Category Archives: Preschool Pursuits

Hands-On Math

One thing our Pre-Kindergartner loves is to sort. I used to wonder if she was “too old” for this type of activity, but then I reminded myself her finger muscles are still developing strength and sorting is a form of recognizing differences and similarities. Recently I’ve begun to make the sorting more challenging for her, and she asks to do this again and again. I also realized that I can tailor this easy-to-implement activity to her own unique level.

Here she is sorting objects by color. She asked for the various manipulatives and then decided on her own the best way to sort them would be by color. While it wasn’t challenging for her, she had fun and it kept her busy and using that brain and those fingers for a good half an hour while I worked with her bigger siblings. After she finished, we talked about which muffin tin had the most and which had the least items, and we worked in some adding and subtracting until she was done.

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First Day of School 2015

This is our 6th year of homeschooling. Our oldest son Curly is in 10th grade, and I am going to wax on about him for a moment because I rarely do. When we began this journey, he was starting 5th grade. Now I realize his high school years will be over in the blink of an eye. He recently took the ACT for the first time and he scored in the upper 20s! We are all so proud of him, and this was just a “practice” for him. He is very determined to score a 30 next year, and he did say I could put in print that he scored a 32 (out of possible 36) on the English portion. We might have had more than a few heated discussions over the years about the importance of his language studies, but even he admits it has all been worth the hard work.

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I’m beyond proud of how hard this young man works and the man he is becoming more of every single day. He loves the Lord and has such a servant heart about him. The Lord could not have placed a more capable, trustworthy, diligent, respectful or loving young man as the oldest child in our family.

Today marked our first day back to school and our first school day ever in the year 2015. I thought it worthy of a post, plus I figured my few readers might be wondering if I was ever coming back. I did toy with the idea of shutting this blog down, but I do love to write and for now this is my platform. I have come full circle in this homeschooling journey especially as of late when I was striving to determine along with my husband the Prez what would be the best decision for our son Mo regarding his schooling. A wise mother and veteran homeschooler told me years ago: “All you really need to teach your children at home is your Bible and a library card.”

And all these years later, I have to say she is right. In truth, all you really need is your Bible, but I will readily admit I love books and my kids do too. This evening, my husband gladly fixed breakfast for supper because I asked him if he would, ¬†so I could take Mo on a little date to the library. He has been asking me to take him for days, and really, what Momma can deny a 12-year-old boy a trip to the library? He chose three books, one he needs for his new on-line language class, and two for pleasure. One of those pleasure reading books is 800 PAGES LONG. Oh, how I’ve missed seeing this boy of ours so excited over reading. 800 PAGES. He was like a kid in a candy store at the library tonight, and what Momma doesn’t love an hour of time alone with one of her children when she has six to spread herself between. Here he is reading his new science text: Apologia General Science. My heart swelled seeing him rocking in the glider under my favorite blanket that he loves to curl up under too! LOVE.

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Today, the 3rd graders (and our little PreK tag-a-long) worked on mostly our tutorial classes, which start back on Thursday. Continue reading

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Thanksgiving Craft: A Thankful Book

I am thankful for Pinterest. ūüėÄ

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I am also thankful our three littles still love to do art projects and craft with materials on hand.

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I am thankful for the sweet words they chose for their thankful pages in these precious books!

I am thankful for crafts that are keepers!

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Though we can’t ever be too thankful, I will share a bit more about this little project that consumed some of our morning. I can’t take credit, so let me credit the original source and please click over there for detailed instructions and much better photos LOL!

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I did make some adaptations, because I was out of rubber bands and hadn’t saved any environmental cardboard (great idea though!) for the colored feathers.

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OK, aside from the fact no one should run out of rubber bands e.v.e.r., let’s focus on the positive. I’m instinctive and immediately went for the loom bands for a *temporary* fix until the Prez comes home tonight with the appropriate rubber bands.

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I also pulled out our scraps from previous projects for the colored feathers, and they went to work making them out of torn paper, torn tissue paper, cut-up pieces of felt, cut-up cardboard and parts of a pop-tart box that was discarded in the recycling trash can yesterday.

