Friday, November 18, 2016

Schoolwork

Martin is only three, which is too early for real schoolwork. However, I try to work learning activities into much of life. As we play outside we talk about the different trees and how the leaves change colors. We count the eggs that we find. The boys sort things as we play with them. They help me cook.  They play with bowls and cups and measure out pretend food. We count food as we eat it. When we read books we talk about the location of the book or different cars that we see. When a book mentions money we pull it out and I show them how different coins have different values (what does 50 cents look like in pennies, nickles, dimes, and quarters).  Recently, we started keeping a list of the animals that read about (Blueberries for Sal - Bear, Crow; Caps for Sale - monkeys; etc.). I am about to hang a map in the boys' room where we mark where each story takes place. 

We are a little math heavy. What do you expect from an engineer? But I do try to read at least 3 books a day, usually more (I'd say we hit 10-15 most days). We also talk about letters and the sounds they make as we read.  I found this great school curriculum that weaves learning activities into great children's books.  Here is a sample lesson that they provide.  It has inspired even more conversations and gives me more art and English ideas. It is kind of fun to read a book, purposely, every day for 5 days (or 8 days or 10 days...).  I am using both the Before Five in a Row and the Five in a Row books.  The Before ones are a little more basic, but they have great play activity ideas in the back.  I'll probably write more about them once we spend more time with them. 

Legos, Trios, Tinkertoys, and blocks can all be problem solving skills and basic math. Often we count the blocks or sort them in groups. Martin seems to like order and patterns, like me.  I think he is going to be my child that I relate to the most in schoolwork, but who knows, maybe I will have three little math brained children.  That would make my life easier. :)

(Big Ben by Jared - he is way better at building than I am)

We have a few mini Lego sets and Martin just loves putting them together over and over again. We pull them out once a week or so. He's learning how to follow instructions and match pictures and pieces. They also help build his little hand muscles. Mark down points for dexterity. Have you tried to put together the smallest Lego pieces?!?


While Martin works on something small, like Legos, I try to distract Warren. Today I asked him to carry all the reusable diapers from the drying rack to their room.  What would have taken me one trip took him about fifteen trips (and used up a lot of time).  I stuffed the diapers while he was running back and forth and then he put away the completed diapers.

Sometimes we let him help find pieces. He is getting really good at matching pieces to the pictures in the instructions. I am surprised how well he does. They both still need a little coaching and cheering. But we really like our Legos so far!!

And example of our "English" lesson.  B is for blueberries, bread, and butter.  See, I am very lazy on the whole English thing. I was just telling Jared how I don't really have any plans for English. It doesn't come naturally.  Math (and science) just work themselves into my every day conversations.  I have to work really hard at talking casually about letters and sounds and rules for reading.  Bleh. 

So, that is how we do "school" right now. 

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