Friday, January 8, 2010

Preschool Corner: goals for the new year






This isn't a what we've done recently post, but more of a looking back and ahead to figure out what we need to do:

Reading

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I've finally broken down and printed off Progressive Phonics.  My kids seem to be enjoying it, and we're working our way through it.  So far they've done 3 pages in the first week.  The problems I'm working through with it are:
1.  How do you store it?  For the first book I printed it off, folded the pages in half, and hole-punched it.  This seems to be mostly working, but isn't quite perfect.
2.  They're getting silly occasionally, and know they are.  This is a constant struggle in schooling.
3.  Often they don't try to read it, but just guess the word they think should be there.  On the first page Princess got stuck on the work brother.  "I see my little cat," is what it says, but she says it along with me "I see my little BROTHER!"  and it is yelled that enthusiastically.  So, I'm struggling with them on that one.

Math

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I came to the conclusion the kids needed more in this area.  I've also come to the conclusion they know more than they're letting on.  I went ahead and ordered the Math-U-See curriculum and the different manipulatives that go with it.  Even if I don't stick with Math-U-See the manipulatives are close enough to Base 10 blocks I can use them with something else.

I'm going to keep doing the calendar time we've been doing, they could still use more practice with this, and I like them seeing the progression of the days of the week.  I'm also thinking I'm going to add in a daily time problem, and a daily coin problem, counting pennies, and eventually nickels.  We'll see.

Science

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This area I think is going really well.  Since I started making myself sit down and do something at least once a week that is science related so I could have a post every Sunday for my Science Sunday.  They're not always earth-shatteringly amazing, but it's something every week.  I still think there's room for growth, but it's coming along.

For next year I'm thinking about going with Apologia science, but for now I'm going to finish out My Father's World and work science into the themes we're doing.  I've figured out that MFW doesn't quite work for me because I don't want to buy a comprehensive curriculum that I then buy another curriculum to go with it for science and math and so forth.....

Social Studies

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Another area I'm going to start working more on.  This spring we're going to start working on Geography and learning the 50 states.  I participated in a postcard exchange over at Children Grow, Children Learn, Children Explore and got lots of great cards, and mine should be arriving any day to everyone who I owed a card too. If anyone hasn't participated yet and still wants a card from Texas let me know, and I'll happily trade cards with you.

Next year I'm thinking about getting Tapestry of Grace, Mystery of History, or Konos.  They all go with teaching history in 4 year cycles.  I'm leaning most towards Tapestry of Grace or Mystery of History (the latter because I have a friend here who is using it).

Fine Arts

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This includes a little bit of everything.  I'm working to play music more often, and since my husband gave me a player that my iPhone can hook up to that is much easier to do.

I also want to start introducing real art to them, you know classic artists and start showing them more of that.  I haven't quite decided how I'm going to do that.  At some point I want to take them the the Austin Museum of Art, but I think that's something I need another adult to go with me for.  I could maybe do it on my own, but.........

So, that's my goals for the rest of the school year and a little about what I'm thinking for next year.

Oh, and here's my children's medical procedure tally so far, just because it amuses me:

Superman: sonogram of his head at 6 months to see if it's too big, several sonograms of stomach for various reasons eventually ending in, hernia surgery, CT scan for when he fell at Christmas on the ice

Batman: sonogram for tummy ache that had us scared out of our wits, end result: he has gas.  I got to sit there for 2 hours after they gave him medicine that helped him pass gas.  It was not pleasant.  Glue from his fall in Galveston

Princess: X-ray for her legs, apparently one is growing slightly faster than the other.  In 2 weeks I'll be adding surgery to correct her toes that are growing crooked
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