Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fall and Pumpkins...

We have had a great time reading and learning about Fall and pumpkins. These two themes really ran together these past 2 weeks.

We used an awesome Fall fun learning  printable from Homeschool Creations. It includes vocabulary cards, shadow matching pictures, a 10 piece puzzle, tracing activities, pattern activities, sorting by size and lots of fun!

More awesome activities for fall and pumpkins can be found here at Totally Tots.

We actually began this unit with an field trip to a pumpkin patch. The boys had a blast picking out pumpkins!

Tracing lines with a sheet protector and dry erase markers.
 I also found some great free activities at Kids Soup. With this activity we discussed emotions and facial expressions.

For this activity we practiced colors. For CA I folded his paper in thirds so he could focus a little better, a modification that works well for younger ones or struggling learners. 

Then I got brave and pulled out the paint! Ahhh!! They had a blast!
 Then we painted fall trees with q tips and brown, orange, yellow and red paint.

Their completed tree pictures!

 We had a blast reading, reading and reading!
These are the pumpkin, Fall, and leaves books we read. 

Then we completed our week of fun with a family night with pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and watching the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Overall we had a blast learning all about pumpkins and fall together. The resources for this unit are endless on the sites I found. In fact there is no way I could have done them all, I just picked one unit and ran with it.

I am linking up for the 1st time to Preschool Corner. Feel free to click on the link and check out what other preschooling mommies are doing.

Public Library tips...

Those who know me well, know that I LOVE the public library! I didn't realize how much I love the library until I became a mommy. I thought I would share how I use the library to my benefit in our preschool activities.

Like I shared in my first post, I have planned our year thematically all the way through April. So I know what themes we are studying in advance. I love our library's online search engine and online account privileges. I will often search from home the books I am interested in and then put the books on hold. Then when the books are ready for me, the library system will email me to let me know they have been pulled for me and are on the "hold shelf". I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this perk. It saves this mama of 2 so much time to have the books pulled for me. Recently, my town's library only allowed 5 books at a time to be put on hold, and that just wasn't enough for me at ALL! So thankfully when I called and spoke to the library director she was willing to discuss it with her team and the allowed hold limits was increased to 10! Still not a huge jump for me as I was used to an unlimited amount at my previous town library, but I counted my blessings and am enjoying an increased hold limit. Check out the policy at your local library and try your searches from home of the books you are looking for.

Another perk I love about local libraries are the children's storytimes! I have been taking my children since they were both babies and they love it! I love the songs, rhymes, and books they learn while there. It is always good for children to have books read to them by others.

Just thought I would share a few of my library loves and tips! Go enjoy your local library!

I have a follower!

Yea!  I am so happy to have a follower. Feel free to follow, leave me comments, or subscribe by email. I read last night where another blogger said, "Comments are the fuel that keep me going, so I don't feel like I'm talking to myself." I agree.

I am working on a post about our 2 week learnings of fall and pumpkins! Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Firefighters, Fire Safety, Fire Stations!

The boys loved our fire safety unit! In fact this unit took 2 weeks, because we had so many fun things to do!

I found an awesome fireman lapbook here at Homeschool Creations that the boys loved! It was a lot of fun to make and use. My husband even saw it and said, "You are so creative." Oh no! I cannot take any credit for anything in this cute lapbook, it is all created and ready for use. Just print and assemble. A lapbook is a file folder with lots of fun thematic activities in it. It reminds me of file folder games from my teaching days.
JP concentrating hard on the puzzle.
The outside cover complete with a 16 piece puzzle. I printed the picture in black and white so JP would have a template to use.

The inside of the fireman lapbook with patterns, colors, vocabulary words, counting, and name spelling.

Here are our fire safety books we used. We had so much fun reading together!

We also colored lots of fireman pictures. You may be wondering what is the toddler of the house doing during a lot of these activities... Well he joins us as much as possible. I use the toddler sites I have found for activities for him.

A little coloring and concentrating going on here. 
We also rented two DVDs from our favorite library! Fireman Sam is a favorite in this house!
We followed up our learning with a field trip to a local fire station! I was very impressed with how friendly and welcoming the fire fighters were. The gave us a tour and explained a lot of their job to us. They gave the kids coloring books, hats, and stickers! It was a lot of fun!

Goodnight Moon unit

We had a lot of fun reading and doing fun activities with the book Goodnight Moon by Margaret Brown Wise. This is a loved, favorite book in our home! So it was fun to do activities with this book since we have read it so many times.

I found some great activities at Homeschool Share.
We read the book each day. We discussed rhyming words. We practiced "jumping over the moon" together. We also did a an activity on the link above where the boys listened to the story and sorted pictures by who was said goodnight to and who wasn't. We also learned the riddle "Hey Diddle, Diddle." By the end of the week both boys had it memorized.   We had lots of fun with a fun, favorite book!

