Summer's almost over. This also means we are to start the new school year soon. Whoa!
Three year old Little V will be using Sing, Spell, Read and Write curriculum starting this June and I'm excited to see if its activities would work for us. One of the things I love about homeschooling is its flexibility - to adjust our activities based on the learner's pace, ability, and learning style. For someone who used to design and develop instructional materials in the corporate world, I admit that homeschooling sometimes make me feel lost and unequipped. I'm learning a lot in our journey and I know there's more ahead of us. Thankfully there are support groups and a ton of resources online. To pay forward, I'm sharing our activities to other moms out there, whether they're homeschooling or are considering this alternative.
"Don't let your schooling interfere
with your education."- Mark Twain
For the month of May, our activities focused on exercise, fine motor, and counting.
We wanted to take advantage of summer when most of the kids in our community are at the playground. Little V spends at least an hour a day at the playground, playing basketball at the covered court, or just walking with me (we call this activity as "lakad-lakad"). He also swims at least once a week. We usually do it on a Tuesday morning when pools are at their cleanest - because they are closed on Mondays for general cleaning.
|Little V can swim on his own now. Yay! I'm just at the side watching him. A few minutes later, the pools were filled with kids.|
We also had an opportunity this month to explore nature and learn about the environment. My son swam and played with our friends' kids at the beach. He was thrilled when he saw a fish in the ocean!
At home, we normally dance together. Silly dance steps that left me extremely exhausted. Whew! I think my age is catching up on me. LOL!
Fine Motor Skills Development
Little V's not yet exhibiting proper grip when holding his crayons and pencils so we did several activities to develop his fine motor skills. These activities would help him strengthen his fingers and improve coordination - it may include pinching, poking, squeezing, rotating objects, pushing, holding, and pulling.
In this activity, I asked my son to transfer these clothespins to a basket. At first he had a some difficulties opening the mouth (that's how we call it) but got the hang of it after a few trials. We also identified the colors, and I made him follow a pattern of clothespins clamped from the other side of the basket.
We don't have a colander at home so we just removed the magnetic alphabets from its basket and used it in this activity. Little V had to insert these pipe cleaners inside their holes. Noticed the googly eyes? He placed them there and imagined the basket as a spider with legs!
I bought yarns from the mall and followed a video on YouTube on how to make these pompoms. I asked Little V to transfer the pompoms from the bottle to this egg carton (err, plastic!) using his fingers or tweezers. He really liked those googly eyes so much, he included them in the activity.
In this activity, Little V had to insert toothpicks inside the tiny hole of a bottle. For the materials, I found some unused toothpicks in the kitchen from a previous gathering we had. The condiment bottle we used here is a freebie that I got when we purchased some seasonings in the supermarket. After 2 tries on this, my son got bored and tried to put a handful of toothpick inside the hole!
One of his fave activities is painting. He loves making a mess out of it. Ha ha! We did painting using homemade paint using cornstarch and watercolors.
I took out some shell necklaces we have accumulated through the years, these are the ones they give you as a welcome token at beach resorts. We used these for our sensory activities. Our favorite game is, "Where's Bumblebee?" To play this game, I placed the shells in a shallow bowl, placed a Bumblebee Kre-O and some magnetic alphabets. Little V had to find Bumblebee in the bowl while it is covered. He's a little naughty boy, sometimes I caught him taking a peek!
|Little V's learning how to focus by making a straight line of shells|
I made a makeshift reading nook for my son. A little corner for him to explore the wonders books give. When he feels like stretching his legs, we convert this inflatable sofa into a bed.
This month I created flash cards for sight words. Back then I had to spell the words for him verbally, write it on the white board, or point them on his book. Now we've added the flashcards for word familiarity.
My son can't read yet but he has memorized the lines from his books. Sometimes he makes stories out of them. One of these days, we'll make a storybook. Yay!
|Learning the different sounds letters make. Materials used were magnetic alphabets, and a cookie tray from my kitchen.|
My son can identify numbers from 0 to 10. However he sometimes interchanges the sequence of the numbers. We're so thankful that we were able to purchase a Montessori bead stair from a fellow blogger, Montessori on Mars. The beads are helping Little V in his Math lessons. On our first session, he was able to identify the pattern of the colors and corresponding numbers. Before he could count the beads, he's already exclaiming what number it should be based on the color of the beads and the number print-outs! Smart little kiddo! Now, we have switched to black-and-white prints of the numbers or these number stickers.
|Montessori bead stair|
When he got tired of counting beads we opted to count some snacks. If he gets the number correctly, he gets to eat them. During the first 5 minutes he was really cranky and was crying because I ate them. Wicked momma! But after helping him and he got to eat the first two batches, he went on counting by himself. He only counted to a maximum of 7 munchies. He got the discipline of not eating them until he got them correctly and asking for my permission to munch on them. Sorry, baby, Mama has to teach you how to be patient, how to follow instructions, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
|Counting using Pillows snacks|
We don't get to do activities everyday but I make sure that he learns something, whether it's about life, the people around us, society, chores, etc. Although we have a small learning area at home, we use the whole world as our classroom.
We're excited to learn (I'm saying 'we' because I'm a student as well - this is what I call on-the-job training!!) more this coming school year. How about you, what's your child's favorite activity this summer?
Some of our learning resources: