Friday, August 26, 2016

Lilly Belle Does Preschool | Little Blue Truck Unit

We have officially started homeschooling Lilly Belle and it is for real the best thing ever. I love every second of getting to watch her learn and grow. I feel really thankful that we are in a position right now that I am able to stay home with her to teach her and that together we can be the main influences in her life. She is learning so much more than what is just in her curriculum. She asks to do school all day long. We are constantly playing, reading, and learning together as a family and we are all really enjoying it.

We are following the Simply Learning curriculum and it has been such a blessing for us; especially in our first year of homeschooling when we were not 100% sure how we wanted to go about building her curriculum ourselves. We decided on Simply Learning for many reasons, but the main reasons being that it is created by a mom who has the same values and goals for her girls as we do. It is a modern literature based curriculum meaning that we are learning all subjects surrounding a different book each unit. She has everything there for us from worksheets and activities, to science experiments and crafts to enjoy together. From there Matt and I are going to add even more to the curriculum for Lilly Belle since she has been begging to do school after she wakes up from nap even though we spend our morning doing school time together. Our afternoons have been when she does the activities that I have created for her. Anything from painting projects to fine motor skills activities. Matt works with her on math a few nights/week. Last night she learned about more Vs less with him as he grabbed a giant handful of stuffed animals from her bucket, and the two of them traded back and forth talking about who had more and who had less. He's good at making it a game for her. Lilly Belle and Matt also started a new tradition this week. Each night he is reading a chapter out of the "Who Was" series to her. She chose Who Was Walt Disney as her first book telling us that it says her name on the cover. She knows she is named after Walt Disney's wife, Lillian, so she thinks the cover of the book has her name on it when she sees the word, Disney. The books are definitely above a 3 year old level, but she has shown a real interest and is actually picking things up from each chapter when he asks her about what he read to her.

Our first unit was on the book, Little Blue Truck. Here is a recap of our last two weeks with our first unit together. Our second week was a bit interesting as Lilly Belle broke her Clavicle on Sunday morning and then got pink eye followed by a sinus-type infection that has resulted in fevers as high as 105.2 degrees all week. She has still asked to do school, but for the first few days of the week we did not follow the curriculum, we just did what she was in the mood to do.

We made Ooblick for the first time as well as "mud" this week. She really loved playing with both.

Lilly Belle has been extremely interested in drawing people lately. They get pretty detailed and it's been so much fun watching her drawings get better and better. She also really liked washing her scooter while I washed our stroller out on the patio. We had a lot of fun cooking together too!

Sometimes we will finish all of our curriculum plans for the day and she'll ask to please do more school so I come up with as much as I can for her. On this particular day she wanted to do an experiment so we talked about color mixing and I let her play with food coloring and water to see the colors change.

We had our first two weeks of our preschool co-op, Bloom. I will write more about this later, but when deciding to homeschool Lilly Belle I could not find a co-op that fit our family so...I created one. And it has turned into quite a beautiful little school! Lilly Belle had to miss week #2 because she had 104.7 fever that morning, but I still went and Matt stayed home with her here. We then did school as a family together that night. She really loves going to school and being with her new friends. I have my fingers crossed that she will get to join in next week. She will most likely have to miss one more week though because I don't want to risk getting anyone sick.

I love watching Matt do school time with her. He teaches her in such a different way than I do and it is really so awesome to watch her learning with her daddy. She gets so excited when he's done working for the day and puts his computer away. She asks him right away if he will do school with her.

The two top pictures below show they worked on some science. They read her Usborne flashlight story learning all about apple trees and then drew an apple tree on her board and asked her to draw where certain things were. She also really liked her habitat matching game that I found in the Dollar Spot at Target a few months ago.

She is starting to be able to recognize her numbers 1-10 now. She knows 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8 every time. The rest she hesitates a bit or guesses. This was the first time she was able to complete a number sequence puzzle alone.

I am so excited about our next literature unit; Good Night, Gorilla. We have some really exciting activities planned for her at Disney's Animal Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge that will tie into the unit for her to be able to experience. That was one of the big reasons we chose to homeschool her instead of send her to preschool. We want her to experience her world and not be stuck behind a desk. I want her to see the world around her and want to learn all day long.

I'll try to do a post with all my lesson plans for the next two weeks for the Good Night, Gorilla unit.
I'm sure I'll have a night or two in my near future where I'll be up all night and have plenty of time to blog...!
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