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As I noted above, please go to B-inspired Mama for detailed step-by-step instructions.

This craftiness was perfect to me because:

  1. it requires writing and/or narrating (for little ones you could write it for them as they narrate their story)
  2. it encourages thinking creatively as the story is written/narrated
  3. it encourages  illustrations from various mediums (markers were their preferred choice but colored pencils also work and paint would as well)
  4. it serves a purpose other than just another craft (that could potentially end up in the round file tomorrow‚ÄĒthis one definitely won’t!)
  5. it required the use of scissors, glue sticks AND liquid glue
  6. my kids ages 9, 9 and 4 all LOVED this project which is really my ultimate goal.

So what are you thankful for today? PLEASE share in the comments! I love to hear from you!

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PreK with Li’l Bit {Week 6}

Pre-Kindergarten with Li’l Bit is going well, especially when I think back to this time last year. She still doesn’t relish a choice of things to do. She’d rather have a blank canvas, whether it be beans and things with which to pour, put, place, ponder or a piece of paper and dabs of paint with brushes, marbles, q-tips, or her fingers to make a masterpiece!

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This last week, we concentrated on the Letter C and though we spent time on some indoor activities, in all honesty we spent a lot of time OUTSIDE just enjoying the beauty that this Fall is becoming!

Here’s a brief look back at our week:

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While working on multiplication flash cards with my 3rd graders, I encouraged Li’l Bit to take the scraps of paper (NEVER throw away those laminated scraps!) and make a collage in her little book. She had so much fun making a colorful sunflower and¬†cutting¬†grass from the green strip of paper! Continue reading

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PreK with Li’l Bit {Week 5}

Last week we studied the Letter T in PreK with Li’l Bit. It was kind of a short week in that we had to cut out early on Tuesday for an afternoon orthodontist appointment in our old town (45 minutes away), early on Wednesday for an afternoon therapy appointment an hour away (normally it is¬†a different town half an hour away), and then we also had the plumbers here with the septic issues, painters here all week working outside and ‚Ķ it was just a crazy week of having to go here and there and everywhere.

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Top to Bottom: PaTTern Blocks Memory Match, “Taking a Trip” made a suitcase and cut out Things to Take; Tracing T words like Tree and carroT and putting on the T page in our alphabet book; cutting out Traced lines; one-to-one counTing with doTs

 Running from appointment to appointment with our three younger children (and sometimes the big ones) in tow is just life sometimes with multiple children with multiple needs and an old home that sometimes has old-house issues. Alas, we still managed to have lots of learning with the Letter T in the spotlight. For our Bible story, we read about Abraham and Lot and how they traveled with tents and how Abraham let Lot choose which land in which he wanted to settle.

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Top to Botton: Highlight of the week–finding a Tree Frog in the yard; studying letters and words with our naTure letter cards; Telling a story in a book made with big bro and big sis; played Chutes and Ladders and looked for the letter T everywhere; narrated stories for Tiger and Lion puppets made last week; had stories and one day of school in a “tent” built over her rug; and tried to Train our hens to lay some more eggs!!!

Li’l Bit can tell me what sound EVERY SINGLE LETTER makes, which thrills my heart. She is already figuring out words by looking at the beginning and ending letters, and she is reading many CVC words. Truth be told, if I pushed at all I think she’d be reading well within 6 months. I’m just not interested in pushing, but I am putting a pallet of choices in front of her! I plan to share more about what we’re doing with pre-reading in another post.

This week, we’re exploring the Letter C and learning about colors and Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors. I will post more about that this weekend hopefully. If you are looking for more Letter/Alphabet activities, please follow my Pinterest board: A is for Apple (and other ABC Ideas).

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PreK with Li’l Bit {Week 4}

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After a short week during Labor Day Week, we jumped back into our God’s Little Explorers preschool learning about the Letter Z using the Bible story of Noah and his ark full of animals, many of which are also found at zoos today.

