Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Preschool - Creation Week 2

Ironic, I know. Taking two weeks to cover creation says nothing of my personal beliefs re: a literal 7-day creation, don't worry, Dad. Although I will say teaching something to someone else, even a preschooler, definitely makes you think through information you have heard your entire life under new light. Josh and I have had some fun creation-related conversations lately.

Ella is really loving school - which makes it so much fun to do. In general, I'm aiming to do two mornings a week for a few hours - about 30 minutes while Evie crawls around chewing of everything, and then the rest while Evie takes her morning nap. However, Ella asks to do school at least 4 times a day, so sometimes we do a little adhoc activity.

So - most importantly - the memory verse. Obvious choice: Genesis 1:1

Sorry, I don't remember where I got this image, but it was a free image off Google if that helps you find again.

I continued to use the flannel graph-looking story aids from Keeping Life Creative - Ella loves them. 

 We did a little over the weekend on Day 3 of creation - plants. 

Last week we went to our friends, Collin & Leah, house and they let Ella harvest some beans and seeds from their garden. So we planted our little seeds - and I'm seriously hoping that these little guys sprout at least something. She is so excited and waters them diligently every day.

Day 5 - fish
Sorting Big F and little f. Nemo is a personal favorite of Ella's so this was a great activity for her.
snack of goldfish and Swedish fish.
I found these awesome window clings at the dollar store. Ella loves figuring out which letter came next and adding it to the window. Also - I learned that a narwhal is a real animal.
A few books we read. The first is basically "The 3 little pigs" and this was my first time reading "One fish, two fish..." Ella was thoroughly confused by the strange creatures, and honestly I didn't love. Teacher fail.

Day 5 - Birds. 
She sorted through her Little People animals and picked out all of  the birds.

Glue stick at home - oh my! Ella normally only uses glue at the library...because why make a mess at home? But she loved this - must have the purple glue sticks though! :) 
Day 6 - animals.

size sequencing. Resource from CreativePreschoolResources.com
animal puzzles from the Zoo Tot Pack from 3dinosaurs.com

animal matching - found this at a yardsale - already laminated - for 25 cents!!!

 Graphing with an animal die. This was definitely a challenging concept, so we will continue to work on it. I turned it into snack time, so she had to graph all the goldfish before she could eat them, so that might have added to the confusion. This is also from the Zoo Tot Pack at 3dinosaurs.com - part 6 of the pack if you want to download.

animal flashcards.
 I started doing this shape tracing activity with her during the summer - love my laminator - and she has improved so much. Below, her tracing isn't great but the next picture shows how well she is doing. It's a small victory - but definitely keeps me motivated that she is learning and improving.

Not a great picture, but you can see how well she actually did tracing the shapes with the pink marker.
coloring with markers - oh the joy!
 A little chalk review of creation.

Here are the books that I used for creation.  I recommend the 2 on the bottom most.

And for animals specifically. Ella loves the Animal Encyclopedia and it's cool to show her how many types of one animal there are. She normally gets confused if we see a different variety of monkey, but seeing them all together made sense to her; we just talked about God's creativity making them look special.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Preschool - Creation week 1

This week and next week we are studying creation. Our memory verse is Genesis 1:1. At first Ella was a little resistant to repeating the verse after me; not quite sure if she was just confused as to what I wanted from her or if she just had an oh-so-loveable 3 year old independent streak! However, I'm writing this on Saturday and this morning she was asking to do the verse and saying it all on her own. She was shy for the camera, but I'll get a good version to share soon.

Here are a few of our activities.

Playing "Let there be light" ... Basically Christian Red-Light-Green-Light. I found the pictures, and the rest of the flannel graph-looking images at Keeping Life Creative. She has designed various cute resources to accompany Bible stories. They are truly adorable.

Organizing our day 4 "star numbers" - I found this resource at Christian Preschool Printables.  I like that this goes to 24, and they actually provide a page with the star graphic in the stars without the numbers if you wanted to keep going; for us right now, 24 is high enough. Since she can identify written numbers up to 40, I was honestly surprised at how much of a challenge this was for her, but I think the numbers being able to rotate and be upside down is harder than I thought. For example: she easily confuses 21 with 12 if its upside down when she finds it. [I did add the line under the 6 and the 9 before I laminated, and recommend the same to you.]

Days of creation numbers. Again, found at Christian Preschool Printables. This site has a ton of other great resources, I recommend a stop to check it out and get familiar.

Sorting our glass beads by color. 

We added some water to the glass beads and talked about the separation of the waters from the waters. She definitely got the concept! (wink)

Rolling our day 6 animal dice and graphing the results with day 5 fish. This game is pulled from the Tot Pack on 3 Dinosaurs site - which has a ton of fun resources. We use most of the other elements from this Tot Pack as well, so you will see 3 Dinosaurs praised throughout our homeschool year.

Working on patterns with day 5 owls and day 3 acorns. I'm totally in love with this resource - Ella loves it and I just think it is too cute. I found at a yardsale for a preschool teacher who was changing to another grade - it was such a blessing to find all her awesome resources.

Phonics practice with our "Banana Grams" sister game "Pairs in Pears"

Friday, September 11, 2015

First Day of School - 2015

We begin our first official day of preschool on Tuesday September 8th.  Let the homeschooling fun begin!

Ella is 2.75 years old right now (I know this is a ridiculous statement, but for the preschool conversation 2 and 2.75 are really different). And I realize she is really young, and playing is extremely important for kids, so I'm not starting preschool early to push the educational aspects, more to learn more excite learning in Ella.

My primary goal this year is to work on:
- memory verse work for the Bible stories I've selected
- following instructions
- increased attention span

Because our main concern is hiding God's Word in her heart the "curriculum" I put together is all Bible-based. I've borrowed a few things from Pinterest and created a few of my own as well. I'm working to figure out how to share some of my resources with you all - in the event that anyone cares. :)

So, anyways - let's get to the pictures!

my teacher supplies

Got up extra early for a longer time in the Word before we started the year. I like Psalm 76:1 "In Judah God is known; his name is great in Israel." My prayer for this home is that "In the Gillespie home God is known; his name is great in our home."

She picked out her outfit the night before. [I gave her two options and she went with this]

She was still smiling after Daddy got home from work - a win in my book! 

Evelyn's Allergy Testing

In August we had Evie tested for various common allergies because both Josh and Ella have allergies, making Evie much more likely to have allergies. Apparently it is now recommended for children to be introduced to higher allergen food earlier rather than later as previously advised, but I'm not expert!

Luckily we didn't have to do blood testing for this stage and "just" did the scratch test for peanuts, eggs, casing, milk, tree nuts, wheat, and mold. Evie did fabulous and didn't cry until after the 6th scratch.

Praise the Lord! She did not test allergic to anything! So now we work to integrate those foods into her diet to help her body learn to process them so they don't become allergens to her system in the future. Yum, peanut butter!

Shout out to my sweet friend Barbara Anne for offering to watch Ella. It made the appointment much less stressful to be able to just focus on sweet Evie. Grateful for awesome friends from our church. 

The really large spot on the bottom left is her positive test.

She didn't want any of the toys I brought for her after she spotted the blood pressure cuffs. 

Happy to be going home!