 We also have a Goodnight Moon Counting Game that JP enjoyed working. He matched the numbers to the objects and then put them in numerical order.
JP matching the numbers.

Here is a video of JP putting the cards in numerical order. Try not to count how many times I say, "Try that again." He was beginning to get a little silly!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Are you ready for some Football?!?!!

Well, ready or not, football season comes sometimes all too fast at this house! While football season is fun and exciting it also means the Daddy of this house is gone more working hard as he coaches. We love to support him at his games though!

So I found a preschool theme and ideas for football on the internet here and ran with it! We read football books, discussed the game, played football at home, and watched a game or two in person and on tv! We learned F is for football, fun, fall, frogs and so many other words! Here are a few snapshots from our week.

Ready to watch Daddy's 1st game!

Ready, Set, Hut!

Daddy and his two biggest fans!

We made brownie shaped footballs!


We even got to see Papa officiate a high school game and do what he loves! 

Apples, Apples, Apples!

The boys and I are having a lot of fun working on learning new things together. In September we learned all about apples. We read apple books, tasted different apples, painted with apples, wrote the letter A over and over again. To top off our awesome week of apple learning we baked an amazing apple cake together! Overall we just had fun. I really hope to make it to the one apple orchard that I have found in the DFW area at some point, although it is an hour and half away and they (as all Texans) had a rough and hot summer. We'll see. But I do think that would be so fun to go and pick apples. We did this a few years ago in Colorado when the boys were littler and it was so fun!

The boys are still receptive to the things I am trying to teach them and when JP says he is "done" we stop. I want to keep it fun!
Here are some pictures of our fun week with apples.

JP matching magnetic letters to flash cards.

Our apple books
 I actually got really brave (for me at least) and bought temperant paint! Then we painted with apples!

Sorting letters by color.

B is for Birthdays!

Our first preschool theme was Birthdays! We celebrated JP's birthday and read books all about birthdays. We worked on the letter B, the color orange, and one shape. The boys did well. I didn't push it too much, when JP said he was done we stopped. I want to keep it fun and light. Stay tuned for more fun with D is for Dinosaurs!

A few of our birthday books...
CA practicing coloring over the letter B.

JP concentrating on tracing. We are enjoying using expo wipe on markers and sheet protectors.

More tracing practice.

Playing a fun matching game.

A favorite activity: coloring with dot markers.

For JP, I found an awesome Birthday preschool pack here.
For CA, I found a great toddler pack at Tot School here.

Welcome to Teaching My Blessings!

Welcome to my new blog all about our preschool adventure together.

I have decided to write this blog to share with other Mommies of Preschoolers some of the great sites that are available with ideas and lessons to use with your preschooler at home. So many other blogging mommies share their units, lessons, and printables for free! I have been so impressed with the quality of activities. I have added my favorite blogs in the form of buttons on the right. I will add more as I write.

So after much prayer and consideration, I have decided to do preschool activities at home at least two days a week with my precious blessings(AKA children, ages 4 and 2).  I feel both of my boys, especially JP, need structure and activity to our days at home. I have researched preschools and mother day out programs and while they all look amazing, I don't feel that our budget will allow for it at the time. So after at first being sad about that, I then realized, God has given me gifts and talents and knowledge to teach as an educator, SO TEACH! I can teach my own boys at home. I never really envisioned myself "homeschooling" for preschool (if you want to call it that), but for now this plan is working for us. So I got to planning and oh boy was that so much fun! My teacher brain was on! And I loved it! I bought a $1 teacher plan book at Target and planned our year thematically. I then went to the library( I am a library fanatic) and checked out a ton of books for our 1st two themes. I also found a ton, I mean a ton, of websites about preschool activities to do at home with little ones. And the lessons and activities are all good. These other mamas are sharing all of their good stuff for free to other mamas doing the same thing at home. It amazed me how openly and willingly these ladies are sharing their ideas.

My plan so far has been to teach my children a Bible verse, a letter, a shape, and a color each week all connected with a theme. I will be sharing what we've done so far with apples, football, dinosaurs, fire safety, fall, pumpkins, and a Goodnight Moon book study. 

The first week I introduced a few new activities to the boys and at first they were hesitant, but then they really enjoyed it.

We sorted by colors, read books, sang songs, worked with cool whip and danced. Oh and attempted potty training for CA, hence his attire, but when a friend called to treat us to lunch, we hung up potty training for the day! It will still be there when the time is right. These pictures totally sum up the personality of the boys: CA jumps right in for new adventures and JP is unsure at first and then likes it.

Shapes in cool whip! "Yum!"
"Not so sure about this Mom?!"
"OH, this is really fun!"

Rolling dice and exploring the numbers.

We had a blast and look forward to more fun mornings together! I am excited for what God has in store for us this year!
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