Friday, September 30, 2011

Letter Recognition: The Letter C

Remember when I blogged HERE about Charlotte’s new homework scheme.  Well we finally finished letter C and I thought I’d show you some of the fun things we did to help Charlotte learn her letters!  As I mentioned in that other post, Wayne and I started with the letter “C” because we will work the alphabet with the letters in her name first.  Our lessons on this first letter went a bit longer than the two weeks we initially thought we’d spend.  Mostly because Charlotte (and okay, WE) were having so much fun with it and we weren’t quite sure when to move on! 

The best part about doing this has been seeing her interest and comprehension during these intent driven teachable moments.  You can see Charlotte’s pride when she gets something right and we are able to redirect her when she gets disappointed in herself and encourage Charlotte to try again.  She feels so important doing the homework and I know she likes spending one on one time with us, especially since Wayne and I try to make it creative and fun. 

We usually pick three or four things to do every other night or so.  Activities like coloring a picture of a Cat, decorating a letter “C” with stickers of items that start with the letter “C”, having a meal with only items that start with the letter "C” like chicken salad sandwiches on croissants with carrot sticks and chips or making a cat puppet.  We work on them for about thirty minutes or however long Charlotte’s attention span lasts, although we do try to complete whatever we are working on before we call it quits. 

Wayne and I have saved all of the worksheets, crafts/projects and will include an 8x10 collage of Charlotte working on these (much like the collages included in this post) for her letter book.  That way Charlotte can look back at the work she has done as she starts really focusing on letters in school. 

And now onto letter “H”!   

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Adventures With Pip

Charlotte’s class has a mascot, Pip the Penguin! 

Each week one student gets to bring Pip home to share in their adventures.  Then the parent’s help their child write in a shared journal about the escapades during the week and include some pictures.  I thought it would be fun to share the photos we sent into Charlotte’s class.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reading in Bed

Wayne and I have been lucky enough to read to Charlotte almost every night of her life.  Now that she id old that she gets to choose three books each night and decide who reads which book – each night one of us is gifted with the honor of reading two books.  Sometimes Wayne and I pretend to fight over who gets to read two books or we have special guest readers if we have family or friends over.  

Tonight she climbed into bed with me to “read” her stories while I read mine.  It was totally her idea, really sweet and I loved hearing her take on the stories based on pictures and her memory of the stories we’d read her over and over.  Of course this ended with a pillow fight….

Monday, September 5, 2011

Letter Recognition: ABC Intro

After receiving quite a lot of pushing advice from family and friends “in the know” Wayne and I are going to specifically work with Charlotte on her alphabet recognition.  Hear that friends and family…were doing it – message received!  ;)  

About six months ago, right around Charlotte’s 3rd birthday, we heard about some preschool work Charlotte’s cousin, Brennan, was working on.  We were amazed by all the things he already knew and could do so we started doing fun/educational “homework” with Charlotte then.  Mostly we worked on her cutting skills, tracing shapes, colors, and vocabulary.  Lest you think we are prepping her for Harvard – when I say we “worked on” these things, I mean that anytime Charlotte wanted to do pages in workbooks we have laying around we called it “homework” {hoping for a good word association in the future} and worked with her to make it fun and educational – instead of just leaving her alone with the “please don’t use those crayons to write on the curtains” smile.  Not really any big deal or structured thing but she has enjoyed it and seems to just soak up everything – especially if we make it a GAME! 

Although she is 3 ½ Charlotte will not formally learn her letters until preschool next year so we feel like there is no pressure for her to “get it” right now, whatever she picks up will just be an added bonus.  We have timed it so that she will finish the alphabet work at home right as she starts work in preschool.  After a lot of advice we knew that working on her alphabet would be helpful for her in the future and as long as it was fun she should be able to pick it right up.   

We were told in no uncertain terms  decided to start the alphabet lessons by using the letters in her name first so we are starting with “C” instead of “A”.  The plan is to focus on uppercase letters spending about two weeks on each letter.  There are no “lesson plans” just worksheets and activities I have pulled from the internet.  At the end of the two weeks we will compile all of her activities in a three ring binder to make her own alphabet book.  Although we display every little thing she creates in preschool I knew I wanted a specific place to put the letter work so that she can see it all together.  Hence this bulletin board on her bedroom door.  As you can see its set up for the letter “C” but actually it’s already changed somewhat from this picture because we did some more worksheets today.  So far she loves it!

Anyway, it will be neat to see what she had learned in a year…stay tuned.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Alphabet Bean Bags

This weekend I FINALLY got in gear on a project I have been thinking about for three months!  Over the last two weeks I gathered my supplies, cut out letters, etc. but this weekend I was determined to finish.  I DID IT - Alphabet bean bags for Charlotte!  


{Side Note:  Whenever I run into friends around town and we have not spoken for a few weeks, they invariably ask what is new with me.  We live a pretty normal, steady life – would not want it any other way – so it’s hard to report boring – if monumental events in our life – facts like “I FINALLY caught up on laundry.  Aren’t you jealous of my swinging life?”  What they should ask is what new projects I am working on, now THAT is a long list of exciting and ever changing goals.  Just sayn’}  

So, here is what I came up with using white felt, letter patterns from my computer, two super cute charm packs of fabric, beans and my sewing machine.  This is a time consuming project and I had many bumps in the road (how did I manage to break a needle at 1am?) but SO WORTH IT to see Charlotte’s excitement.   


Because I do a lot of crafty projects this scenario plays out quite often.  When the supplies start accumulating on the dining room table (in this case the sewing machine, fabric, etc.) – she immediately asks what I am making for her!  Until the project is completed, she circles me ten minutes or so like a shark, checking on my progress and trying to run off with unfinished pieces.  It’s a wonder I accomplish anything!  

Anyway, although so much of it had to be done during naptime or after bedtime, Charlotte was able to help fill the bags with beans.  I tried to keep my OCD under wraps …it was hard, beans were EVERYWHERE but she had a blast.  No matter how many times I told Charlotte they were dried beans she insisted that it was dirt and that she was playing in her garden!  

Here they are – all 26 uppercase letters!  

Fort Charlotte

This afternoon Charlotte convinced her Dad to make her a fort!  They had so much fun and spent a few hours watching tv (Star Wars) while I was sewing in the dining room.  Wayne even took a little nap at one point.  They were being so cute so OF COURSE I needed a picture.  This is when Charlotte told me “NO pictures in the fort Mommy!”  

Here is a picture of the nest Charlotte and I “built” yesterday.  She pulled EVERY pillow we had in the house.  Okay, I called it a nest – which she hated – she called it a camp and announced we were ALL camping in the living room.