Topic: Newsletters and Journal
Our first two weeks of school! Summer 2008 -Newsletter 1
The kids and I started our school year at the end of July, as we will be taking a month off when the baby is born. We have had a lot of fun so far. Here is what we have been up to:
Journals: We keep journal binders of the kids’ writing progress.
Week 1 (5 journals): Strawberry taste test (applied 5 senses), Ice Cream taste test (applied 5 senses), Lemons taste test (applied 5 senses and compared to limes), Coconut taste test (applied 5 senses and liked or disliked it because…), “Our day at the Beach…”,
Week 2 (4 journals): “Our favorite family vacation…” (Kate answered Germany, Dom answered Loch Ness, Grant answered Italy-each drew a picture and Kate wrote “Germany”; “If I were a frog I could…If I were a fish I could…But I am glad I am me because…” (we discussed animals we would encounter while camping, swimming or picnicking-hence the animal choices in the journal); “Summer Sunshine” (journaled favorite thing to do in summer and Kate had to see what words she could make out of the letters in: ‘Summer Sunshine’-she came up with 10); “To go on a picnic I would need to pack…If I were camping I would bring…Animals I may see while camping are…”
*When we journal, Kate writes her own words, invented or phonetic spelling is allowed (free writing), Dom dictates to me as I write for him, then I make him copy one or two of the words off to the side, they both illustrate what they wrote most journals. We keep our journals in a binder so we can see our writing progress over time.
Books: “Gregory the Terrible Eater”, “On Our Way to the Beach”, “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom”, “Arthur’s Family Vacation”, “One Hundred Hungry Ants”. “I Like Bugs”, “Summertime in the Big Woods”, Read aloud- “Meet Molly” from “American Girls” series
*When I say “read aloud”, I mean a book that the kids just listen to me read to them, mostly chapter books with no pictures. Read alouds are purposely a few levels above the kids’ reading level, as children can comprehend books about 3 levels higher than they can read themselves. SO, since Kate reads at a first grade level (6 years old), I am reading her a book for grade level 3 or 4-“Meet Molly” from the “American Girls” series. It is about a little girl living in the 1940’s.
Outside: Playground twice a week (Mondays and Tuesdays)
Fun with other kids: Kids’ Church on Sundays (while Dave and I are in Church, the kids go to “Kids’ Church”- “Kids in Divine Service”. They sing songs, learn a Bible lesson, do a craft and earn “Kids’ Cash” if they bring their Bible, etc.)
Lunches (lessons on nutrition): We are teaching the kids about nutrition informally, so at most meals, we ask which food groups they have on their plates.
Basic skills work: Kate works in a workbook working on alphabetical order, dictionary skills and also works in a workbook where she has to read a 17 page (approx.) story and at the back of the book/workbook answers comprehension questions about the story); Dom works in two workbooks-one on letters and one on numbers-just learning the basics of which is which and how to write them; Grant is working in a workbook on colors and shapes.
Themes: Week 1-Letters, summer fun foods, our five senses
Week 2-Summer! (family vacation, picnics, camping, beach, swimming)
Each week at a glance (we do 4 day weeks):
Week 1- Theme: Letters, summer fun foods, our five senses
We read: “Gregory, the Terrible Eater”, did a Strawberry taste test (applied 5 senses and journaled), kids did basic skills books (Grant, shapes; Dom, letters and numbers; Kate, Dictionary skills and reading with comp. questions), we made cookies, iced them and topped with candy letters after we spelled our names with the letters, wrote letters in whip cream (put whip cream on a plate and used our fingers to write), Dom and Grant counted beans into an egg carton while Kate and I played her homemade memory game!
Ice cream taste test (applied 5 senses and journaled), kids did basic skills workbooks, did a craft project, we read, “On Our Way to the Beach” and made sand pudding (vanilla pudding with crushed graham crackers on top).
We read, “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom”, did a Coconut taste test (journaled) and graphed who liked it and didn’t (also tested almond joy and snowballs-talked about what was made with coconut-shredded, coconut extract-tried to crack a real coconut); sang song
We did a Lemon taste test (journaled), lemon and lime compare and contrast (Venn diagram), listened to “Lemonade Girl” on Starfall.com, did Free reading (Dom-“Nessie” and drew a picture of a sea monster, Grant-Sea Animals), read aloud-“Meet Molly” from the “American Girls” series, read “On Our Way to the Beach”, journaled Our Day at the Beach and ate sand pudding (vanilla pud. with crushed graham crackers).
Week 2- Theme: Summer (picnics, camping, family vacations, beach, swimming)
We are starting each day this week by identifying our month and day of the week. We check out the calendar on Starfall.com. We read “Arthur’s Family Vacation”, brainstormed what we like to do in summer (vacation, camp, picnic, swim, beach) and read about the season of summer. The kids then journaled about their favorite family vacation (Kate answered Germany, Dom answered Loch Ness, Grant answered Italy-each drew a picture and Kate wrote “Germany”), then we played beach ball bingo (letters then numbers) by putting the letters on our bingo cards and using little paper beach balls as our markers-I called out the letter and the kids had to cover it on their boards (Dom is REALLY learning his letters this way)-then we did the same with numbers.
We read, “Summertime in the Big Woods”, the kids journaled about summer animals-“If I were a frog I could…If I were a fish I could…But I am glad I am me because…” ; made letters from playdough, kids did basic skills-Kate basic skills-money review and –an and –at word families, Grant shapes, colors; we ended the day by playing beach ball toss with our alphabet and numbers. I threw it to Kate and she said, “A”, she threw it to Dom and he said, “B”, he threw it to Grant…etc., etc. Then we did the same with numbers 1-10.
We read, “One Hundred Hungry Ants”, we made letters in playdough and journaled “Summer Sunshine” - favorite thing to do in summer and Kate had to see what words she could make out of the letters in: ‘Summer Sunshine’-she came up with 10 (he, sun, sum, she, etc.); and basic skills.
We reviewed our month and date on calendar, read “I Like Bugs”, played more beach ball bingo with letters and numbers, sang a song – “On the Shore” to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, journaled “To go on a picnic I would need to pack…If I were camping I would bring…Animals I may see while camping are…”; did basic skills, Grant looked through a “Winnie the Pooh” book on shapes, and finished the day by making S’Mores.