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April 2013: Month-At-A-Glance

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April Five in a Row Books

We are wrapping up our fourth month of Five in a Row books. They have been wonderful in teaching Bud how to listen to longer stories and narrate. His narrations were very simple at first, but I was surprised at how quickly he began retelling the whole story. The week we rowed A New Coat for Anna I heard him give his first summarization of the entire book in his own words. It was so encouraging to hear that he is listening and retaining some or all of what we are reading. I love hearing which details he remembers. It’s so fun to see his wheels turning. Here is what we rowed this month:

  • Wee Gillis, by Munro Leaf
  • Owl Moon, by Jane Yoder and John Schoenherr
  • A New Coat for Anna, by Harriot Ziefert
  • Mrs. Katz and Tush, by Patricia Polacco

Lesson Highlights

  • We talked about Bud’s full name the week of Wee Gillis. He practiced writing his name in various formats almost every day this month. He signed birthday cards, spelled his name with beads, wrote his name with bath letters, and created the letters with Q-tips.
  • Bud painted a picture of his favorite memory of him and his Dad during the week of Owl Moon. They rode on the Polar Express train this past Christmas together and it was sweet to have him recall that special night. We also had fun going through the pages and finding all the hidden animals.Picture 14
  • The week of A New Coat for Anna was exciting as I mentioned earlier because Bud’s narration skills really began to improve. We made paper chains to go around a sheep we had in our stuffed animal bin and Bud sewed buttons on a cardstock coat we cut out.
  • During the week of Mrs. Katz and Tush, we talked about facial expressions and how the shape of the mouth, eyes, and eyebrows can help an artist show what a character is feeling. We also counted Jewish pastries in the book with beans.

Book in the Tub

We did “History in the Tub” last month, but it got changed to plain “Book in the Tub” this month after several failed attempts at reading history books that didn’t grab their attention. If I don’t see their eyes light up when I pick up a book I know it’s time to find another and move on. I did find a great history book list, but for now I’m going to just try reading classic chapter books to them.

We started Cardo Callodi’s classic Pinnochio and the kids love it! I make sound effects while I’m reading and use my best Italian accent for Geppetto. I love seeing their little bright eyes watch me as I read. Bud often eagerly asks questions about what will happen to Pinnochio next after we’re done reading.

Habit Training: Dry at Night

Yes, I have a preschooler. Bud turned 4 this month and has been waking with a dry Pull-up for about a month. To solidify the habit and assure us that he is ready for underwear at night we established a sticker chart to mark his progress. He has gone the whole month dry except one night. That night was easily explained though because I got him and his sister new water bottles the day before and I think I filled his 5 times that day. 🙂

I think we can cross this one off the list. Another developmental hurdle crossed. Hooray!

Time to Read?

Ever since Bud could sit up he has had a book in his hand. That kid loves to look at books. It’s one of the many things I love about him. This month he started asking if I would teach him how to read. I know he is young, but he shows all the signs that he is ready to try. I say…why not? Let’s go for it!

We started with the Bob books. Bud read the first one easily and I gave him a sticker on the front cover when he completed it. He was so proud to have read a book all by himself. Hubby and I started taking turns reading one Bob book right before night time prayers. He quickly read through the first 12 in Box 1 so we moved on to Box 2 which he also read through. Sometimes he would hesitate or pronounce a word incorrectly, but he stayed persistent and kept trying until he said it correctly. The Bob books were great to see if he was really ready and willing to take this next step in learning. He definitely is!

Picture 10

I decided (since it is my first year homeschooling) to purchase a reading curriculum for Bud. After reading through many positive reviews I purchased All About Reading Level 1. If we struggle or I find he isn’t interested, we will immediately shelf it and wait. The momentum we have right now is exciting though and I can’t wait to see what the results will be. We are going to start it in May so stay tuned for how it turns out!

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2 thoughts on “April 2013: Month-At-A-Glance

  1. Thanks, Rachel! I’m glad to hear you say that about his readiness for reading. It’s exciting to see his little wheels turning! 🙂

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