Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Just Sabrina for a Few Days

While Catherine was between her Egleston admission and her Scottish Rite admission, we were home for a few days.  Catherine was exhausted (which we later learned was due to the infection in her body), so I let her sleep most of the day.  Sabrina, as always, had tons of energy.  So I just did "school" with her alone.  In addition to teaching her skills, I also want Sabrina to focus on desk work, completing assignments, etc. 

The girls both love making "books."  I love finding templates and printable materials on the Internet which I can just print out and use.  Sabrina made a "Snowflake Counting Book."  She was so proud of it that she wanted to show Daddy as soon as he got home.  I was able to find similar books of candy canes, hearts, etc. which I can use later.
I am beginning to teach Sabrina phonics.  She knows most of the letters on sight and can write them (usually).  She also likes the cut-and-paste worksheets.  I think they feel like a game more.  So I found a worksheet for "what sounds like S" (and one for F), as well as a (Insect/Not an Insect) worksheet which we did this week with our animal study. 

Sabrina loves hanging everything she does on the wall.  I provide a basket for each of them to put their completed work in, but she likes to hang them up anyway.  It had gotten so out of hand that I instituted a new Monday morning rule of taking everything off the walls so we can start the week fresh.  Sabrina asked me several times not to throw them out.  I wonder if she has some hoarding tendencies.  I assured them that we would do more work this week to hang on the walls.  Catherine seemed pleased with that, but Sabrina had trouble getting beyond that we were taking down her work.  I do need to leverage her pride in her work.
 Sabrina loves doing Do-A-Dot exercises, which helps reinforce the letters:
I love Laura Numeroff's books.  Here are just 3 of them:
Sabrina asks me to read them to her at least twice a day.  She analyzes every picture and we have to discuss the silly pictures on every page (Can you believe the pig is brushing his teeth?  Have you ever seen a moose ride a bicycle before?  That is ridiculous!). 

I cannot imagine how you could home school without a good public library system nearby.  I could not afford to purchase all the books we use, and I never know until I get the book and read it if it is good or not (plus, where would we store all these books?).  For example, I got some Laura Numeroff books which are not part of her "If You Give A ..." series which I and the girls did not like.  But the above books are fabulous and Sabrina loves them.  I am not sure if she actually learns anything from them, other than a love and joy  for reading.  But, getting the girls to love books is essential!

I also give Sabrina a lot of desk work which is merely busy work to keep her occupied while I am doing more substantial work with Catherine.  I of course hope that Sabrina would learn something at the same time.  She has made several "posters" where she cuts out big and little letters, pairs them up, and glues them down.  She loves making these.  It is hard to tell with preschool level work, but perhaps she is learning letter recognition and that every letter has two versions.  She definitely is improving her cutting and gluing skills.
Patterns.  Last year in kindergarten Catherine was frequently making patterns.  I am not sure why, but it is a precursor to math.  We received a snap cube set with four colors with Catherine's first grade math curriculum.  Catherine is great at patterns and does not need any more practice with that.  But, Sabrina has never done patterns before.  So, I gave them to Sabrina to make patterns with.  Here she is doing basic ABAB patterns:
I have just started to give Sabrina more difficult patterns, like AABB, or ABCABC.  She struggles with the more difficult patterns, which is great.  We are expanding beyond what she knows already!

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