ivey league kindergarten: week(s) in review!

We had a mini-vacation over the past two weeks, partly due to tummy troubles that were ailing Caleb, and then because we had family visiting out of town.  So the first week, we did kindergarten on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and then the following week we did kindergarten on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  Caleb did well returning to school stuff after the break; he retained most of what he had learned and seemed excited to get back into it.

We continued to work through Hooked on Phonics.  Caleb learned a few more "helper words" such as "what" and "with," and we also started on words with the short "o" sound (-ox, -ot, -og).  I realized that our secondhand kindergarten kit is missing the "Volume 2" audio CD, but we've done fine without it so far.  I basically read the first couple of words for Caleb like the voice on the CD would, and then he reads on his own.  We've also found that making silly sentences is a fun way to mix up the words he's learned!

Caleb is also doing very well in math.  Since the workbook has started to introduce pennies and dimes, we got out a magnetic money set for further practice.

We've also gotten back into handwriting practice now that Caleb's pencil grasp has improved.  I found some fun printables online and we're just going through it one letter at a time.

For our read-aloud, we're working our way through Mr. Popper's Penguins.  We read it earlier this year but Caleb is a big fan so we decided we'd read it again.

We only got to one Bible story during the last couple of weeks.  Caleb learned a very censored version of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (basically he knows that the people who lived there were very mean and didn't want to change their ways) and Lot's wife turning into a pillar of salt.  I found a fun art printable online; Caleb cut out the verse and the picture, then he used a glue stick to spread a thin layer of glue onto the picture of Lot's wife.  Then he sprinkled salt all over the glue.  Even though it's dry, I don't think it's the kind of art project you can hang up because it may still shed some salt!  Either way it was fun.

And since we were working with salt, Caleb asked if he could mix baking soda and vinegar together, so we dyed some little dishes of vinegar, got out his pipette, and he went at it for at least forty-five minutes!

Caleb was having trouble memorizing his C verse; I think since it had some unfamiliar words in it like "cast" and "sustain" he just couldn't remember it well, even after I explained what the words meant.  So I switched it out for a simpler verse:

He did much better at this one, though he probably wondered if I had ulterior motives for choosing it!  :)

Links (all free!):
Handwriting Activity Sheets (Playdough to Plato)
Lot's Wife/Pillar of Salt Craft (Sunday School Crafts)


ivey league kindergarten: week in review

Today we finished up our third week of kindergarten.  :)

This week we tried a different approach to reading.  We still did a few pages in Hooked on Phonics (we learned -ip words), but Caleb seemed to get stuck once we got to the fourth little book that came with the set.  He was very overwhelmed that the sentences said things like "Pig can hit" and kept saying he couldn't do it.  Plus I noticed he often confused lowercase b and d (a common problem for his age, I've read).  So we switched gears and did a couple of activities to help him learn the difference between those pesky look-alike letters.

We also utilized the letter word-play flashcards that came with our HOP set to build words.  Sometimes I'd asked him to build a certain word (like "cat"), and then ask him what letter he should switch out to make another one (like "can" or "rat").  So this way we could work on both beginning and ending word sounds.  Caleb seemed to really like this activity so I'm going to find other hands-on kind of stuff for us to do.

Today (Friday) I really wanted Caleb to give that little book a try, but he shut down as soon as I pulled it out.  I was conflicted...I didn't want to force him (and possibly make him hate reading), but I also didn't want to give him such an easy way out.  The kid needs to learn that you don't quit just because things get challenging!  So I took out our whiteboard and started writing words.  Caleb would read them and then we'd do the thing where I ask him how to change one word to make it say something else.  He did pretty well, and he also wanted to show me he could write some of the words too.

He's Cyclops from the X-Men today.  I told him he could wear the shades as long as he did his work!
Then I started writing short, simple sentences similar to the ones in the book he was so afraid of, only I made them kind of goofy to see if Caleb was really comprehending what he read.

