I am tired. I had hoped to start writing this post two hours ago, after the kids’ usual eight o’clock bedtime; but lo and behold, Little Guy took a nap for the first time in a long time and therefore stayed up a little later than usual, and Baby V was having unexplained tummy trouble and only just now finally fell asleep. So this post will probably be shorter than I originally intended.
It was another good school week. Little Guy continues to love circle time. He says his morning verse on his own now, with very little prompting. This is a very big deal for us, as he is excellent at memorization, but usually requires a LOT of coaxing for the memorized material to show itself. The comforting routine of circle time seems to set him enough at ease to recite semi-on-demand now, though, and that is a beautiful thing to see. We sang four songs in the mornings this week: “Kum-ba-yah,” “Down by the Station,” “Michael, Row the Boat Ashore,” and “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.” I had originally thought that I would change the songs out week by week, but he wants to do all the songs we’ve done thus far every single day. That is fine…but if it continues, we are going to have a LOOONG circle time by the end of the year!
I have never understood until now why there are so many strong proponents of baking with young children. I mean, why baking, as opposed to other kinds of cooking, crafts, or what-not? But after this week…I get it. And I think it may be even more perfect for my son because of his sensory issues. On Monday, we made two loaves of coconut flour banana bread together. He counted the eggs (eight), bananas (four), and other ingredients for math; the stirring, pouring, and other tasks were excellent fine motor skill practice; and the super fun part…scooping the glops of dough into the bread pans…was great sensory work. It really is an all round perfect educational experience. And of course, it involves lots of following directions, conversation, and direct contact.
Plus, it’s just plain fun.
Also on Monday, we tried twig weaving. (We got the idea from “EcoArt”, an amazing resource for earth-friendly art projects for younger kids. You should check it out!) We went outside on a little nature walk to select an appropriate branch, brought it back, and practiced weaving yarn in between the twigs. This was hard work for Little Guy and I don’t think he enjoyed it all that much, but he worked hard at it for a little while. We’re going to try it again soon.
This week, our main story was Beatrix Potter’s “Benjamin Bunny.” We read it several times, and had a cool little coincidence happen. On Tuesday, we had planned to go the library, but due to various circumstances accidentally arrived thirty minutes before it opened. (Don’t ask. No, it is not our usual practice to accidentally arrive places early. How I wish.) Our local library has a very nice paved walking trail behind it, so we decided to unpack the stroller and walk until the library opened. We walked along for ten minutes or so, and lo and behold, a bunny hopped right across our path in front of us, and disappeared into the trees! Little Guy and I both loved it, and itt was fun to tie it in to what we had been learning.
We started something else new this week. He has been going crazy asking me what things say, spelling words, trying to spell and sound out words, and so on. He is accumulating pre-reading skills VERY quickly. So as one of our exercises this week, I made individual cards for all the words in “Rain, Rain, Go Away” (his favorite rhyme), and we worked on identifying the words and putting them in order. He really enjoyed that.
Little Guy tried modelling beeswax for the first time this week, and I have to say, I think we’re both a little confused as to how (or whether) to proceed with it. I love the idea of the natural beeswax modelling compound, and his curriculum calls for it, so I ordered it; but honestly…it is much stiffer than standard modelling compounds, and it was very frustrating for him, because we are still working on hand and finger strength. I’m not sure if I should keep having him work with it in order to develop that strength, or put it away for a while. Will have to give that some thought. I do love the fact though that it doesn’t have the offensive odor of the commercial compounds. I can’t stand that smell!
Millions of Cats, by Wanda Gag, was Little Guy’s favorite library selection this week. We read it a couple of days in a row during school time, and since then he has asked Hubby and me both to read it to at different times. Those requests are music to my ears…I love to see him branching out to different topics and types of books!
We did so many other things this week. We read poetry–both from our nursery rhyme collections and from The Twentieth-Century Children’s Poetry Treasury. We did typing. We did speech therapy games, focusing on social responses this week. We colored with block crayons. We continued reading books about the seasons. We learned about deer. We practiced making words with his wooden letters, emphasizing words starting with “C”. We did shape composition puzzles, and made some small strides in the fine motor department. We painted with watercolors. We went to the library again. And we met with our playgroup friends.
All in all, it was a good week. A long one, but a good one.
And I am now VERY tired. So good night.