Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Year of Learning

It has been a busy year of learning
We have learned about sharing, taking turns, playing pretend.
We have worked on pouring skills, and learning to drink from a cup
We have experienced sensory with bubbles, water, sand, corn, play dough, bubble wrap, paint, and much more!
We have worked on matching colors, objects, shapes, sizes, and words and counting
We have worked on reading books, and love having books read to us
We have even helped with cooking
We have explored a tree farm, pumpkin patch, zoo, beaches, playgrounds, indoor play parks, and forests
What an exciting year!

Matching, Sorting

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Every Day is a Day for Learning

Working on building finger strength for later being able to use scissors
 Reading Books
Sometimes schooling is yummy!! 
 Recycle, reduce, reuse!
 We reused soda bottles to practice picking up beads and putting them into the bottles then dumping them out and doing it again!

 Discovering Animals

Some days we are so busy with life that school does not look like school. Some days it looks like a trip to a tree farm where we get to discover all kinds of different animals. Some other days the house is just screaming to be cleaned and so a soda bottle and some beads make for a perfect tool to work on fine motor skills.
Other times we are in a cooking mood and school includes pouring, stirring, or helping make cookies. 
Books are a big deal in our house, we have a bookshelf loaded with books that are a constant source of joy. 
We just started working with clothes pins and practicing taking them off of the edge of a basket. They are brand new so still really stiff and hard to open and close so it is easier to take them off than put them on.
Learning can happen every day no matter what your day looks like!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Month full of crafts

All this month we are working on something called Truth in the Tinsel.
It is all about getting back to WHY we really celebrate Christmas.
Each day we read some passages from the bible and then do a craft to go along with it. 

Fine Motor Work - Paper Tearing, Gluing, Coloring

Fine Motor Work- Painting adding Stickers

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Crazy Busy!

 If you do not know, we are in the middle of an adoption right now so between paperwork, craft fairs, and making items to sell so we can raise money for our adoption, and homeschooling our teenager, AND we watched our friend's 6 and 4 year old for about eight days while they were out of the country adopting two little boys, it has just been crazy busy around here. 
Finally, the day after Thanksgiving we finally got some things done.
Please excuse the PJs... one great thing about homeschooling is that it can be done at any time. This time it just happened to be right after dinner.

 We worked on coloring to help with those fine motor skills

 We worked with the dobbers

 and painting

 Then we moved to using our cards and following instructions.
I would show each of the cards one at a time before putting them on the table, and telling Veronika and Gavyn what each picture was of. Then I would hide all of them and ask them to give me a certain card. Once I knew they heard what I wanted them to give me, I would put it all on the table and repeat which card I wanted. 
We had to work on them not trying to give me all the cards at once and only one card, but they did well!

Next we worked on puzzles

 and blocks

and finished up with some music!

Some other things that we did that I did not get a picture of was a following directions game. I think we need to play this more often!! Because Veronika and Gavyn spent the first year of their life in an orphanage they never had anyone who would interact with them, so they did not learn how to mimic. 
This is an important skill in life, it helps teach a child to do many things so it is one we are working on. 
Normally a child who was raised in a family would just find joy in copying someone else, but a child who did not learn this was a game needs to have a reward for copying. 
I got out our gluten free crackers and each time Veronika and Gavyn would copy me they were rewarded with a cracker. 
I started off very simply, by patting my head, then patting the table, then waving, and clapping. I tried to do things with my face like blowing, but they are not ready for that and would not copy that. 
I know it will take time, but they will get that. It was great to see them copying me in other ways thou!
We read some books sang some songs and after of doing work for a little over an hour we were finished. I am so proud of them, and so amazed they can sit in one spot and do work for over an hour!! Look out world here they come!

Monday, November 4, 2013

November is here!