He thought these were hilarious.  He'd say, "Mommy, you're not a cat!  I'm not a man!"  Then I went for broke.  One by one, I'd write a sentence from that little book, making sure Caleb could tell what I was doing.  The only different thing was that for some of the words, I'd underline the word endings to help him remember what word family they'd belong to.

And the kid did amazing.  He got stuck on "did" because he tends to mix up b and d, but he read most of the words himself.  I think this helped him see that his anxiety was over the book....he had his mind made up that it was hard to read and that he couldn't do it.  So I guess our focus this week was to show Caleb that he can read better than he thinks he does.  We also read a few of his own books, and when we'd come across a word that Caleb has learned in the past few weeks, I'd stop reading and make him read it.  Luckily the books we chose were ones we haven't read in a long time (or else he'd probably just know the words by memory!).

Caleb made sure we did math every day.  That's one subject he doesn't find too daunting at all.  His numbers are getting better too.  This week the workbook delved into addition and counting by 10s, as well as some calendar work.

We finished reading Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle this week as well.  Caleb really liked it, and we decided to make an upside-down house as a fun project (the title character lives in one and he found the idea of it pretty amusing!).  I found the furniture and other features in an Ikea catalog, so I must say Caleb's house is pretty trendy.

For Bible time, we learned about the Tower of Babel and then God's promise to Abram.  Caleb built his own Tower of Babel out of mega-blocks (and like always, knocked it over before we took a picture), and we did a simple art project for Abram that focuses on the verse where God promises him that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky.

Our C verse for this week was Psalm 56:22.  Caleb's having a bit more trouble memorizing this one so we'll most likely carry it over into next week too.

Links (all free!):
Letter Discrimination Coloring and Graphing Activities (Teachers Pay Teachers)
Abram Coloring Page (Coloring Pages 7)


ivey league kindergarten: week in review

We have a second week of kindergarten under our belts!

On Monday we finished up Henry Huggins so I had Caleb complete a "book report."  He drew a picture of his favorite part of the book, where Henry tries to type a letter from his mother on the typewriter (spoiler alert....Henry is a terrible typist).

Caleb selected Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle as our next read-aloud so we've been enjoying that this week.

We continued to do at least one Horizons Math lesson a day.  He's getting so much better at writing his numbers, and he follows the directions pretty well when I read them for him.

We've also continued with Hooked on Phonics.  This week we read some -ag words and then moved on to -id, -ig, and -it words.  It was more difficult to find printable worksheets and word slides for some of these, so I ended up making my own.

The lessons also started delving into what they call "helper words," which are common words like "and," "the," and "is."

For Bible, we read about Cain and Abel as well as Noah's Ark.  I found worksheets online that Caleb responded well to (though we skipped the question about how long it took Noah to build the ark.  Scripture doesn't give a specific amount of years; God talked about "120 years" but most scholars agree that that number refers to the lifespan of man after the flood).

We also made homemade animal crackers to go along with the Ark story.  The recipe I found online is closer to a shortbread recipe than a crunchy cookie one, but the cookies held their shape really well and tasted good.

Our verse for this week was Ephesians 4:32.

We also did a fun "color words" activity to help Caleb know color names by sight. (I colored the boy, Caleb colored the rest!)

And finally, during some down time and rainy weather, I was able to introduce Caleb to "Reading Rainbow" on Netflix.  I can tell there's some newer episodes mixed in with the older ones I remember from my own childhood, but so far Caleb has loved all of them.

This week I tried something new...rather than write a to-do list for every day, I wrote a "did-it" list instead.  Whenever we were done with kindergarten for the day, I would simply write down what we did for each area of study.  Doing so helped me feel more productive!  :)

Links: (links with an asterisk are FREE!)
*I Can Listen to Stories Printable (KinderCraze) 
*Word Family Sliders (Make Take Teach via Teachers Pay Teachers)
*Cain and Abel/Noah's Ark Worksheets (Bible Fun for Kids)
*Animal Cracker Recipe (French Press)
*Color Words Printable (Teachers Pay Teachers)
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