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Monday, October 24, 2011

The week of the Apple, part one

It's been over a month since I've blogged about our home school, and for that I apologize. However, we have been staying busy, learning lots of things about fall, fruits, animals, and baking, and I can't wait to share all our pictures with you.

The second week in september we focused on Apples -- this was by far my favorite lesson for the month. We started day one with a little bean bag toss. A couple months ago I found some apple fabric at one of our local craft stores and grabbed a bundle of it. I sewed some little pouches and, being the good southerner I am, stuffed a bunch of red beans I had laying around inside. VoilĂ  - apple bean bags! I lined up a couple hula hoops my mother-in-law had given us and we had a fun 15 minutes to start the week off with! The kids had a lot of fun tossing - all the while learing about the "force" of a throw and doing a little adding and counting, as well. Learning can be fun! (:

Circle time for the week started with an outline of an apple, and 5 blank letter spaces. I love starting the week off like this because it spurs immediate interaction and thinking. We start with introducing the theme for the week - and then we sound out the word. I say the word over and over slowing it down each time, and by the fifth or so time they are able to shout out the letters. My second child is actually doing far better than my first one did with letter sounds (at that age), and I, for one, am super impressed with how well he is able to match letters to letter sounds so early. Anyway - we write the letters to the word out, and then we - together - color the object. The kids love doing this with me, I assume because they like feeling like they are apart of the 'lecture,' - which is another reason I LOVE home school so much. It's such a smaller ratio and the kids are able to get more hands on interaction with things (and me). The next thing we do is talk about basic properties of our word. In the case of the apple, we talked about apple colors, where the grow, who can eat them (people/certain animals), the fact that it's a fruit (because it grows above ground), and the shape. I try to let them lead this conversation as much as possible, only giving them clues if they get a little lost (what shape is the object? who eats it? where does it grow? etc.).

The other thing I introduced to circle time this week was the felt apple in pieces. The kids LOVED this. We talked about the different layers of the apple, and examined them. They learned the words for each layer, the use for that particular layer (the stem connects the apple to the tree, the skin protects the inside, the seeds help make new apples, etc), and they were so excited to use their new vocabulary words when we cut into real apples later in the week.

Okay I have to pause for a moment and stress again just how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE watching these kids learn. It is so exciting as a "teacher" and amazing as a parent to see them learn new concepts and use them in their daily life. You can tell how excited they are to know new information and use it practically. They are excited to tell people what they know and what they've learned, and it's two fold for me as the mom/teacher, as I feel so PROUD of them for learning and retaining, and I feel so proud of myself to have taught them these things they are learning. Ah! I love it.

Okay, moving along...

I'm going to end this post with our math lessons this week. I had a lot of fun and I think they did as well. for the first lesson, we borrowed the numbers & word numbers I had made for a project last week, and some plastic apples from our Hi-ho cherry game, and worked on some counting and word  recognizing skills. With Brody, I had him use the numbers and count out apple into each muffin. Though he can count to ten verbally, we are still working on counting out objects. The little apples severed another purpose, as I had them in a small container and his little fingers had to pick them out - fine motor skills at it's best (I love incorporating multiple skills into one lesson). With my oldest, I used the word numbers (I just placed them over the other set in case she needed help) and let her count them out that way.

On the second worksheet they had to color apples according to the word that was written on the apple. For example, four apples had the word "a" written in them (and those apples should be colored yellow), four apples had the word "that" written in them (and those were to be colored green), and so on. For my younger one, I changed the words inside the apples to "mom," "dad," "Brody" (his name), and "Abigail" (his sisters name). I made them count and color. The third page is pretty self-explanatory, as it's a dot-to-dot, which my daughter specifically asked to have at home school.

With my daughter we are working on pencil grip and staying inside the lines while coloring, as well as word recognition/matching. With my son, though I say we are working the same things, I take what I get. I understand that some concepts are going to be above him, and there is a learning curve between the two so I don't push anything that causes frustration that I know is above his age level. With that said, I do think it's important to introduce these concepts - I don't believe in "it's too early" on learning. (:


  1. Who knew there was so much to an apple! :) Looks great!