Sorry for the lack of posting lately! Veronika had surgery on Oct 25th to have her tonsils and adenoids removed so we put off our preschool until we felt like she was feeling 100%.
Now that she is good to go, we are back in full swing. 
 Fine Motor Work - Coloring with Markers
We have been working hard using markers, crayons, and pencils so they can work on their hand control. Right now Gavyn uses his whole hand to use the markers but I know with more practice he will start to use his hand and fingers like Veronika has started to do.
 Fine Motor Work - Stickers
Working with stickers is great for fine motor skills. It gives hands a work out by having to place the sticker the right way on the paper. It requires a child to work on their pincher grasp to put the sticker on just the right way.
 Fine Motor Work - Stickers

 Reading - Gavyn doing the sign for sleep once he saw the word sleep
We started about six months ago working with reading flash cards. Veronika and Gavyn love to read their cards. Every day I work with them with their cards. The trick is to make it VERY fast, and to make it fun! Always finish before they get bored. That way they will always want to do it again. 
 Signing Daddy
Since neither Veronika and Gavyn are talking we have taught them sign language. This way, even though they can not say the words they are seeing, they can sign them and we are able to see just how much they have learned. Gavyn has about 100 signs, Veronika has about 150.
 Veronika recognized the word clap and started clapping her hands
 Veronika recognized the word wave and started waving
Gavyn spotted a bus on the page and started signing bus
Books are a beloved treasure in our house. Both Veronika and Gavyn love being read to. We read at least 10 books per day. We also have books that they can look through whenever they want throughout the day.
 Reading  "Going on a Bear Hunt" with mommy and acting out some of the parts 
They were  doing the motions for where you say "Oh no, we'll have to go through it!"
When we are doing our preschool, we always break up each activity with music or a dance. This helps keep their interest and their focus. 

In other news....
They decided working on fine motor skills and reading was not enough, so they worked on some gross motor skills...
 Look who figured out how to get up on top of the kitchen table by climbing up the chairs!
They were so proud of themselves they celebrated by hugging each other, lol.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fall is Here!

 Veronika is now matching words other than her name
 As you can see, she is very proud of herself
 "That was easy"

 One of the things we work on is sliding our finger or our pointer from the word to the picture
 Our day would not be complete without singing some of our favorite songs, This month we are working on three different song books, Albuquerque Turkey, Veterans Day Song, and Five Little Pumpkins
 Here are some of our books we work on throughout the week
Here are some of our matching work. We match pictures to pictures, we match pictures to words, and we match words to words.
Today we worked on gluing! I put a small amount of glue into a little cup and let them use  qtips to "paint" on the glue
on go the paper apples
 Both Veronika and Gavyn loved putting the glue on their q-tip and painting it onto the tree, I ended up using several q-tips because it can soak up the glue quickly and then becomes stringy if left in the glue too long
on goes Gavyn's apples

We also did some other work that I did not get pictures of because it is a 100% hand over hand activity. 
Those activities included, me helping hold their hands to practice drawing a line from one dot to another dot to form a straight line, and drawing a circle. We also worked on copying. For a lot of kids this comes very natural, but Veronika and Gavyn missed that window while they are in an orphanage, so they do not copy or mimic very well. 
I would show them the blocks in one way, and I would help them build the same thing I did. Very simple ones, three blocks side by side, or two blocks on the bottom with one on the top, or three blocks side by side with one more block on one of the end blocks to form a "train". We also worked on using egg shakers to copy. I would shake my eggs over head and then help them shake theirs over their head. I would tap my egg on the table and have them copy that action. I would tap my eggs together and have them copy that as well. 
I was very proud of Veronika, after me showing her what I wanted, she was able to copy my movements with the shaker eggs!
Finally, it was time for snack and a nap!

Just so everyone does not get the wrong impression.... I normally post our best photos. I am working with two year olds, they have their moments. They have moments when they think we are finished when we are not, they have moments when they get up from the table or throw things off the table or just throw little fits. That is when we take a couple of minutes to sing a song, do a crazy dance, or do a finger play. Then it is back to work until we are finished with our goals for the day.