Friday, June 29, 2012

Speech Assessment, Rainbows and Movies

Today I started diving into our speech program that I'll be pulling from for Preschool A this coming year.  CJ doesn't have any large speech problems, but since we have a couple joining us for Preschool A, CJ has become my guinea pig :)  I took a model from the text I'm reading and put together a Speech Articulation Test for 3-5 year olds.  It looks at the most common and correctable errors for 3-5 year olds in the beginning, middle and end of words.  It also looks at the type of problem: omitted sound, substituted sound, distorted sound.  If you'd like to download the speech articulation test you can find it (FOR FREE) here:

To give the test (I'm realizing now that I didn't give any instructions in the printable - oops - I'll correct that tomorrow), have your child say the name of each picture.  Then mark according to the marking key at the bottom.  Only look at the beginning sound for the first picture, the middle sound for the second picture, and the ending sound for the last picture.  If they make a mistake somewhere different in the word you'll mark that on other words.

I intend to put together some sound error analysis information as well as post lesson plans and activities that we will be using throughout the year.  Those activities will be specific to our needs though, so I hope they will help some of you - Speech is just a very personalized thing.

Last night we loved going to the drive in movies!
 It's always a double feature.  The first movie was, "Brave."
 We ate popcorn and had a great time!

 The boys fell asleep for the second movie, "The Avengers." Which I thought was great :)
Today, after sleeping in, we've been helping prepare for the boy's cousin's 1st birthday party.  It's a rainbow theme!

 It's going to be so fun!  More pictures to come tomorrow!
Just 45 minutes left to enter our book giveaway! Have you looked at our Tot School and Preschool Planning guide for next year? Have you looked at our Preschool 4th of July Pack?  So much fun stuff happening lately.  Please keep everyone affected by the fires in your prayers and thoughts.  There have been 2 families members (in different states) that have had the fires come close to their homes.  Please pray for everyone's safety.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Elephant Toothpaste

We've spent time playing "Elephants" on the grass this afternoon.  It was a game that CJ made up that ultimately involved he and EMan sitting on my back as I crawled around the grass.  So as a related science experiment before dinner in the boys whining phase of the afternoon, we made Elephant Toothpaste in the sink. 
Found on Pinterest: They have all the instructions there, as well as the science behind it.  The short of it is this:
Mix 2 TBSP Warm Water and 1tsp yeast - let sit
 Mix 1/2 c hydrogen peroxide (I used 3%), food coloring, and dish soap (I used a water bottle)
 Dump the yeast and water into the bottle:
 Watch it foam...

 And Foam...
 and squish it all around!
 Then paint with it.
 CJ doing the American Sign Language for "Brush Teeth".  Later he was talking about it and said something along the lines of, "We made elephant toothpaste and is just keep squishing out!"  It was a fun 10 minute activity to stop the whining :)
After dinner we're heading to the drive in movies - wish us luck!  Find our 4th of July download here, and don't forget to enter the book giveaway here.

Preschool 4th of July Pack

I've finished the Preschool 4th of July Pack!  I intend to use it with our family as our "Lesson" when we visit an assisted living home next Monday night.  It is mostly in a book format, which I will laminate and bind together.  Many of the pieces are shadow matching so that the kids can utilize them to help "teach the lesson" to the grandparents we will be visiting.  Enjoy!
Don't forget to enter the 4th of July book giveaway before tomorrow night!

Thank You! Giveaway

I don't even know where to start. From the very bottom of my heart I love and appreciate all of the support and encouragement that has come my way in the last couple of weeks. In the last day Little Adventures Preschool has made it to 101 "Likes" on Facebook. In the last day Little Adventures Preschool was named a Top 25 Homeschooling Blog on Circle of Moms. I have high hopes for the education of our children. In this world of corruption and negativity we can do something amazing for them by schooling them according to their needs. The next year will bring numerous lesson plans and printables for both toddlers and preschoolers; conveniently I have one of each :) To thank you all personally would be impossible. I have no idea how far and how many people you have all reached out to. I hope this post reaches as many of you as possible. Thank you a million times over. I wish I could send each of you a little something as a token of my appreciation. I am working on a 4th of July Tot Pack and Preschool Pack, which I will make available as soon as possible for you all to download. To show my appreciation for your love I also have a couple copies of, "The Story of America's Birthday" to send to a couple of lucky readers. Please enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to receive it!
Suitable for toddlers and ages upwards, this beautifully illustrated board book is sure to be a favorite of young children as they begin to learn about our nation's history.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

We're a Top 25 Homeschooling Blog!

Thank you to everyone who helped us reach our goal!  We've made it!  Be sure to check below for our curriculum planning guide for the upcoming school year for tots and preschool aged kids.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

2012-2013 Calendar and Plans

Does everyone spend their summer just as busy as the school year in planning and preparing, or is that just me? I've always spent my summer more engrossed in making the next year better than the previous one and now that I'm homeschooling it is hardly any different. In fact, I'm on vacation right now, but instead of relaxing by the pool or catching up on much needed sleep, I'm curriculum planning for next year. If you are heading into toddler years (tot school) or preschool years you can follow along with us for the 2012-2013 school year and consider your curriculum planning already started! Win for you! (or as my gamer husband would type: FTW!) Download the calendar for free here:
With my calendar in its mostly completed state (minus our field trips) I'm ready to start working on pulling together lesson plans. Find a list of Tot Packs that I have in the works for the 2012-2013 school year here. I'll also be pulling together lesson plans for our more formal preschool on Monday and Wednesday morning and posting them as soon as I can. I haven't yet figured out the best way to organize those posts for you to find exactly what you need when you need it, but after a consultation with my brother soon I'm sure it will work out great. If there is anything that I'm missing from my list of themes that you'd like to see please just let me know :)

I'm also taking a leap of faith this year. I come from a very formal public school background and I am a licensed elementary teacher. I have a strong belief that in the early years when kids are excited about learning we can teach them the basics of obtaining knowledge, such as reading, writing and math skills. After they have a basis they can then take responsibility for their learning and lead themselves down their chosen learning route. This year I am starting to teach CJ how to take responsibility for his own learning. Last year was totally mommy led learning. This year we'll still do mommy lead learning on Monday and Wednesday morning with our formal Preschool A, but we'll start embarking into more child led learning in the afternoons and on other days. I hope, through the next few years, we'll become a team that takes education very seriously but much less traditionally.

