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Home Preschool: Letter F

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You will notice that our learning time has become a wonderful dance between myself and the kids.  They are, quite literally, playing all day.  I am becoming less schedule-oriented.  However, for Letter E, I shared why we still do letter of the week.  You can read more about my reasons over there.  But, mostly, I let the kids be kids.  I give them activities that I know they’ll love {or I know will keep my two-year-old busy} and I try to incorporate their interests.

Oh, you want to learn about a gorilla?  Let’s watch one on my computer!

What is the sun made out of?  Let’s find out in this book?  Would you like to make one?  {No, mom.}

Well, I am trying to promote project-making with my son.  For him to have a goal, a spark about one subject.  I am reading intensely about this and other aspects of Reggio-inspired learning.  I agree with so much of its premise for early childhood learning.  Other parts, not so much.  But that is the beauty, you learn, you do, you parent and teach what you feel is best.  That’s all we can do. I need to let go of any mom-guilt that I am not doing it right enough.  But I will share soon on my philosophies and opinions about Reggio Emilia.


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Our Schedule

1.   Music, Movement, Dance Time

In the mornings, we sing songs and dance to fun children’s or Bible music.  (I created free printables to our Sing the Word From A to Z and our Play a Little Bible Songs.)

2.   Bible Time

We read our Bible at the breakfast table.  We are trying to go through only one (the Preschool Hands-On Bible — you can check out my post on this wonderful Bible and how we create a page each day in our Bible Notebook).  But, often, the kids will want to read more, so we will pick and choose between our many Bibles (you can check out our Preschool Bible Resources to see the Bibles we love!)

3.   Recitation Time

We move through our above chart (here is a similar one).  All of the items on it are free (with the exception of our Montessori sandpaper alphabet cards)! We follow a simple recitation sequence to promote memorization and learning.

We follow the following sequence for morning time:

  • What is the letter of the week?
  • Can you feel the letter? (We feel each sandpaper letter — putting our finger on the big C as you’d write it and the little c as you’d write it.)
  • What vehicle begins with the letter Cc?  (We are using the Zoomin’ Movin’ Alphabet curriculum from Royal Baloo.)
  • What else begins with the letter Cc? (We are also using the Letter of the Week curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler.)
  • Let’s read our Bible verse together!
  • What is the color of the week?
  • Let’s put ___ (green) objects in the basket!  May and John, take turns!  (Or a color hunt!)
  • What is the number of the week?
  • Can you put (1, 2, etc) Legos in the basket? (John runs to get 3 Legos, and places them in a little basket, with the number three inside.)
  • Can you put the clothespin on the little letter?
  • Let’s read our little book together!
  • Let’s count from 1 to 30!
  • Let’s count by 10s!
  • Let’s count by 5s!
  • What month is it?
  • (We are beginning to sometimes sing the “Month Song” and the “Days of the Week Song” too.)
  • What is our poem of the month? (We recite a poem from my 24 Monthly Preschool Chants.)
  • What is our poem of the week? (We recite a poem from my 12 Poems of Robert Louis Stevenson.)
  • Let’s sing the Alphabet Song!

4.   Alphabet or Math Work

We try to fit in some type of ABC work, be it with our Montessori Alphabet Box or writing letters or making letters with salt.

We also try to fit in some math.  We have been talking about shapes, counting on our fingers, counting our small parts play.  We are going slow, and at my son’s pace.

Ideally, I would have like to do more “work” at the table, or more planned out, but the more I parent my little boy, the more I realize that I am there for him, not him to please my notion of what learning means.   It is about knowing our children and their passions — you can read more at Connecting with my son and how he learns.

5.   Craft, Sensory, or Practical Life Time

I try to do one of these every day.  It can mean simple water play, beans, salt trays, oatmeal play.  Or a simple try with spooning or tonging practice. This time is often done with my younger daughter.  We make sure to make our ABC Felt Animal and our Preschool Alphabet page for the week.  We also try to do another sensory fun activity and a practical life activity.  I am trying to stay very low key about this portion of our Preschool plans.  John is not a craft little boy or a messy painty boy, but he does love sensory “clean play” (likes beans or water play) and playdough if I have him on the right day. So we will continue with these and enjoy the summer months.

6.   We read books and enjoy one another.


Our Child Led Week

Sensory play with flour and water.  I was making pie crusts and he dove in!  I loooove that he can play with flour now (John used to be severely allergic to gluten).DSC02978 Cutting flowers for the table!DSC03565 Sorting his ABC Felt Animals and putting letters on top of each one!DSC03855 Reading little sight word books.  I have a bunch from my teaching days {the ones linked aren’t the exact ones that we have}.  I have 5 books in each set, so it has been fun sitting in a small circle and reading them with both John and May — she follows right along!  For me, the goal is confidence and fun.  I don’t push sight words before teaching phonics, but phonics won’t come for at least another year, when he is developmentally ready!

Sight word readers, or guided reading books, have simple phrases that encourage a child to decode the text through looking at the pictures.  It is repetitive and builds confidence.  This is a part of the reading process, and while I think immersion reading is important {adults sight read all the time!}, I don’t emphasize its importance until after a firm phonics foundation.DSC03859 Making a garbage truck on his bed every morning.  This pretend play has been so fun to watch, and it occupies him for hours.DSC03861Looking at our montessori alphabet box.  Putting all of the animals we have back in their individual letter boxes.  You can see here how we use our montessori alphabet box and more ideas for the montessori alphabet box here.
DSC03872 More garbage truck play (like I said, it’s every day).  John even lets May sit in the front seat sometimes — other times she is sent to collect the garbage!DSC03918 Enjoying some warm weather with water and sidewalk chalks.DSC03875 Water play with pans and bowls.DSC03873 Using old recyclables, including this squeeze bottle = hours of play.DSC03874 Soup for the bugs.DSC03877

Preschool Alphabet Notebook

We are making an alphabet book with uppercase letters. I save these and will put them in a “book” — probably just with three pieces of yarn — for him to remember each letter!  We are using printables from The Unlikely Homeschool.  This is simple — just decorate your letter with something related to that letter.

F is for Fingerprints :)  May painted this — John didn’t want to– she is my little painter and absolutely loves these little opportunities — she is quite the perfectionist.  “Done!” she cries when her masterpiece is complete.
DSC04116 DSC04141

ABC Felt Animal

Our felt animal this week was a F is for Flamingo!  You can check out all of our ABC Felt Animals here.


ABC Preschool Books to Read

I am starting a new collection of Preschool Books to read for each letter.  Here is our list for Preschool Books for the Letter F!

books for children for the letter f

Our Chosen Materials & Activities:

  • The Preschool Journey by Teaching Mama.  There are many wonderful ideas for crafts and activities for each letter in this eBook.  We will pick and choose different activities according to my son’s interests.
  • ABC Felt Animals: we will continue to make our felt animals for every letter of the alphabet!

You can also find our Essential Preschool Materials and Craft & Homeschool Materials for Moms for more suggestions!

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