Saturday, May 2, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up...The One With Strawberry Picking and Preschool "Graduation"

We finally had a week where I feel like we accomplished most of our goals!
We even had plenty of time to play outside this week!

This week, Eli graduated from preschool....again. It's the real reason we do a blended version of home school. While he does attend a preschool group during the day, I send his school work with him on a daily basis. It's his second year in 4-year-old pre-k...and next year will be his 3rd. He won't be eligible for Kindergarten for another year, since he just turned 4.  And even then, I am already in discussion with our school district about accommodations for specific acceleration. If they follow through on their promises, I will still be supplying all - or almost all - of his lessons/materials, even in Kindergarten. 

His graduation ceremony was simultaneously awesome and hilarious. The kids performed some songs they'd worked on and demonstrated some skills that they'd mastered. One of their songs was Pete the Cat's "Rockin in My School Shoes."  Eli rocked an air guitar so realistically - and enthusiastically - I nearly fell out of my chair laughing! 

In other school news this week, Eli and I have been finishing some tasks earlier than expected.  We FINALLY finished "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back" !  Yay!  I think we're both glad...the book took a lot longer than expected because we missed a few days...and because Eli's interest in the story wasn't very high after a certain point.  However, I am noticing dramatic improvements in his "word attack" skills...he has several methods for figuring out what words are, and his accuracy and fluency are consistently increasing.  Our new book is "Frog and Toad Are Friends."  Eli is excited about his choice and flew through reading a few pages tonight.  He is showing an increased interest in "reading in his head" with certain high-interest books and graphic novels (mostly TMNT and Star Wars Rebels). He's also been devouring his Lego magazine that arrived in the mail this week.  On second thought, perhaps 'devouring' is a poor choice of words after the attendance card incident in karate. In this case, I am thankful to say that I am using the word 'devouring' to mean 'reading with extreme enthusiasm' rather than 'eating with extreme enthusiasm.'

We also completely finished Life of Fred: Apples this week!  I really didn't think we would get through the last few chapters nearly as quickly as we did, but the last two chapters were primarily review - so we zoomed through them in about 15 minutes one afternoon.  We started the next book in the series, Life of Fred: Butterflies this week, too, and have completed chapter 1. Eli is loving the series, and asks to work on it most days of the week.  We have also been working on adding tens, writing/solving addition problems from word problems (now that he can usually read the word problems!), and I've had him reviewing the hundred board, too. 

In geography this week, we were able to complete two states for "50 States Friday": Hawaii and Idaho. We discussed the similarities and differences between islands and peninsulas, and he was able to identify both Korea and Florida as peninsulas.  Science was once again concentrated on plants, parts of flowers and life cycles of plants. I am hoping to include some basic information on plant cells next week.  For all of my great intentions of having Eli work on his SNAP kit this week...we didn't really get to it : (.

W has also had a great week. His preschool teacher did a "career week" with the kids. I don't know how she managed it, but she had a nurse, firefighter, police officer, and a someone from a bakery visit their class during the week and do a career-specific activity with the kids. W had a project to do (assigned Monday, due Friday) where he had to make a picture or collage of a career he was interested in. Honestly, he didn't understand the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?". But he does adore trucks, so I let him pick between firefighter or construction worker, so that we could do a simple truck picture.  We helped him draw some very simple shapes on colored paper (rectangles for the truck and ladder, and circles for wheels), cut them out, and glue them together on a blue background.  He enjoyed the chance to use scissors/glue, and he learned the shape "rectangle."  We've been focusing on the color "red" this week, too, so this was good reinforcement.  We are still working on basic numbers (1-4), rote counting to ten, the alphabet (starting with lower case letters), and recognizing/naming common items.  We are also working on self-help skills, like dressing/undressing, washing hands, and putting away toys before bed.

In the midst of all of this, we managed to visit our favorite strawberry farm today and pick 3 gallons of strawberries!  The boys had a BLAST and a gallon of those strawberries have already found themselves made into delicious strawberry jam!  Another gallon is currently being 'sugared' so that I can freeze them, and the third gallon will be made into MORE jam tomorrow.  I'm so proud of Eli for remembering the steps of making jam from last summer, and that both boys helped "mash" the strawberries for it!  One more trip to the farm for strawberries will give us enough for the year!

Searching for strawberries...another great way to talk about the color red!
Finding big, beautiful strawberries!

Weekly Wrap-Up

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