Testing The Waters

Time for a new venture. Let's see if I remember how this goes.

Ss Sun : Jesus Is the Light Of The World

We started our first unit with a yummy pancake breakfast.

Levi LOVES bacon! 

He was a big fan of the salt tray. You can see that his S is backwards. I will correct him once, but don't focus on it much.  He recognizes all letters, even the lowercase ones that are easy to confuse. (Like D, B, and P.) He only wants to flip them when he writes, which I'm thinking is pretty normal at this stage.

Here was his favorite of the worksheets! He enjoyed circling the items that started with S and putting an X over the ones that didn't. (Markers get him much more excited to color than crayons do.)  

He had a special morning with his Gramma Toni reading Sun Bread and baking their own, too! Levi is always in the kitchen with us, asking to help prepare, bake, or cook, so I know he really loved this project! 

It was so warm and delicious with a little jelly & a glass of milk! 

Thankfully we got in some painting when he made his handprint sun craft!

Levi has a 5 year old pen pal named Trey, who lives in New York! We found it on the map and he asked to visit. He traces my letters for extra practice. It's an exciting time when we are ready to put it in the mailbox! 

Bear Shadow was one of the many books we read this unit. Bear tries to run away from his shadow and discovers how it changes throughout the day. We went outside after we finished and traced Levi's shadow. Then, a few hours later, we did it once more and were able to see how it had changed. I wish we would have started earlier and traced more than 2 times, but still a cool concept! 

At the beginning of the unit we taped 3 white shapes to a piece of black construction paper and hung it in the window. After allowing it to sit for a week, we took it down and removed the shapes to discover that the sun had faded the black paper significantly! We talked about how, like the sun, God can make dark things light, and similarly, bad things good. 

This is his, "I'd rather be outside drawing with chalk than doing school" face. Too cute! 

A glimpse at a few of the books we read. We check out about 10-15 books each unit! 

Not pictured:

We took our globe into the bathroom and turned off the light so it was completely dark. Then, using a flashlight, I showed Levi how as the earth moves around the sun, only parts of the world are lit while others are dark. We discussed how when it's day where we live, it's night elsewhere. 

Another time, Levi wore a blindfold while I spun him around. Then I asked him to try and find familiar objects in the room, like the couch, or the piano. Because he couldn't see he had trouble doing this! We took off the blindfold and talked about how God is a light to guide our path, and without Him we will have trouble and stumble or fall. This may have been a bit over his head, but you never know what they take in until it comes out again later! 

We started each lesson listening and singing along to "Shine Jesus Shine". Here is the video we used. One afternoon while Levi was playing on the porch, I caught his little voice singing these words. Such joy! What a gift to see the fruit of labor and to know he is, in fact, learning! 

Here is another video we used to learn about the letter S. 

All in all we are doing great. The biggest struggle has been making school a priority, especially being overwhelmed by ALL THE THINGS to finish and do before baby comes in 4-7 weeks. I can't always have my ducks in a row before we start a lesson and that is HARD for me! Instead of the nice smooth schedule I had hoped for, we squeeze school in whenever we can! But that's one of the many perks to homeschooling - FLEXIBILITY! I am quickly learning I need to let go of perfection and embrace this journey for the messy one that it is - and I imagine once we throw baby in the mix it will only get messier!

So that wraps up our first unit : Ss Sun! We move on to Aa Apple this week! Yahoo! 

MFW-K Creation Intro

Well, we are 7 days in. 

We chose the curriculum My Father's World for our first year at home. I knew having organization  and "a plan" would keep me underwhelmed. I do what the teachers manual says and supplement where I deem necessary. 

The first 2 weeks focus on the creation story from Genesis, followed by 26 hands on, thematic units that explore the wonders of Gods creation. Each unit covers a letter of the alphabet and a biblical concept. There's a bit of informal math involved, also. 

We chose to do 3 days of schooling a week instead of 5. It gives us 2 days to run errands, have play dates, or go to story time at the library. We will end up using MFW K for 2 years because of this, but I'm 100% ok with it since Levi is technically only pre K. Right now, our goal is to nurture a love for learning and playing. The last thing I want to do is push him too hard and have him hate school. 

The creation intro was a bit different all around. We did it for 7 days straight and it was less intense than the core units appear to be. Basically, we read from the bible what God created each day and made a craft that went with it. We also practiced writing our numbers and had calendar time. 

The first day, God made light & dark. Real quick I want to add - the MFW K group I joined on facebook along with pinterest have been incredible resources for us. There are so many fun and helpful ideas to make the most of this curriculum. Anyway, I had a snack for each day of creation and originally we were going to eat oreos for light & dark. However, because it was our first day of school we had a big plate of donuts ready and they happened to be light and dark, too. ;) 

 Day 2 God created the seas and the sky. There was A LOT of cutting involved in this intro. Levi really struggles in this area and gets very frustrated. We are still working on cutting a straight line, let alone maneuvering shapes and curves. I did most of the cutting while levi practiced on scrap paper. Then he did all of the gluing, painting, and coloring. This weekend I found a spring loaded scissors that's meant to help teach preschoolers to cut. Hoping it works!

This was a pinterest idea - sky jello! He was SUPER excited about it! 

Each day we practiced writing a number. I would fill up one sheet for him to trace, and then he would free hand the second. He can trace all day every day, no problem. But as soon as he free hands everything is backwards. I mean everything. Michael has a bit of dyslexia but at this point, I'm not too worried. I know it's pretty common for little ones and I just want to encourage him to keep writing. I have a feeling it will all "click" with time. 

Painting is his jam. I tried to incorporate it each day to keep him excited. I'm afraid I've created a monster. He's going to be disappointed now that we won't be doing as much art. LOL. 

Day 3 God made flowers, trees, and grass. Hopefully you can tell this snack was supposed to resemble a palm tree. ;) The amazing thing about the themed snacks? Levi ate every bit of them. Foods he normally wouldn't have interest in, he ate. Happily. 

Day 4 God made the sun, moon, and stars. I think this was our favorite day. Levi is all about space. So much so that he wanted to cut his sun all by himself. He ended up tearing most of it, but it sure turned out adorable! (We used his Jesus Storybook Bible for reference throughout the week. Pictured below.)

Day 5 God made all the fish and the birds...

Day 6 was special because dad was home and able to do school with Levi. They painted a big beard on Adam. Levi's animal requests were a peacock and giraffe. I was able to shower and work around the house while this was happening - what a treat! 

Day 7 God rested. So we did, too! We ate pizza and watched a movie - all 3 of us! It was Levi's first time seeing the Fox & the Hound. Then we put up his art and did review. He was able to name what God created each day. We sang through this song together, also.  

To close, Levi and I watched this short film. It was absolutely beautiful. Levi sat in awe the entire 25 minutes, and was so excited for each new creation. The bit where Adam and Eve are brought to life is especially breath-taking. I encourage you to take the time to soak this in - whether doing MFW K or not! Realize how awesome and powerful our God is! 

We are enjoying a break this weekend before starting the 1st unit - Ss Sun! Our library books are ready and I'm hoping that Levi does ok with the extra work involved. This adventure has been harder than I expected, but we have peace and we're excited to see Levi's sense of wonder and curiosity grow. We are so thankful God has us in a position to keep him home, it is a HUGE blessing!