I was feeling that J-jo had no direction in his days. He wandered aimlessly while Bear did some school work in the morning. Since she isn’t doing much Montessori anymore, he isn’t drawn to the shelves at all. Wanting to spend more time with him and knowing the shelves and Montessori material weren’t going to allow that, I purchased the My Father’s World Kindergarten curriculum to use with him. Obviously, he isn’t ready to learn to read and though the MFW K curriculum does focus on that, it also focuses a lot on scripture and wonderful letter of the week themes that allow for a lot of learning about science and nature. So far, he is thriving with the structure and I feel a huge relief that everything is already planned out for me (though that hasn’t stopped me from adding fun activities into the mix). I LOVE this curriculum and how it allows Bear and J-jo to combine school. We’re still doing Montessori, but this focuses the morning before we move on to Montessori.
The first theme is S is for Sun.
We experienced walking in the dark and noticed how the sun helps us see so that we won’t trip. We learned that Jesus is the light of the world and that he also helps us see and not trip.
We made raisins by placing grapes in the sun (Mommy often had to sneak them into the oven after baking to speed up the process as the winter sun isn’t really hot enough to turn grapes into raisins.
We used a flashlight to represent the sun and used our globe to show how the earth rotating causes night and day and how night is really just a shadow.
We made a sundial and measured the passage of time with the sun. We were able to go outside the second day and realize that it was after 12 by looking at our sundial.
At the end of the week, I had Bear tell me what she remembered learning about the sun. I wrote it down for her and she cut a circle for a sun. She didn’t want to put rays on it, even though her brother had for his sun craft.
Books we read:
Sun Up, Sun Down,
What Makes a Shadow
Who likes the Sun?
The Sun is Always Shining Somewhere (very simple. Great for a 2 year old)
The sound /s/ work
The curriculum is laid out so that each day you work on one sheet with your student and work through some activities for that week’s sound. I really like how it is set up. It is very Montessori-inspired, except for the fact that the student isn’t choosing. However, there are sound sorts, textured letters to trace,and tactile tracing activities. I don’t do all the sheets with J-jo. The handwriting practice, for example, gets given to Bear.
On the math day, in which he chooses numbers and writes them and then draws that many items in a box, I have him choose a number stamp and stamp his number. He then used a sun stamp this week to stamp out the correct number of suns for the number he had chosen. I help with this and count with him as he stamps the suns.
Day 5 has the child write and draw pictures for the letter sound, so instead I have printed out all the ABC sheets from 1+1+1=1 (see photo) for him to color. I give him the letter we are working on for the week.
They make a badge every week to go with the Bible lesson and theme of the week. The sun also addressed abab patterns with the rays. The sheet is glued on is printed from Mama Jenn, who also is doing the MFW K curriculum. There was cutting work (which he did!) and gluing work – see the sheet to the right of the sun. He also did a sticker activity that I made up, which I explain below.
I bought a barely-used used Deluxe package and it came with the cuisenaire rods and the Cuisenaire Rods Alphabet Book, which I think is great for spatial development, but is a little too tricky for J-jo. Bear usually does the pages…sometimes.
Here’s a sound sort type of activity. J-jo is to put the token on the pictures that begin with the letter sound. He isn’t quite ready for this. It’s hit and miss – some days he gets them all right and other days all wrong.
The same thing happens with the sound sorts. He’s really not in the Sensitive period for word sorts. I keep trying them in the hopes of catching him when he hits that period.
We sing the phonetic alphabet song using the flashcards everyday. With the three letters, he is asked to give me the /s/ as I mix up the letters. The smaller cards are pictures of things that start with /s/. He’ll do sound sorts with them later, after more letters have been introduced.
Here’s how he finds his trays set up when he comes to the school room.
Our week went so smoothly and we had some great Montessori work periods too. However, J-jo is starting to resist naps (I don’t wanna!) though he still sleeps 2 hours once I put him down. His naps are also starting to run too close to bedtime so he can’t fall asleep at his regular (early) bedtime. It looks like I will be having to drop his nap soon.
Next week we add our Classical Conversations readings and memory work into the mix and it will be interesting to see how I manage to do that!