Have any advice for me?  Please feel free to post it here!

First Swimming Lessons and Water Fireworks and Stamps, Oh My!

Dear friends of Little Adventures Preschool, we've been in the top 25 for this contest for a while now, but need one more big push to keep the top 25 spot.  Please head over to Circle of Moms and vote for Little Adventures Preschool Now!
Have you "Liked" Little Adventures Preschool on Facebook yet?  There is a great giveaway happening right now, but you have to head there to find out about it!
Also, coming soon: The 2012-2013 Preschool A and Tot Skool calendar for curriculum planning. 
Each week of Tot Skool will have a theme and a printable, there will be preschool printables along the way as well.

Water Fireworks
 I Can Teach My Child posted a reminder on facebook about Fireworks in a Jar, and I'm so glad they did!
 We got right into our science experiment for the day during breakfast, the boys were so excited to make water fireworks!  Put a little bit of oil in a bowl and add a few drops of food coloring (my boys added more than a few).
 Mix it up with a fork to make the food coloring separate into little droplets in the oil.
 Carefully put the oil on top of a big jar of water.  As the food coloring dissolves in the water it makes cool "Fireworks" of color.  Since we added WAY too much blue that was all we could see without looking super close, so we tried it again with no blue and the red was cool, too!  They have much better pictures on I Can Teach My Child, but we certainly had a lot of fun exploring water fireworks.
Swimming Lessons
Little EMan getting ready to explore the pool.
 Yesterday CJ had his first swimming lesson.  We don't go to a pool back home, we just have a kiddie pool that the boys play in, so we've never really explored swimming.  Since my parents have a community pool and a good friend who used to teach swimming we've decided to teach CJ to swim in the next two weeks - think it will work?
Here we all are, ready to start swimming!
 I didn't take any pictures during the first part because I was juggling two kids in the water, but once EMan decided that it was time to get out I was able to snap a few.

 CJ did great for his first day.  He spent just over 2 hours in the water and didn't want to get out, but Miss Elizabeth and I were tired!  We blew bubbles after and captured the picture below, but I sure can't tell you what we were all looking at...
One of the great things about going to Oma's house is that she buys them interesting things to explore.  At Costco in the afternoon we found these stamp books and the boys had so much fun exploring them before going to bed.
 They stamped the stamps and stamped the ink pad and even stamped their hands!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Winners of the Tot Pack Giveaway

Just a little shout out to the winners of the tot pack giveaway:
Kim T, Lora, Carly C., Sarah B., Valerie H., and grand prize winner Penny! You have all received an email from me.  Enjoy the Tot Packs!
For those of you who are looking for another give away, head on over and "Like" Little Adventures Preschool on Facebook, there is infomation there about an awesome give away...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Camping June 2012

Why Camping is Good for Child Development, by Janet Sandford
1) Adventure
Camping is not an ‘on a plate’ sort of holiday but an adventure. Children love exploring and discovering new places and from the moment you set off in the car, the adventure begins. When the imagination is engaged so is intellectual development. Try to resist plugging them into an MP3 player but use the journey as a learning game, looking for things beginning with or particular makes of car or number plate.

Map reading is a useful skill both intrinsically but also for broader development. Even if you have SatNav, encourage the use of maps to follow the journey and look for road signs. An engaged child will also be less bored and grumpy in the car. Once on site, you can use local maps for walking. Good for physical development too!
3) Practical skills
Children can join in on all of the practical camp activities from putting the tent up, making a washing line and cooking. Even in a modern world, these are still useful life skills.

4) Learning to contribute
Yes, some aspects of camping can be laborious and you can’t just put things in the dishwasher and forget about them. There are always lots of small jobs to do and children need to learn that they have a responsibility to participate. Done in the right way, even chores can be fun.
5) Appreciating nature
Children can learn the joys of being with nature, understanding it and respecting their environment. This could include not littering as well as being wary of danger. If you have a botanical knowledge, you could also teach them names of plants; maybe at least, a few varieties of trees.
6) Adaptability
It will certainly be a different environment to the one they are used to and learning to adapt to change and different surroundings will prove to be an invaluable skill in life and in work.
7) Learning to cope with adversity
You may get bad luck and plan your holiday for the wettest week of the year. Learning to cope with things being imperfect and keeping a positive outlook in a downpour will be transferable to many other difficult situations in the future. You could say, every cloud has a silver lining!

8) Developing social skills
Children are likely to meet and play with other children that they haven’t met before which is excellent for social skill development. Many larger camps may also have organised activities and it’s good for kids to spend some time away from mum and dad in a safe environment.

9) Learning racial tolerance
Particularly if camping abroad, children are likely to rub shoulders with a range of colours and nationalities often not speaking a word of the same language. However, through the international language of play, children can learn a natural tolerance which will make them always open minded to all races.

10) Parenting skills
If children have been brought up in a family that camps and have learnt to enjoy being outdoors, mixing in and mucking in, they are likely to want to do the same as parents and pass on the benefits of camping to another generation.

Now you can see that camping clearly is a great way for children to develop a whole bunch of skills, you better start looking for those tent pegs! Happy camping!