Wednesday, 22 April 2015

A is for alligator

        

Now that R is weeks away from his third birthday, I thought I would start to introduce him to some letters. We started off at the beginning with the letter 'A'. I found this cute craft for 'A is for alligator' on pinterest and thought he would enjoy it. Although the task was set up for R, D wanted to join in too although she already knows the letter 'A'.

        

For this craft you will need a sheet of paper, some squares of green paper and some glue. I started by drawing an 'A' on the white paper as a guide for R to follow when sticking on the squares of green paper.

                 

Here they are sticking on the green paper. R needed prompting to stick the squares on the 'A' I had drawn!

        

Here is what the 'A' looks like. As we were doing 'A is for alligator' I turned the paper on it's side to look like an alligator's mouth.

        

Then I cut out some white teeth for the alligator and wrote capital A's on some and lower case a's on the rest. The children stuck the teeth inside the alligator's mouth. I wrote the A's for R but D wrote the A's on her own alligator teeth. 

Finally, the children drew eyes on their alligators. Above you can see R's handiwork.

        

I also gave R some more A practice by giving him some A's drawn on some paper and asking him to make dot's along the lines with his chubby pen.

         

He enjoys making dots along the lines!

        

D did multicoloured letters.

        

R followed the lines as well as making random dots on the paper, like in the centre of the 'a'!

        

Then I taught R how 'A' is the first sound of the word 'apple' I gave him a sequencing task to do out of curiosity to see if he had any difficulties in this area. He didn't and was easily able to put the pictures into the correct sequence. He needed a bit of help with the numbers as he cannot recognise written numbers yet.

               

Last year, we did a lot about apples when I was teaching D about the letter 'A'. We had lots of fun making apple crafts

        

We also did apple taste testing and had fun learning the words to describe the taste of the apples in three different languages.

How did you introduce the alphabet to your children?


Sunday, 19 April 2015

Springtime crafts

        

Spring is well and truly here so I thought I would do a round up of all the spring time crafts we have done. Most of these I wrote about last year so hopefully I will think of some more to do in the coming weeks!

        

The picture at the top is from last years spring table. We haven't got round to making one this year yet. It's on the to do list! Check out this post to find out how we made these cute chicks and sheep.

                 

I also wrote about our springtime wall art last year which we stuck to the wall above the spring table. Click here to read about it and how we made our tulip pictures.

        

                 

We have been noticing recently how the trees are coming into blossom now. They look gorgeous with their white and pink blossom scattered all over. You can see here is how we made the tree in bloom picture.

        

We are now in the month of April which is known for it's April showers. This umbrella picture sums this up perfectly.

        

As the weather becomes warmer and the sun comes out, flowers are beginning to appear. These beautiful paper flowers will brighten up your home.

        

Finally, these cute bunny ears made from a paper plate are great for springtime play!

Which crafts have you been making this spring?




Friday, 17 April 2015

Numeracy on the beach

        

Springtime has finally arrived and the weather is noticeably warmer. It had been sunny all week so we decided to go to the beach. Unfortunately, it was not as sunny as we'd hoped but it was still warm and dry. The children had a lot of fun playing on the sand with their buckets and spades. They hunted for shells and sea weed and other treasures. 

I had bought a book with us about all the wildlife that can be found at the beach and we had a look round to see if we could spot any. We couldn't get close enough to the water to see if we could spot any fish, as the tide was out. We did, however, see lots of sea gulls and little insects in the sand. We also saw lots of ladybirds which I wasn't expecting at all.

        

Then, I thought we could use the sand for some numeracy work. I asked D to write the numbers from 1 to 10 in order in the sand. She used her hand held rake to do this.

        

After that she also wrote her name in the sand.

        

I asked R to draw some shapes. First, he drew a circle. 'A plate!' he exclaimed.

        

We also practiced following sequences. I drew some shapes in the sand and then I asked D to carry on the sequence.

        

Here she is completing the sequence. 

        

I carried on the shape practice with R, 'Can you draw 3 triangles?' I asked. He did so without help from me.

