was still a comprehensive guideline for LittleMan’s first year of “on the books” education. My goal was (and still is) to have the entire year’s worth of school work planned, printed, laminated, and otherwise prepped as best as possible before the first day of school.

I was doing small daily lessons with him to teach him (and review with him) the very basics. Things I’d be doing even if I was preparing to send him to a public or private school.
I did not plan to start doing more formal lessons nor did I plan to start doing theme weeks until this autumn. But, truth be told, without structure LittleMan’s attitude takes a turn for the worse. A couple hours of school work 4 days a week has made him so much better behaved, so much more focused and calm in his day to day life. (more…)

Rainbow Fabric Scrap Toy

As I mentioned yesterday, I made a new toy for SunnyGirl and I was anxious to see how she liked it. Now, I’ll admit she didn’t play with it but a few quick moments yesterday and that was only to humor me. This morning after breakfast she seemed far more keen to use it. These pictures however are from yesterday.

Not so long ago, I made SunnyGirl this birthday dress:
Pecan Sandies Rainbow Patchwork Dress knock-off from Suzy Homeschooler (more…)

Child-led Experiences

It is hard for me to let go of “control” (or whatever false sense of control I think I have). I spent my formative years in a public school system that failed to assign any sort of child-led or independent research until the upper highschool grades, at which point most of the students struggled because we were so used to being spoon-fed information, opinions, and the like. I was told how to act, how to think, how to feel. My interests and ideas nor the interests and ideas of my classmates was never really of much importance, and now as a parent I realize how much I *don’t* want any of that for my children. Still I struggle. I struggle to make sure that they feel supported to explore the world around them on their terms. I struggle to stand back and say nothing when I really want to call their attention away from whatever they are exploring to point out something I think would be more interesting. Who am I to tell them what is interesting? Only they can decide that.

Today I opened myself up to seeing the world from my children’s perspective and had a truly wonderful afternoon of child-led experiences in our own front yard. (more…)

Rainbow Ball Drop

Last week I was at Dollar Tree brainstorming ideas to teach SunnyGirl about colors and further LittleMan’s literacy work when I noticed a plastic storage container which was somewhat oblong and had a lid for pouring. I believe these containers are usually used for storing dry cereal.

When I saw this, I was immediately drawn to it, but I wasn’t 100% sure what I was going to do with it. I just knew it had potential. So I bought one, brought it home, and pondered on it for a day.

Then I discovered that the hole for pouring was the *perfect size* for some of our ball pit balls to easily be dropped in and then poured out. (The balls that fit so well are Playhut brand, in case anyone is curious. The other brands we had handy can be pushed in but are too big to pour out.)

Rainbow Ball Drop from Suzy Homeschooler (more…)

A Sensory-Small World Play Area That Stands The Test Of Time

My children have 2 sensory bins which we change out the contents of about 2-3 times a month. Because the contents are ever rotating, this keeps them interested and I don’t feel the need to invest any money towards the bins, simply using items that are readily available around our home.
This past Christmas, I put together an extra-special sensory bin for LittleMan. 3 times the size of his usual sensory bins and with pricey licensed character figurines, this bin was meant to be a longer-lasting fixture in our home.
Marvel Superhero Sensory Bin from Suzy Homeschooler (more…)

The Flaw in “Letter of the Week” and Why I Did Letter Themed Activities Anyway

I used to do “letter of the week” style drills with LittleMan. I would direct his attention to that letter, read him stories about that letter, have him trace that letter, talk about objects which names started with that letter, etc.. But I found that it didn’t work.
The majority of the time LittleMan seemed to forget whatever letter we were discussing by the time we moved on to the next letter. And even when he didn’t forget the letter, he never really seemed to grasp what it was. C is for cat, d is for dog; to him these were nonsensical statements, abstract ideas which he was unable to wrap his head around. (more…)

25 Fruit Loop Activities

Last week our family did our first grocery trip of our no spend month and we had all agreed that we would only buy what was on the list, so I made sure to put a couple small treats that we don’t normally get on the list. The first of those treats was a box of generic Fruit Loops.
I am all about stretching a dollar and I couldn’t help but wonder, “how much could we do with a single box of generic Fruit Loop cereal?”
We had a ton of fun answering that question!
Here’s what we came up with…

25 Ways to Play and Learn with Fruit Loops

(more…)

25 Box Lessons for Preschoolers

In my previous post , I mentioned my box system for completing lessons with my son. Its quite simple actually, I simply have velcro numbers which attach to the side of each box and as my son completes the lesson in the box, he removes the velcro number and adheres it to a chart on the wall.  I have 10 boxes however I don’t actually need 10, I just like to have more than I need. Usually we do 4-6 boxes a day, each box takes no less than 5 minutes to complete, no more than 20. Some boxes he can complete on his own, giving me time to tend to SunnyGirl, other boxes require my participation. The following is a compiled list of examples, lessons I have used in our box system.

25 Box Lessons for Preschoolers from Suzy Homeschooler (1) (more…)