Li’l Bit’s favorite activity of the whole week was making her very own salt try for practicing writing and exercising those little finger muscles with a tactile activity! First, she painted a rainbow on a piece of cardboard. I didn’t tell her what order to put the colors, so I was impressed that she followed the ROYGBIV color order! Of course, we reviewed color names. She knows them all except she gets pink and purple mixed up sometimes. Continue reading

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Pattern Blocks and ABCs

We’ve had our fair share of summer schooling, and we’ve had our fair share of summer lovin’ fun! The two phrases don’t seem to be synonymous with some of my students!

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I love to find ideas on Pinterest. The key is to actually implement or at least try out those ideas. The two I’ll share more about below actually worked and are some I’ll keep in my bagbin of tricks for my official PreK sweetie. Continue reading

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Now I Know My ABCs: Blog Product Swap

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My Li’l Bit, who is 4, is very interested in the ABCs, and more importantly, she understands completely now that each letter makes certain sounds and that those letters make words! She was so excited today to try out a new ABC Letter Sound activity! She was able to try this fun resource out thanks to Green Apple Lessons, who sent it our way! Julie and I along with other awesome TpT sellers participated in a Blog Hop hosted by Cara’s Creative Classroom!

This resource kept my incoming PreK student very engaged and she asked me with a smile on her face, “Do I get to keep this, Mommy?” I assured her she could!

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It was so beautiful in our neck of the woods today that we decided to test it out on the back porch! Li’l Miss decided to first put out the letter cards in alphabetical order. Her 8-year-old sister suggested this, and Li’l Bit thought it was a great idea! With Li’l Miss’s help, Li’l Bit soon had all of the letter cards lined up in ABC order.

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I made sure the picture cards were in random order. The very first card she picked up was a zipper for Z, and Li’l Bit said, “Oh, zip … that’s a Z sound!” She was off to a great start! She loved figuring out which letter each picture card belonged to as she pulled card after card. Each letter card has a corresponding picture card.

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Since we were outside on the steps, which she chose as her learning space, she was was able to work on gross motor skills too! She just knew she could get the umbrella under the letter U card by twisting around, and she did!

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After she was all finished, she broke into an impromptu rendition of the ABC song! She asked me one more time, “You are going to put this in my ABC center box, right, Mommy?” I said I was and she was a very happy and proud 4-year-old girl!

photo 3This ABC activity would make a great activity for early finishers, center time, small groups, or even in a speech therapy setting. The possibilities for using these cards are endless! Please check out this ABC Letter and Sound activity and many other early and elementary education learning resources at Green Apple Lessons TpT store!

Be sure to continue reading the other blogs linked below for more practical, kid-tested, and high-quality products from some stellar stores at Teachers Pay Teachers.


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Summer School Plans

It is June, and so we are done with the 2014-2015 school year.
Sounds simple, right?
Not so much.

images-1I have a lengthy to-do list, not so much number of items but more the time involved on some of the line items, including:

  1. Turn in grades and attendance to our cover school by June 15.
  2. MAJOR clean-up in library
  3. MAJOR reconfiguration of *some* areas of our library (namely an area for Li’l Bit that will actually keep her interest and ENGAGE her)
  4. Archive school notebooks/papers/reports I will keep. Throw out what we won’t keep.
  5. Begin planning for next school. I will have a 10th grader, two 3rd graders, and one PK4 student.
  6. Purchase needed curriculum for next year (I’ve already begun this thanks to my TpT success and my PayPal account–thank You Jesus!).

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What Is Homeschooling … With a Three-Year-Old in the Mix!

I had such a great response to my What Is Homeschooling? post the other day, I decided to write another installment!

I do get asked frequently what our three-year-old does “all day” while we do school. Let’s see ‚Ķ

  • She changes her outfit 50 times. (Well, not quite, but maybe 10. And not because of a need to do that. She just wants to.)
  • She finds her scissors and cuts her hair. (Well that was a long time ago. I don’t think she has done this in at least six weeks.)
  • She tries to get herself a snack ‚Ķ and maybe makes a little mess in the process.
  • She whines and cries.
  • She colors on the table ‚Ķ instead of her paper.

OK, seriously, this has all happened, BUT she also does a whole lot more! She learns right alongside all of us, and she also keeps us all laughing along the way. She is three years old after all. Continue reading

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