        

We also practised a few simple sums. I wrote them in the sand and asked D to write the answers.

        

After that, they had both had enough of numeracy work so went back to exploring the beach. They found some sea gull footrpints in the sand.



What's Your Weekend?

                                                Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Making our own picture books

        

We love books and we love reading. I recently wrote a post about my favourite books for preschoolers. There's nothing better than snuggling on the sofa with a pile of good books to enjoy reading together. Although D cannot read yet, she loves being read to. R loves to listen to stories too. I decided D might like to make her own picture book which retold one of her favourite stories. She could then use her picture book to retell the story.

Storytelling is an important skill. It aids comprehension and will give you a good idea of what your child has understood from the story. It will enable you to see if your child understands the structure of a story. Do they know that a story has a beginning, middle and end? Storytelling allows a child to use and develop their memory skills. Because of these things, I believe the ability to retell a story is a crucial skill to have and just as important as learning to read. When a child is ready, this skill will be beneficial for them when they begin to learn to read.

        

We chose an Alfie story to retell. It is one of D's favourites and the pictures are wonderful and gave D some inspiration for her drawings.

        

D chose one story from the book to retell through pictures; 'The very special birthday'. It is all about the time Aflie and his friend Bernard go to visit Alfie's Great Aunt to wish her a happy birthday. They make a cake and take her presents.

        

D thoroughly enjoyed drawing the pictures with her colouring pencils. She spent a long time doing this.

        

D used the pictures in the book to help her.

        

In the first picture, Alfie and his friend are looking at a book about aeroplanes.

        

Next, Alfie and Bernard help Alfie's Mum to make a cake for Great Aunt Hilary. D spent a long time drawing this picture and put a lot of detail into it.

        

Next, they all go to visit Great Aunt Hilary.

        

Finally, they blow out the birthday candles. I think D had get a bit tired of drawing by this point. You can see the difference between her first pictures and last ones.

        

D also drew a picture for the front cover of the book and wrote the title at the top.

        

She also wrote 'the end' on the final page.

        

Then we stapled the pages together and the book was ready to be used for retelling. D has enjoyed showing people her picture book and retelling the story of 'the very special birthday'.




Thursday, 9 April 2015

Addition with coloured sticks

        

We are starting to do more mathematics now that D is 5 years old. I am trying to help her get the hang of addition and subtraction. I always like to think of fun ways to help her learn maths. I think it is important for maths learning, particularly in the early days, to be very visual and practical. Therefore, I decided to set up an activity using little coloured sticks to help with counting.

                        

I started by getting a piece of paper and writing the number 5 at the top and sums all the way down. Each sum had to produce 5 and D's job was to fill in the gaps. She used the coloured sticks to count how many extra she would need to get to five. Above you can see her workings out for the first sum.

                        

After she had worked out the missing number for each sum, she wrote the number down. Of course, she had to use different colours for each one!

                        

Next she decided she wanted to work on the number 7. This time, she wrote all the sums out herself.

                          

Here is her finished worksheet. I was surprised at how much she enjoyed this activity. She has asked to do it everyday since!

What's Your Weekend?

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

The benefits of homeschooling for Muslims

"The best gift from a father to his child is the gift of education and upbringing"
Hadith of At-Tirmidhi on the authority of Sa'id Ibn Al-'as.



        

I have just started homeschooling my eldest child who has just turned 5 years old. I NEVER thought I would homeschool. It had never even occurred to me that homeschooling might be best for my kids. I grew up a Catholic and went to Catholic schools. I became Muslim when I was 19 years old, Alhamdulillah, and gave birth to my first child at the age of 22, but still I didn't think about homeschooling. I had a few friends who were considering it but I never really bothered to ask them their thoughts on the subject. I always thought I would send my children to school.

But a change of circumstances forced me to think about homeschooling and I haven't looked back since. Click on the link below to read my guest post about 'the benefits of homeschooling for Muslims' over on Muslim Mummies blog.

http://www.muslimmummies.com/2015/04/the-benefits-of-homeschooling-for-muslims/

Can you think of any other benefits?

         
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