Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Our First Day

 Today Vada and  I started our official first day of "structured learning" in our classroom. We have already spent several different days playing in the classroom and getting acclimated but today was the "real deal".

I started off with a list of things that I would like to accomplish for the whole morning as well as what I would like to do with Vada and as we did them today I checked them off and kind of kept track of the time that we spent doing each task. I don't plan on timing things forever but for now, I think it is important to see how her attention span is in each area. It will also help me monitor her growth as we continue to spend more time in our classroom. Ill be able to see where her strengths and weaknesses are and where we should spend more time focusing on. Plus, having a list of daily goals gives me something to work towards for each day.

We started our day off the way I plan on starting every morning off, with a devotion to God, our Father.

We're reading from the Jesus Storybook Bible right now. The pictures are great and the stories are just long enough for our morning devotion time.

The next thing that we did and that I plan on doing everyday and in routine, is the weather and the calendar/days of the week.

We worked on counting, sorting, color recognition, patterns, coloring, vertical lines, horizontal lines, coloring in circles and drawling circles. 
Vada, with my help also worked on using her left hand while using her right. An example would be her holding a play piece of fruit in her left hand and a play knife in her right hand, while then cutting the fruit into half. 
We also began working at the Alphabet Center that I have hanging on the wall. It has so many purposes but for now it serves as only one. With the pointer wand we point at each individual letter while I sing the alphabet song. Eventually we will do more! For now, baby steps!
Vada did another round of one of her favorite counting "games" the Counting Cans", she also played with a fishing color recognition game, and a bowling game. A lot of what we are doing is learning through play right now since she is only three. 

One of the biggest surprises that I had today was when Vada and I were using these particular flash cards (which I love, btw!). It wasn't a new word or sign that she did but the length of time that we were able to spend  and the amount of attention that she paid while we went through them that was amazing to me.
I particularly like these flashcards more than any of the others that I have run across so far because (with the exception of the "Manners" Set) they are of real life photos, which really seem to get Vada's attention! 

Last night when I was planning our morning, I went through each set and pulled out cards that I thought Vada would really like or relate to. We discussed what we saw, like the boy who was crying. We talked about how he was sad and we noticed his tear and then we wiped it, like I wipe hers when she cries and she gave him a hug. We talked about the color of the ice cream, how it was probably strawberry flavored and cold and then pretended to lick it. When she saw the picture of the toothbrush she groaned. She detests getting her teeth brushed! She did the sign for 'Dog' when we looked at the dog photo and blew bubbles when we looked at the photo of a girl blowing bubbles. Another fun one was of a birthday cake that had candles on it. She pretended to blow out the candles. I have never seen her do that before! Tomorrow I am going to bring out all of our whistles and see if I can get her to make some of them make noise!

We ended our day by reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle. I happen to also have the felt set for that story so we got those out as well. After the story, as we put each animal away, we worked on the animal, the color of the animal, the sign for the animal and then the sound that each animal makes! 

Two hours seemed to go by in minutes but I could tell that she was tired . I had stopped in between some of our activities and asked her if she needed "time" and then she would sign "time". That means she just needs to be, or to play. My girl knows herself and I know her! Tomorrow we will be back at it and I cant wait, I love that I get to teach my daughter!


amber malmberg said...

I loved this post, and am really enjoying learning from you as a homeschooling mom! And the flashcards are amazing. I haven't seen any like that either, and I always feel disappointed. I'm super excited about these, and will go hunt them down now!

April Vernon said...

Hooray! Looks like a great first day! I like the way you are keeping notes of how long everything takes. I go round and round deciding what to do for my boys but am strongly leaning toward homeschooling them both. We pretty much do that now anyway. I just want to make it a bit more formal. Love your school room!!